The Beolit 12 speaker was the first device introduced on Bang & Olufen’s Play line of audio gear back in 2012. It was followed by the Beolit 15 in 2015 and now the company has an even larger model: the Beolit 17. As you might expect, the larger size delivers more power for the wireless speaker with 240 watts. While the overall design remains the same, the Beolit 17’s speaker grill has been tweaked to remove the cable compartment. That change helps the device to pack that increased power and enhanced sound. Speaking of design, you can expect similar premium materials we’ve seen on other B&O Play devices. The Beolit 17 retains the aluminum speaker grill and leather carrying strap from its predecessors. The top and bottom is made of what the company calls “a robust polymer” that will stand up to being hauled around as needed. There’s also a non-slip tray up top where you can lay your phone down without worrying about whether or not it will get scratched up. Of course, when it comes to portable speakers, battery life is a key selling point. With the Beolit 17, B&O is claiming up to 24 hours of battery life, certainly enough to get you through an outdoor dinner party or a day at the park. This new model also features a new one-touch connection button that can be set to one of four modes in the Beoplay App. Those modes include Alarm complete with snooze function, Connect that resumes music where you left off, Remote for skipping/playing tracks and ToneTouch that employs your go-to audio preset. You can select from a number of ToneTouch sound settings in the Beoplay app as well. If you’re looking for a new wireless speaker, the Beolit 17 is available now directly from B&O’s online store or from its third-party retailers. You can expect to hand over $499 (£449/€499) to nab one.
B&O Play experienced a 41 per cent increase in sales during the recent third quarter of the 2014/15 financial year, helping to propel the company as a whole to 19 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. The UK is one of B&O Play’s fastest growing markets with sales up 75 per cent during the period.
Bang & Olufsen has traditionally been synonymous with high-end luxury audio products for the home, but in 2012 the company decided it was time to diversify and start appealing to smartphone-toting youths who couldn’t afford to spend several thousands of pounds on speakers.