July 20, 2012
| by Rachel Cericola
There are a few products out there allowing music lovers to stream audio without wires. Now Bang & Olufsen is putting its signature style into that lot, with the Bang & Olufsen Playmaker.
The newly announced product is a receiver that can wirelessly connect digital music sources to any Bang & Olufsen speakers. So while the $425 MSRP may seem cheap by B&O standards, you’d better factor in the price of speakers as well.
Other Playmaker features include DLNA and AirPlay support, so you can stream music from any compatible smartphone, tablet, Mac, PC or media server. The company says there is also a Digital Audio Converter (DAC) inside, so you don’t have to worry about sound quality.
B&O promises an easy setup process for the Playmaker, saying that you can add the device to any set of B&O active loudspeakers within seconds. Another option is to set the unit up via the free Bang & Olufsen BeoSetup App. From there, you can explore music, stream radio stations, and even set music zones for whole-house play.
“We believe Playmaker will resonate with our customers as it offers a one-step wireless solution for enjoying digital music from any smart phone to the powerful B&O loudspeaker portfolio,” states Zean Nielsen, president of Bang & Olufsen America, Inc. “Furthermore, we believe that most new B&O owners will want to include Playmaker when purchasing any new pair of B&O speakers. Therefore, we have strong expectations for its sales performance, especially among an entirely new customer segment that may have aspired to own world-class B&O loudspeakers but chose not to invest in an audio or video system to drive the B&O speakers for one reason or another. The Playmaker now allows these customers to use their own device and still experience the high-quality sound experience of Bang & Olufsen.”
Playmaker will start selling in Bang & Olufsen showrooms sometime this month, with an MSRP of $425. If you want to bundle it with a pair of BeoLab 3 loudspeakers, that will bump the price up to $4,310 for the package.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.