Airplay 2 and Google Assistant are key
Bang & Olufsen had a lot of major announcements at CES this year. Key in terms of products are the flagship Beoplay H9i and H8i. These over-ear headphones come with a lightweight aluminum frame covered with stitched cowhide leather, anodised aluminum ear cups and active noise cancellation upgraded to perform between 300-800Hz. Available from next month on at US$399, the Beoplay H8i headphones come with button controls as against smart controls on the Beoplay H9i, which will retail at $499.
We were mighty impressed with the Beoplay E8 when it launched these parts, and at CES the brand expanded the portfolio with a special edition Beoplay E8 all white and all black collection. Available from the end of February at $299, the Beoplay E8 is both water and dust resistant and delivers four hours of playback on one charge.
CES 2018 also marks the moment the Danish audio company totally embraced the personal assistant. B&O announced support for Google Assistant and announced that it will be among the first to support Apple Airplay 2. Interestingly, Google Assistant will arrive on speakers through updated hardware rather than a software update to existing products.
And let’s not forget BeoSound Shape. We were truly impressed by this rather mesmerizing modular wireless speaker system. With tiles consisting of speakers, amplifiers, sound-absorbing acoustic dampeners and a Core unit that handles connectivity. It’s massively connected, visually stunning, with incredible sound to boot. A worthy addition to your man cave.
The basic starter kit of the BeoSound Shape comprises six tiles: two speakers, one amp, two dampers, and one BeoCore, and comes at $3,550.