I'm old enough to remember when
speakers were a status symbol and big was always better.
However since then, technology has advanced considerably and
smaller is now considered the new big. This is all about to
change thanks to Bang & Olufsen with their new BeoPlay A9
wireless speaker that looks like something you would find
in an art gallery but more importantly produces crystal
clear and amazing sound quality.
The BeoPlay A9 is such an
impressive designed piece of technology that it actually
looks like it's part of your furniture. It's quite a bold
fashion statement but all these amazing features do come at
a cost. But can you put a price of quality? That's for you
to decide and the price of the
BeoPlay A9 is $2,699AUD (September 2013). As a result, this
technology produces powerfully rich sound
that is quite unparalleled with other products. But if you
can afford it, we would highly recommend the BeoPlay.
The three legged design of the
BeoPlay A9 looks similar to an artist easel but probably
more like a satellite dish due to the large disc shaped
speaker attached to it. The BeoPlay A9 comes in a variety of
colours that include white, silver, red, green, brown, black
and blue. Even the legs come in an assortment of colours
that include beech, oak and teak.
The product can also be wall
mounted which is included in the purchase of the item. It
should be noted that the BeoPlay was designed by Øivind
Alexander Slaatto and measures at 70.1 x 90.8 x 41.1 cm with
a weight of 14.7 kilograms. Another great aspect about the
BeoPlay is that everything is included in the purchase for
great audio. There is an option to
connect two BeoPlay units together but just remember that
this will double the cost.
Setting up the BeoPlay A9 is a
breeze and took around 10 or so minutes to unpack, put the
unit together (screw in the legs, power the unit) and then
start streaming our music to this beautiful piece of
technology. The BeoPlay is definitely aimed more at the
Apple market with the inclusion of AirPlay. However setting
up AirPlay is quite easy as are DLNA devices. The first step
is to download the free BeoSetup App. Once downloaded you
simply select the BeoPlay A9 device and connect it to your
wireless network and presto... you have wireless sound.
Depending on where you want the
BeoPlay to be situated, there is a switch on the device to
give the user the best possible setup which includes free
(open placement), wall (against a wall or attached to a
wall) and Corner. Even though we tested all three modes,
they do make a difference to where the BeoPlay is located.
There is even a Bang & Olufsen app available as well which
does make things a little easier.
The first thing that I did
notice about the BeoPlay was the audio quality. This product
is definitely on the higher end of the audio spectrum and
successfully streamlined a variety of music genres. I was
pleasantly surprised at the quality of the bass on the
BeoPlay that did not distort my music whatsoever. Of course
this is due to the powerful 5 drivers and 160 watt 8"bass
drive. Add in two 80 watt 3" midrange drivers, two 80-watt
3/4 inch tweeters and it's stuff of Nordic myth my friends
as the quality is superb!
We tested a variety of music
genres that included Pink, Veruca Salt, the Les Misérables
Soundtrack, Julia Fischer Violin Concertos and Foo Fighters
to name a new. As mentioned, the levels are perfect and the
bass does not distort whatsoever. In terms of the music, you
could hear every instrument such as percussions and with
songs such as Eric Clapton's Unplugged CD, even the guitar pick
could be heard which was like being at an unplugged concert.
We also thoroughly enjoyed how the speaker produced full deep
classical music and when we had the BeoPlay set up in the
corner of our room and by closing your eyes, it was like you
were in a theatre.
1 x 160 watt class D for
2 x 80 watt class D for
2 x 80 watt class D for
1 x 8" woofer
2 x 3” midrange
2 x ¾” tweeters
You can connect other devices
to the BeoPlay via the USB connector which not only allows
you to charge the device but play music directly to it or
you can use the audio line-in. However where this device did
shine is through its wireless capabilities that supports
both Ethernet or wirelessly such as Apple AirPlay or DLNA
wireless streaming. I love the hand swiping gesture of the
BeoPlay which allows you to move your hand to
increase or decrease the volume. By just keeping your hand
still over the sensor, it mutes the music.
The BeoPlay A9 gets our highest
recommendation that produces some of the most impressive
sound quality that we have heard outside an IMAX cinema. We
believe that the cost actually justifies the quality of this
sound system and if we could make two recommendations, this
would include a remote control and also Bluetooth
connectivity. However given that you can control the unit
via your iPhone or iPad, the remote control is almost a moot
point. Nonetheless the BeoPlay is the penultimate sound
system that is a piece of art that happens to play beautiful
Frequency Response: 33.1 Hz
- 25,000 Hz
Input Type: 3.5mm Stereo
Other Features: AirPlay
Speaker Configurations: 2.1
Drivers: 1 x 8-inch woofer,
2 x 3-inch midrange, 2 x 3/4-inch tweeters
Power Source: AC
Height: 701 mm/27.6 in.
(908 mm/35.75 in. with legs)
Width: 213 mm/8.4 in.
Weight: 14.0 kg (14.7 kg
Length: 701 mm/27.6 in.