Bose and B&O Bang & Olufsen introduce mobile audio solutions to enhance listening pleasure
It may take music lovers a while to make marketing phrases such as “mobile audio solutions” part of everyday vocabulary, but they have no such trouble identifying when a new product, incorporating the latest technology, can enhance listening pleasure.
That explains the interest in items in Bose’s “Soundlink” range such as the portable Colour Bluetooth speaker. Weighing just 567 grams and measuring a mere 12.7cm by 13.4cm, it can be held easily in the palm of your hand and fits snugly into any tote bag or daypack.
“The speaker is designed to combine performance with functionality and style,” says Joan Lam, marketing manager of Bose Hong Kong. “It is powerful, easy to use, and can connect wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth-enabled device for fun, out-loud listening.”
Features include the ability to use voice prompts – in several languages – to simplify set-up and identify which source is connected. When turned back on, the speaker can “remember” the last eight devices it was paired with and automatically reconnects with the two used most recently. This makes it possible to switch back and forth between an iPhone, iPad, Android or other compatible device without having to disconnect, reconnect and re-pair.
“The essential controls are on the product and, for added versatility, a 3.5mm stereo auxiliary input is integrated on the back of the enclosure,” Lam says.
To reproduce the full range of quality sound, including the deeper bass notes, there are dual-opposing passive radiators with two high-efficiency transducers. The lithium-ion battery can provide up to eight hours of playing time, with a full recharge from most USB power sources taking as little as three hours.
“The housing is made of elastomer and plastic and has been exhaustively tested to ensure a rugged durability,” Lam says. “Overall, the product is light, ultraportable, built to last and affordable.”
Also anticipating consumer demand, Bang & Olufsen has launched a new edition of its stylish Bluetooth speaker, which features a delicate aluminium core with a tint of copper. The BeoPlay A2 weighs 1.1kg and with two channels on each side of the speaker there is a full stereo experience, while still having a compact flat-form design.
“We believe it is the very essence of portability,” says Michelle Cheng, marketing manager for Bang & Olufsen in Hong Kong. “The sturdy materials and interchangeable straps mean you can take it anywhere you like, anyway you want, and makes it easy to choose whatever playlist suits your mood.”
An in-house technology known as “power response enhancement” ensures 360-degree sound radiation. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows for up to 24 hours playback. There is a DC power input, a USB connection and options to hook up to an MP3 player or mobile device.
“We use Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless streaming, which offers top sound quality with a very secure connection,” Cheng says. “It is also worth remembering that, when played loud, most products sound impressive for a short period, but they may not be so good to listen to at lower volumes.”
To achieve the required clarity and consistency, she says the company’s acoustic engineers use a combination of objective and subjective tests to shape the sound. When necessary, they have access to “The Cube”, one of the world’s largest, privately owned electro-acoustic measurement facilities. Tests conducted there and elsewhere have contributed to hi-tech developments like adaptive bass linearisation – to deliver great bass from small speakers – and “True360” sound, which uses advanced digital signal processing technology.
The latter is a feature of the company’s updated Beolit 15 range, which comes in new colours and offers connectivity options.
“The speaker is packed with a series of innovations,” Cheng says. “Quick and simple Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity gives wireless freedom and makes it easy to play from any of your favourite devices.”
With 240W of peak power, there should be enough sound to get the party started and fill the largest rooms. Adding style, the handle is made of premium, full-grain leather and it has been positioned to prevent the speaker from “wobbling” when carried around.
“Beolit 15 remembers up to eight users and can have two devices connected at the same time,” Cheng says. “The overall performance is enhanced by two four-inch passive bass radiators placed on each side – in perfect balance to avoid vibration.”