The price of Bang & Olufsen gear is falling with the Danish Company using CES to announce a sub $1,000 AC/DC AirPlay speaker priced at a mere $799. The product is part of a new range called B&O Play, distribution will still be through Bang & Olufsen-branded stores.
The Company which is normally associated with ridiculously expensive sound and TV gear has developed the subbrand to expand its customer base to a younger demographic who will one day be customers for the more expensive gear.
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The new and more affordable portable A/V gear which was launched at CES is designed to have broader appeal than Bang & Olufsen’s core A/V products.
Distribution will still be through Bang & Olufsen-branded stores, but the company also plans to expand distribution to retail outlets such as high-end department stores.
Select Bang & Olufsen products such as headphones and a docking speaker were previously available through select Apple stores and Apple’s on-line stores. A new AirPlay speaker, called the BeoLit 12 portable speaker, will be available through Apple stores in Australia.
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Additional B&O Play products will be rolled out throughout 2012, including lower priced portable speakers.
The subbrand will focus on four product categories: tabletop docking speakers, portable speakers, headphones, and smaller size 32- to 46-inch TVs that require no custom installation or setup services, said Zean Nielsen, president of Bang & Olufsen America.
Both the BB&O Play and Bang & Olufsen brands will share a focus on design, performance, craftsmanship, and ease of use, but the new brand carry a playful, outgoing, vigorous connotation, whereas the original brand connotes confident, subtley, and perfection, said Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, VP of B&O Play.
The new brand will expose more consumers to the Bang & Olufsen name with an eye toward eventually enticing them to the original brand for larger purchases, he said.
The BeoLit 12 with leather carry strap delivers 120-watt output through a 2.1 speaker system, features USB connection to iPods, iPhones and iPads, and comes with aux in to plug in other portable audio sources.