In a quiet, top floor room of a Las Vegas hotel sat the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12 when Pocket-lint went to pay it a visit at CES 2012. At a section of the show with incredibly well sound-proofed walls and particularly comfortable furniture it stood in both of the colour schemes available.
This silver and tan or grey and black AirPlay portable speaker system is, funnily enough, a delight to behold - as, of course, the majority of B&O kit has been over the years. What's nice is that the Beolit 12 won't really divide opinion in terms of style like some of the more recent speakers to have hit the market from the great Danes. The BeoLab 5 might be incredibly functional and a work of art but there's definitely some pretentiousness in its looks that won't fit everyone's home. Not so with the Beolit 12. Any home, anywhere, anytime.
At 2.8kg, it's a pretty solid unit. You wouldn't want to carry the thing around all day but it's certainly portable enough thanks to the full-grain, Italian leather carry strap and 8-hour Li-ion battery tucked neatly away in the push to open door towards the base. You can still connect to the mains if you wish and there's also an Ethernet socket, USB for charging your iPhone and 3.5mm jack along with the Wi-Fi a/b/g/n credentials.
What adds that extra dollop of super smooth is that you can't see any part of the two 2-inch full range tweeters or the 4-inch woofers at all. It's all hidden behind a uniform, anodised, aluminium grill, slightly reminiscent of the front of the Mac Pro desktop computer.
So, how does it sound? Well, good. Very good. We didn't have the world of time to play with it and we'd like to test a few different sources but its beauty isn't just skin deep, as indeed should be the case for a piece of kit that will set you back at around £600.
The Beolit 12 is the first product under a new B&O sub-brand known as B&O Play. Aiming for high quality but portable sound, it seems to have fit the mission statement very nicely indeed. It'll be available in the next couple of weeks online as well as endorsed by Apple.