Bang & Olufsen has revealed its latest bit of audio kit, an ‘affordable’ iPad dock called the B&O BeoPlay A3. Of course, in Bang & Olufsen land, ‘affordable’ equates to a £449 price tag.
The B&O BeoPlay A3 uses a wedge-shape design that’s reminiscent of a folio case in stand mode. It’ll hold the iPad upright or on its back, both with a slight tilt. It’s currently designed to work with the first and second-generation iPads, but Bang & Olufsen says it’s working on getting the new iPad onboard. Different versions of the iPad employ different rubber inserts, so buyers should be able to get one for the new iPad after buying easily enough.
Four drivers provide the sound here. Unusually, it’s not the standard woofer-tweeter stereo combo. Instead, there’s a single 2in bass driver and three half-inch tweeters, each driver populating a corner of the wedge. The A3 knows which way it is sitting, and changes it sound output accordingly to provide a decent stereo image. As a kitchen-bound unit for the cash-rich, it’s a pretty desirable gadget. It survives away from the socket too, thanks to an internal battery. The dock was designed by Steffen Schmelling, who has designed products for Bang & Olufsen in the past, including its BeoSound 6 MP3 player from 2007.
As usual with Bang & Olufsen, though, the price will automatically alienate the majority of buyers looking for a dock. At £449, the BeoPlay A3 is almost as expensive as the B&W Zeppelin Air, which has AirPlay and a much larger 5in bass driver – and it isn’t exactly cheap to start with.