Ever wished your iPad had a kickstand so you could stand it up on a counter and use it as a small TV?
Bang & Olufsen hears you. Its new BeoPlay A3 iPad speaker dock is ideal for doing just that.
The A3 — released under the company’s new consumer brand, B&O Play — is more than just a regular kickstand. The wedge-shaped speaker dock grips your iPad by the edge, and you can stand it up in either portrait or landscape orientations.
You can even rest the tablet facing upward, and the dock will give it a slight slant — ideal if it’s in your lap and you want to type directly on the touchscreen.
It also boasts a feature called Adaptive Stereo Orientation, which adjust the sound based on how you hold it. The A3 is equipped with three tweeters, and whichever two are working at any given moment is determined by the built-in accelerometer.
We played around with the A3 for a bit, flipping it this way and that. We were pleased to find there is absolutely no delay in the audio when it re-orients itself.
The product itself has a very unusual shape, all edges and triangular surfaces. That’s to give us as many ways to use it as possible — but it also gives the BeoPlay A3 a funky design, almost sci-fi retro. It’s a little on the heavy side, but any decent speaker would need to be.
To our ears, sound from the A3 was miles ahead of the iPad’s built-in speaker. Still, as a battery-operated device, it has limits to how loud it can play.
You’ll be able to hear it across your kitchen, but this isn’t room-filling sound. Bang & Olufsen rates it at five hours of playback (presumably at “typical” volumes), and it’ll charge your iPad if you plug it in.
Before you mount your iPad in the dock, you’ll need to wrap the edge in a provided bumper. Two are provided — one for the first iPad, and another that fits both the iPad 2 and the new iPad. It’ll be available at the end of May for $549.
Besides the BeoPlay A3, Bang & Olufsen also debuted the BeoPlay V1 TV. Available in 32-inch ($3,249) and 42-inch ($3,999) sizes, the TV is equipped with wireless capabilities for displaying content from your phone or tablet. It also has an alcove in back that can hold an Apple TV box for easy storage.
With B&O Play, Bang & Olufsen hopes to reach a younger, more connected kind of customer. It launched the brand’s first product at CES, an iPhone/iPad speaker called the BeoLit 12.
Although the company wouldn’t say how many of those speakers it’s sold, it did say that 70% of the customers were new to Bang & Olufsen.
What do you think of B&O Play’s latest offering? Let us know in the comments.
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A3
The BeoPlay A3 iPad speaker ($549) has a wedge shape so you can stand it up vertically, horizontally, or facing upwards with a slight tilt.