Bang & Olufsen, venerable purveyor of luxury AV products from Denmark, just fired this handsome 27-inch diameter speaker disk into the world. It kind of looks like it could be used to communicate with similar dishes across down. It can't, but it can play music from your DLNA device wirelessly.
Behind the BeoPlay A9's fabric covering is a 320-watt, five-speaker array: an eight-inch woofer, two three-inch mid-ranges, and two 3/4-inch tweeters. It also has a proprietary signal processing inside that optimizes the sound depending on weather it's hanging in corner, hanging against a wall, or standing on its wooden peg legs.
We heard the BeoPlay A9 in a large party room at the NYC launch event, and it was loud enough to hear over the rumble of drunk people. We didn't get an intensive listening session, but the sound was very impressive. We heard a nice tonal blend even when playing at top volume.
Like the BeoLit 12 released earlier this year, the BeoPlay A9 is primarily intended as an AirPlay device. Simply download B&O's configuration app, and it walks you through the process of setting the system up with your home wireless network. You can also connect directly to the speaker via DLNA, and there's a 3.5mm jack in case you're using a non-Wi-Fi device.
Oh, and this is a Bang & Olufsen system, so don't expat a lot of bang for your buck. It'll be available next month for the not-so-modest price of $2700. [Bang & Olufsen]