Hot on the heels of the news that high-end audio newcomer Apple is to introduce something called "AirPlay 2" to its iOS devices and Homepod speaker, Bang & Olufsen has confirmed AirPlay 2 will also be coming to 11 of its lovingly hand-tooled, luxe audio devices. That's across both the core B&O BeoSound range and the more affordable, urban-chic B&O Play line.
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Sonos is also lining up AirPlay 2 for its speakers including the Sonos One, which contains Amazon's Alexa AI. No dates have been set yet beyond "this year", but we'd expect it to be in line with B&O's dates. There are no exact dates for the Danish brand's rollout either, but we do know that upgrades will come over the course of August and September, with different devices updating at different points within that 2-month window.
AirPlay 2 lets Apple mobile users control one or many (multi-room) compatible speakers via iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. Windows and Apple laptop owners can already do this via the original AirPlay but that has only ever been able to control one speaker at a time on mobile devices.
“AirPlay 2 is a seamless way to enjoy music from your favourite Apple device and is a natural extension of how people live with music," crowed B&O's Petros Belimpasakis, Director and Head of Sound Category and Platform. "We are proud to be among the first companies to bring forward the experience of multiroom control in your Apple device and to deliver on the promise that our multiroom speakers connect with all streaming technologies.”
The AirPlay 2-compatible speakers will also work with Apple's HomePod, allowing Siri voice control of music on your B&O speakers, so long as the 'Pod is within listening distance.
The speakers to get the AirPlay 2 upgrade are as follows
• Beoplay M3
• Beoplay M5
• Beoplay A6
• Beoplay A9 mk2
• BeoSound 1
• BeoSound 2
• BeoSound 35
• BeoSound Essence mk2
• BeoSound Core
• BeoSound Shape (via BeoSound Core)
• BeoVision Eclipse (audio only)
Apple's high-street- and gym-dominating Beats by Dre subsidiary has just unveiled a red-accented Decade Collection of its classic headphones that many attendees will no doubt be rocking at WWDC.
There's no word so far from the brand on a new version, red or otherwise, of its Pill speaker line, which has not had an update for almost 2 years. That hasn't stopped tipster Gene Munster from proclaiming that WWDC will see the launch of a new Beats speaker with Siri integration.
Gene, when working at Piper Jaffray, once spent years saying that Apple was just about to launch a television, but he has also been known to make correct predictions about the brand.
With HomePod pitched at the higher end of the market, using Wi-Fi for connectivity and taking on Sonos, it would make sense for Beats to release a Siri-containing, music-orientated Bluetooth speaker to go up against the likes of UE's Megablast, which has Amazon Alexa integration, and Sony's LS-50, which incorporates Google Home.
The excellent Beats Studio3 Wireless had Siri integration via a push button, so a Siri Pill would also be a logical follow-up to that. It must be said that Beats has always been primarily a headphones brand, so a Siri Pill is not yet an inevitability by any means.
In other Beats by Dre news, the brand definitely has some new headphones.
Released to celebrate 10 years of the brand that Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine built, the new Decade Collection will include scarlet-hued editions of its Beats Studio3 Wireless over-ear headphones, Beats Solo3 Wireless on-ears, BeatsX in-ears, Powerbeats3 Wireless gym headphones urBeats3 wired earphones. Red has long been a key colour for Beats by Dre.
The Studio3 Wireless also "features a special debossed earcup and comes with a custom linen case."