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Will HomePod 'kill' BeoPlay?

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benoit
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benoit posted on Tue, Jan 23 2018 6:23 PM

Hi,

With HomePod coming February 9th, will BeoPlay be that successful? Will they still manage to sell the non battery powered BeoPlay audio speakers (except A9) ? I think that even BeoSound 1 and 2 could highly suffer... I guess that soon we will learn if HomePod is far superior than BeoPlay (audio quality speaking) and maybe not far from BeoSounds for a much much lower price. And I don't speak about the wireless connectivity dropouts that happen...

What do you think?

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Mikipidia
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Wow, that almost read like b&o doesn’t yet know people leave reviews online. Besides that though, i still can’t imagine wanting to have our corporate overlords listening in on private conversations which they share with third parties. They listen to more than just hey siri/google/alexa, they pick up more info from regular conversations too for the purpouses of ad shaping. So with that in mind i’d rather have a somewhat “dumb” speaker or nothing at all Stick out tongue

New: Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beolab 17's, Beovision eclipse, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound 1 Bronze edition, Beoplay M3.

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Old: Beolab 1's, beolab 2, beovision 10-46, overture 2300, beolab 8000's, beolab 4000's, beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

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Bazzinga
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looks like the size of my bathroom. Thanks, I'll consider m3 then

Bazzinga
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Yeah, I saw it but I am not sure about the design of the formation line... And like a B&O fan it is really hard to buy something different than B&O. Also I love B&O design much much more than BW

benoit
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benoit replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 4:36 PM

I can understand you. As long as you are satisfied with B&O stay with the brand.

Bazzinga
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Btw, another thing that worried me a bit that there are(what hi-fi) only few reviews on the B&O products and not the great ones. What do you think is the reason for this? After their few reviews and not great ratings they create an impression that B&O is a product like vertu - which only costs a lot, with a great materials but sounds average and is overpriced. They don't consider B&O as a high-end or simply B&O annoys them? Confused

benoit
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benoit replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 4:52 PM

B&O is less and less visible (shops closing, remaining dealers far,  no corners in shops, few pages in magazines, ...). Many people around me even don't know the brand. And some others forgot it. I think that B&O is very good in sound quality, excellent for the design (like it or not but different),  perfect for the rate design / sound quality, very good for in brand integration. But to be honest you can find for the same price (or less) real audiophile products (but ugly design probably). I still see B&O as a life philosophy (good sound, good materials, nice designs, ...). But with the nowadays prices reaching the top I don't think that they are the best in audio quality in their prices range. You can find some very good reviews for some B&O products but most of them finish pointing the unreal price tag... Many brands like B&W or Naim for ex are trying to combine design and sound quality. And they manage very well. When I first bought B&O 30 years ago it was 2 times the price of a good equivalent but now it is 3 to 10 times...

Bazzinga
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what do you think about the future of B&O? Will the brand be closed or maybe it will lose its quality? Or they will stay afloat? I didn't know that B&O had that much problems actually.... So B&W does it better in that point? It is so strange to know now that B&O -best design, positioning of the brand etc. now nearly bankrupts... Small dissonance out there =/ Hope that B&O will overcome it.

benoit
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benoit replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 6:56 PM

I wish they will survive but I cannot read the future. I hope they will finally 'catch the train' and find what to do to become healthy again.

The Beonic Man
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Personally, I think B&O are finished. I hate saying that as a long time admirer of the brand but I strongly believe that to be the case. I think they have 5 years at best but more likely 2-3. They have had ample opportunity over several years to rethink their business strategy but keep making ludicrous decisions that aren't helping the company at all. With these decision makers still holding the reigns there is little hope and I do honestly think it's too late now for a turn around. It has all been about shareholders, not customers; the perfect recipe for disaster. A great shame but they have clearly demonstrated they just don't have the necessary foresight in business. In addition, their creativity died with David Lewis. Simon.

Current products: BV11-46, BV8-32, V1-32, A1

Bazzinga
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Bazzinga replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 11:08 PM

Simon, I still think that they have great products. Love beoplay a9, beosound 2 but i think that beolab 50 can't compare in design with beolab 5 for example... If it happens, I don't know which audio brand I'd choose, I really like the combo that B&O delivers. Maybe they'll sell B&O to Harman/JBL (like they did with the car audio business) but after that I am not sure about the future quality of B&O and the sound.

The Beonic Man
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They do have some good products I agree. I like the new Harmony, the BeoLab 50s and 90s, also the Edge; but aside from the Edge (to a point), what percentage of people in this limited market to begin with are able to afford these products and help the company stay afloat? An example of bad decision making in my opinion. Make smaller versions of the Harmony, lower the price to be more inline with the competition (a previous post highlighted B&O were somewhere between 2x and 3x the price of competitors before, not the 10x + they are these days). They have become greedy along with so many other companies these days and this is the result. To make matters worse, quality doesn't even match the price. No point having expensive products if nobody is going to buy them. What about product testing? That has been questionable in the last 10 years, as has product integration and software development. B&O used to have a reputation for superb quality, design, function and integration in the past, and now? The sad truth is they are just not up to par anymore and I find that a great shame. BeoPlay was an interesting idea, although I was never a fan of that route personally, but it has turned out to be a positive path for them to some extent. It's not enough though and products are too similar in look and function. There's just not enough creativity and thinking about the future and they have shown this by being late to the digital age and lagging way behind. Where are the young innovative students from Universities (for example) with all their inspiring and interesting concepts, which I am sure are out there in abundance? To me, there's a real old school feel of the older generation people at the top still stuck in the past with arrogance and perhaps ignorance blocking the younger more creative talent from exploding through with their ideas. A further example of bad decision making stunting the company's chance for any change or growth. It's not about products anymore, a complete rethink and new business model is needed. Simon.

Current products: BV11-46, BV8-32, V1-32, A1

trackbeo
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trackbeo:
I'll try updating the HomePod software (3 GigaBytes!) when I can take it back to the house where it was originally configured and where a registered, verified, Apple-head loaned me their iPhone to do it. [SNIP] EDIT (later): Updating the software [12.4] caused the Homepod not to work *at all* in "Everybody Play" mode!
A quick test also showed that everybody-play mode -- even when logged in to its own home WiFi network -- worked exactly the same way, i.e. just as poorly as when it wasn't connected to any WiFi network.

So I gave up and re-configured the HomePod to play for all users only on its own WiFi network.  In that mode, and with all the Siri & etc. features turned off, it finally worked as a plain dumb AirPlay speaker.  For me to use it, this required connecting my friend's iPhone to *my* home network, and then using their Home app in my house to configure the HomePod (which it found via Bluetooth because of course HomePod couldn't connect to the network at my location).  After shooting the new WiFi credentials to the HomePod and switching everybody-play into on-this-network-play, all worked as expected.  

The only remaining question is, now that my friend is back at home, can the HomePod device and/or the entire Home config be deleted on the iPhone with no ill effects?  Or does Apple reach out over the internet to my house, where it knows (remember, it knows!) that particular HomePod is attached and disable it?  Because the "normal" configuration will have Siri turned on, and maybe be streaming Apple Music or whatever, it could be considered insecure to leave it running if my friend's account deletes it.  I think I'll test that.  More later...  [EDIT: Yep.  Deleting the "Home" from my friend's phone remotely disabled the HomePod at my house, via the internet!]

So is it a BeoPlay killer?  Only if you use some of the features I turned off, like Siri and/or home control.  As a speaker, it's a little upper-mid-bass heavy, seemingly doing the psychoacoustic trick of boosting a higher octave to simulate lower bass.  I haven't moved it around to see if it re-adjusts for the room every time it boots; that would be worth it.  Otherwise, except for looks -- which is important to a B&O lover -- there is no reason to prefer it to a Sonos.

[EDIT: Not only that, certain versions of iTunes simply stop playing when they attempt to access an Airplay2 device, but work OK with an Airplay (1) device, e.g. iTunes 12.9.5.5 (running on MacOS 10.14.5) stalls on the HomePod & its Airplay icon turns from blue to orange.  This is easily verified by updating an Airport Express 2nd gen to the Airplay2 firmware and the same stall happens, until you downgrade it back again.  But, for example, iTunes 12.8.2.3 (MacOS 10.12.6) works just fine with the HomePod, probably because it only uses Airplay (1).  Buggy bugs bugging buggity bug.  Hopefully they'll fix them soon, but for right now, they're killing me, not BeoPlay!]

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