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Portable sound without a phone or local network?

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Calvin posted on Mon, Jun 10 2019 1:32 AM

I feel somewhat silly asking this, especially as I'm in my 30s and feel that this should seem obvious (new tech) but I was thinking about getting something to take out on the balcony and you'd think the current lineup should be the go to. Then I see that it's all bluetooth speakers which means turn it on, also bring a phone, link them, select something, hit play and then have two devices to take in. And lose music if someone phones you.

Contrast to if I go online and get an old beolit or similar portable system from the 80s/90s. The it's "hit play" and that's really it.

I get that portable bluetooth speakers are popular but there's a lot to be said for physical media. What is the most modern all in one thing that B&O made? Ie not reliant on a subscription service on your network or a phone that you want to leave unharmed battery-wise.

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TWG replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 8:38 AM

I agree with two solutions alreay mentioned:

- Beosound 3 with your favorite music simply put on SD cards.
Try to get an old (and working!) Beosound 3. Unfortunately they wheren't very reliable but in our forum are some very good help tips to repair the top panel if it stops working.

- Beolit 17 plus a dedicated audio player connected to the aux-in port. It could lay nicely on top of the Beolit 17 and nobody will bother you with calls and messages. :)

Luckily the portable audio player market is offering very good devices since the rise of "High res Audio".

For example:
- Pioneer XDP series (you can find XDP-100 very cheap today.
- Sony ZX series (ZX1, ZX2, ZX300 ...)
- Sony NW Series
- Sony WM1a
- Astell & Kern
- Fiio
- ...

The Sony and Pioneer don't need any aditional software, they work drag&drop on you Mac & PC.
I don't know about the Astell & Kern yet.

They all play MP3 files, too.

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Jeff replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 3:57 PM

I have an iPhone 4 that I'd still be using as a phone except when I changed carriers it wasn't compatible with their data network. I use it as an iPod touch, connected to a Beolit 15 via Blue Tooth, for mobile audio. I load it with MP3 files, and can also do Spotify if I'm near my network.

I think a similar setup would work, not sure if the Beolit 17 has Blue Tooth but it it does, and it can apparently charge the phone too, would work well if you do something similar. Sadly, integrated tape/radio/CD player boomboxes are rare and no really good ones seem to exist today. Welcome to the postmodern stereo world.

The only thing I'd question is your first bullet point about B&O being built to last, perhaps not as true now as in the past. Ask anyone with a Beolit 12 who needs a battery about longevity.

Good luck finding a solution that works for you. I've been pretty happy with my repurposed iPhone and a Beolit 15.


I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

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Yep. BL17 as mentioned will charge phone too.
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Calvin replied on Wed, Jun 12 2019 1:55 AM

Yes, the BS3 I remember that now, it was around the time of the recession so I lost touch of what the offerings were then. I've put in a bid on one on eBay!

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  • I want something B&O because I know it should last, and I know that it will look special, rather than some I picked up for $50 when I was in a store buying lightbulbs or kitchen roll.

The Beosound 3 is not really an item built to last (problems with touchpad and battery which is replaceable but not easily. Sensitive to modern MP3 files…). Sound wise it may not represent the B&O sound experience either…

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