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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

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chris
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chris replied on Fri, Apr 20 2018 1:19 AM

I have heard you complain about the A6 before..

Muffled sound flaky behaviour etc...

I find the A6 anything but flaky and anything but midrange...

The bass alone is phenomenal.

Sure the A9 can go much louder but I like the newer enforced domes on the A6..

How they managed to fit a speaker of this calibre in such a thin enclosure amazes me.

WilliamsSmith
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I don't think that HomePod will kill BeoPlay, because both of them are for different music playing. As for me I love to play Apple Music on HomePod, but other music I prefer BeoPlay. 

Stan
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Stan replied on Fri, Apr 20 2018 3:59 PM

Jeff:
For some reason though companies like McIntosh and Marantz seem to be able to field full lineups of traditional components.

I think this is a side-effect of being a "lifestyle" brand.  When the "lifestyle" moves on, then so must the products. 

I haven't looked lately, but aren't most of these brands now owned by large conglomerates so, at some point, they will just "turn off the lights" on a brand when it is no longer viable because of their shrinking pool of customers.  B&O doesn't have this luxury.  

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Fri, Apr 20 2018 6:10 PM

Stan:

Jeff:
For some reason though companies like McIntosh and Marantz seem to be able to field full lineups of traditional components.

I think this is a side-effect of being a "lifestyle" brand.  When the "lifestyle" moves on, then so must the products. 

I haven't looked lately, but aren't most of these brands now owned by large conglomerates so, at some point, they will just "turn off the lights" on a brand when it is no longer viable because of their shrinking pool of customers.  B&O doesn't have this luxury.  

You may be right, but what exactly is a "lifestyle" brand? What differentiates the B&O of old from other stereo companies, say? Both produced components and speakers, the main difference is B&O products were better integrated when used as a system and were far better looking. Meaning if you were design conscious you didn't need to hide them in cabinets. That's one of the main things that first attracted me to the brand, and upon further investigation I found their performance to be good to excellent depending on the product, certainly not the claim of Bang And Awfulsound so many elitist audio dealers tried to foist upon them.

Many of the old firms are indeed owned by megacorps of course, or are megacorps themselves (e.g. Yamaha). It's sadly unusual for a large corporation to not interfere with the company after they buy it, one counter example is McIntosh, first bought by Clarion, have no idea who owns them now, but they have been allowed to continue to be McIntosh and not cheapened or diluted. Other brands have not been so lucky. Perhaps it would have been better if when the troubles hit B&O had been bought by a company who was willing to let them continue to be B&O, but the chances of that were small, and we're seeing even B&O is not letting B&O be themselves.

I know Bose is often called a "lifestyle" brand as well, the term still puzzles me as to its exact definition.

Jeff

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Ulrike
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Ulrike replied on Fri, Apr 20 2018 6:55 PM

Jeff:

@poodleboy, sadly I think you're right. The home electronics market has changed markedly, and I doubt it ever will be what it was. The days of "real" stereos, or even full home theater setups, seems to be fading quickly. In many ways we are going backwards to the days of large, single radios/consoles instead of component stereos, only the modern replacements are smaller and smaller (aka homepods rather than big wooden console radios). B&O as a brand hasn't handled this well with the exception of Play, and Play has suffered from poor quality and a slapdash throw anything and everything against the wall to see what sticks product development approach. Whether Play survives depends on how long B&O can get away with this approach or if they finally get an integrated product portfolio approach together.

The traditional forte of B&O, beautifully designed, stunning, and well integrated home setups like the Beocenter 9500 and BS9000 have little relevance to the modern world. For some reason though companies like McIntosh and Marantz seem to be able to field full lineups of traditional components. Same for Yamaha, Denon, but many of the old names are either gone or have product lines a traditionalist would not recognize.

 

Thanks for your detailed statement.

But I have to say for me it's not an either-or solution.

I have a strictly analogue stereo system including an excellent dac for streaming hi res. With a "sweet spot" I enjoy listening when I'm alone. And I love it.

But having guests I love the option to go for "party mode" ...

No sweet spot anymore, but the whole and large room filled with music, wherever a person is standing. Quite nice. Including my BS2 and Beoplay A6 via Chromecast, playing simultaneously with my analogue stereo system.

Much better than my superior analogue system playing alone, for guests.

And I still like B&O aesthetics, don't want to hide some huge and ugly cube formed stuff in my lounge or living room.

 

Ulrike
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Ulrike replied on Fri, Apr 20 2018 11:58 PM

Just have a question for the moderating  team:

Why does my post need to be approved  by you?

Happened several times delayed like this until I got an answer:

Thanks,

Ulrike

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Apr 21 2018 12:41 AM

Ulrike, personally I don't find the "new" B&O to be nearly as attractive styling wise as the Jensen/Lewis stuff. To each their own though, it's personal taste. And at least the speakers aren't the traditional monkey coffins.

I have two rooms Masterlinked, my main system is setup for proper listening in the living room, using BL9s, in the next room with a large open space between them is the kitchen/dining room/sun room area, which has BL8000s. That covers any entertaining I do. For the rest of the house I had planned on Masterlinking it, I have enough stuff to do that to 4 more rooms, but haven't found it a high priority. I have a Beolit 15 which I find very useful to carry to whatever room I'm doing something in for music separate from the main system. We often have family dinner parties downstairs in an apartment we have there due to the fact my mother-in-law is confined to a wheelchair now, and the BL15 works very well for music there. I just select Spotify on my iPhone, sit it in the tray on top and carry it downstairs. It's funny, before buying the BL15 I would have thought I was going to masterlink the whole house, turns out I don't feel the need. Should try and ebay my spare gear I guess.

Jeff

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Ulrike
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Ulrike replied on Sat, Apr 21 2018 1:29 PM

Jeff, your collection is quite impressive.

Me, I have been looking for B&O just during the last two years and so I have to stay out, not knowing about the good old times.

It seems a lot of things have changed, since. Sadly. At the moment I will restrain from buying something more because of the many software issues. Sadly.

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Apr 21 2018 4:37 PM

Ulrike, my main system for audio is a BS9000 driving BL9s, with a Beogram 3000/MMC2 turntable. I did use a Playmaker but it has lately been acting up so I replaced it with an Auralic Mini. BL8000s in another room. That's what I'm using, in storage I have a ton of gear, BL6000s, Beovox 3000, P30, Beocords, BL2000s, etc. I have a ton of old stuff, and sadly I think any of it is superior to what B&O is producing now, they just work. Software has sadly never been a strong suit of B&O and with everything s/w based today...well, not good. I also have a pair of Form 2 headphones and my wife has a pair of Play H6, and I have an A3 with an older iPad I use for video and audio in the kitchen area.

So, I've got a major investment in B&O gear, but like you am not buying new gear. The day my BS9000 finally dies and is unrepairable will be a sad, sad day for me. I've only had to have it repaired once in 20 years of ownership, laser replacement and glass reattached, and I hope it lasts another 20.

Jeff

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elephant
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elephant replied on Sun, Apr 22 2018 10:38 AM
Jeff:

I just select Spotify on my iPhone, sit it in the tray on top and carry it downstairs. It's funny, before buying the BL15 I would have thought I was going to masterlink the whole house, turns out I don't feel the need. Should try and ebay my spare gear I guess.

Jeff

Very interesting

A good encapsulation of B&O’s problem ... and one of their solutions which worked !

I always thought the tray on top with its safety rim/ lip was sheer design inspiration.

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