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Bang & Olufsen Unveils B&O Play

LAS VEGAS — Luxury A/V brand Bang & Olufsen went to International CES to reveal the name of a new sister brand, called B&O Play, and unveiled the sub-brand’s first product, a portable AC/DC AirPlay speaker priced at $799.

The company developed the brand to expand its customer base to a younger demographic through more affordable portable A/V products that offer broader appeal than Bang & Olufsen’s core A/V products. Distribution will be through Bang & Olufsen- branded store, but the company also plans to expand distribution to retail outlets such as high-end department stores.

Select Bang & Olufsen products such as headphones and a docking speaker were previously available through limited Apple stores and Apple’s online stores, and the new AirPlay speaker, called the BeoLit 12 portable speaker, will be available through those Apple outlets.

Additional B&O Play products will be rolled out throughout 2012, including lower priced portable speakers.

The sub-brand will focus on four product categories: tabletop docking speakers, portable speakers, headphones, and smaller-size 32- to 46-inch TVs that require no custom installation or setup services, said Zean Nielsen, president of Bang & Olufsen America.

Both the B&O Play and Bang & Olufsen brands will share a focus on design, performance, craftsmanship, and ease of use, but the new brand carry a playful, outgoing, vigorous connotation, whereas the original brand connotes confidence, subtlety, and perfection, said Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, VP of B&O Play.