Beats Pill+ is its first new Bluetooth speaker since Apple acquisition, recharges via Lightning

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
Beats on Wednesday announced the Pill+, a new mid-sized $230 Bluetooth speaker, marking the first portable speaker accessory released under the ownership of Apple.




Replacing the previous Pill speaker, the redesigned Pill+ is slightly larger than its predecessor, but smaller than the company's discontinued Pill XL.

Apple has flattened the top and bottom of the device to make it rest in a more stable fashion. It has moved the power button and volume controls from the back to up top, while curved speaker array remains on the sides.

Like with previous models, the Pill+ features two tweeter speakers on the outside, while two woofers are centered.

On the back, the Pill+ features an Apple Lightning port that allows the speaker to be recharged. There's also auxiliary input for 3.5mm audio connections, as well as a full-size USB port that allows other devices to be recharged from the Pill+.




The new Beats Pill+ is advertised to offer up to 12 hours of playback time on a single charge.

The full list of features of the new Beats Pill+, according to Apple, are:
  • Sound - The Beats Pill+ is slightly larger than the original Beats Pill speaker, allowing for a bigger and fuller sound. The stereo active 2-way crossover system creates an optimized sound field for dynamic range and clarity across all genres of music. Tweeter and woofer separation uses the same acoustic mechanics found in professional recording studios around the world.

  • Design - With its clean and sophisticated design, Beats Pill+ speaker looks as good as it sounds. Compact and durable enough to throw in your bag, the Beats Pill+ is designed to go wherever you do. Convenient button controls are now at the top of the speaker so you can manage your music with ease.

  • Power management - The Beats Pill+ speaker has a 12-hour battery life to stay charged on the go. The lightning cable and power supply provide a quick full charge in just 3 hours. Keep track of your power levels with the fuel gauge so you always know how much battery is left and use the USB port to charge out.



Priced at $229.95, the Beats Pill+ will be available at Apple's website and authorized Beats retailers beginning in November.

"When you obsess about sound the way that we do at Beats, portable Bluetooth speakers can be very tricky," said Beats President Luke Wood. "We spent countless days, weeks, months testing for that perfect combination of form and function - small enough to travel but still big enough to feel the emotion of the music. That's what you get with Pill+."

There's also a new "DJ mode" app for both iOS and Android that allows two people to control the device at once. Two Beats Pill+ units can also be paired together to combine for more dynamic stereo sound, or multi-room synced sound.

Apple says that Beats has shipped more than a million Beats Pill units worldwide since the product launched in 2012.

"According to NPD, Beats is the current sales leader in the wireless category with its portfolio of Bluetooth headphones and speakers," said Ben Arnold, industry analyst from The NPD Group. "Bluetooth continues to be a primary driver of growth in the wireless audio market, as Bluetooth headphones and speakers have grown 57 percent year to date. The increase in sales indicates consumers value having a premium audio experience along with the convenience of wireless."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    This stuff is just far too expensive for what it is. I will never buy beats gear for that reason.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,399member
    Yet another implementation of Lightning ... And Bluetooth wireless audio growth of 57 percent ytd. Goodbye headphone jack. I'd be curious to know what else these Lightning and USB ports are capable of doing in the future with a firmware update, besides charge ...
  • Reply 3 of 46
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    any suggestions for a better blutooth speaker?  I'm looking for one that can plug directly into a wall to power instead of USB

    Bose Soundlink mini is awesome for $199.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    kedakeda Posts: 722member

    Will Apple role AirPlay support into the Beats line?

     

    For years, I've used AirPlay/AirPort Express connected speakers to create a full-house music set-up.  Although I had a few bumps early on, the set-up works very well now.  However, I need to rely on cobbled together solution for streaming this music to by back yard.

     

    With the recent changes to AirPlay, I'd love to see Apple re-commit to the technology and release a portable speaker with AirPlay support...even if was only one of the line.

  • Reply 5 of 46
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    keda wrote: »
    Will Apple role AirPlay support into the Beats line?

    For years, I've used AirPlay/AirPort Express connected speakers to create a full-house music set-up.  Although I had a few bumps early on, the set-up works very well now.  However, I need to rely on cobbled together solution for streaming this music to by back yard.

    With the recent changes to AirPlay, I'd love to see Apple re-commit to the technology and release a portable speaker with AirPlay support...even if was only one of the line.

    Agreed. I wonder if these speakers are Apple designed? They look nicer than any speakers Beats has released before.
  • Reply 6 of 46
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    sog35 wrote: »
    any suggestions for a better blutooth speaker?  I'm looking for one that can plug directly into a wall to power instead of USB

    Proper sound, proper speakers, Wharfedale DS1 Active Speakers with Bluetooth. DC in.
    http://www.wharfedale.co.uk/product.php?pid=74
  • Reply 7 of 46
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,199member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    any suggestions for a better blutooth speaker?  I'm looking for one that can plug directly into a wall to power instead of USB




    Doesn't plug into wall, but the MiniRig is very impressive http://www.howkapow.com/minirig-bluetooth-portable-speaker-black?gclid=CMCsivi_sMgCFSRf2wodNqYE8A

    Designed in my home town back in Bristol UK, practically everyone I know owns one.

  • Reply 8 of 46
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,399member
    keda wrote: »
    Will Apple role AirPlay support into the Beats line?

    For years, I've used AirPlay/AirPort Express connected speakers to create a full-house music set-up.  Although I had a few bumps early on, the set-up works very well now.  However, I need to rely on cobbled together solution for streaming this music to by back yard.

    With the recent changes to AirPlay, I'd love to see Apple re-commit to the technology and release a portable speaker with AirPlay support...even if was only one of the line.
    I think that's coming. Apple Music was and still is the priority I think. No need to invest in a complete home delivery system until they get the kinks worked out of it ... And there are quite a few kinks. Compared to my Sonos system which is very easy to use, and gives me easy access to any streaming service I want.

    But reading about the capabilities of these Beats speakers, I noticed many similarities between them, and Sonos, that I don't think we're there before. So this could potentially be a test run to see whether consumers will utilize them in that fashion with Bluetooth technology, before they roll out the big guns down the line -- a complete wireless sound system for the home that connects to all of your Apple devices, anywhere anytime, all controlled by Siri. When Apple builds that car, it's gonna need a sound system too. So it makes sense that Apple would continue to expand in areas they're gonna need for that car if nothing else ... ;-)
  • Reply 9 of 46
    xactoxacto Posts: 7member

    Not sure why there is an issue with USB charging... you can just purchase this from apple or use any other 3rd party plug.

     

    https://www.firefold.com/usb-wall-charger-white?gclid=CIyL9_LBsMgCFQ6raQodn1wB1Q

  • Reply 10 of 46
    bkerkaybkerkay Posts: 138member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    any suggestions for a better blutooth speaker?  I'm looking for one that can plug directly into a wall to power instead of USB




    Fugoo. Several styles. Two sizes. 

     

    http://www.amazon.com/FUGOO-Sport-Portable-Bluetooth-Waterproof/dp/B00IBJ3MT8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1444226648&sr=8-3&keywords=fugoo

  • Reply 11 of 46
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,399member

    Doesn't plug into wall, but the MiniRig is very impressive http://www.howkapow.com/minirig-bluetooth-portable-speaker-black?gclid=CMCsivi_sMgCFSRf2wodNqYE8A
    Designed in my home town back in Bristol UK, practically everyone I know owns one.
    xacto wrote: »
    Not sure why there is an issue with USB charging... you can just purchase this from apple or use any other 3rd party plug.

    https://www.firefold.com/usb-wall-charger-white?gclid=CIyL9_LBsMgCFQ6raQodn1wB1Q

    Wait, I'm confused, while there are almost certainly better speakers than this, where does it say these won't operate off of AC power? There's a lightning port for charging the ample battery ... Not sure about anybody else, but I can use my iPhone while I'm charging it. I don't really see the issue surrounding power ... Seems like the perfect portable solution, sound quality aside.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    What I don't get is why don't we see more blutooth speakers that pull into power outlets?

     

    Nothing is more frustrating then having a blutooth speaker that just ran out of batteries.




    You don't HAVE to use it on batteries. You're more than welcome to keep it plugged in, but it will eventually shorten battery life. 

  • Reply 13 of 46
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Bose Soundlink mini is awesome for $199.
    Not really... Depends on your taste. You should try them out to see if they match your taste first.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,399member

    You don't HAVE to use it on batteries. You're more than welcome to keep it plugged in, but it will eventually shorten battery life. 

    Put it on a wall timer, that turns on and off every 12 hours. So for 12 hours it charges, then for 12 hours it discharges. Or better yet, 4 hours on to ensure it gets a full charge, then 20 hours off to assure a good discharge, assuming you'll be asleep during eight hours of that period and not need them to supply power ... Or some combination that works for you.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,011moderator
    sog35 wrote: »
    any suggestions for a better blutooth speaker?  I'm looking for one that can plug directly into a wall to power instead of USB

    I've got the Sony Personal Audio Docking Station. It's about three years old now, so it's docking connector is the old 32pin Apple connector, so I can't use it to charge my iOS devices (I've since updated all so am 100% lightning connector), but I imagine they have a new model that has a lightning connector dock, or no dock. It's Bluetooth capable and plugs into the wall via a big power brick that I hide behind it. Doesn't have internal batteries at all, so it's only AC powered. But the sound is fantastic. It's not a tiny little thing, but it's compact enough for a shelf stereo. I use it daily and am always happy with the sound reproduction. Mine is model RDP-X200JP.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    peteopeteo Posts: 356member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Keda View Post

     

    Will Apple role AirPlay support into the Beats line?

     

    For years, I've used AirPlay/AirPort Express connected speakers to create a full-house music set-up.  Although I had a few bumps early on, the set-up works very well now.  However, I need to rely on cobbled together solution for streaming this music to by back yard.

     

    With the recent changes to AirPlay, I'd love to see Apple re-commit to the technology and release a portable speaker with AirPlay support...even if was only one of the line.


    What I don't like about airplay is you need to have a computer set up to play different songs in different rooms. If you are streaming from your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch you can only play one song in every room.

     

    I'm hoping that now with apple music and apple TV there will be an apple music app for apple tv that will use airplay to stream to airplay speakers and be-able to stream to different songs to different speakers a the same time(like Sonos) Then I could use the remote app to manage it.

  • Reply 17 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    any suggestions for a better blutooth speaker?  I'm looking for one that can plug directly into a wall to power instead of USB


    Best bang for your buck

     

    http://us.creative.com/p/speakers/sound-blaster-roar-2

     

    At $170 this speaker connects to the wall, it's small enough to carry around, charges your phone and it is really loud!

  • Reply 18 of 46

    Klipsch KMC 3, $200. The bass shakes my walls.

     

    http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-KMC-Bluetooth-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B00BAQJ94Q

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    any suggestions for a better blutooth speaker?  I'm looking for one that can plug directly into a wall to power instead of USB


  • Reply 19 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post





    "while there are almost certainly better speakers than this"

     

    "better" is subjective of-course, but it'd say it's hard to beat the MiniRig in terms of compact loudness and battery life. 

    You can chain them up too. I've seen hundreds of people dancing to a string of these things before. All the cool kids have them :)

    Better review here..

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio-visual/hi-fi-and-audio/audio-systems/bluetooth-minirig-1298919/review

  • Reply 20 of 46
    bkerkaybkerkay Posts: 138member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    I'm looking for a blutooth speaker that you litearlly just plug into a wall and forget about it.  I hate charging speaker batteries.

     

     


     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    I'm looking for a blutooth speaker that you litearlly just plug into a wall and forget about it.  I hate charging speaker batteries.

     

     


    Simple Amazon search...

     

    http://www.amazon.com/Bouncer-Premium-Bluetooth-Speaker-Black/dp/B00AEZDW10/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1444231047&sr=8-5&keywords=ac+powered+bluetooth+speaker

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