High end audio brand Bang & Olufsen has announced a slightly more affordable AirPlay wireless speaker. The Beolit 12 is the first product in its recently announced Beoplay range of audio products that mere mortals may be able to afford.

Reminiscent of an old Apple Mac G5, the imposing aluminium Beolit 12 houses a pair of 2in tweeters and a 4in woofer. The Apple styling is far from coincidental, as the Beolit 12 is AirPlay-compatible, meaning iTunes music can be played wirelessly from a Mac, iPhone, iPod or iPad.

The speaker can be either mains or battery-powered. Expect to be able to enjoy your audio favourites for up to eight hours before you need to recharge the Beolit (half then when using the battery-draining Wi-Fi needed for AirPlay). We also assume its battery won’t last quite so long if you insist on having the volume up to the max: its has a 120 Watt Class D powered amplifier.

Ethernet and USB ports are also included as alternative means of porting audio to the Beolit box. Products in the B&O Beoplay range will be sold through Bang & Olufsen stores and select Apple Stores.

The Beolit 12 is already on preorder at some UK audio specialists and looks set to cost £599. Several colour options will be offered, while a leather carry strap makes it easy to transport. The Beolit name was originally used by Bang & Olufsen for its portable transistor radios in the 1960s. For more details see www.beoplay.com