Apple’s Beats on Wednesday announced its newest Bluetooth speaker, the Beats Pill+. The speaker features a new design and some cool software features.
The Beats Pill+ is a bit larger than the original Beats Pill, which the company says allows for fuller sound. Beats says it found that users weren’t just using the Beats Pill as a portable speaker, but as a primary listening device.
As a result, the Beats Pill+ was designed to provide optimized sound across all genres of music.
To do that, Beats developed a stereo active two-way crossover system designed to balance energy efficiency and sonic clarity.
The new Pill was made to fill an entire room with sound, much like the Ultimate Ears Boom 2. I spent a few minutes getting demos with the Beats Pill+, and I have to say it sounded good. Both hip-hop and emo guitar rock sounded solid and clear on the Beats Pill+. We’ll have a full review in the coming weeks, but the detail I heard on the speaker was impressive, especially given its size.
The Beats Pill+ will also work with a new app for iOS and Android that allows users to do more with the speaker. The app allows users to pair two Beats Pill+ speakers together — either to amplify the existing sound or to work in stereo mode for dedicated right and left speaker playback.
The app also includes a mode called DJ The Playlist, which lets friends control what is getting played from the speaker.
These features aren’t unique to Beats. Motorola introduced a speaker with similar features in 2013. Moreover, there are third-party apps such as AmpMe that let users connect multiple Bluetooth speakers, regardless of maker, together.
Still, it’s cool to see Beats bringing these features to its products. The stereo mode was particularly impressive and we could see the functionality being enhanced by other device sources in the future.
Beats promises 12-hour battery life for the Beats Pill+. It takes three hours to get a fully charge the speaker. And because Beats is an Apple company, it shouldn’t be surprising that it now charges via a Lightning cable.
You can use the Beats Pill+ speaker’s USB port as an external battery in a pinch too, which is nice if you’re on the go and need a quick way to charge up your phone. The Beats Pill+ also includes standard auxiliary input if you want to pump in music from a source that isn’t Bluetooth.
The microphone on the Beats Pill+ has been improved — both for noise-cancelling effects and for capturing sound when using as a way to make a phone call over speakerphone.
The Beats Pill+ will be available for $229.99 in black and white at Apple.com and authorized Beats retailers next month.