Beats, well-known for its array of over-the-ear and in-ear headphones, has announced its first Bluetooth speaker since it was acquired by Apple in 2014. While Beats has put out several new headphone colors and introduced a wireless version of their Solo 2 headphones, this new speaker, the Beats Pill+, is the first completely redesigned product that we’ve seen since the Apple acquisition – and judging by the design and build quality, it shows.
Beats first introduced the Pill in October of 2012. Although highly praised for its innovative and unique look, the Bluetooth speaker was often panned by critics due to lack of bass and poor sound quality at high volumes. The Pill 2.0 and the larger, but now-discontinued Pill XL, were released in 2013 with several new features, but the speaker was certainly due for an upgrade. The Pill+ appears to be exactly what the speaker line needed to stay relevant in a crowded field.
The Pill+ features a beautiful new aesthetic redesign, available only in black and white with a sleek and minimalistic look that screams “Apple”. The internals are a major upgrade over the previous Pill 2.0, containing two woofers and two tweeters, and two-way crossover technology that ensures each sound is being routed to the correct speaker. The speaker is a bit larger than the Pill 2.0 (although smaller than the XL) to accommodate the beefed-up internals.
The quality of sound that comes out of the speaker is beautiful and accurate, even at higher volumes. The Pill+ boasts 12 hours of battery life, and includes a Lightning port for a full charge in 3 hours or under. A line-in jack can accommodate non-Bluetooth connections, and a built-in USB port can be used to charge other devices. This is, without a doubt, the most impressive speaker that Beats has ever offered.
The speaker works with an all-new companion app, as well. Not only does the app allow you to control the volume and display the remaining battery, but it adds several new features in itself, as well. A “DJ Mode” allows multiple phones/tablets to pair with the device and alternate control of the playlist. The app also allows you to pair more than one Beats Pill+ to augment the sound, or designate left and right speakers for true stereo sound.
Although no specific date has been mentioned, the Beats Pill+ will hit Apple.com and other US retailers some time in November, just in time for the holidays. The price tag will reportedly start at $230.