Bang & Olufsen Beocreate 4 Amplifier Makes Passive Speaker Wireless
An interesting product has become available from a partnership between Bang & Olufsen and HiFiBerry that allows vintage speakers to become wireless. The Beocreate 4 Channel Amplifier acts as a digital amplifier but can stream music over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth if hooked up to a Raspberry Pi.
The secret sauce is that the unassuming board can turn any passive speaker into a full-blown wireless speaker thanks to the combination amplifier, 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter DAC, and DSP features built-in.
The Beocreate is powered by a single 12-24V source and the 4-channel 180W amplifier (2 x 30W and 2 x 60W) is capable of driving up to four 4-8 Ohm speakers. Using a Raspberry Pi, the amplifier is more of a plug-and-play and can be connected through screw terminals.
Bang & Olufsen provides software with the Beocreate 4 that enables Airplay, Bluetooth, and Spotify as well. The software also contains SigmaStudio, a powerful application specifically designed for SigmaDSP audio processing. HiFiBerry notes that the open-source software will add more functionality in the future.
“Bang & Olufsen is known for our design, sound, and craftsmanship, virtues that never really go out of style. And our speakers from the 70’s and 80’s represent this just as much as our current product portfolio,” said Bang & Olufsen’s chief intrapreneur, Anders Buchmann, of the project, “But with technology changing rapidly a lot of vintage speakers are stored away not being used or even thrown away. We wanted to change that, and this initiative is all about empowering our customers to bring those products back to life themselves with modern day features.”
Short of stripping a few cables and screwing them into the proper terminal, the Beocreate 4 doesn't look all that complicated. And with a $189 price tag, it could become a pretty effective option for unique cases where a homeowner wants to upcycle older speakers. It also gives another avenue when options like Chromecast, space, and a cheap class D aren't available.