Bang & Olufsen’s Beoremote Halo is beautiful & expensive, but it’s not totally clear why it’s necessary, or what it actually… is. Here’s what we do know: It costs $900, and is a round device with a rectangular touch screen that lets you control the Bang & Olufsen music system you obviously have in your home. And of course it looks sexy as hell because B&O doesn’t do ugly.
Bang & Olufsen says the Halo “gives you all the convenience of a simple user interface,” lights up when you get close, and offers a one-button press to select your music. So it’s a speaker? A radio? “There is no need to use your mobile device or to pull anything out of your pocket and fiddle around trying to find the right app to get started.” OK, no apps. There are two Halo options for some reason: a wall-mounted version and a portable table stand variety. The latter is already sold out online, assuming it was in stock to begin with.
The table stand version has a battery so you can move it from room to room, and the Halo can be charged via USB-C, or B&O’s Beoplay Qi charging pad (which itself costs significantly more than most charging pads, at $125). The display will show your stored favorite songs, and will connect to the most recently accessed Bang & Olufsen music device in your house (in case you have more than one). It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity “and it will determine by itself which technology to use in specific situations.” That’s sort of a fancy way of describing what most Bluetooth-enabled devices do, but OK. Look how pretty it is!
Even after reading the specs and description of what the Halo does, I’m still trying to figure out why you need a bespoke orb like this to play music in your house. This isn’t an Echo, a Portal or a Google Home, there’s no voice assistant here. It’s a round remote control for your home music system. That’s all it does. That is, if you have $900 to spend.
Bang & Olufsen is well known for its high-priced version of headphones, speakers, smart speakers, and other audio products, so it’s not a huge surprise that this remote control would be pricey and gorgeous. But the description of the Halo isn’t quite living up to the usual B&O hype, imo: “If you’re listening to a specific radio station on your Bang & Olufsen music system, you can press and hold a favourite button and the specific radio station will now be stored on this button. The simplicity of storing a favourite is the [same] principle as car radios have used for decades.”
Nine hundred dollars for a sexy car radio? Or is it a remote control? I’m still very confused.