Bang & Olufsen takes on Sonos with Essence multi-room music streamer

This pretty little thing looks set to give the dominant music streamer something to worry about

We tend to be wary when companies use the word "revolutionary" to describe their products and services. But with Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound Essence system, we're right on board.

Essence, announced at CES 2014, is a natural extension of B&O’s interest in wireless audio. It consists of two components: a circular aluminum remote (available in both wall mountable and tabletop form) and a media box that supports AirPlay and DLNA streaming. The latter is integrated with Spotify Connect, QPlay and Internet radio. Any existing B&O speakers, both wired and wireless, can be connected to the system.

A smart, simple control system

The magic happens once these components are connected. The remote, acting like a light switch, turns the system on or off, changes the volume, skips tracks and switches radio stations. Re-activating the system won’t reset everything - it remembers exactly where you left off and resumes playback. Multiple remotes can be connected to the system, so you can place them in each room and trigger your playlist when the fancy kicks in.

Essence lifestyle

There's also a new BeoMusic app for iOS and Android, which allows you to browse and play music through the system.

This is a B&O system, so don’t expect it to be budget-friendly. The system costs £695, with each additional control unit draining another £130 from your wallet. B&O is expecting a spring shipping date, with more details to be revealed closer to launch.

CES 2014 - the biggest news so far, live from Las Vegas

2014 CES Hot Stuff Awards - the 10 best launches from the show

More after the break...