Bang & Olufsen, known for their upscale electronics, has today debuted a new media hub called the BeoSound 5 Encore. The device works like a networked media hub and is a more affordable follow-up to their BeoSound 5 introduced in 2009, which was known for its internet radio and an included hard drive. The new Encore edition eschews the hard drive opting for connectivity with a variety of external devices.
The BeoSound 5 Encore acts like a central control center for aggregating all the media in your home, including music from your local network as well as any USB-attachable media device such as iPods, networked NAS, and other external hard drives. It can also connect to Apple media devices via AirPlay. Internet radio is the primary appeal and it offers a highly curated selection to ensure optimal reliability and uptime.
The device itself, however, is a bit garish with a 10.4-inch color LCD display propped up but a cylindrical stand that sports a large aluminum control wheel. Users spin through albums, artists, and songs using this wheel, with album art displayed on the screen.
Up to eight Encore hubs can be placed throughout the house to stream different songs simultaneously from the same network. However, this certainly isn’t for everyone, since one BeoSound 5 Encore hub already costs $3,350.