[Update 10/26: Now available for pre-order with early delivers shipping tomorrow.]
Since being acquired by Apple for $3 billion just over a year ago, we haven’t seen much in terms of new hardware from the speaker company aside from new colored headphones and a wireless version of the Solo 2’s. Beats’ most expensive speaker, the Pill XL, was actually recalled and taken off the market after a fire risk when charging was discovered. But as we get in to the holiday season, Beats is finally ready to show off its first totally new piece of hardware created since joining Apple. A step up from the current Pill 2.0 but still smaller and more portable than the discontinued Pill XL, the new Beats Pill+ features a new design and comes equipped with a Lightning port for charging, a first for Beats products. Priced at $230 (Pill 2.0 is $199 and Pill XL was $299), the new Pill+ will ship starting in November to Apple Stores and other retailers that sell Beats products. In announcing the new portable speaker, Beats gave The Verge an early hands-on look at the new Pill+:
Available in either black or white to start, Beats’ new Pill+ speaker is the first Bluetooth speaker to feature Apple’s Lightning port for charging — just like our iPhones and iPads — paired next to line-in for wired playback and a regular USB port for charging your other devices. Notice also the Apple Inc. stamp on the backside. Pill+ is rated for playback audio up to 12 hours per charge. Also note that Beats under Apple is still rely on traditional Bluetooth rather than using any version of AirPlay or other in-house system.
As Engadget notes, a new Beats iOS (and Android) app will accompany the brand new Pill+ when it ships next month. Following the lead of other Bluetooth speaker makers, this companion app will let you control volume, manage paired Pill+ speakers for stereo playback, and even let you connect multiple devices and manage playlists for a DJ-like experience.
No solid release date yet beyond sometime next month, but Pill+ will be available for $229 when it launches just in time for the holidays. Update: More details are up on beatsbydre.com including 3-hour charging, Beats Pill+ app info, and a way to sign up to be notified when Pill+ is available.