The Pill+ portable speaker was actually the first new Beats product to launch following Apple’s $3.2 billion USD acquisition of the Beats by Dr. Dre brand.
The speaker originally debuted for $229.95 USD, but towards the end of its product cycle was being sold by Apple in-store and online for $179.95 USD. The iPhone maker also introduced a Product(RED) version of the Beats Pill+ in 2016, a year after the speaker originally went on sale.
What’s more, Apple has decided to pull the Beats Pill+ from shelves without offering an obvious replacement in the portable Bluetooth speaker category.
Apple has kept the Beats brand alive, despite having its own line of wildly successful audio offerings, with regular product launches like the Beats Studio Buds and the Beats Fit Pro (available January 24 in Canada), and even hired former HTC executive and veteran Android hardware designer, Scott Croyle, to lead Beats product design.
However, Apple hasn’t done much in the way of standalone portable speakers under the Beats umbrella since the Beats Pill+. The Pill+ was actually the only Beats-branded speaker still being sold by the Cupertino, California-based tech giant before it was discontinued.
Sure, Apple does have the HomePod mini, but that is a smart speaker which, while small, doesn’t really fit the bill for “portable,” since it requires AC power.
Where the Pill+ featured a Lightning port for charging, the HomePod mini is not battery-powered, requires a Wi-Fi connection, and is not rugged like the now-discontinued Beats Pill+.
If you’re looking for a worthy portable speaker this spring and summer, check out the Sonos Roam for $229 CAD.