Beats By Dre has revived its Pill+ portable Bluetooth speaker, but there’s a catch: The limited-edition model, featuring a signature design created by fashion brand Stüssy, is only available via Stüssy stores and online in the U.S., Canada, U.K., The Netherlands, Korea, and Japan. It will cost $179 in the U.S. and goes on sale starting at 10 a.m. PT on March 4.
Fans of the Beats Pill+ line, which was first launched in 2015, know that the company quietly let these speakers slip from its catalog of products in January 2022, and hasn’t made any moves so far to replace them with a new Pill model or another portable speaker. It could still do so, but in the meantime, if you want to buy a new Beats speaker, the limited-edition Stüssy model is your only option.
The Stüssy brand emerged in the 1980s and was quickly adopted by both surfers and skaters, before it found more widespread appeal among other subcultures. The skulls and bones motif used on the limited-edition Pill+ was a mainstay of skater culture during the ’80s and ’90s, with brands like Powell Peralta, Skull Skates, and Santa Cruz all using variations on the theme.
According to the Beats press release, the brand “was committed to producing relevant, good-quality clothing at a reasonable price available only at very select stores worldwide in limited quantities,” which some might argue is consistent with the approach Beats and Stüssy are taking with this Pill+ collaboration.
As ra eminder (or perhaps an intro), the Pill+ is a compact Bluetooth speaker that also doubles as a speakerphone thanks to its built-in mic. A set of top-mounted buttons let you control volume, play/pause, skip tracks, and control phone calls. It’s rechargeable battery is good for about 12 hours of use at a moderate volume and a USB-A port on the back of the unit can be used as a power bank to charge up phones or other devices.
It can produce stereo sound via an active two-way crossover system, and you can pair it to a second Pill+ speaker for increasing the sheer volume output and coverage, or to create a stereo pair for better channel separation. The one thing that’s missing from the Pill+ is any kind of IPX rating for water resistance, something that has become very common on portable speakers from a wide variety of companies.
Beats hasn’t indicated how many of these limited-edition Stüssy-branded speakers will be made, so if you think it’s something you might want to add to your collection, you may need to act fast.
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