Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is certainly a company that does not play it safe. From its retail stores to its avant garde speaker designs to unique interfaces to combination flat panel/surround sound audio systems, B&O blazes its own path.
The wild design of the BeoLab 90 is just another example of that innovation. The 360-degree speaker, which looks kind of like a time-traveling alien Dalek from Dr. Who (Google it), was built to commemorate the company’s 90th anniversary of creating “timeless” designs.
Unveiled at CES 2016, the sophisticated loudspeaker mixes the company’s uncommon designs with acoustics theory and technology. Three years in the making, the freestanding speaker, which is just over four feet tall and two-and-a-half feet deep and weighs a mind-blowing 302 pounds, is fitted with Bang & Olufsen’s new Active Room Compensation technology, which makes up for the impact of the room, furniture, the placement of the loudspeakers and the location of the listening position.
“BeoLab 90 is the future of sound. This intelligent loudspeaker measures the acoustical effects of its surroundings and directs superb sound to your favorite listening position. You do not have to be close to the speaker or even in front of it to get an excellent sound experience,” says CEO Tue Mantoni.
No Visual Front to the Speaker
BeoLab 90 offers unique Beam Width Control, which enables the listener to change the width of the sound beam to suit different listening situations, from a sweet spot for serious listening to party mode for the entire room to wide directional for movie watching.
The $38,995-each speaker’s appearance is designed so that there is no apparent visual front to the unit. All the angles are designed to substantiate the all-embracing acoustic performance of the loudspeaker.
The 360-degree design is based on a complex aluminum cabinet totaling more than 65 kg of aluminum. The black fabric covers hover like sails in front of the speakers, and the curved wooden base lifts up the large structure from the floor.
“BeoLab 90 is our most complete loudspeaker to date. It is a committed investment in excellent craftsmanship, ideal materials and superior technology. Future Bang & Olufsen products will benefit from the innovation and know-how gained from the development of BeoLab 90 – and our customers will savor in perfect sound from the ultimate loudspeaker for their home,” says Mantoni.
When the unit was unveiled to a gathering of press at CES 2016, there was a gasp. No one had ever seen anything like it … that is for certain. The BeoLab 90 is available in B&O retail stores worldwide.