Top-of-the-line music systems can come with sound quality so good, you feel like you are listening to a live orchestra in your room.
And that is exactly what customers are promised when they buy a Bang & Olufsen home audio system, especially the BeoSound9000, considered to be the essence of B&O by rivals and aficionados.
Although B&O has been around since 1925, it still lives by the principles of its Danish founders, Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, for whom high-fidelity musical reproduction came above everything else.
It all started when Peter Bang, who was interested in radio technology from an early age, worked for six months in a radio factory in the US after graduating as an engineer.
Encouraged by the support they received, Bang and Olufsen opened their business in 1925 and went on to develop a sound recording system for the film industry, roof-mounted loud-speakers for circus and army vehicles and the famous Beolit 39 radio with a bakelite cabinet. Their work with radios and loudspeakers led them to the principle that their products should be capable of high-fidelity musical reproduction.
They believed the music a listener experienced through their sets and speakers should reach the ears uninfluenced by the limitations of technology. To this end, they rate the psychoacoustics of their products as more important than instrument-based testing of their products during design and testing.
Speaking to Emirates Business, Peter Petersen, senior director of Business Innovation, said: “Even today, Bang & Olufsen is run on the same principals and innovative spirit of the two founders.”
The best example of B&O’s commitment to sound quality and innovation is the BeoSound9000, which costs Dh20,925 minus the speakers and Dh86,850 more if you go for the BeoLab5 speakers, bringing the price tag to a whopping Dh 107,775. The BeoSound 9000 is a six-CD changer with a built-in AM/FM radio and the capability to playback digital music.
The first thing that strikes you is the look of the BeoSound9000. The system holds the CDs in its aluminium cabinet covered by transparent glass, which enables the user to see all six CDs in the case at one time. B&O has always been known and imitated for its innovative and futuristic designs.
Commenting on the trend of imitation by its competitors, Petersen said: “We are proud to be imitated, because it proves we are ahead. Some imitations are good and some not so good in my opinion.”
This distinctive design of the BeoSound9000 comes from designer David Lewis thinking of his record collection and missing the visual appeal of the old record player. The second special feature of this system is the fact that it is designed to adapt to a variety of placement alternatives, different ways of use, as well as physical changes in the surrounding environment.
The operation panel can be turned 180 degrees allowing you to have a readable display regardless of how you choose to place your BeoSound9000. You can place it vertically on a stand, horizontally or vertically on the wall or on a shelf slightly tilted. You have up to eight solutions to choose from.
And what about the performance? BeoSound9000 can be set to play all six CDs; either one CD after the other, randomly selecting tracks from all six or a pre-programmed edit of the music available. There is place in the memory for up to 200 CD titles, and a timer function, programmable with up to 15 settings.
Summing up the BeoSound9000, Petersen said: “I think it is the unparalleled experience of an outstandingly designed special auto-visual music concept that entertains you seamlessly for hours with your favourite music, in addition to the crafted materials, the ultra-fast movement of the CD mechanism changing from one CD to another or the changing of the display orientation.”
In the future, B&O is planning to take the digital world by storm. “We will bring a product to market that will give a special experience in the emerging digital music domain, similar to that of BeoSound9000 in the CD music domain.”
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