Bang & Olufsen Sounds Off With New Wireless Speakers
Three lines based on WiSA designed for placement anywhere in a roomOctober 29, 2013 By Jeff O'Heir
Bang & Olufsen continues its focus on combining high design and audio technology with a new line of wireless speakers based on the WiSA standard.
The line, which the company is launching under the Immaculate Wireless Sound concept, includes the BeoLab 17 compact speaker ($3,990 per pair), the BeoLab 18 column speakers ($6,590 per pair, including black lamella fronts, floor base and wall bracket; $1,390 extra for solid oak lamella fronts), and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer ($3,395). The line is scheduled for release toward the end of November.
B&O recently opened its lines to custom integrators, under the B&O Professional program, an extension of the company's Outreach Program. B&O Pro allows qualified CIs to sell into specified trades, such as home design and architecture firms. The company is also offering its BeoPlay lines through expanded partnerships with qualified specialty dealers and retailers, such as InMotion and Design Within Reach, said Zean Nielsen, president of B&O Americas.
"We want to pick partners that are best-in-class," Nielsen said Tuesday at the product launch in New York City, adding that CE specialty dealers, such as PRO Group members, could qualify as retail partners, provided that their showrooms meet B&O qualifications and their staff undergoes rigid product and sales training.
While the BeoPlay lines are aimed at a young professional demographic, the new line of wireless speakers falls under B&O's core line and is geared toward a 36- to 50-year-old demographic.
"We're combining materials in surprising but purposeful ways. This is a design-driven innovation process," said Tue Mantoni, B&O president and CEO, adding that the company partners its designers and engineers at the very beginning of product creation and lets "them fight it out" until the final product lives up to B&O's standards. "With these speakers, we try to reproduce the sound as the artist meant it to be."
The BeoLab 17 compact speaker is crafted from a single piece of extruded aluminum and includes a 6-inch midrange/woofer, a three-quarter-inch tweeter and a pair of 160-watt class D amplifiers. Also available in black and white, the front cover of the speaker is available with a "broken ice" pattern or in white, black or blue fabric. It can sit on the floor, placed on a stand or mounted on a wall. The speakers are designed for placement in almost any area of the room.