Features Technology from B&O’s Flagship Speakers
Bang & Olufsen just released a beautifully designed high-end home wireless speaker called Beosound Balance. It features an innovative user interface that hides when not in use and seven carefully placed speaker drivers with beam-forming technology that lets the user choose between powerful and room-filling sound for everyday listening and sound directivity for precise and immersive music experiences. In addition, two opposing woofers that generate a powerful bass sound. However, only a few will be able to afford such a luxury smart speaker priced at $2,250.
Blending in as an interior object, Beosound Balance has a hidden touch interface to manually control the speaker. When approaching the speaker, the interface lights up using light-trough aluminium technology and invites the user to interact with the speaker. Swipe around the top plate to control volume or touch on the icons to change tracks, pause the music and select pre-saved favourite listening experience for easy access. When walking away from the speaker, the interface dims leaving nothing but the aluminium surface visible.
Beosound Balance also brings forward an innovative and flexible acoustic experience based on two sound modes – an omni-directional mode ensuring a uniform sound experience around the speaker, and a sound mode delivering a precisely focused and unique ambient experience. Both technologies have trickled down from the flagship Bang & Olufsen Beolab speakers.
Beosound Balance was designed in collaboration with Benjamin Hubert from the British industrial design studio LAYER as an interior-first and shelf-friendly speaker that doesn’t compromise on the sound experience in large living spaces. Using materials that soften technology and blend in with quality furniture, Beosound Balance presents a solid oak wood base that visually grounds the speaker and a cylindrical shape clad in seamlessly knitted textile that makes Beosound Balance inviting to touch and beautiful from any angle.
The concept for Beosound Balance was to make sure that beautiful aesthetics, innovation and powerful sound go hand in hand, explains Bang & Olufsen VP of Design Gavin Ivester:
“The vision with Beosound Balance is to make the speaker feel like an extension of the atmosphere in the home – reflecting the place it is in and the person using it. The design is both sensorial and tactile, with a look and feel driven by high quality interior craftsmanship and materials, as well as highly innovative. Listening modes allow tailored acoustics when needed, and carefree, stunning sound when wanted— putting listeners in control of a broad range of experiences that soothe, excite, and create joy”.
“Bang & Olufsen has spent decades researching the influence of room acoustics on human perception, which resulted in the development of unique technologies in our flagship speakers. For example the acoustic lenses on our Beolab 18 and Beolab 50 speakers, which deliver highly directional sound, and the beam control and advanced active room compensation algorithms found in the Beolab 90, which utilise technologies to optimise the delivered sound in each individual space. We are proud to bring these technologies to Beosound Balance”, says Bang & Olufsen Tonmeister Neo Kaplanis.
Active Room Compensation
Setting up Beosound Balance for the first time, the speaker will guide you through the active room compensation technology in Beosound Balance enabling the speaker to analyse your room with an internal microphone and creates a set of user defined filters that compensates for sound reflections in your home. Beosound Balance will use low frequencies to analyse the room, and the result is a perfectly tailored B&O Signature Sound.
Multiroom and Voice Control
Beosound Balance is a multiroom speaker that supports Google Chromecast, Apple Airplay2. Spotify Connect is forthcoming in the first half of 2020. The speaker comes in two versions with or without a built-in microphone for Google Assistant and/or and Amazon Alexa (later this year). So you can play music, check the news and much more completely hands free, when you are on Wi-Fi.
Pricing and Availability
Beosound Balance retails for $2,250 in the U.S. / £1,750 in the UK / 2,000 EUR / 15,880 CNY, launches in Natural Oak and Black Oak and will be available online, in select third-party retailers and in Bang & Olufsen stores from March 5, 2020.