Last week, I attended the small gathering of media and partners for the Bang & Olufsen 90th Anniversary celebration at their flagship store at The Gardens, Mid Valley. The event promised a celebration of 90 Years of Bang & Olufsen’s excellence, showcase of their new limited edition “Love Affair Collection” in conjunction with this celebration, as well as other exclusive product demo.
Normally, events for sound systems and home theatres are not exactly my forte. However, Hubby is a huge fan of B&O. I was there as a blogger to see the demo and showcase, while Hubby was there as my “co-blogger” to help ask all the right technical questions. Hehe.
The event started with Casper Steenkjaer, Bang & Olufsen Regional Sales Manager Southeast Asia, welcoming the guests to the 90th Anniversary of the Bang & Olufsen brand and a history of the brand from the roaring 20s.
Bang & Olufsen (B&O) was started by two Danish engineers, Peter Bang (what an awesome name, right?) and Svend Olufsen, in 1925. After plenty of hardship through the war, moving to production out of a home garage, their collection evolved from its original military radio equipments to the high end, high performance, luxury sound system it is today – from home entertainment to high end car audio and more.
It was truly an inspiring story of an old school “startup” story. 🙂
As a non-techie in sound system technology, even I am familiar with the B&O brand and their exceptionally gorgeous products. A brand that takes pride in their design of their products – it’s as much about aesthetics than it is about the sound quality. All of B&O products are always pieces of art that you’d proudly display in your home, if you’re one to afford high end systems.
The “Love Affair Collection”
The attention was quickly brought to highlight the 90th Anniversary limited edition series of six (6) products, named the “Love Affair Collection” which features some of their key products rejuvenated with a rose gold colour palette.
The Love Affair Collection, announced by Bang & Olufsen today, sees six of the company’s current products rejuvenated with a new palette option in keeping with the surge in interest towards beautiful materials – especially rose gold, which is experiencing a renaissance in the jewellery industry.
B&O emphasized that Rose Gold symbolises love; while white gold means Friendship, and yellow gold means Fidelity, and is the perfect message they want to showcase with their 90th Anniversary collection.
I have to say, I am a lover of rose gold, personally. Like the B&O products are not already gorgeous already, seeing them in rose gold accents make them a lot more coveted.
The “Love Affair Collection” consists of 6 refreshed products, at the below Recommended Retail Price (RRP):-
- BeoVision Avant 85 with BeoRemote One (from RM 142,000 onwards)
- BeoVision 11-46 with BeoRemote One (from RM 39,000 onwards)
- BeoPlay A9 (RM 11,050)
- BeoPlay H6 (RM 1,899)
- BeoLab 18 (from RM 15,000 onwards)
Here are some official press images of the product for your (drooling) pleasure:-
As you can see from the Recommended Retail Pricing (RRP), these B&O products are priced for the high end consumer. B&O also mentioned in our informal Q&A session that their primary service is to offer planning and consulting services for Home Entertainment systems for their clients. Of course, you can just buy 1 or 2 B&O products and hook it up yourself. But the beauty is in having experienced and expert B&O engineers to plan and install your state-of-the-art, high end, high performance Home Theatre system for you.
This is the epitome of a true sound system lover!
Of course, alongside the high end Home Sound Systems and TV, you can also get your hands on the Love Affair Collection BeoPlay H6 headphones (RM 1,899) in that gorgeous Rose Gold accent.
Opinion : If you’re into high quality, high performance and high end sound system for your home entertainment, and you have the moolah to indulge in the most gorgeous system, B&O “Love Affair Collection” in rose gold is quite an eye catching collection. Because it’s a limited edition series, splurge if you can now. Unfortunately, for most of us, these range may be a little out of reach.
The other product on showcase that night is the B&O BeoSound Moment system – which is a dedicated slim tablet designed as a Source Controller for your home music system.
BeoSound Moment is an intelligent and intuitive wireless music system that integrates your music collection and services into one.
BeoSound Moment is an intelligent tablet console that allows you to consolidate all your home digital music into one source system. You can combine music from your whole family, configure the system to search for digital music sources from local storage (NAS storage, Macbook, etc) and the cloud.
One side is an aluminium and glass touchscreen interface, with a coloured wheel called MoodWheel. MoodWheel allows you to touch on a specific colour code on to automatically play specific music based on that emotion / mood. For eg, a dark coloured maroon red side will play darker rock tunes, while tapping on a light coloured blue will play you jazzy tunes. Additionally, the rings on the interface represents the library of tunes selection – inner ring represents local music stored on local storage drives, and outer rings to access cloud music streaming.
The system currently only supports Deezer music streaming (selected for their lossless streaming quality), but will be software upgradeable to support other music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and more in future.
Turn the device around and the back is an elegant oak wood finishing, that you can use swipes and gestures for navigation. Yep – that’s right! You run your fingers over the raised wheel on the oak wood for touch navigation on wood!
The other beauty of this slim tablet interface that controls all your digital music at home, is that there’s an Intelligent PatternPlay technology built into the system. Over time, the BeoSound Moment will learn from your listening pattern and taste in music, and automatically play according to your behaviour. For eg, if you turn it on to listen to BBC Radio every Sunday morning manually. After 5 or so times repeating the same pattern, the system is intelligent enough to learn to automatically turn it on to BBC Radio every Sunday morning without you having to do it manually. How cool is that?
BeoSound Moment is compatible with all B&O range of wired and wireless speakers. For wireless connection, it also runs on a different frequency band (which is normally reserved for military radio use) that B&O received specific clearance for their proprietary use. This ensures smooth, uninterrupted bandwidth to stream your music wirelessly, without buffering, lagging, interruption or interference for your music streaming.
Future software upgrades will also enable BeoSound Moment to be used for a multi-room experience (different rooms playing different music, controlled with a single console) and support for TV and other audio products as well.
BeoSound Moment will be available exclusively at Bang & Olufsen, The Gardens showroom from May 2015 onwards, at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 11,000 including a 12 months paid Deezer Premium+ subscription.
Opinion : This is a good system – using one sole tablet as a console to control all your music library (local or cloud) with the ability to control music playback wired / wirelessly in multiple rooms. It would be nice to see more support for other music streaming service coming soon, and would also be good to see this support other forms of media (video, picture, etc) in future via another software update as well.
For more info, visit BeoSound Moment product page at http://www.bang-olufsen.com/en/sound/sound-systems/beosound-moment
Having witnesses the showcase and demo of gorgeously luxurious (and pricey) audio and visual system in the B&O range, it was very refreshing for me to note a new display section in their Gardens showroom – B&O Play.
B&O Play is one of the latest series in Bang & Olufsen range of products targeted for the masses. It features audio products that are within the price range of regular consumers and targeted at a younger market segment. From headphones to speakers, I was surprised to note these are actually really capable and cool devices for the mass consumers.
Having hands on time with some of these consumer devices, I was even tempted to purchase something before I left the event. Some of the few product that caught my eye includes:-
- BeoPlay A2 (from USD$ 399) – Wireless portable Bluetooth 4.0 speakers that weighs just 1.1 kg, with battery that lasts up to 24 hours! Also doubles as an emergency power bank.
- BeoLit 15 (from USD$ 599) – Wireless Bluetooth 4,0 speakers with True360 sound projection, playing music from your mobile, tablet or desktop
- BeoPlay H6 Special Edition (from USD$ 399) – Over-ear headphones made with solid and premium material of gorgeous leather and aluminium and lambskin earpads
…and many more.
Bang & Olufsen is trying to position their B&O Play consumer range more prominently in their showroom – up front in the store – to entice a younger market and more consumer for a more approachable walk-in experience, compared to their somewhat intimidating high end product range.
Opinion : Personally, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the existence of the B&O Play range. There were indeed some very impressive products that I was tempted to get, after learning their pricing range. Provided it’s marketed properly, B&O could be a genuine player for high performance consumer range of products here. Forget about Bose, Beats or Sennheiser. You can own a much superior B&O product!
For more info, check out the B&O Play website at http://www.beoplay.com/
Malaysia is a relatively growing market for Bang & Olufsen (best performing country in SEA is of course, Singapore) and B&O is confident the current product range from high end home entertainment to consumer range of B&O Play products puts the brand in a good place. Overall, I had a good time at the event, and managed to get a lot of questions answered, albeit informally from B&O officials.
While I might not be able to truly kit my home with B&O TV, speakers and home entertainment speakers, however gorgeous they look, I might just go get myself one of those over-ear headphones from their B&O Play range. Itchy fingers!
For more information, visit Bang & Olufsen website at http://www.bang-olufsen.com/en or *LIKE* Bang & Olfusen Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/bangolufsen