Appearing at CEDIA Expo once again, Danish design-centric home theater brand Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is unveiling a pair of modern-styled high-end speakers in its Beolab 8 and Beosound Bollard models.

The B&O Beolab 8 is a small silhouette high-end speaker that can be used in a high quality multichannel sound system or as a single speaker to create an immersive listening experiences. A pair of Beolab 8 speakers can be used to create powerful and precise stereo sound for a high-fidelity music experience, or a single Beolab 8 can be used to produce a full sound with intense bass for its diminutive size for multi-room music distribution.

Meanwhile, the B&O Beosound Bollard is billed as the company’s first custom installed outdoor speaker, which will be distributed in the U.S. in partnership with CI-electronics brand Origin Acoustics.

The Beosound Bollard outdoor speaker is precision tuned by Bang & Olufsen’s “tonemeisters” at its Struer, Denmark headquarters, and marks the first time in 98 years that the company’s audio innovation can be fully enjoyed outside through a custom-installation solution.

“Beosound Bollard combines Bang & Olufsen’s expertise in superior acoustics with Origin Acoustics outdoor speaker competencies for custom installation,” stated Michael Henriksson, B&O product marketing VP. “This marks the first step in delivering one seamless Bang & Olufsen experience from indoor to outdoor, without comprising on audio quality”.

The Beosound Bollard is constructed with three powerful drivers and a 360-degree silicone lens that produce a rich, full sound in open outdoor spaces. The speaker design includes a powerful integrated subwoofer hidden underground. The visible above-ground portion of each speaker is sleek, minimalist, and space efficient. The pillar-like look resembles a bollard barricade.

The Beosound Bollard mixes practical design with the advanced Bang & Olufsen sound. The top “sleeve” of the speaker is replaceable, and interchangeable to suit the landscape around which the speaker is placed.

The Bollard’s aluminum “sleeve” is available in a round or squared style and in a choice of Black, Bronze and Natural finishes.

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By using B&O’s Beosound Core connectivity hub, multiple Beosound Bollard speakers can be connected to cover a wide range of space. Additionally, the Beosound Core enables the Bollard to be integrated with interior speakers to create a seamless listening transition from inside to outside the home. The company can also offer a smart-home solution enabling multi-room connectivity through the Beolink, Airplay or Chromecast platforms.

Meanwhile, the new Beolab 8 speaker features 360-degree design styling so that it will look elegant where ever it is placed. The one-piece aluminum body is a fusion of a sphere and cylinder merged into a solid shape, showcasing the legendary craftsmanship for which Bang & Olufsen’s “Factory 5” is known.

The speaker is crafted with Danish wooden lamellas or a fabric front, and follows the characteristic look of Bang & Olufsen’s Beolab and Beosound products including the Beosound Theatre, Beolab 28 and Beolab 50.

In between the outer aluminum shell and the inner core of the speaker, the interplay of light and shadow create a visually lightweight appearance. Made with the Scandinavian design principles for form follows function, the speaker’s shape “both creates an aesthetic object and enhances the acoustics of the speaker,” the company said.

The glass interface on top of the speaker creates a perfect curve that guides the user’s finger along the surface.

“Each of the four stand options are slender and sculptural, utilizing B&O’s expertise in aluminum manufacturing. While the table stand is designed to create a floating illusion, the discreet ceiling bracket and floor stand are polished to perfection,” the company said.

Bang & Olufsen’s “tonemeisters” tuned the Beolab 8 speaker’s three-driver setup consisting of a 16mm tweeter, 3-inch midrange and a 5.25-inch woofer. The resulting sound maintains the same sound quality heritage of B&O’s iconic Beolab 17 speaker.

But the Beolab 8 takes the performance to the next level by incorporating beam width control, room compensation, adaptive tuning as well as ultra-wideband technology.

“Our goal is to create powerful and immersive listening experiences for our customers. Beolab 8 provides exactly this. It is a scalable speaker that is all about flexibility, performance, and innovation”, stated Michael Henriksson, B&O product marketing VP. “Drawing inspiration from the high-end Beolab range, our aim for Beolab 8 was to distil the acoustic essence of these impressive speakers into a compact offering that maintains the directivity and sound beam control for optimal sound reproduction in any environment. Bringing immersive experiences for every moment”.

Furthermore, the Beolab 8’s beam width control allows users to seamlessly switch between two listening experiences. Beolab 8 offers the ability to narrow down with precision audio to optimize the sweet spot for the listener. Alternatively, users can choose to go wide and diffuse sound throughout the room whilst the front LED’s on the speaker display which sound mode status the speaker is in.

Beolab 8’s Room Compensation feature provides an optimised soundscape based on a room’s unique acoustics. The speaker carefully maps its environment to deliver crystal clear quality no matter the size or space of the room. A neodymium motor allows listeners to enjoy a soundscape adapted to their surroundings for full music immersion.

Bang & Olufsen said adaptive sound tuning enables Beolab 8 to adapt to its own configuration by using sensors to detect the front cover and fine-tune the sound for optimal performance. This is made possible through small sensors in the speaker and magnets within the cover which allows Beolab 8 to detect the type of cover and automatically apply the appropriate tuning.

Ultra-wide band technology enables Beolab 8 to direct the acoustic sweet spot based on a user’s phone location using the Bang & Olufsen app.

In addition, the company’s Mozart platform at the heart of the product allows Beolab 8 to be used as a stand-alone wireless speaker that will easily connect using WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3. Using Powerlink, the speaker offers both wireless and wired capabilities built in to serve as a true system speaker, providing a connection to Bang & Olufsen TVs and sound systems dating back more than 30 years, the company said.

Beolab 8 is designed with forward compatibility in mind, as well. It is constructed using quality materials that age gracefully, and provides for continuous customization options and easy upgradability and long-term serviceability. The Beolab 8 also includes a replaceable streaming module to ensure that it can be adapted to evolving technology standards.

B&O said the speaker is designed using “cradle-to-cradle principles which allows products to be proactively designed for a circular future.”

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By Greg Tarr

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