At International CES this week in Las Vegas, Bang & Olufsen is launching BeoSound Essence, which is designed to take the complexity out of audio systems, putting the technology “in the background,” and making it easier to listen to and enjoy music.
B&O’s CEO, Tue Mantoni, stated that, “2014 will be the year that Bang & Olufsen revolutionizes how we listen to music.” That’s a bold statement, but the company has a history of making innovative products that are not only beautiful but highly functional, as well. Here at CES, Mantoni said that B&O is hoping to remove the complexity of running an audio system and create electronics that improve the way people interact with them, calling the idea, “domestication of technology.”
Mantoni mentioned several innovations that B&O has launched over the years, including the invention of radio presets in 1938 that completely changed the way people used their radios at the time, and the 1976 introduction of two interaction layers, making products easier and more intuitive to use, while still giving expert users access to advanced features.
The BeoSound Essence product has surprising heft to it and delivers nice tactile feedback as you turn the knob, offering the classic B&O luxury feel. Essence will come in two form factors: a wall mount and a tabletop version. Both run on batteries and are easily retrofittable.
To simplify operation, it requires only a single touch to start playing music, which Mantoni said should be even easier than turning on a light switch and something that he would like to see people doing the second they wake up.
B&O’s CEO, Tue Mantoni.
“BeoSound Essence is all about giving people easy access to their favorite music in Bang & Olufsen quality,” Mantoni explained. “By applying studies of how people live and live with music we have developed the simplest user interface available in the market. BeoSound Essence builds on Bang & Olufsen’s heritage of understanding user behaviour and technology and breaking new ground to make things simple.”
BeoSound Essence can pair with any B&O active speakers and will be available this spring.
Bang & Olufsen also announced the new BeoLab Transmitter 1 and BeoLab Receiver 1 that creates a full WiSA audio setup with legacy B&O active speakers. With these components, existing customers could create a fully wireless system up to 8 channels.