Bang & Olufsen’s New Wall Speakers Are Clever And Very Expensive
Bang & Olufsen has a history of making incredibly designed (and incredibly expensive) speakers, but its newest model, the modular BeoSound Shape, might be the most striking yet.
The BeoSound Shape is a wireless speaker system made up of a swarm of hexagonal panels, designed to be a quality set of speakers that fade into the background of your home. The key to that is Bang & Olufsen’s algorithm, which was developed to ensure that the sound remains centered no matter where you move in the room by creating a fixed soundstage.
At the heart is BeoSound Core, a connectivity hub hidden in one of the tiles that has the hardware for AirPlay, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth 4.1, along with support for Bang & Olufsen’s BeoLink system. The BeoSound Core also has some wired inputs for Ethernet or line-in functionality, although its primary focus is on wireless. A base kit starts at €4,000 (roughly $4,266), and includes eight tiles — four speakers, two sound-absorbing acoustic dampeners, one amplifier, and one housing for the Core, but the system is expandable up to 11 amplifier units (each of which can support four speaker tiles, for a total of 44).
My colleague Vlad Savov was able to demo the BeoSound Shape in person, and while he noted that the sound quality was good, true to its background design, the Shape seemed more meant for casual listening, not audiophile music. Additionally, he noted that his demo used eight speakers, twice that of the already expensive starter kit, which translates to a huge premium that you’re paying for Bang & Olufsen’s admittedly impressive design. But at that price, there’s no reason why you couldn’t invest in cheaper, better-sounding speakers and simply work slightly harder on your interior design to account for it.
The Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Shape is expected to go on sale in August. Interested customers can sign up on the Bang & Olufsen website to be notified when both the custom configuration tool and preorders go live.