During IFA 2017 I had an audiophile experience that boarded on life changing. I had the opportunity to listen to the Bang and Olufsen Beosound Shape, amazing, another dimension to sound quality.
The Black and Paper interview with Petros Belimpasaksi, head of Sound Category and Platform for Bang and Olufsen.
What is the history of the artwork influence of the Beosound Shape
Inspiration for the concept came from the designer’s experiences with poor room acoustics in an open space environment, something which is becoming increasingly problematic as a consequence of the breaking down of walls between e.g. kitchen and living rooms, where more people are in the same room, but doing different things at the same time. This is also often seen in hotel lobbys, airports and other large open spaces where a lot of things happen simultaneously.
If you need to adjust the room acoustics you need something that breaks up the large surfaces, you have to avoid straight surfaces and get the sound to bounce in different directions. A snow landscape with mountain tops inspired the design, when you see how light on snow is reflected differently and creating different colours of white when you look across the landscape.
We are working with basic mathematical shapes and the hexagonal shape was chosen because it is a great form for creating large volume efficiently and by combining it with the cube and the square, you get enough volume and an interesting shape, you can repeat and extend in all directions. In this case, even the negative space – where there are no tiles – is an important part of the design. It has a very strong decorative element and at the same time it improves the ‘auditive climate’ of the room.
Besides making sound systems, this system has the benefit of not only making great sound, it can also make great silence. A speaker system that creates a great atmosphere in the home, by its mere presence, especially if you have a lot of hard surfaces such as wooden floors, large concrete walls or glass surfaces.
The modularity and thereby the flexibility of this concept is an essential part of BeoSound Shape – by creating hexagonal tiles in different fabric and colour options, you get the possibility to create your very own shape or pattern using different colours and surfaces, and over time renew your look, size and performance as you please.
If fashion or your interior decoration change, it is merely a question of selecting a new colour or fabric tile and click the new cover onto the existing grid. New colour options will be introduced on an annual basis.
Describe the systems parts and specifications
Here are the main components:
On top of those, in every BeoSound Shape there is a “BeoSound Core”. BeoSound Core (http://www.bang-olufsen.com/core) is the connectivity hub that provides all the streaming technologies from the product (eg. WiFi, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, DLNA, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, etc)
If you would like to get the detailed spec for each component (e.g. power of amplifiers, size of speaker drivers, etc), I would recommend to simply visit the http://www.bang-olufsen.com/shape and scroll all the way to the end, at the “Technical Specification”.
We also have a great short video that explains all those details:
Is this a product for only series Audiophiles?
No, on the contrary. The way people live with sound is not necessarily the same or the same for one person at all times. Therefore “one size does not fit all”.
BeoSound Shape is a unique product for people that live with sound, even if in the background. They enjoy music, but it takes a less visual and prominent part of there lives.
They want to Balance technology in their lives to a greater extend. Having technology there, but more in the background. Design and customization is key. Many have multi-functional environments, where the traditional division between rooms disappear and rooms are becoming true living spaces for eating, working, relaxing and playing.
They also use music as a mood setter. And that is what music is most often for – setting a mood. And this in not only true in the privacy of the home, but is actually relevant for many public and business environments too. Music can make people slow down, relax, be mindful, in a party mode or a pace setter at the gym. Therefore it is also used in the professional scene in hotel lobbys, at work or restaurants and the like.
Is this device an investment or a purchase?
You could call it an investment, but not in the terms of financial investment. It is an investment that would allow you, your family and your friends to get most of enjoying time together. Enriching your daily life with music, enhancing your mood as well as improving your room acoustics and interior. So, all in all, improve in general your well being, as good lightning or good air quality do.
At the same time, the product has been designed to be a very long lasting product. You can easily change colors and fabrics, when you redecorate your home. Or, scale it up in size (or sound performance) if you move home and want something larger. Even with the fast moving technology, the “BeoSound Core” connectivity hub can easily be changed and upgraded, as technology updates come in the future (updates that cannot be delivered just with software updates). So indeed this is a product where the customer’s investment is respected and long lasting. That is compared to a world of “fast consumer electronics” and “consumable goods”.
To convince Black and Paper readers , what album would you recommend they try on the system?
Everything sounds great on the BeoSound Shape, especially as it is upmixed with out unique patented algorithm called “Band on the wall”, which gives a great spatial experience. If I was to recommend my personal favorite tracks, those would be: “Hey Laura” by Gregory Porter and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars.