Luxury audio-video solutions and services provider Bang & Olufsen has launched a brand aimed at the digital generation, writes Rozana Sani
CLIENTS for Denmark-based designer and manufacturer of audio products, television sets and telephones, Bang & Olufsen, are usually those who have reached a certain level of financial status.
Buying Bang & Olufsen is right up there alongside options to buy a luxury holiday home, go for a trip around the world (again) or set up a million-dollar audio-video “playroom” that reflects their achievements and taste.
However, Bang & Olufsen has now added the digital generation as another key target market.
“Products for customers in this category comes under Bang & Olufsen’s new brand, B&O Play, and focuses on audio-video products that combine convenience with high quality, contemporary design for the digital generation. B&O Play combines standalone products with clear and simple operations, rather than integrated home installations,” says MJ Group Of Companies managing director Michael Ostergaard. The MJ Group is Bang & Olufsen’s distributor here.
“B&O Play features portable products that are intuitive to use, easy to integrate into daily life and deliver excellent experiences that are synonymous with the company.”
Thirty-something Ostergaard himself has had a long history with Bang & Olufsen and has witnessed the delivery of various innovations from the Danish audio-video connoisseur. Starting as store manager in Ikast, Denmark in 1998, he worked his way to become general manager of Bang & Olufsen America’s Southern California operations.
From there, he took the post of regional development manager overseeing areas like Eastern Europe, Middle East, North Africa, India and Pakistan. Prior to setting up the MJ group, Ostergaard was Bang & Olufsen Enterprise regional manager. Asia Pacific, where he was in charge of the hospitality business.
“Many new customers in Asia Pacific — particularly this country — are intrigued by the products under the B&O Play brand,” he says.
“More people listen to music in more places, but the quality of the listening experience has been eroded. Bang & Olufsen wants to provide the opportunity to experience media in an easy way but still in outstanding, high quality.
“We now offer this in a beautifully designed solution combined with superior sound and acoustics performance. Many loyal Bang & Olufsen customers have already indicated that they will use these products in second homes, rooms for teens or to enjoy media content on the move.”
Ostergaard says B&O Play is more affordable than Bang & Olufsen.
The first B&O Play product is the highly anticipated Beolit 12 portable music system, which will be followed by more products this year. “Once people listen to portable music through the Beolit 12, they will wonder why they ever did it any other way,” he says.
Priced at RM3,500 and available in yellow, dark grey, blue and grey, Beolit 12 features Apple's AirPlay technology and allows you to play music wirelessly from your iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC when connected to your wireless network. It is designed to be portable and has a built-in power supply and a rechargeable battery. The power cord packs neatly away inside the system when not in use. The rechargeable battery has the capacity to charge an iPhone or other connected devices and play music for up to eight hours at normal sound levels.
Beolit 12 is a tribute to Bang & Olufsen’s popular transistor Beolit radios from the 1960s. Similar to its early predecessors, it presents a compact form with a robust sound reproduction.
Its 120 Watts digital Class D power amplifier system individually drives two 2-inch tweeters and a 4-inch woofer to deliver powerful, accurate sound performance that comfortably fills a middle-sized room. The sound system is designed and tuned by the same sound engineers who delivered the award-winning BeoLab 5 loudspeakers from Bang & Olufsen.
Other than the B&O Play series, the BeoVision 12, which starts at a retail price of RM55,000, is also appealing. BeoVision 12 is an ultra flat 3-D 65-inch plasma solution with integrated centre channel and 7.1 surround sound.
Complementing this is the on-wall loudspeaker BeoLab 12 that starts at a retail price of RM25,000. This full range loudspeaker has a 3/4-inch acoustic lens for the treble, a 2-inch midrange unit and two 6.5-inch flat CosCone woofers for the lower frequencies pointing towards the wall. The 2-inch aluminium cone gives a precise sound, which complements the sound of the acoustic lens.
“BeoLab 12 offers customers a unique possibility to have the slimmest surround sound setup with a Bang & Olufsen flat screen on the wall,” says Ostergaard, explaining that BeoLab 12 will also fit nicely with any Bang & Olufsen music system.
BeoLab 12 can be connected to a flat screen television of any other brand to secure a great sound experience.