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Bang & Olufsen's BeoSound Shape

A customizable wireless speaker system doubling as geometric wall tiles

by Evan Orensten
on 03 April 2017

After roughly four years of development, a new sound system—with home acoustic performance and pristine design at the forefront—will be making its way out of Denmark's innovative Bang & Olufsen headquarters. Known as the BeoSound Shape, this wireless speaker system—fashioned in the form of modular, hexagonal wall tiles—approaches filling a room with sound in a new way. While each panel of the Shape looks the same, there are actually four technical iterations, positioning sound components accordingly. A basic kit includes four Shape panels, one amp, the BeoSound Core unit that provides wireless streaming and two sound absorbing/decorative tiles. Consumers can purchase additional Shape sets (uniting up to 44 panels) to create their own wall of sound installation. For such an endeavor, B&O had to develop a new system that allows all of the components to work together.

The Shape supports Apple AirPlay, Chromecast, Spotify and Bluetooth streaming. With the Shape system, a new "band on the wall" sound profile has been introduced, where the vocals emanate from the center of the Shape arrangement. Instrumentation extends from the sides. This replicates the way real bands actually perform. This is an optional profile, however, and the key to Shape's success really is the customization elements. Even the textile options are customizable, allowing to consumer to mix and matrch from an array of luxurious Kvadrat options (with more to be released). Finally, taking every room into consideration, even when their device is not active, the BeoSound Shape offers resonance dampening features—controlling the acoustics of the room even when it's turned off.

The BeoSound Shape will be available in August 2017, with prices starting at 4000€. Though BeoSound Shape was announced this Milan Design Week, we got to preview the product at Bang & Olufsen's impressive Streur, Denmark headquarters (where we visited last year for the launch of their flagship BeoLab 90 speakers). We also toured their impressive aluminum factory and sound lab and look forward to sharing those stories on CH soon.

Images courtesy of Bang & Olufsen

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