The Bang & Olufsen A9 Special Edition is a wireless speaker designed by RISD student Kebei Li and the redesign is a study in observing the binary transitional relationship in the musical experience. As Kebei explains, music is the physical transition of electrical impulses translated into audible noises. He believes that there is an emotional crossing from the real world to a sublimed and idealized musical mentality.


Li symbolizes this transition through the legs, which utilize gradient printed opaque to transparent polycarbonate legs. As a result, the design’s name, “sublimation,” is a direct influence of the scientific term, which is defined as a substance transforming directly from a solid to a gas without being a liquid. Kebei realizes this transition in two forms: physical and emotional. Physically, the speaker transfers electrical impulses into audible sounds. Emotionally, the sound can transmute an individual from the realistic world, to the idealistic and sublimated musical mentality.

Materially speaking, Li wanted the object to be as minimalist and direct in its message as possible. The back cover is manufactured using injection molding while an anodized aluminum ring circles around the speaker. The front fabric is an abstract black and white image of the galaxy. While maintaining the monolithic feel of pure black, the rich texture provides a sense of sophistication and reverence.

The design is currently being considered by B&O’s A9 Design Student Competition. You can vote for Kebei’s project at this link.