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Over the span of over nine decades Danish electronics brand Bang & Olufsen has become an evocation of the modernist ethos, a brand so internationally renown for their clarity of form and purposeful simplicity, the brand is commonly distilled to a similarly minimalist moniker, “B&O”. Those three characters in connection to the company’s distinctive catalogue reflect a Utopian-technologist’s prescience for the future when technology becomes indistinguishable from furniture – or perhaps even machined art.
Form serves to follow function, but B&O has always proposed functionalities materialized in forms that challenge, provoke, but certainly never bore. We were able to take a closer look at Bang & Olufsen’s latest take on the classical music system and experience it for ourselves.
The pentagonal Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 35 is striking and presents the antithesis of inertia, a geometric hyphen of shadow, metal, and audio componentry masked across the span of nearly 40-inches of precision-milled aluminum. The music speaker’s pentagonal design isn’t a hyperbolic expression of a traditional sound bar, but an all-in-one wireless sound system dictated in service of two centrally positioned 4-inch drivers and two outward slanted ¾-inch tweeters placed at the edges engineered for optimal and detailed sound wherever positioned.
A stretched anodized sinew of gentle angles, the sum of the four speaker drivers within the BeoSound 35’s cabinetry are powered by 80-watt class D amplifiers, giving the system a confident capacity well above the level you would expect from a music system of its size. The BeoSound 35 embodies Bang & Olufsen’s historical utilization of aluminum for its tensile strength, heat dissipative qualities, and the element’s inherent beauty, offering surface detailing with recognizable precedents in the 1972 BeoGram 4000 turntable’s flush aluminum surface to the perforated gridwork of the Beolit 15 Speaker revealed in 2015.
Look closely and one will notice a precise triptych of angled borders delineating the nexus where 3-mm thick aluminum framework gives way to the system’s endcaps and speaker cover. Although obviously precisely machined, the designer’s eye is still clearly evident, offering the hallmarks of thought as a knife maker to his signature blade.
Danish design icon Arne Jacobsen once proclaimed, “The primary factor is proportions.” And here the proportions of the BeoSound 35 have been engineered to serve faithfully the listener’s ear whether stationed on a stand, mounted onto a wall high, or installed onto a wall closer to hip height, engineered with environment-adaptable upward and downward firing output.
In our time listening to the BeoSound 35 we found the 180-degree soundscape of the speaker satisfyingly detailed across a variety of genres – the folksy warbles of Cass McCombs, the sinister beats + flow of Skepta, and the ethereal melancholy of Negative Gemini – with a rounded out richness representing the mid-range and a surprising depth from the low end. Distortion was imperceptible, but that might also be attributed to the fact there was never a need to push the speaker to the extremes to enjoy its output while testing in an average sized living room.
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Rules: To enter, fill out the form in this post, located below. Upon entering, you agree that your email address can be added to the Design Milk Daily Digest and Bang & Olufsen email newsletters. You may opt out at any time. Open to 18+, anywhere in the world. One entry per person. Contest runs from July 11, 2016 through July 17, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time. We will choose the winner at random and contact the winner directly. Winner has 5 business days to respond to our email attempts before we select a new winner.
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