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Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound Edge Sonically Circular Design Reveals a Delightful Surprise

09.10.18 | By
Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound Edge Sonically Circular Design Reveals a Delightful Surprise

The Beosound Edge by Bang & Olufsen is a conundrum, a newly unveiled wireless audio speaker realized as a statement of minimalism, yet also unapologetically the sort of bold statement piece that elicits the curious to ask, “what is that?”

Designed to be placed onto the floor or wall-mounted as above, the speaker is discreetly outfitted with proximity sensors engineered to turn on the speaker’s aluminum surface touch interface. A close inspection reveals microscopic holes created with lasers for this touch controls.

Designer Michael Anastassiades – whose portfolio for his eponymous London-based studio reveals a profound curiosity for exploring the spare long note of minimalist expression – is responsible for this latest audio design for the luxe Danish heritage brand. Reimagining the wireless speaker as a centerpiece object lends itself to complication, but here Anastassiades distills the speaker to its simplest form – a circle. The typical trappings of an electronic audio device are discarded, leaving behind a form devoid of any novelty except for its bold simplicity.

From designer Michael Anastassiades:

It looks quite surreal as an object, because of the sudden depth change. A gap between the two materials would have allowed a tolerance to exist. Here, there is no tolerance, and the in-between space does not exist anymore which is amazing.

Bang & Olufsen’s long-lasting love affair with aluminum continues with the Beosound Edge’s polished metal body, barely visible from the front, and nearly the entirety from the side. Similar to the ever decreasing bezels of smartphones in ratio to screens, the deep murkiness of the Edge’s black fabric cover is reduced to just a sliver, the transition between metal and matte fabric resulting the appearance of an absolute black of Anish Kapoor depths.

The Beosound Edge plays nice with all the major wireless standards, including AirPlay 2, Chromecast2 and Bluetooth. Voice interaction is supported by a Google Assistant-enabled speaker or Alexa Echo device.

In comparison to its spare form, the speaker embraces a bit of novelty in regards to its controls. Sound is adjusted by gently rolling the Beosound Edge forwards to increase volume and backwards to decrease the volume of the speaker’s 10” woofer bass driver and two 4” midrange and two ¾” tweeter units, all powered to six Class D amplifiers. The speaker is designed to gently roll back to its original position afterward once the desired volume is reached.

Michael Annastaciades, designer of the Bang & Olufsen Edge speaker

Look out for the Beosound Edge in Bang & Olufsen stores from mid-November 2018 in the ballpark of $3,500.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.