By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — Bang & Olufsen dipped its toe into the multi-speaker surround-sound category with the launch of its BeoLab 14 system.
During a press preview that also marked the official U.S. debut of the new B&O Play headphones, Zean Nielson, president of Bang & Olufsen America, said the company decided to enter this particular category because of its commanding share of audio dollar sales.
The BeoLab 14 surround speaker system will be available in June in 4.1 or 5.1 configurations. The 4.1 system ($3,995 suggested retail) is designed to be used with B&O’s TVs, which feature an onboard speaker that already acts as the center-channel speaker, Nielsen said. The 5.1 system ($4,395) is meant for use with all other TV brands.
Both systems can connect to an A/V receiver.
Nielsen noted that the systems, when paired with a B&O television, allow consumers to “get into B&O for less than $10,000.”
The aluminum satellite speakers for the BeoLab 14 have 2.5-inch drivers and removable fabric covers that are offered in six colors. The speakers can be mounted on the wall or ceiling, or they can be used with tabletop or floor stands.
Only the wall brackets are included with the system; ceiling brackets will be sold separately for $95 each, table stands for $95 each, and floor stands for $195 each.
Nielsen said the BeoLab 14’s design was skewed more toward females because the company wanted the system to receive the “wife-acceptance factor” for placement in a living room.
The subwoofer has 280 watts of power for its 8-inch down-firing driver, and it delivers bass down to 26Hz, the company said. Other features include five individual 140-watt amplifiers with separate equalizers for each speaker, Digital Signal Processor, Adaptive Bass Linearization, room adaptation switch, line sense, Power Link connections for Bang & Olufsen components, and an A/V multi-connector for other components.
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