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Bang &Olufsen Adds Smart TV, Custom Speakers, 3D Car Audio

Las Vegas – Premium audio brand Bang & Olufsen came to International CES to unveil its latest custom-installed home speakers, a 3D OEM autosound system for Audi, and a new opening-price TV lineup that includes the company’s first smart TVs and first TVs with DLNA networking.

 The custom speaker system is an active 2.1 system whose compact, two-way speakers automatically tilt out from the wall or ceiling at pre-set angles up to 45 degrees when the system is turned on to direct sound to the listening position. When the system is turned off, the speakers tilt back to a flush position.

 The custom system consists of the two-way BeoLab 15 active speakers and the BeoLab 16 active subwoofer, all of which can be mounted in the ceiling or wall. The speakers and companion rack-mountable amplifier will be available this month in Bang & Olufsen stores at $4,595.

The speakers are not B&O’s first custom speakers but are the first motorized custom speakers for the company.

TheBeoLab 15 is a closed-cabinet speaker with a 0.75-inch tweeter and a 3-inch midrange. The BeoLab 16 subwoofer features two pairs of 4-inch woofers in separate sealed cabinets. The drivers play in-phase to enable deep bass without unwanted wall vibrations, the company said.

The outboard amplifier features six separate amps. Two Class D amps rated at 2×150 watts power up the subwoofer. The amp directs 150 watts to each BeoLab 15 midrange and 45 watts to each BeoLab 15 tweeter. Adaptive bass linearization delivers “crisp” bass down to 45Hz, the company said.

 The two-way speakers are available in matte aluminum with fabric covers in either white or black. The subwoofer is in matte aluminum.

 The custom system “was conceived for installations where people want great sound without having to find room for freestanding speakers,” said Bang & Olufsen product manager Michael Jensen.

The new TV series is the BeoVision 11 series, which will replace the current opening-price BeoVision 10 series in the main B&O line, excluding the lower priced B&O Play line, over the next six to 12 months. Compared to their predecessors, the new models add 3D, smart TV applications, and DLNA networking to pull audio and video from networked PCs and NAS drives. The new models are also thinner.

The series of 1080p, 240Hz LED LCD TVs, which just became available, consist of a $5,995 40-inch model, a $7,495 46-inch model, and a $9,995 55-inch model.

All feature embedded three-way stereo speaker system and an optional motorized wall bracket that swings the displays out as much as 90 degrees from the wall.

The car audio system unveiled by B&O, the Fraunhofer Institute, and Audi appears in an Audi Q7 concept car features 3D audio technology developed by Fraunhofer, the main inventor of the MP3 format.

 The system, which adds height to the soundstage, will be available in select Audi vehicles in 2014.

The collaboration extends the soundfield beyond the confines of the car cabin to “create an impressive dimensionality and spaciousness,” said Harald Popp, head of Fraunhofer’s Multimedia Realtime Systems department. The system “also reproduces the genuine richness of the music with ultimate precision for an unrivalled music experience,” he said.

 Fraunhofer’s 3D technology “enables the intelligent distribution of the input signal to the loudspeakers in the car, creating a highly realistic three-dimensional sound impression,” B&O added.

The concept car features 23 active speakers and more than 1,500 watts of power, driven by a new 23-channel DSP engine.

Another new product is the 495 Playmaker module, which adds Wi-Fi, DLNA networking and AirPlay to the company’s active speakers. It’s available.