Bang & Olufsen has always been dedicated to taking up space beautifully, creating objects that make wonderful sounds and look wonderful doing it. And now with its latest B&O PLAY brand, it has taken this mission to the next level.
The BeoPlay A9 is perhaps its most radical and successful integration of sound and beauty to date. It’s a music system you want to give pride of place to, even build your domestic arrangements around, rather than look to hide. And given its portability and use of wireless connectivity, you can make the BeoPlay A9 a centrepiece almost anywhere in your home.
Young Denmark-based designer Øivind Alexander Slaatto has created a remarkably innovative design for the A9, essentially a clean white disc, which is the very definition of minimal. With all inputs and controls communicated wirelessly, the A9 looks more like an abstract sculpture than an amp and speaker combo. The A9 is a complete sound system and all you need to make beautiful music is a music system, tablet or smartphone that uses Apple Airplay or the open streaming standard DLNA.
As Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, vice president at B&O PLAY, says, the new BeoPlay A9 is all about keeping the design as elegant and as simple as possible while delivering big complex sound. ‘We asked Øivind, who also has a strong interest in music, to create a design that is as free of visual noise as possible,’ he says, ‘and then had our engineers empower it with truly amazing sound. The result is a liberating take on acoustic performance with a clean graphic look that is intuitively easy to use.’
Slaatto has devised two methods of display for the A9. It can either stand on three simple wooden legs – available in oak, beech or teak – or it can be hung on a wall bracket. To further coordinate it with your home, the speaker cover comes in silver, red, green, brown or black.
Controls on the top of the player are intuitive and invisible. Swiping your hand across a touch sensor modifies the volume and you can mute the system by simply laying your hand on top of it.
Of course, all this would just be aesthetics if the BeoPlay A9 wasn’t packing power and precision on the inside. Which of course it is. In fact, it packs in two three quarter-inch tweeters and two three-inch mid-range units, driven by separate 80-watt amplifiers. And to deliver oomph just where you need it is an eight-inch bass unit, powered by a 160-watt amplifier. And, rather smartly, three pre-set sound modes optimise the acoustic performance of the player depending on its position in the room.