In 1925, the Danish engineers Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen lent their names to a company that now has global recognition. From the outset, Bang & Olufsen combined technological innovation with aesthetic rigour, and early products like the Beolit 39 radio set a high bar for design. Over the decades, B&O became increasingly synonymous with a modern, uncompromising image, and the work of Jacob Jensen and David Lewis shaped an iconic aesthetic.
The burgeoning market for hi-fi systems in the late 1960s and early 1970s ushered in numerous innovations and design classics. As well as incredible sound fidelity, many of B&O’s most celebrated products incorporate elements of movement into their design. In 1974, the BeoMaster 6000 was not only the company’s first remotely-operated system, but also incorporated a mechanical wheel for navigation, the first time this soon-familiar function was ever used.
Movement has since proved to be an integral element of B&O design, and its designers and engineers ensured it was never gratuitous, always elegant and intuitive. The BeoCenter 9000 of 1986 featured a mirrored panel that slid aside to reveal the CD and cassette player within, while in 1994, the company launched the iconic BeoSound 4000, also known as the Ouverture.. With its silently gliding glass front doors, the Ouverture was operated simply by the proximity of a hand, revealing the CD.
Two years later, the flagship BeoSound 9000 transformed the humble CD changer into a work of mechanical art. Featuring six stacked discs in a vertical housing, the system incorporated a swiftly accelerated CD arm that performed ultra-rapid changes between discs, a first for the era. Finally, discrete and elegant movement is a hallmark of B&O’s highly successful systems for car manufacturers like Audi and Aston Martin, with a set of motorized acoustic lens tweeters that rise from the dashboard to the optimum position.