Bang & Olufsen has taken its first step into the wireless speaker market, unveiling three new speaker products at its flagship store in Knightsbridge today.
Launched under its new Immaculate Wireless Sound concept, the new products are the BeoLab 17 compact speaker, the BeoLab 18 column speaker and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer.
All three products use the new WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio) standard for delivering high-quality wireless sound. All products are available from the B&O store from November.
The BeoLab 17 is B&O's first-ever compact wireless speaker. The all-digital active unit contains a 6in midrange/woofer driver and a 0.75in tweeter powered by a pair of 160W class-D amplifiers and a proprietary digital sound engine that promises "more than 40 times the processing power of analogue circuitry".
The BeoLab 17's triangular cabinet is made from a single piece of extruded aluminium, and is available in black or white. The front cover can be swapped for various finishes, most notably a white 'broken ice' fascia, or fabric covers in blue, black and white.
The BeoLab 17 speakers are designed for flexible positioning around the home. They can be used as bookshelf speakers, be wall-mounted, or be converted into stand-mounters or floorstanders with additional stands. The BeoLab 17 speakers cost £2,590 per pair.
Also launched were the BeoLab 18 column speakers, which top the new wireless range. B&O has redesigned its signature Beolab 8000 column speakers to add all-digital components, wireless functionality and a striking new finish.
The lamella front is available in wood (oak), and black and white composite finishes. B&O's distinctive acoustic lens tweeter floats above the structure, while a 160W class-D amplifier powers the two 4in midrange/woofer drivers. The BeoLab 18 can be placed on the floor or wall-mounted. It costs £3,990 in the black/white lamella finishes, while an extra £790 will get you the solid oak lamella front.
The dodecahedron-shaped BeoLab 19 wireless subwoofer houses two 8in drivers powered by 160W class-D amps. Composed of 12 pentagons, the eye-catching design also ensures "exceptional rigidity," the company says. The anodised aluminium cabinet is available in matte black, white and grey finishes. The BeoLab 19 costs £2,195.
The new products can be used with the WiSA-updated B&O BeoVision 11 TV (existing owners simply need to update the software), as well as any WiSA-equipped TV, AV receiver or Blu-ray player. The WiSA standard uses the 5.2-5.8GHz range to provide uncongested bandwidth for streaming 24-bit, uncompressed music files at native sampling rates, and also makes a full 7.1-channel wireless surround-sound set-up possible.
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