Flute you, madam: Bang & Olufsen's alarm clock would wind up controlling your system

Spot the hi-fi component.

Found it yet?

Just in case you're a shade distracted, you should be looking at what looks like a flute sitting on a rack on the wall.

This is the new BeoTime from Bang & Olufsen, a combined alarm clock and system timer, going into your local B&O shop right now with a £300 price-tag.

Yes, it's shaped like a flute, but then what did you expect from the company responsible for the 'organ pipe' Beolab 8000 speakers, and the phone handset with a ring-tone based on the sound its main aluminium casting makes when dropped on the floor?

Here's a close-up view of the device, designed to sit on your bedside table – or indeed hang on the wall on that magnetic bracket – and wake you with either its own chime, or with sound from TV, radio or CD. There's also a sleep timer, enabling it to turn off your complete Bang & Olusfen entertainment system after anything up 120mins.

It runs off three AA batteries, good for a year or so of operation, and is designed to be held in one hand and operated with your thumb. A built-in tilt sensor lets it know which way it's orientated, and adjust the displays and controls to suit.

So why the flute shape? Seems designer Steffen Schmelling was inspired by Mozart's Magic Flute, and its theme of light defeating the dark. Waking up, you see?

The alarm button is in the shape of a trumpet – when you're this far into the fantasy world of this strange anodised, polished aluminium object, that makes perfect sense –, and the three displays show time, alarm time and wake-up source. Oh, and the backlight switches on when you touch the BeoTime.

And just for the B&O completists, no this isn't the first BeoTime from the people at Struer: the one below is almost 30 years old, and was designed to match the Beosystem 8000 and Beogram 8000.

Couldn't wake you up, though...

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.