[CES 2013] When it comes to consumer electronics craftsmanship, Bang & Olufsen is synonymous with haute couture, in the sense that the Danish company  makes a point to design devices that look like pieces of art. That is why the first time I looked at the Beolab 15 / Beolab 16 built-in sound system in the product picture provided by the manufacturer, I had to ask confirmation of which objects were part of it (see above, the 3 circles in the photo).

The new sound system is comprised of a pair of two-way active speakers (BeoLab 15), an active subwoofer (BeoLab 16) and a rack-ready amplifier (Amplifier 1), all designed for in-wall or in-ceiling placement.
Beolab 15 features a new tilt function that allows the listeners to place middle tones where they want them to be. When the device is turned on, it tilts out to pre-sets angles and  it tilts back as soon as it is turned off.

Update – Jan 13, 2013 : I was able to hear a demo of the sound system during CES, check the photo gallery below and our video of the demo in the complete article, even if the audio is recorded and and the video/audio re-compressed by YouTube, you can tell that the sound quality is pretty good. I was in the room and the audio quality was great.

Being a designer tends to make me blind to the insane price tags of B&O products, however, the cost is a little more reasonable than what I expected from Bang & Olufsen. The new sound system that includes a pair of BeoLab 15 speakers, BeoLab 16 and the Amplifier 1, is available at selected Bang & Olufsen stores from January 2013 for $4595.

For the audiophiles, here are the detailed specifications of each part of the system:

– amplifiers and speaker drivers are separated

BeoLab 15

  • closed-cabinet,
  • two-way active speaker with a ¾” tweeter and a 3” midrange
  • tilt functionality for directing sound up to 45° from the default flush position.

BeoLab 16

  • active subwoofer
  • two pairs of 4” woofers in separate sealed cabinets
  • played in-phase using the Acoustic Balance Principle to enable deep bass without unwanted wall vibrations

Amplifier 1

  • six separate amplifiers
  •  two Class D units rated at 2 x 150 watts power up the subwoofer.
  • each BeoLab 15 gets 150 watts for the midrange, and 45 watts for the tweeter.
  • adaptive Bass Linearization keeps the deep bass cultivated and crisp all the way down to 45 Hz

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