- You know, I’m a simple girl. I like pretty things. I like pretty things that also happen to be gadgets. So it makes sense that I popped into the Bang & Olufsen store in Melrose Arch. Bang & Olufsen is a Danish company specialising in sound. I’ve always been attracted to their stores because the aesthetic of their products has always attracted me. They have a very Nordic type design that looks less tech and more art.
I’m a fan of slim lines, neat design and gadgets that fit into your space rather than standing out. So their range appeals to me. I’m also a bit of a headphone junky so I was interested in what they had on offer.
There are more than headphones on offer
In fact, if you take a visit to the store there is an experience room with a gorgeous television (yup, they sell those too) and a set of speakers. They’re gorgeous speakers. They stand just above my waist and really look like pieces of contemporary art. I thought they were pretty.
They also cost R1.3 million
Exhale slowly. The Bang & Olufsen Beolab 90 speaker system will set you back a cool R1.3 million. While they might look like art that is a pretty big price tag to swallow. Plus anyone dropping that sort of cash on home entertainment systems is likely building the speakers in to the room right? Well, let’s be honest – that kind of sucks. When you move you need to come in and take all that jazz out your house to install somewhere else (who am I kidding, if I was blowing that sort of cash on home entertainment systems I’d never move from the lounge, never mind the house). So first justification for that price tag, you can move them.
Actually, you can’t. They each weigh more than 100kgs. But for R1.3 million Bang & Olufsen will come set ’em up for you (and move them I’m sure). The thing is, I thought the whole speaker set at that price thing was a little absurd. Crazy even.
And then they switched them on
The Beolab 90 speaker system is pretty damn epic. For starters, I wasn’t in a sound proof room. In fact, the one wall was more dry walling than actual wall. As the sound cranked up I smiled smugly waiting for the sound to distort and echo off the dry walling. It didn’t. In fact it seemed to only get better as it got louder. That’s because the speakers are able to judge reflective noise and cancel it as it happens.
The speakers take in to account the room you’re in and intuitively adjust sound depending on the furniture around the room and automatically adjust according to the acoustics. The design isn’t about art more so than it is about hiding the drivers set up at all angles so that they face nearly every direction. There are 18 drivers and amplifiers built in to those babies. Leaning back on a couch while listening to Michael Jackson blow out my ears was an experience that left me grinning. I like pretty things. I like pretty things that happen to be gadgets. Turns out I also like pretty things that happen to be gadgets and cost more than my house. I walked in wondering who the hell would spend that much money on speakers and walked out thinking… me, one day.
The real question is, would you?