Sound & Light
Bang & Olufsen
For anyone growing up in the 1970s and 80s, one name stood head and shoulders above all others for its elite audio-visual products – its name synonymous with innovation, and its unique, ultra-futuristic designs as sought after as they were iconic. Bang & Olufsen (or B&O to its aficionados) was founded in Denmark in 1925, but it wasn’t until the arrival of industrial designer David Lewis in 1965 that the brand really found its design DNA, with many of its most famous, ultra pared-back, super-sleek products taking shape under his aegis. While other companies were producing speakers in matt black designed to disappear in the home, B&O produced the startling BeoLab 4000 in Silver, Black, Blue, Red, Green and Gold, guaranteed to turn heads, and ears. Likewise where other companies produced all in one hi-fis, B&O broke all the rules with the BeoSound 9000 and its now famous six horizontal wall-mounted cds.
Fast forward 30+ years, and seeing immense opportunity in the untapped haute hi-fi market in China, Bang & Olufsen have taken the business of buying audio-visual equipment to the next level (not surprisingly) by opening its first Experience Centre in Beijing. Located above the Bentley showroom in Chaoyang and aimed squarely at the the city’s technology connoisseurs, the Experience Centre melds state of the art AV design (much of which can be controlled by tablets and smartphones) with a walk-by narrative ‘history wall’ highlighting the brands landmark products dating back to the 60s. Heritage and haute hi-fi – pitch perfect.