Bang & Olufsen unveils largest BeoSound Shape speaker installation at Kvadrat London

posted on Tuesday, 20th March 2018 by Steve May

Architectural  Hi-fi  Loudspeakers  Pro AV 

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Bang & Olufsen has unveiled the largest single installation of its innovative BeoSound Shape wall speaker, at the Kvadrat fabric showroom in London. The modular sound system offers an alternative take on architectural audio. Comprised of hexagonal tiles, a Shape installation can be configured exclusively for the space it’s in. Once connected, the Shape acts as one synchronized sound system.

Inside CI was invited to the unveil, and can report that not only does the technology tick all the right design boxes, it sounds phenomenal too. This towering Shape install managed to pressure-load the open space within the Kvadrat room, producing significant bass, but also had clarity and musicality.

“It’s not about playing loud, it’s about the naturalness of the sound,” said Bang & Olufsen’s global sales director Ron Holtdijk.

Beosound Shape is a multipurpose audio solution, suitable for large residential spaces, as well as commercial deployment, for example in hotels, restaurants, clubs and stores.

Wall Crop

Shape Inside Crop

Although the look is homogeneous, not every tile is the same. A Beosound Shape installation comprises amplifier tiles, speaker tiles, acoustic damper tiles and a Beosound Core hub tile, effectively the brain of the system.

Each speaker tile features an 133mm woofer, and 19mm tweeter (pictured above), while every amplifier tile features an 8 x 80W Class D amplifier, capable of driving four speakers. Multiple amplifiers can be daisy-chained. When building an installation that comprises multiple amplifier tiles, each requires its own power supply. The tiles mount using a star rail system. There’s just a 6cm air gap between the speaker cabinet and wall.

“Everything you need is built in,” says Holtdijk. “You don’t need external sound sources - Apple Airplay, Google sound sources, are built in. You basically take a smartphone or tablet and start streaming music. That’s it.”

The system includes wireless Bluetooth streaming and has Chromecast built-in. File formats up are to 192 kHz 24 bit are supported.

Shape Party

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Textile specialist Kvadrat has produced a fabric with superior acoustic properties for the BeoSound Shape. At the launch, system designer Oivind Slaatto (also responsible for B&O’s A9 speaker) said he was inspired to create the Shape by skiing, and the way light and shadow played on the snow.

Prices for a Beosound Shape installation start at £3,400.

The system can be viewed (and heard) at the Kvadrat showroom, (10 Shepherdess Walk, Hoxton, London N17LB) until late August.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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