BeoSound Shape

Nowadays differentiating is not easy and in many cases it is the design that marks that distinction with the previous being the visual component, even if it is the choice of loudspeakers. It is something that has always characterized Bang & Olufsen products, but this time with the BeoSound Shape the final design depends on the user and their tastes.

The brand this time dares with a modular proposal and almost entirely wireless in the purest style of bees or tile floor. A network of speakers for wall that has several possibilities of installation and that adds some “smart” when executing the audio, without neglecting the quality of this one with an algorithm unique to the product.

BeoSound Shape
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BeoSound Shape, technical specifications

PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS (SPEAKER + STAND) 363.6 x 319.5 x 111.1 millimeters
(the holder leaves a 6 mm gap between speakers and wall)
WEIGHT (+ 0.4 KG OF TIRES) Speaker: 1.9 kg
Amplifier: 2 kg
Absorbent: 0.51 kg
CONNECTIONS Amplifier: AC input, toslink digital audio, USB, control and sound input and output (amplifier input and output), 4 outputs 4-wire
Speaker: 4-wire input
POWER AMPLIFIER 8 x 80 watts (class D)
Tweeter: 3/4 inch
ESTIMATED PRICE From 4000 dollars (varies according to the number of speakers and the type of cover)

A mosaic of decibel

The tax usually does not taste and bore, and from this they seem to have wanted to flee in the Danish company for their new proposal of wall speaker choosing a hexagonal form for each unit (or tile, as they refer to them). The key is, in fact, to be a plural of speakers (masters, which contain electronics), amplifiers and absorbents with option to play with the color, the pattern of the cover and even the number of walls.

The idea is that it is an easy product from the minute of unboxing, hence they have devised a support that does not need screws to mount. In addition, they include plastic straps that can be placed between the speakers if the user is disturbed by the beams of light that can be pasted between unit and unit.

BeoSound Shape
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You propose and BeoSound has

The rudder of the final mosaic will be carried by the user, but in order that the latter does not require acoustic and physical knowledge of the waves, the system will take care of the final advice of the placement. This is for the user to set the desired end position, so that the system tells you where to place the master speakers and amplifiers within that chosen pattern.

Thus, after the final assembly the system will also configure the audio output, for which they have created a specific algorithm for this product oriented to achieve the best performance of bass and different types of sound according to the distribution. Something they call “band-on-the-wall” or constant sound stage.

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The idea is to create a sense of homogeneity and distinction at the same time, even if it sounds contradictory. What is wanted with this algorithm is to deceive our brain so that in its attempt to look for the point of origin of the audio (something that we do by evolution) does not find two outputs, but something more blurred if the hearing is static (and distance ) Or by phases if we move ahead of the mosaic. Distributing the voices in the center, the instruments on the sides and the basses distributed.

As we have said, first the location of the speakers must be established and then the system indicates where to place the ones that have “brains” (electronics, masters) and the rest. They can in fact make several mosaics on different walls and connect them, the system will always calculate and configure based on our choice, and also can establish profiles of hearing.

How does it work?

We see that the audio does not escape concepts as fashionable as “algorithm” and “intelligent”, and in this case, Bang & Olufsen brings out almost more breast with this than with the design of the tiles (the main claim). We could not take a few to the walls of the house and try them thoroughly, but we did have the opportunity to listen to them and see if there was a difference between executing or not the algorithm itself in the installation of the wall-mounted speakers.

In the demos we made (in the same nest where the product was developed) we were able to verify that volume of services are available and that a sense of depth and audio distribution is actually achieved, which is much more satisfactory than if we used a traditional two-channel output (With the same characteristics in terms of speaker and amplifier). Quite curious the “corridor effect” that is perceived if you walk leaving aside the wall where they are placed and no echoes or gaps were observed if we moved away or on other walls.

BeoSound Shape
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Without aluminum (ask for a wish)

For decades, aluminum has been part of the DNA of the brand, to the point that they have their own factory and have produced parts for other brands such as BMW. However, the grace of BeoSound Shape is to be able to choose between colors and fabric, and above all combine them, and there is nothing metal here (at least on the outside).

The concealed side of the design is just under cover is chosen by the consumer. Cables hidden to the maximum and two challenges: a good ventilation and the reduction of the static electricity that produced the components, resorting to the automotive technology for the second.

The covers are fairly easy to assemble and disassemble (they fit into six holes, one per corner), with the idea that it can be easily updated when the user tires of the colors. An update that can also be done on the inside so that the speakers are not obsolete in terms of connectivity, in view of the changes that may be in the future of this industry, with the option to change the BeoSound Core (an internal hub).

With the BeoSound Core, they look for that the loudspeakers can be updated and they are not obsolete at the level of collectivity and services

This piece provides the connectivity of the speakers, being a small rounded box (151.2 x 43.5 millimeters and 290 grams) that is coupled inside these. They integrate optical output, RJ-45 with two channels, Ethernet, Wi-Fi / WLAN 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.1, to slink output and USB type-C, supporting formats MP3, WMA, AAC, ALAC, FLAC, WAV and AIFF and streaming technologies Spotify Connect, QPlay2.0, Apple AirPlay, Chromecast and DLNA-DMR.

BeoSound Shape
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Beosound Shape, price and availability

In Bang & Olufsen they seek in these BeoSound Shape to sell freedom and ease to a user who seeks to enjoy sound at the level of quality and aesthetic without the need to understand sound. In this sense, they qualified the fact that they only sell in a physical store, with the aim of ensuring a minimum of personal attention and that some initial installation tips are given.

We will have to wait a few months, since BeoSound Shape will be available starting next August. The total price will depend on how many units we want for our installation as well as the material of the covers, but the basic kit will be according to the manufacturer for about 4000 dollars.

Available colors will be black, clay, green, blue, purple, gray, with 100% wool options in brown, green, pink and navy blue. What also told us part of the team that created this project is that, although it is valid for any device whose connection is included, the truth is that it is a product more oriented to music than to entertainment (movies, etc.) as indicated. So if we do not skimp on audio and want a striking and novel design, we can opt for these speakers as soon as summer arrives.

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