Bang & Olufsen’s BeoLab 90 is fitted with 18 speaker drivers that look identical from all sides. But the most impressive feature of this creation is its unique Beam Width Control, which enables users to change the width of the sound beam to suit different listening situations. Thus, the BeoLab 90 delivers sound exactly where it’s needed.
Indonesia Tatler: What were some of the main challenges that B&O faced while designing the BeoLab 90?
Soren Kokholm: There were a lot of challenges we faced, but one of the most challenging was the creation of the cabinet/cover for the speaker drivers. We had to make sure the angles were correct so the speaker could do its job as planned: to be able to play music to different positions.
IT: If B&O had to design this differently, what could have been done?
SK: Absolutely nothing. This was exactly the way we had imagined it to be. Once we had the speakers fixed, nothing could be changed because we had very little flexibility. Maybe the cabinets could have been done differently in some way but I honestly don’t think that’s even possible. So the way that it is now, I think that’s the closest thing to perfection we’ve ever gotten.
IT: Does the material of the cabinet that covers the speakers make any difference in the sound quality?
SK: Not at all. It is a transparent, acoustic material so it doesn’t do anything in terms of the sound. It just acts as a cover up so the speakers aren’t “naked”, so to speak.
IT: Obviously, while creating it, the team at B&O had an achievement in mind. Would you say that goal has been achieved in terms of quality, design and target market?
SK: Yes, most definitely. It has been a five-and-a-half-year process from the beginning up until the finished product. In the creation of the BeoLab 90, we had an audio team and the design team who had to work hand in hand, which was not always easy, but they managed to create this masterpiece.
IT: We’ve also heard that it’s a limited production item. Is that true?
SK: It’s not limited in terms of availability, but it is limited in the way that we will not produce more than a certain number every day, simply because there is too much manpower and work to be put in it. In Denmark in October 2015, we were looking at producing three pairs a day, so that’s six a day. However, we might increase that to four pairs a day, but if we don’t think that’s possible, then we won’t do it. There a lot to it besides producing it—there’s the “burning time”, in which it needs to go into a special chamber for 24 hours so that when the client gets it, the speakers are ready to be used instantly.