The LAYER x Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance Speaker

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An elegant speaker with a sculptural form influenced by audio performance.

Designed by London-based studio Layer for Danish audio brand Bang & Olufsen, the Beosound Balance speaker has an elegant design that resembles homeware instead of high-tech products. Developed over the course of 18 months, the compact but powerful speaker combines a refined aesthetic with state-of-the-art features. Balance has a sculptural silhouette with a large base that supports a cylindrical speaker. A twist on monoblock standard speakers, the design looks like an interior decorative object with pure geometric forms.

Made from solid wood, the base contains an omnidirectional bass driver with a vertical orientation. In a creative twist, the metal mesh dish cover features perforations in a Fibonacci sequence. The upper unit houses the mid- and top-end directional drivers. The choice of materials enhances audio quality but also references furniture design. While the base is made from FSC-certified solid wood, the top features a Kvadrat textile that reminds of upholstery. Finally, the metal section draws inspiration from finely crafted tableware.

A user-friendly touch- and voice-activated control panel offers easy access to controls. The user can also control simple settings with gestures. Made from aluminum, the interface boasts laser-etched symbols as well as LEDs that turn off when the speaker is not in use and turn on automatically when the user approaches the unit. Beosound Balance works well either on its own or in a multi-room configuration and delivers a tailored B&O Signature Sound. The user can connect the speaker to Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2, with Spotify Connect and Amazon Alexa support also coming later this year.

Set for a March 2020 launch, the new Layer x Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance speaker is available in Natural Oak and Black Oak. Both versions retail for $2250. Images courtesy of Layer Design.

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