Bang and Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 2 controller with intelligent MP3 playlists

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 2 controller with intelligent MP3 playlists

Shots of Bang & Olufsen's long-awaited BeoSound 5 controller have leaked to the BeoWorld forums, and with them suggestions that the company is preparing to officially launch and release the device.  Featuring a large (non-touchscreen) display with multiple scroll-wheel controls, the BeoSound 5 is apparently B&O's intended way to bridge digital music and traditional systems.

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B&O release oddball Beo5 remote control

B&O release oddball Beo5 remote control

I've said it before, I'm a bit of a Bang & Olufsen junkie.  Yes, I know there are "better" products out there if you're rating sound higher than everything else, but let's be realistic - appearance is a big deal.  Anyway, a new gadget from B&O is guaranteed to catch the eye, and their new Beo5 remote doesn't do anything to disprove that fact. 

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Bang & Olufsen DVD 2

Bang & Olufsen DVD 2

Bang & Olufsen are at it again with a new version of their DVD player. Once again, this isn’t the most attractive DVD player, but its feature set makes it well worth it.

This DVD player provides near-MCE level functionality. It has a DVD player and recorder, a TV tuner/recorder, and an integrated HDD for storage of media.

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Samsung Bang & Olufsen Serene II and F330

Samsung Bang & Olufsen Serene II and F330

So there isn’t much to say about these two phones that is known for fact, but what we do have are their names (insert Shakespeare reference here). Samsung is making both of them and their names for the devices are the F330 and the SGH-F310.

Since they are being made for Bang & Olufsen you can be sure of three things, first, they are going to look weird as hell, but have tons of functionality, second, they aren’t going to be cheap, and third, they are going to change the names. So fare the F330 has kept its name and gone untouched, the SGH-F310 has several potential names though, among them are, Serene II, Serenata, and then the least likely one, leaving it as it is.

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Jacob Jensen Beowatch

Jacob Jensen Beowatch

If you read my lyrical waxing about the Bang & Olufsen video history tour the other day, then you might be impressed with this watch.  Designed to control the essential functions of a Beocenter stereo system, despite the modern appearance it was in fact made back in 1986 as a very limited production run.  The design is by Jacob Jensen, who went on to establish his own company which produces a variety of home and electronic items that tend to be a little more affordable than B&O's.

Communicating with the hifi via infra-red, Beowatch was also waterproof to 30m (for those impromptu dips in the pool) and accurate to -0.3/+0.5 second every 24 hours.  Considering it was only a few years ago that B&O brought out their own keyring remote control, it just goes to show how forward-thinking Jensen's designs were.

More photos of the watch after the cut.

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B&O Video Tour

B&O Video Tour

Ah, Bang & Olufsen.  Seen whenever a set designer needs to add retro-future design touches to an 80s minimalist apartment, often found in the shag-pads of the rich and single (or wannabe single), they've pumped out hellishly cool designs for the past eighty years.  While some criticise them for valuing style over acoustic substance, they themselves would argue that a whole lot of thought goes into ensuring consistent performance that matches the longevity of the design.

So it's great to see this video timeline of the company's history, from the early days in ramshackle buildings to the modern experimental spaces where willing test subjects try out the latest in conceptual media design.  Well worth taking some time to look through.

Bang & Olufsen Virtual Factory Tour [via core77]

Bang & Olufsen unsheathe their pen of masterful design again

Bang & Olufsen unsheathe their pen of masterful design again

I know it's expensive.  I know it's slightly crossed the line into design cliché.  I even know that there are better products out there.  But still, I can't get enough of that Bang & Olufsen goodness.  Now they've embraced Bluetooth (about sodding time) and fashioned this delicious mobile headset out of metal, rubber and pure "yum".  Replete with dual-microphones, that leverage some sort of clever voice-isolating technology (possibly similar to that found in microphone-arrays on laptops that have speech recognition), estimated battery life of 4 hours talk-time and 100 hours standby, the Earset 2 will be available next year for $250-300

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B&O Beocenter 4600 iTunes mod

B&O Beocenter 4600 iTunes mod

I still feel guilty about letting my grandmother give away a huge wood & aluminium Bang & Olufsen radio a few years back.  It had happily sat in her kitchen until she decided she'd rather have the space, so of to the charity shop it went; we actually saw someone buy it as we walked back to the carpark.  A few years on, and courtesy of MAKE: I saw a great hack that turned that exact model into a gorgeous iPod speaker dock.  One of life's little ironies, I suppose.

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