“The extraordinary performance of BeoLab 50 has gained from the uncompromising acoustic research and technological development of BeoLab 90 and shares several features with this iconic landmark loudspeaker,” states Bang & Olufsen. But the truly surprising aspect in the new BeoLab 50 speakers is the fact that its appearance is much more subtle and appealing - almost in a retro-sci-fi kind of way. The key to this, as the brand explains, is the fact that the speakers only “unfold” its innovative sound control technologies “as you need it.” A unique design that unfolds exceptional performance and features.
On the design, B&O says that the BeoLab 50’s distinct appearance “reflects the technologies applied while still fitting elegantly into any interior decor.” The silhouette of the BeoLab 50 speakers is slender, tall, and rounded by floating lines and visible edges. The silver-polished aluminum surfaces and warm oak wood lamellas are recognizable trademarks of Bang & Olufsen products.
As the designer André Poulheim explains, the bottom part of the speaker was designed to visually lift it from the floor, keeping “a light expression of clear posture in the center.” “The balance of BeoLab 50 is light and refined. This impressive speaker’s footprint is relatively small, making it easy to fit into people’s homes.”
Regarding the technology inside the BeoLab 50’s, developed originally for the truly revolutionary BeoLab 90 project, it all starts with 2100 watts of precision power, and a sophisticated combination of multiple drivers, DSP and amplifiers. It all starts with a 3/4” tweeter with double motion Acoustic Lens Technology, moving down to the midrange, with three 4-inch drivers, and ending with three 10” woofers. All signals are digitally processed by an Analog Devices ADSP-21489 chip at 192 kHz fixed sampling rate, feeding individual 300 watts ICEpower amplifiers for each driver. Yes, that’s a total of seven 300 watts amps for the seven drivers (total 2100 watts…).
Of course, the BeoLab 50 speakers also feature the same pioneering Active Room Compensation technology as the BeoLab 90’s. Using an external microphone, BeoLab 50 speakers measure its physical acoustic surroundings and apply the ideal compensation filters to produce optimum sound at any listening position or throughout the entire room.
The unique Acoustic Lens Technology, a Bang & Olufsen signature that handles the sound dispersion of the upper frequencies, is applied on top of the speaker. The lens disperses the sound via Beam Width Control into either a 180-degree sound mode for social enjoyment e.g. a party or watching a movie, or to a narrow mode for a dedicated “sweet-spot” listening position.
When the BeoLab 50 speakers are switched on, the lens rises “in an elegant and controlled upwards movement, revealing a softly-lit cave to ensure that the lens is discretely visible both day and night.” All the features and technology of such a sophisticated system are controlled through the Bang & Olufsen App, enabling the users to create and select different listening presets, depending on usage preferences and the placement of the BeoLab 50 speakers.
The BeoLab 50s are interconnected via Digital Power Link in a master-slave configuration with sound sources being fed into the system via the master speaker’s comprehensive connection panel. As a supplement to the wired connection, BeoLab 50 also incorporates wireless technology using multichannel digital audio streaming (based on the WiSA technology, supporting 24-bit/96kHz wireless audio) with a very robust performance.
The new BeoLab 50 will be available in selected Bang & Olufsen stores worldwide already in August 2017. The recommended retail price is $19,585 per unit or $39,710 a pair.