They look like a robot out of Star Wars, and contain state-of-the art technology. The BeoLab 5 speakers are audiophile speakers that are part hi-fi and part sci-fi.
Since the early 80’s, Bang & Olufsen engineers have have worked in the scientific development of acoustics, researching the physics of ideal sound reproduction and psychoacoustics. The BeoLab 5 speakers are the result of refining work done by Jan Abildgaard Pederson, a Master of Science student. Pederson had begun to study bass control while, at the same time, across the Atlantic, an Associated Professor and a young Recording Engineer were working on a new technology that delivered sound at a horisontal angle of 180 degrees.
Pedersen subsequently joined B&O as a technology specialist in order to continue his work with bass control while the two American sound experts, in 1996, had their first meeting with Bang & Olufsen in Los Angeles. They knew that Bang & Olufsen had been researching into loudspeaker performance for some time – and Bang & Olufsen soon realised the potential in combining several cutting-edge technologies into one unique product.
With the BeoLab 5 speakers, B&O took the advanced technology and combined it with unique styling. Accoding to Bang & Olufsen, the result is speakers give the impression of walls disappearing and the ceiling opening up to let the sound flow. The sound is big, natural, but not loud, even at high sound levels.
“From the outside, BeoLab 5 is nothing less than a sensation that sets new standards for loudspeakers. The performance and technology make it very hard to do comparisons with other loudspeakers in the market,” states President & CEO Torben Ballegaard Sørensen, Bang & Olufsen.
“Internally, however, BeoLab 5 represents a natural evolution for Bang & Olufsen – or to put it differently, it’s a result of the way we work. Many of the technologies used are already present in our existing loudspeakers and this speaker, BeoLab 5, we believe is among the very top-performers of the world today.”
With its cone shape with three circular discs on top, Beolab 5 differs from existing loudspeaker designs. The shape underscores the new technology, Acoustic Lens Technology patented by Sausalito Audio Works and licensed by Bang & Olufsen. By means of two ellipse-based shapes Acoustic Lens Technology delivers the sound from treble and mid-range at a 180 degree angle in the horizontal plane.
B&O’s Adaptive Bass Control system, coupled with Acoustic Lens Technology, ensures optimum sound experience regardless of the listener’s loudspeaker’s position. A long-throw bass driver of 15 inches for the deep bass and a 6.5 inch unit for the upper bass is supported by two 1000 watt ICEpower® amplifiers occupying two thirds of the unit from their position at the base of the cone.
Once the loudspeaker is positioned in its desired location, or you have made changes to the content of the room, you press a small button at the top after which a small, moveable microphone, the Moving Microphone System, measures the room’s bass properties by analyzing the emitted soundwaves and adapting the bass in accordance with the loudspeaker’s position.
Additional information is available at the Bang & Olufsen site.