CES 2012: Bang & Olufsen

Luxury AV brand's debuts ultra-thin 65in plasma, on-wall speakers and portable music streamer

Bang & Olufsen has used the CES trade show, currently taking place in Las Vegas, to highlight three new hi-end products that will be hitting available through its approved dealers in the very near future.

First up for home cinema afficionados is the BeoVision 12-65, an ultra-thin 65in 3D plasma TV designed by David Lewis Designers. The new TV features a NeoPDP panel for improved 2D and 3D performance and an innovative design employing two aluminium proiles bent inward in a V-shape (one in black, the other in natural high-gloss polished aluminium) to create the illusion of an even thinner and more elegant design.

The screen also features a very spiffy looking integrated centre speaker featuring five custom-made speaker units covered by what B&O describes as a 'soft curved natural anodised aluminium grill with an intricate organic shaped hole pattern'. The performance of the centre speaker is acoustically matched to the company's existing BeoLab 5 loudspeakers for a surround sound setup.

Even more flashy is B&O's debut on-wall speaker concept, the BeoLab 12. Like the BeoVision 12-65, the new speaker is another product of David Lewis Designers and has been conceived as the perfect match for the company's ostentacious flatscreen TVs.

Promising 'not to sacrifice performance or acoustic perfection', the BeoLab 12 features a three-dimensional wave design that is apparently both sleek and discrete, while still incorporating B&O's Acoustic Lens Technology for 180-degree horizontal high-frequency dispersion in front of the speaker. In addition to the Acoustic Lens treble, the speaker also features a 2inch mid-range unit and a pair of 6.5inch CosCone woofers. The BeoLab 12 also features an redesigned version of the company's patented ICEpower class D amplifier technology providing a total of 480W output (Bass - 2x 160W, Midrange - 1x 80W, Tweeter - 80W) despite the lmited space offered by the speaker design.

Finally we come to the Beolit 12, the debut product from Bang & Olufsen's new B&O PLAY range, focusing on 'a more playful and portable product protfolio'. Crafted by Danish designer Cecilie Manz, the Beolit 12 follows on from the success of the BeoSound 8 sound system for iPad/iPod/iPhone and uses Apple AirPlay technology to wirelessly stream music from compatible portable devices and computers. The device has been designed as a tribute to B&O's Beolit radio's from the 1960s. But despite its small size, the Beolit 12 still manages to squeeze in a 120W digital Class D amplification system driving two 2inch tweeters and a 4in woofer and has been tuned by the same sound engineers responsible for the award-winning BeoLab 5 loudspeakers.

'With its unsurpassed sound performance and striking design, we believe Beolit 12 will resonate with both Bang & Olufsen enthusiasts and a new and wider customer demographic due to its conveniene, price point and fashion-forward style' believes Bang & Olufsen CEO Tue Mantoni. 'We believe it bridges a gap in the market by delivering a high quality listening experience as well as the convenience of playing music from a portable digital device or smart phone'.