Manufacturer of high-end consumer multimedia equipment Bang & Olufsen A/S Denmark was our first client.
After producing a future design and product strategy for them in early 1982, B&O commissioned us to design “the world’s best speaker”.
At that time, loudspeakers were rather anonymous, veneered chipboard boxes. Our goal was to create a concept that was entirely new and distinctive, had clear acoustic advantages and a unique market and brand identity. We also set out to design speakers that offered buyers a unique user experience instead of satisfying in-house engineering requirements. The result, The Beolab Penta Loudspeaker Series, combined state-of-the-art sound reproduction with a highly crafted objet d’art that would both fit seamlessly into, and heighten the quality of any interior.
The result of intensive market and trend analysis and extensive acoustic research, the innovative pentagonal column-speaker was made of bent stainless steel sheet bonded to a foamed plastic structural core that would deaden cabinet resonance and emit a highly controllable sound pattern in any environment. We achieved unique signal quality by integrating a single-channel power-amplifier into the base of each speaker, while an LED display was built in at eye-level to give vital user information concerning source, signal and system status. Beolab Penta came to market in 1986 after 9 months of design and 3 years of product development.
Reported to be the biggest earner pr. unit and series in the history of the company, the Penta series opened the global speaker market for B&O where it reigned unchallenged and unchanged until it was discontinued 15 years later in 2001.