Danish audio-visual brand Bang & Olufsen turns 90 this year. Its vice-president for global sales, Lars Flyvholm, shares how the company stays ahead of the audio-visual system race by focusing on aesthetic functionality.

What is the significance of the Love Affair collection?
We wanted to create something that communicates the atmosphere from the 1920s, in a new and modern design to celebrate our brand as the oldest audio video company in the world. The collection contains some of our most popular products in special rose gold finishing. The colour stands for love and represents our passion for what we have been doing for the last 90 years.

What is the key driving force for the brand through the years?
We don’t design anything just to make it look good, but to give a complete audio experience to the customer. We partner with designers that get their inspiration from other industries and other parts of the world. They come up with ideas and their designs are combined with the technology developed by our engineers. It is the best of both worlds.

How do consumers’ tastes differ across continents?
Americans prefer to build cabinetry to conceal their home devices (in-wall speakers, television and players). They also like home integration products where everything – from lights and shades to the television – is controlled by one device. Asians on the other hand, place more emphasis on the design aspect. They like beautiful things that stand out.

What is the latest trend in audio-visual technology?
What is popular now is the ability to take music from different sources and make it available, in high quality, at your fingertips. So we created the BeoSound Moment music system that looks and functions like a tablet without interference from email notifications. It collects music from a range of sources then gives you suggestions. In terms of design, we are starting to use more wooden surfaces on loudspeakers and audio speakers. This makes the systems more “domesticated” and less intrusive, blending in with the latest home furnishing trends.

What are the engineers working on at the moment?
We are spending a lot of time and resources developing acoustic innovations where you do not have to decorate the home around your system. The new technology reduces or eliminates the impact that wooden or carpeted floors, furniture and glass have on the quality of sound output. You can style the space according to your preferences and still get the best acoustic experience watching television or listening to music.

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