Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Bang & Olufsen launch party for the new BeoPlay A9 in Australia. And what a party. With every store manager from the Australian Bang & Olufsen stores, crammed into a very cool Surry Hills apartment, and surrounded by some of the most upmarket and cool technology hitting stores, I don't think it could have failed.
The BeoPlay range is something that is quite new and exciting, not only for Bang & Olufsen, but also for the market (you could tell all of the Bang & Olufsen reps were super excited, the speeches were pepped up and enthusiastic, and every rep wanted to tell you about the range). The company is moving with the times and how digital our lives have become; this range allows for it with digital televisions, ipad docks, ipod/iphone/smartphone docks and speaker systems. All of the products are about producing the highest quality audio and visuals but accommodating our futuristic technology.
I do love the wireless smartphone/iphone dock - it has so many options, and you can continue using your smartphone while the speakers are blasting your favourite music away on the other side of the room. I can see this being super useful at parties - you don't want to leave your phone on the dock in case some dishonest person nicks it, or friends want to prank your facebook. But with this you just log in on the apple airplay, pick your music and continue on with your dancing or gossiping.
The setting itself was gorgeous, along with the food and drinks. B&O managed to find this ultra-cool open plan apartment in Surry Hills, Sydney (up the top of 6 flights of stairs!) and boy, does the owner have an amazing interior. What I found most intriguing was the way they suspended a wooden ladder horizontally from the ceiling above the kitchen bench to hang the pots and pans from. This was the drinks area, so I didn't manage to grab a photo. With such a hot night (it's really starting to heat up here in Sydney) I was glad for the chilled water they had on offer (along with the champagne). But the chilled water was served in glass jars with old fashioned red and white paper straws. This is what the entire evening was like - a strong attention to detail and those final touches. It was very cute and very cool.
This night was particularly exciting for B&O as they were unveiling two very new and exciting products - the new BeoPlay A9 and the BeoVision 11. Both of these are extremely sleek and high-quality products. The BeoPlay A9 is a round speaker system (on the left in the above picture) which can be lifted off its stand and placed on a wall, or wherever you want. It was developed by young Danish designer Øivind Slaatto (check out his other work, it's pretty neat) who based the design on the way musical harmonies are mathematically imprinted in nature. The result is astounding - the sound quality is perfect, and the look and feel of it is perfect for the contemporary home. What I particularly liked was the way the back of it was touch-sensitive; so if you want to change the volume, a swipe to its back is all you need.
The BeoVision 11 is a new television for the company. It sits on a remote-controlled stand, so if you change seats or rearrange the room, the television angle is easily adjusted. The visual quality is insane though - I was sitting very close to the side of the tv, and I could still view the image perfectly - there was no distortion at all. The speakers are also very high quality, and as usual, you can link it to almost everything - your entire soundsystem, your apple tv, your game console.
All in all it wasn't your typical launch party; instead it had fantastic food, interesting company, an awesome setting and the surrounds of premium futuristic home technology. And I think it was a good night was had by all.