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Have we reached 'Peak' B&O?

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vikinger
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vikinger Posted: Thu, Oct 19 2017 2:53 PM

Dealerships reducing, support centralising to Struer, dealers discounting some new stock (BL90's nearer £40K than list £62K), second life dealers reducing stock/prices, private sales on Beoworld up.......

A lot of exceptions of course, but I get the feeling that B&O is moving towards  BeoPlay for turnover and profits, and that's not a good sign for the long term new or second life markets. Also, enthusiasts on this forum maybe losing their enthusiasm!

Graham

Hungedu
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Hungedu replied on Thu, Oct 19 2017 3:38 PM

I don't think that would be an unreasonable observation. Remember other high-end audio manufacturers like Nakamichi that were eventually bought out by larger corporations and the product range watered down to be sold at big box stores like Walmart? I see BeoPlay and Bang & Olufsen there in less than 7 years.

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Hungedu
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Hungedu replied on Thu, Oct 19 2017 3:43 PM

On a more positive note, I would like to add that if Apple bought Bang & Olufsen, as so many of us once hoped, we'd see some magical products coming down the pipes for years to come!

BeoLab 5, BeoVision 7-55 MK2, BeoSound 5 Encore, BeoSound 9000, BeoLab Penta III, BeoLab 8000, BeoLab 6000, BeoLab 2, BeoLab 7-6, BeoSound 8, LC-1, BeoTime (analog clock), Beo 4 remote.

Keith Saunders
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Hungedu:
I don't think that would be an unreasonable observation. Remember other high-end audio manufacturers like Nakamichi that were eventually bought out by larger corporations and the product range watered down to be sold at big box stores like Walmart? I see BeoPlay and Bang & Olufsen there in less than 7 years.

In the UK to a certain extent it is already happening with the link between LG and B&O. Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain were until recently selling a package of LG G5 phone with Beoplay H3 headphone HERE

Regards Keith....

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Thu, Oct 19 2017 4:59 PM

That's not B&O moving downmarket and into Tesco's - that's LG selling a phone which came with B&O headphones as a deal i believe.....

So not sure thats a great example.

But the broader point / question, i have some sympathy with....and dont necessarily blame B&O for, as it (move to Play products) is just the way the market has evolved......

Millemissen
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BS - I should so myself ten years ago....

.....but I am still going strong - just older and different ;-)

MM

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Millemissen
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BS - I thoud so myself ten years ago....

.....but I am still going strong - just older and different ;-)

MM

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Millemissen
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Typo....I thought so

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Puncher
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Puncher replied on Thu, Oct 19 2017 7:38 PM

I'm with Vikinger, they're on the downslope. They will end up licensing the name to others to stick on their own product.

Ban boring signatures!

Simonbeo
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Simonbeo replied on Thu, Oct 19 2017 8:12 PM
My daughter was distraught at the demise of her non-Beo headphones which she'd bought with gift money. I decided to try the Beoplay e-bay site for some H2s and got them today. Slightly different to buying from a B&O shop and I think I worked out why they'd probably been returned. They don't work if you plug the cable in the wrong way round. They came in a tatty box with no instructions so I got her to try them with the cable from my H4s, without remote. Tried the original cable the other way and they're fine. Not a B&O experience but this must be how some people are introduced to the brand!

Beo Century ,Beoplay V1, Beocenter 6, Ex-Beolit 12, Beotime , A8 , MX 5500 . Beolit 15 , Form 2i , Beolab 2000, Beoplay A3.

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 6:40 AM

Simonbeo:
Not a B&O experience but this must be how some people are introduced to the brand!

The eBay store is a refurb (clearly says they are refurbs - returned products). It’s not B&O either. It’s Kondor Limited.

i don’t get people and eBay. Ebay, traditionally, was a site to get rid of ropey stuff cheap. Some people expect cheap AND perfection. I sold a few things on there recently, all at half price, all new, but with issues (missing cables, manuals etc. Universally, everyone emailed saying “sorry, x is missing” as they were expecting to get new unblemished stuff, at rock bottom prices and with zero flaws.

BenSA
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BenSA replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 8:06 AM

I have no idea if they are on the way down or not but year after year people predict that they are and they still here. So hopefully that trend will continue and they won't be bought out. I was under the impression that profits were up, they definitely need to change the way the sell their products and maybe that is what is happening. 

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 8:26 AM

These threads are getting tiresome (to me anyway), as surely this ground has been covered dozens of times recently.

Anyway, my two cents. I think the premature death notion is probably true, they'll be around in some shape or form. If anything its the TV business that's the doubtful one. My understanding is that the Eclipse is not selling (well, or at all).

Millemissen
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The problem is that some people don’t like changes - others do...

....and some even like what has changed.

But I agree - this thread has been here a dozen times before.

And is probably not the last.

MM

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Normann
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Normann replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 11:11 AM

Sandyb:

My understanding is that the Eclipse is not selling (well, or at all).

I talked to my local dealer yesterday, and he was very surprised over how "easy sold" the new Eclipse is. He told me that he never has sold so many new coming TV from B&O in this speed..

So i think it not selling all over...  

Emil Jensen
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Normann:

Sandyb:

My understanding is that the Eclipse is not selling (well, or at all).

I talked to my local dealer yesterday, and he was very surprised over how "easy sold" the new Eclipse is. He told me that he never has sold so many new coming TV from B&O in this speed..

So i think it not selling all over...  

That is also my understanding the tv is selling. Also the dealers are very pleased with it. And why not, they can say best Picture and sound in the market with best remote and control possibilties. That should be an easy sell. (And I dont buy the to high of a Price, compared to Beovision 7 and 12, its cheap)

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TS
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TS replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 1:45 PM

I am not surprised that the Eclipse sells. I think the major issue the manufacturers of sounds system etc. face are not unique to B&O. From the outside it's seems all about the software platforms every vendor is playing catch up with some really major players e.g. streaming music from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Goggle, Spotify, Deezer etc  and so on. 

From an end users I don't care much who delivers what platform it comes from (I do to a degree - but from this perspective  it does not matter) and my requirement to the vendor is that they cover as many platforms as they can. So B&O and others are caught in the middle and it breaks the seamless integration that we have come to expect from B&O. To make matters worse gear like routers, WIFI also impacts and can destroy the end-2-end experience.

I am having two different routers and with the cheap one it mostly works (Had to wire the Moment) - But with the new Draytek 2860ac the router messes around with the UPnP protocol and randomly drops connections to any of the devices (BV11, A6, A9, BS2). The challenge   for all manufacturers in this space is that they depend not only on their own gear but a whole range of external vendors as well. 

It is difficult to see that B&O et al. will survive without a major refocus on the software side. From the simple issues (Why doesn't  the Bang & Olufsen App handle the Bluetooth devices, Why not integrate the multi-room with the Bluetooth devices and so on) to the more complex issues of how to enable easier integration of 3rd party streaming services  

BeoGreg
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BeoGreg replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 2:24 PM

So, is the Eclipse selling or not for B&O’s future ?

Some say yes, some say no !

The Eclipse is only cheap when you compare apples and oranges...

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 3:48 PM

Hungedu:

I don't think that would be an unreasonable observation. Remember other high-end audio manufacturers like Nakamichi that were eventually bought out by larger corporations and the product range watered down to be sold at big box stores like Walmart? I see BeoPlay and Bang & Olufsen there in less than 7 years.

I agree, I think we're past peak B&O sadly, unless things change drastically. But what you mention has been the sad fate of far too many of the old, classic US audio brands, AR, KLH, etc. have wound up with their logos pasted on total garbage products from Asia. The big success story of foreign/Asian ownership has been McIntosh (and I have no idea who owns them now). McIntosh gear is still McIntosh gear, built like a tank, blue lights, quality construction and design. When, originally, Clarion took them over they had the smarts to fix the business/money issues and let them continue to be McIntosh, Clarion wanted a Mas car amp line but didn't want to sully the main brand as it needed to keep its reputation in order for their car spinoff to be valuable.

Best case for B&O might well be if something like this would happen, but as always the chance of finding a good buyer who would keep treating the brand with respect, as in McIntosh's case, is low. Plus it's harder to do this when you've already sold off the most profitable parts of your company to keep afloat, the car audio and ICE Power groups. I think until B&O decides to actually focus more thought on their lineup, stop throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, but do a focused line of well integrated systems again, with better aesthetics, it will be a tough row to how for them. It's like watching someone drown, they thrash instead of swim, and I see a fair amount of thrashing.

Jeff

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svinaik
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svinaik replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 5:51 PM

Jeff:
I think until B&O decides to actually focus more thought on their lineup, stop throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, but do a focused line of well integrated systems again, with better aesthetics, it will be a tough row to how for them. It's like watching someone drown, they thrash instead of swim, and I see a fair amount of thrashing.

Restarting something that B&O stopped is neither easy or cheap. Before the new age of wireless stuff and smart TVs, B&O was the master of the game and solutions worked like magic. They did not invest along the way in constantly developing the software side and the result was what we all experiences on various TV / Audio products. On top of that, they totally threw away the TV side of the business and are now reduced to packaging the components. The only core capability left with them is the "Speakers" and as long as people like Geoff Martin are at the helm, they will probably continue to excel (technology wise) but that is a limited side of the business. Without the entry into B&O world via Beovision TV / great audio system, loudspeaker business cannot be a sustaining model.

On the Beoplay stuff, I really do not care about B&O brand. My top of the line headphones are Sony (Z1R and Just Ear) and there are far too many established names in that space. If B&O wants to compete with Beats and Bose etc... well that is not the space important to me (and I guess many B&O fans) as we are probably beyond that level of performance in other AV products we all own.

 

 

ericheng
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ericheng replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 6:11 PM

B&O poor customer service and misleading

jonprocter
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moxxey:

Simonbeo:
Not a B&O experience but this must be how some people are introduced to the brand!

The eBay store is a refurb (clearly says they are refurbs - returned products). It’s not B&O either. It’s Kondor Limited.

i don’t get people and eBay. Ebay, traditionally, was a site to get rid of ropey stuff cheap. Some people expect cheap AND perfection. I sold a few things on there recently, all at half price, all new, but with issues (missing cables, manuals etc. Universally, everyone emailed saying “sorry, x is missing” as they were expecting to get new unblemished stuff, at rock bottom prices and with zero flaws.

That's not strictly true. I had a rubbish experience a few weeks back but the headphones were still brand new sealed in box. I've also bought basically full price things from them (they had a buy one get money off another offer on but would have been full price otherwise) and everything was brand new unopened and exactly as expected. 

Simonbeo
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Simonbeo replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 6:52 PM

moxxey:

Simonbeo:
Not a B&O experience but this must be how some people are introduced to the brand!

The eBay store is a refurb (clearly says they are refurbs - returned products). It’s not B&O either. It’s Kondor Limited.

i don’t get people and eBay. Ebay, traditionally, was a site to get rid of ropey stuff cheap. Some people expect cheap AND perfection. I sold a few things on there recently, all at half price, all new, but with issues (missing cables, manuals etc. Universally, everyone emailed saying “sorry, x is missing” as they were expecting to get new unblemished stuff, at rock bottom prices and with zero flaws.

I'm quite aware that it  is Kondor passing themselves off as Beoplay but it must be either condoned by or hated by Bang & Olufsen whose logo and identity they use. It's obvious they are returned items from the wording of the eBay presentation.

I thought it was interesting that we were about to return them because my daughter had the direction of the cable the wrong way round and they weren't working correctly. Probably the reason they were returned in the first place by a purchaser on-line , without help from a shop. The instructions were missing but they appeared brand new.

My comment was based on the fact that many people use eBay and I thought I'd give it a go, quite prepared to return the item, but reassured by the company appearing to be allowed to use the B&O logo. And I always buy my cars new!

Beo Century ,Beoplay V1, Beocenter 6, Ex-Beolit 12, Beotime , A8 , MX 5500 . Beolit 15 , Form 2i , Beolab 2000, Beoplay A3.

Simonbeo
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Simonbeo replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 6:58 PM

jonprocter:

moxxey:

Simonbeo:
Not a B&O experience but this must be how some people are introduced to the brand!

The eBay store is a refurb (clearly says they are refurbs - returned products). It’s not B&O either. It’s Kondor Limited.

i don’t get people and eBay. Ebay, traditionally, was a site to get rid of ropey stuff cheap. Some people expect cheap AND perfection. I sold a few things on there recently, all at half price, all new, but with issues (missing cables, manuals etc. Universally, everyone emailed saying “sorry, x is missing” as they were expecting to get new unblemished stuff, at rock bottom prices and with zero flaws.

That's not strictly true. I had a rubbish experience a few weeks back but the headphones were still brand new sealed in box. I've also bought basically full price things from them (they had a buy one get money off another offer on but would have been full price otherwise) and everything was brand new unopened and exactly as expected. 

This is not good for the brand but some colour ways or end-of-line products obviously need to be shifted. Perhaps they are sale or return at dealers but it'd be better if they could keep them in the system. My wife was in Costco and they were selling silver Beoplay A2 and A1 at different times so they're already lower in the food chain.

 

Beo Century ,Beoplay V1, Beocenter 6, Ex-Beolit 12, Beotime , A8 , MX 5500 . Beolit 15 , Form 2i , Beolab 2000, Beoplay A3.

SHEFFIELD
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SHEFFIELD replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 7:05 PM

I've worked within the B&O brand for over 30 years and without selling TVs there wouldn't be a Bang & Olufsen business - this is just my opinion, but the majority of my business comes from TV sales. That said my margins on TV have been cut by 15% in recent years. We sell a lot of BeoSound 1 & 2 - in fact we have the second highest sales of Sound 2 in the UK after Harrods. The Eclipse is selling very well here in Sheffield, but we do very well with Horizon and 11-46 too. The Play brand is available cheaply elsewhere ( I had someone bring an A1 in today that they had bought on QVC!) and doesn't concern me particularly, although we sell good numbers of H7, H5 and A1...

ed7
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ed7 replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 7:27 PM

The brand without shadow of adoubt is diluted or started in last 10 years 😱.B&O car speakers in Austin Martins AMGs and prestige cars now fitted to Fords(beoplay) say no more 👹. Still like the Brand however I did not buy anything new yet !

Simonbeo
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Simonbeo replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 8:15 PM

Austin Martin?

yes.....

 

 

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ed7
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ed7 replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 8:38 PM

Was typing without reading glasses Aston 🤙

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 8:41 PM

Jeff:

throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks....

Play has stuck. That's the future of the B&O brand. It's selling well, and the share price reflects that. Yes, it's made in China. Yes, it's trash if it goes wrong outside the warranty period. Yes.. erm.. to something... (things look better in threes).

B&O is selling its soul in order to "live to fight another day".  It buys time, and as long as the company is still trading and making a profit, how can the shareholders complain?

The Eclipse is being sold, in moderate numbers, to the 'B&O faithful' who aren't interested in looking elsewhere.  You'd have to be a pretty amazing salesman to bring someone new into the brand on the back of an LG/Eclipse at £10k, but I'm sure it's been done..  However, I think it's just B&O riding their loyal customers until they all drift away, eventually.

I agree with SHEFFIELD that TV's drive everything else as far as sales go, but technology is moving so quickly now that dropping a five figure sum on something that's going to be 'old tech' in a few years will deter even the most ardent fans of the brand.  

Geoff Martin is the future of the main brand, for sure - and that will be loudspeakers.  Scale the main business back, push Play forward, and see how the cards fall.  I think that's the plan...

Wether we admit it, or not - the world has changed. Politics, economics, technology, you name it - it's changed, and will change again many times. As we all scratch our heads, some companies will get lucky, some will have well made plans come to fruition, and some will get caught out and fall by the wayside.

Lee

 

Puncher
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Puncher replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 10:08 PM

While Play has tarnished the B&O brand there also seems to be various levels of Play "quality" or "B&O-ness". Unfortunately the disposable sh1t end of Play products will also tarnish the Play brand (while infecting the B&O brand even further) until it becomes, as I mentioned earlier, merely B&O licensed Chinese product, the accountants will see to it.

Ban boring signatures!

chucky
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chucky replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 10:19 PM

I bought the Beolabs 4 brand new, china hell, sorry, 2 times broke down. I own stuff back from 2000. Never burned myself on Beomedia, beosound 5, etc. I have asked my dealer for a BV 12 NG last wek, it will probably cost more on a stand than an Avant, and I don’t care. I like premium. The whole play stuff is to generate cashflow, basicly if you make cash you live. (Cash is King) They will market a whole new business based on the premium name, but it won’t last. I will never buy a new Beovision again. A wobly thing on a stand for 14K ? A speaker zooming? No I really love the brand, in every room there is a set of speakers and beovison but honestly after Beoplay launched there is no premium left. 

Disappointed, I really hoped the eclipse would be the thing but it is not even multiroom, what the xxx were they thinking. I really loved to go out to a dealer buy a tv and thinking it was expensive, a bv 6 for 4K, but hell I still love it.

 

 

Puncher
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Puncher replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 10:25 PM

I would also add that style is timeless whereas fashion is for sheep (numpties, fickle, feckless, ....insert your own description here).

Play is a fashion brand whereby you can buy a new product and it can be over within the year. It can work, or not, never mind, it'll be replaced soon. This is not a long term business plan, you can only miff people so many times before they give up!

 

Ban boring signatures!

chucky
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chucky replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 10:27 PM

And what happens then, you buy a bl 7.2 for less than any beoplay product. I just finished my garage, sound is so much better than an bl 35. The sad thing is that people like Lee cannot make a descend living. We are all ending up buying only speakers from China. I do not buy stuff from China, I drive always European, why, because I can. Loved Saab, my wife still got an Aero. Also a very sad story....

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chucky replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 10:30 PM

Question, is Beoplay equeal to Bang & Olufsen? They thought in the beginning it is not hence the different name however they are leaning towards one brand..... 

 

my 2 cents.

BAND'OH!
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BAND'OH! replied on Fri, Oct 20 2017 11:33 PM

It's all been said.

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milkypete replied on Sat, Oct 21 2017 12:13 AM

I think many members have been very happy with their A1, A9, Headphones, Beolit (15 in my case).  the question is, will these stand the test of time as the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s systems did?  Only time will tell.

BM5000, BG5005, BC5000, BG(cd)5500 via MCP5000 w/ RL60.2.  BC9500 via BL1000 w/ BL8000 + Beolit 15

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moxxey replied on Sat, Oct 21 2017 7:01 AM

Puncher:

I would also add that style is timeless whereas fashion is for sheep (numpties, fickle, feckless, ....insert your own description here).

Depends if you really believe the latest products are 'timeless'. I'm not convinced, personally.

Also, don't mix 'fickle fashion' with a desire to style up your home. Truth be told, I've seen some of the shots here inside homes with expensive B&O equipment and the equipment looks a) more modern and b) not in keeping with the room style - it's very rare to see a room on here which actually looks stylish. You should never plonk a £10K Eclipse in a room where you've spent about £1K on the room itself - it shows, trust me.

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Simonbeo replied on Sat, Oct 21 2017 9:08 AM

I think that's the key to selling nice things to people. Their existing world has to be compatible , which is why they can upgrade the car without needing the inside of the house to something contemporary. They can buy Beoplay and a B&O dealer doesn't get the diary out for a date to install the equipment amongst your dralon and floral drapes. It's always interesting to look at the homes used in the B&O Magazine. The new magazine has returned to showing customers homes and they're not typical members of the public.

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pauljrog replied on Sat, Oct 21 2017 9:11 AM

My thoughts on this -

I've had B&O equipment for around 15-20 years and looking at the current line up of new products from B&O for me i think they reached their peak around 10 years ago.

When I was a kid I loved listening to music, I had a Technics music system, which was at the time all i could afford, but i had a Bang & Olufsen brochure and dreamed of a Beocenter 9000 and a couple of redline beovox speakers, those products were and always will be iconic.

10 years ago you could buy -

Beosound 9000  - (Iconic), Beolab 8000, Beolab 4000, Beolab 5 (AWESOME), Beocenter 2 & Beosound 4.

But...... it all depends how you consume and use your music media, i like the physical touch of vinyl & CD's so thats the music systems i own. My pride and joy is a Jacob Jenson Iconic designed masterpiece Beocenter 9300.

That's exactly my point, when I was 14 I dreamed of a Beocenter 9000, when i was 34 I purchased a Beocenter 9300, and still 10 years later i still love it, the timeless design.

In my opinion the current line up are just not iconic enough, since David Lewis left the design hasn't been as good, can you honestly say a Beosound Moment will be an iconic item admired by many in 20 years time, i don't think so.

I've got no problem with Beoplay, good idea for bluetooth speakers and headphones, they do look good, but not for me.

Paul.

 

 

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Sandyb replied on Sat, Oct 21 2017 9:26 AM

That's a brave comment! Though i agree, completely. 

Some of the images posted just look wrong to me - it doesn't all need to be ultra modern, i understand that, and modern (tech) and contemporary furnishings can be combined well. But man alive, do some of the pictures posted look actually bad.

People are free to do whatever they want, clearly, so i'll recuse myself from discussions / accusations of the subjectivity of taste.

 

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