DESIGNS FOR LIFE
T3 Magazine|February 2021
Few gadgets are as synonymous with stunning design as those made by Bang & Olufsen. We asked CEO Kristian Teär and head of communications & CSR Jens GambT3 Magazineorg to outline B&O’s philosophy
Josh Russell

There aren’t many gadget brands that can claim a heritage of nearly a century of iconic design. Yet Bang & Olufsen has had audiophiles drooling over its lush acoustics and timeless style ever since it was founded by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen way back in 1925.

Fresh from celebrating its 95th anniversary last November, the company spoke to T3 about how it makes sure products offer great sound, look at home in your living room and stand the test of time.

What’s the starting point when Bang & Olufsen begins designing a new product?

KT: There’s a passion for perfection around acoustics, to start with. It’s really about recreating the sound as it was intended from the artist when it was made. That’s why we have our tone masters – who actually mix this sound together and understand what it should sound like – and that builds into a superior acoustical experience.

For example, a customer wrote to me to tell me his wife had been a pianist but was really ill. So he bought her a pair of H95s and when she was listening to this concert of Beethoven, she started crying because she could hear the fingers moving over the keys. That acoustic experience is where it all starts.

But we come to the physical design, of course, and it also needs to be amazing and look great. I’m very proud of us using forms and geometry that will be timeless because timelessness will never go out of fashion. And then if you spenda lot of effort and time on crafting them properly, you will have innovative pieces that’ll last forever. When you combine that design together with the craftsmanship, the acoustic experience that we’re trying to create, and the confidence that we have together with whatever it is we’ve designed, that’s when you get this amazing product.

How do you decide on the right materials for a B&O product?

KT: We have a saying in the company: it has to smell, feel and sound like B&O. The A1 has been designed with love and care by Cecilie Manz. The inspiration for her was how, if you found a really nice pebble on the beach, you’d feel it and hold it. And when you lift up [the A1], it feels like that. It’s nice to hold on to.

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