Over at CES in Las Vegas, high-end audio maker Bang & Olufsen is taking personal home audio to a whole new level of design this year and that’s saying a lot based on what we’ve seen before. In fact, B&O is setting the stage for a showdown later this summer with the whole-home audio king, SONOS. For the time being, the focus is on a whole new way to interact with your personal music and B&O is bringing the wood with its new Beosound Moment.
Based around a minimalist design, the Beosound Moment from Bang & Olufsen uses a wood veneer that is lined with capacitive touch sensors to control the music. Its so simplistic in fact, without the slight difference in the wood it might be difficult to know exactly where to touch. The circle on the oak represents the controls for starting up a song.
On the flip-side of the device is an aluminum highlighted 7-inch touch screen and touch ring that allow greater access, both physically and visually to your music collection. If the wooden side is simple, its aluminum counterpart offers much more in the realm of control. The whole package sits in a matching aluminum dock that provides speaker connection, line-in and other jacks for the system. Users will be able to stream music from iPhone or other devices via Bluetooth or access personal music libraries via iTunes.
Each side offers its own new technology from B&O that strives to make music an even more personal experience. The “Moment” utilizes something called PatternPlay that helps the system learn more about your personal music taste based on what you play and when. If smooth jazz is your morning preference, it takes note and if you are a late night rocker it does the same. This system in theory allows for the device to play music that would be preferential based on what previous listening habits have dictated. At this time, no user profiles are available so it may be a little difficult to nail down certain preferences in a multi-user home.
The other piece of the puzzle has to do with the display side of the device. B&O has also developed the “MoodWheel” which operates on the touch display, showing a color wheel of sorts. Each shade on the screen represents a different genre of music, such as blue triggering a jazz playlist or red being for rock. Additionally, touching further out from the center of the circle will bring music that the listener is less familiar with based on previous personal choices. Clearly, they are banking on these new smart software features playing a large role in the system as it comes in at a higher price point than competitors.
Available at the end of January, the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Moment will run $2,795 for the dock and controller alone. If you purchase this system, you’ll have to provide your own speakers such as one of B&O’s wired or wireless options. The system will include one year of Deezer’s high quality audio streaming service, which is a big get for B&O considering it was previously a SONOS exclusive.
Bang & Olufsen also hints at a multi-room whole home offering coming this summer, although details are slim at this time. We expect this to be a higher-end offering than the popular line of SONOS speakers. One thing is for sure, B&O never disappoints on the design end of things so it will be exciting to see what they are able to come up with in this product category.
Continue to check in with 9to5 for all the best CES 2015 products and announcements coming directly off the show floor.
BeoSound Moment, the intelligent and playful music system that matches your mood
BeoSound Moment is an intelligent and intuitive wireless music system that integrates your music collection and services into one. Experience the world’s first touch-sensitive wood interface and enjoy your new single point of entry to the world of music.
CES – January 2015
Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound Moment is all about combining the limitless access to digital music with a new simplicity and playful creativity. BeoSound Moment makes it easy for the whole family to collect, discover and share your favourite music.
Navigating on wood
The top of the new BeoSound Moment is a detachable and double-sided interface that allows for two different listening experiences.
One side is an elegant aluminium interface with a delicate touch screen for engaging interaction. This is where music lovers can browse the endless online music catalogue, their favourite playlists and share their music collection.
The wooden side is designed for one-touch access to exactly the sound experience that fits your daily rhythm. The beautiful panel of touch- sensitive oak allows you to have your favourite music flowing from your speakers with just one touch on the wooden wheel.
BeoSound Moment introduces a new, intelligent feature that adapts your listening patterns and suggests music or radio programmes that fit with the relevant day of the week and the time of day. The advanced PatternPlay feature automatically memorizes your musical preferences and makes your listening experience both familiar and explorative.
Over time, BeoSound Moment will gradually start to know your taste in music, and be able to play what you most likely want to hear, without you even having to ask. Just like friendship, it only gets better with time.
The music presented by PatternPlay stems from your own preferred favourite artists and playlists plus an extensive online catalogue of music, with access to more than 35 million songs, supplied by leading global music streaming service Deezer. One touch and the music flows according to your personal preferences. You can activate PatternPlay directly, with one touch, on the elegant oak panel.
The intuitive MoodWheel
The aluminium interface displays another new feature of BeoSound Moment, the innovative MoodWheel. Express your mood and BeoSound Moment will find the perfect sound
track to match it. A single touch on the multi-coloured MoodWheel activates an automatically generated playlist defined by your finger’s position on the wheel. The closer to the centre of the wheel, the more familiar the music. In the very middle of the MoodWheel the music will be picked from your lists of favourites only, whereas the outer parameter of the circle tempts the listener with musical adventures of associated music from the vast online catalogue of songs.
The MoodWheel is divided into a colour gamut that ranges from melancholic blue over a passionate red zone to an energetic yellow area. Combined, these two dimensions on the intuitive MoodWheel offer limitless possibilities for defining your selection of music.
BeoSound Moment is compatible with the whole Bang & Olufsen range of wireless and wired quality speakers that will create an impressive sound experience in your home.
“As a modern, cloud based music system, BeoSound Moment will offer software updates with new features and improvements. We have prepared a firm software update roadmap for BeoSound Moment including the deployment of a very compelling multi-room experience that encompasses both television and other audio products planned for Summer 2015”, says Marie Kristine Schmidt Vice President, Brand, Design & Marketing Bang & Olufsen.
BeoSound Moment will be available exclusively at Bang & Olufsen stores as of January 30, 2015 in selected countries where both Bang & Olufsen and the Deezer music service are available.
Recommended street price EUR 2195/DKK 16.995/GBP 1.795/USD 2.795 – incl. 12 months of prepaid Deezer Premium+.