The Big Bang Theory

Bang and Olufsen, the world's foremost luxury electronics brand, sets shop at Delhi's DLF Emporio.

Jimmy Jacob        Print Edition: February 15, 2015
The Big Bang Theory

Man cannot live on sound alone, he needs the right device to make it. And Bang & Olufsen is as right as it gets, combining luxury and quality to floor anybody with an ear for music. And, for that matter, an eye for quality.

Hailing in some good news for audiophiles and tech-freaks across Delhi, the iconic 90-year-old electronics company launched an exclusive boutique at DLF Emporio in collaboration with their India partner, BeoWorld, on February 18, 2015.

Enter the outlet, and you come face-to-face with what would first seem like a fairly big painting of a green pasture - the colours of which seem to jump out at you with eye-catching vibrancy. Look again though, and you see the grass swaying in the wind to the softest of whooshing sounds. "Say hello to the BeoVision 11," says Gaganmeet Singh, the Managing Director of BeoWorld. "This one's a 40-inch television that boasts of 4K resolution - in other words, capable of delivering a horizontal resolution to the extent of 4,000 pixels. While the image quality speaks for itself, it has quite a few other features to boast about too."

I can see what he's talking about. The BeoVision 11's audio adapts itself to changes in media, and quite smartly too. Flick from YouTube to a classic thriller, and you will notice how the sound automatically tailors itself to the need of the hour. That doesn't mean making you adhere to factory specifications either; you can personalise the settings to an extent that's perfect for you.

It doesn't end there. The television acts like the Man Friday you never had - from sensing the level of incident light and dynamically altering the picture adjustments  to updating your Facebook account and streaming music live from Spotify and Deezer.
You are impressed, but the den has a lot more surprises in store for you. So you try and edge away, but - oh, wait! - is the sound following you around? It is, because the television has apparently moved itself to face you. Spooky.

"But that's what it does," quips Singh. "The stand is designed to adjust itself in accordance with your position in a room. There's no need for a remote control either; you can manage it with a mobile app!"

Impressed as you may be, you nod and walk along sombrely. Don't want to look like a kid in a cookie shop, do you?
"Watching TV is so much better when you're doing it on a 40-inch screen," you remark. The next thing you come across makes you want to eat your words. One munch at a time.

It's a medium-sized room, with a couple of couches perched in the middle. You saunter in, wondering what is it they are trying to show - until you see the humongous screen that seems to be covering an entire wall.

"Say hello to the 85-inch BeoVision Avant," says Singh. "So big, it can be your personal movie hall!"
He turns it on, and suddenly, you find yourself dwarfed by the virtual universe that's arisen before you. The sound won't let you down either, rendering as much as 60x60 watts RMS from two stylish speakers attached to the television set. "Believe me," says Singh. "If you think this is impressive, just wait till you see it in 3-D mode."

Moving on, we come to the room where most of its acoustic systems are housed. Designed to provide Bang & Olufsen enthusiasts a complete sensory experience of the brand's repertoire of audio products, the space is nothing short of an audiophile's wet dream come true. Here's a look at a few of the most ear-catching sound systems in the Bang & Olufsen portfolio.

If you aren't unnerved by the thought of having artificial intelligence in your room, do spare a worthy thought for the BeoLab 5. After all, the benefits of having this piece of technology far outweighs any possibility that it may rise up one day and take over the universe. For one, it doesn't matter if the acoustic properties of your room do not live up to your expectations; the BeoLab 5 simply listens and analyses "the sound of the room", tailoring the speakers' performance accordingly. What's more, at 2,500 watts RMS, it has the raw sonic power to blow your apartment into the sky. With Boyz II Men, no less.

These babies pack all the muscle most people will ever need to experience crystal-clear music. Armed with 160 watts RMS of class D power drive and an imposing 8-inch woofer, it lays down enough oomph to bring out the best in any song. Two tweeters and two 3-inch midrange units, each driven by separate 80-watt class D amplifiers, deliver sparkling highs and clearly defined mid-frequencies. And some may find the way it looks - like two cutesque saucers standing upright on martial legs - quite appealing too.

The culmination of acoustic perfection melded with aesthetic looks, the BeoLab 18 respresents a heritage of authentic sound that has been the brand's hallmark since the day it was brought into being by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen at Struer, Denmark, in 1925. Fine-tuned by Geoff Martin, who is equal parts sound designer and passionate musician, it combines wood and scientific precision to produce a 160-watt sound that promises to lay you on the floor quite unceremoniously. If you have a wood-panelled living room, this is just the sound system it should feature.

This guy may look quite unassuming, but what we told you about judging a book by its cover? A geometrically designed subwoofer, it's armed with a pair of 8-inch drivers and a 160-watt amp for blowing up the lowest of frequencies.

Commenting on the launch, BeoWorld president Tript Singh said, "We at BeoWorld share Bang and Olufsen's vision to make India one of the most promising markets in its portfolio. As our nation has an insatiable appetite for luxury, we plan to open a number of similar outlets in the coming months."

Truly enough, the brand is planning to open its next outlet in Mumbai, followed by another in Bangalore's UB City by the end of this year. Cheers, anyone?

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