Whenever Bang & Olufsen develops new loudspeakers the goal when tuning the speakers is to ensure that the sound you hear in your living room is exactly the same that the recording engineer heard in the studio. And if you ask Geoff Martin, tonmeister at Bang & Olufsen, that is a challenging task primarily because the acoustical behaviours of a typical private home and a professional recording studio are so different, mostly because of the way the walls are built and arranged. “In a living room the walls are very reflective, and arranged parallel to each other. So when the sound comes out, it not only goes to the listening position, it also hits the wall bouncing off it towards your listening position, which can infect the sound of your loudspeaker.”
“With BeoLab 50 we are trying to make the beam as narrow as possible, and what that will do is direct sound to the listening position - and send less sound to your side wall. And while your side walls will still reflect sound, less of it will be sent towards them,” says Geoff Martin while comparing it to a spotlight being directed at a single point.
“With BeoLab 50 we’re controlling the width of the beam in two different ways; on the lower end for the 3 midranges and 3 woofers we’re controlling the beam actively,” says Geoff Martin and explains how each of the 6 drivers has their own amplifier and digital signal processor. That means they each have their own individual sound, and the trick is to balance the different outputs, and by getting them to work against each other they will cancel out unwanted elements.
“For the higher frequencies we have done things in a new way,” says Geoff Martin. “The tweeter is placed inside an acoustic lens that is very different to what we have done in the past.”
If you look closely you will observe how the reflectors inside the lens position themselves either in a wide or narrow mode, depending on the sound mode. The narrow mode, obviously, reduces the amount of sound going to the sides - while the wide mode disperses sound at 180 degrees. So, if you are sitting in the sofa, watching a movie with the family, you would choose the wide mode that accommodates the more social situations.
We have been able to utilize the knowledge from our flagship speaker, BeoLab 90, when it comes to power and clarity, and once you combine that with the innovative directivity control you will get a sound experience totally out of the ordinary.
We are not changing the acoustics of the room, we are undoing the effects the acoustics have on the BeoLab 50’s sound.
“So, we are not doing room correction, we are doing room compensation. Of course, that only works in the areas where you have done the measurements; where you have put the microphone when you first set up the loudspeaker. And that may not necessarily be where you want to sit tomorrow,” says Geoff Martin and continues to describe the different personal settings you can store within BeoLab 50. You can create a variety of presets to utilize the technology to your advantage.
And everything can be controlled directly from your BeoRemote One, your smartphone or your Bang & Olufsen television.
As always, the real magic happens when your feel and hear the products, so we invite you to visit our store for a hands-on experience.