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After much anticiaption, Bang & Olufsen have released the BeoLab 9. This acoustic lens speaker had been expected for some time, and it effectively replaces BeoLab 1 which was discontinued last year.

The design of Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 9 continues B&O’s move away from elegant though easily imitated column loudspeakers to shorter, rounder forms with larger cabinet volumes and better potential for strong bass performance. B&O’s distinctive acoustic lens is also present, and the speakers’s height means that it is perfectly positioned at ear-level when the listener is seated.

The acoustic lens is cast from zinc and plated with matt chrome. Its prominent position gives the speaker a slightly hunched appearance – but B&O compare it to a lighthouse. The overall proportions are pleasing and there are some very nice details. For example, the power LED is concealed inside the acoustic lens, and the cooling fins/vents at the rear match the curve of the cabinet. The majority of the cabinet is fabric covered – black will probably be the most popular choice here, but it is also available in dark grey, blue and red.

There are three drivers: a 10” bass unit in an 18 litre enclosure, a 5” mid-range unit in a 4 litre enclosure and a 0.75” treble unit in the acoustic lens. All drivers are separately amplified, but there is only one ICEpower amplifier of 500W which drives the bass unit. The mid-range and treble units each have their own 100W analogue hybrid amplifier.