|Product :||BeoSound 1||
|Produced from :||2000 - 2011|
|Designed by :||David Lewis|
|Finish :||See description|
Released in 2000 and replacing the BeoSound Century, the BeoSound 1 did an about-turn, moving from the boxy, cluttered look that was the Century towards one which was more rounded and extremely minimalistic in its styling. Almost looking like a solitary loudspeaker, the functions - which had been so loudly dsiplayed on the Century with its sliding glass door inviting you to examine the array of red lights together with a cassette compartment and lift-up CD holder beneath - had been totally moved to the top of the unit, hidden out of sight behind nothing more than a strip of contoured plastic with discrete writing upon it. The only evidence that this was some sort of useful electronics was the red LED which illuminated beneath the protective metal grill but only when the machine was turned on.
Losing one source (and gaining no other) cassettes were firmly out of fashion by the time this product was launched, although there was a certain cross-over time between both products. The emphasis was firmly on good looks and good sound. Who needed to study the apparatus if all the time the apparatus was designed with sound in mind? And with the exception of the display there really was very little for the user to focus upon.
More time would have been spent studying the Beo4 remote control than the sound system itself, as all that a user had to do was to pop in a CD, press play and the rest was left to the machine itself. Once the radio stations had been preset - there were 59 FM stations which could be electronically remembered (enough for anyone) - again all the user had to do was to press a button, either on top of BeoSound 1 or preferably, by way of the remote control. And that was it. Sound, simple and of a fine quality. Which was as well as there was no way of changing either the bass or the treble.
The electric antenna was a useful gimmick. In reality it didn’t offer much functionality as the body of the system itself acted like a giant antenna for the FM-only radio. Useful in the knowledge that you couldn’t possibly receive better reception even if there had been an aerial socket fitted in the cabinet.
There was no facility to record - unlike BeoSound Century on its useful but old-fashioned compact cassette system - and neither was there facility to play back any sort of removable media, an SD card, for example. But BeoSound 1 is more of a permanent fixture rather than one to take around with you (as the advert would otherwise suggest) and the facility was always there to add a line in to the Audio AUX socket, a useful but nevertheless a non-too-frequented form of extending the system to play back an iPod (or BeoSound 2) for example.
The sound was actually rather good for a system of this size as five active loudspeakers were included: two small domes and tweeters positioned at either side of a mono sub-woofer (capable of handling sound frequencies of less than 250 Hz) facing forward and centred in the middle of the cabinet. Each of the drive units had its own amplifier. The crossover electronics did the rest producing quite a remarkable sound for something as small and as portable as BeoSound 1.
A useful timer was included with later models. Unfortunately the machine was mains-powered only. There was no facility for batteries, making the system in reality anything but portable. Perhaps the ad-men meant that its portability in real life was to take it around room to room with you? And there was also a lack of a Link system which meant that the BeoSound 1 would only ever be used isolation to other Bang & Olufsen MasterLink products. The unit could, however, be remotely controlled by the Beo4 handset.
Coming in a wide variety of colours (one is introduced each year to the colour scheme as one is removed) the covers are easily changed and give a breath of fresh air to a product which otherwise would be become staid all too quickly.
- Gold, limited edition of 1000 units (2001)
- Gold (2009 ->)
- Light green (2001-2002)
- Russet (2001-2003)
- Light blue (2001-2005)
- Dark blue (2002-2004)
- Violet (2004-2006)
- Yellow (2005-2007)
- Dark grey (2003->)
- White (2006->)
- Green (2007->)
- Copper (2008->)
- Orange (2009 ->)
Link: See also Design Prototypes
BeoSound 1 types: