EXCLUSIVE: B&O Play Tipped To Be Axed, Replaced With Bang & Olufsen Branding
Bang & Olufsen who are under pressure in both the TV and top end audiophile market is set to eliminate the B&O Play branding according to sources, replacing it with the words Bang & Olufsen, they are also tipped to take Sonos head on with a new range of premium sound products.
The Danish Company is also tipped to be getting out of the TV business, leaving the European made TV market to Loewe.
In Australia the Company operating Bang & Olufsen retail stores has moved to close some locations as the Company looks to reposition itself in the audio market.
During the past two years the Company has benefited from their move to take on the likes of Bose and Sony in the portable audio market using the B&O Play branding.
Now senior management believe that the use of the Bang & Olufsen name will better serve the Company. Currently LG is using the B&O branding on their smartphones.
Earlier this year Bang & Olufsen soared to its highest revenues in a in a decade after the luxury hi-fi producer reported second-quarter sales that beat estimates. The Company is expected to report to the NASDQ on July 12th.
Second-quarter sales rose 15 percent, beating the highest estimate Play, revenue surged 30 percent in the quarter. Chief Executive Officer Henrik Clausen has predicted it may eventually become the company’s largest business.
The shares rose as much as 18 percent in Copenhagen, increasing the company’s market value to more than $1.3 billion.
In Europe the Company recently released the E8, a pair of wireless earphones under the B&O Play brand, along with two premium headphones which several people inside the Company claim should be a product of Bang & Olufsen not a subsidiary Company.
The two new flagship headphones, the H8i and the H9i are seen as being serious competitors to offerings from other premium brands but because of the B&O Play branding are not seen as being as “premium” as a Bang & Olufsen product.
The Beoplay H8 has been given a more contemporary design with anodized aluminium discs that have been streamlined to flush with the ear cups. The mono-arm has been redesigned to give the H8i a cleaner and more minimalistic look. The playtime from Beoplay H8 to H8i has also been increased by more than 100 percent.
The H8i plays up to 30 hours with Bluetooth and ANC on. With just one click, you can turn off the music and the ANC at the same time to listen to your surroundings. The H8i also has a proximity-sensor feature that automatically pauses your music or video streaming when you remove the headphones. When you put the headphones back on, the music or video starts playing again. There is also dual device connectivity.
The wireless Beoplay H9i, on the other hand, has an over-ear wearing style with a headband made of a solid but lightweight aluminium frame covered with stitched cowhide leather and anodized aluminium ear cups.
There is also talk that the Company will take Sonos head on with a 24bit soundbar and networked speaker offering.