Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is a Danish company that designs and manufactures high-end consumer electronics including audio products, television sets, and telephones. The company was founded in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, whose first significant innovation was a radio that worked with alternating current (AC), when most radios then in use were run from accumulator batteries.
Products from B&O are intended to reflect cutting edge industrial design, in appearance, function and operation.
"The Farm," Bang & Olufsen's headquarters in Struer, Denmark, seems like something lifted from a Stanley Kubrick dreamscape. Its smooth, clean lines of glass, metal, and dark stone rising out of the weathered fields suggest a futuristic utopia emerging from a hopelessly arcane terrestrial existence.
It's the perfect backdrop for Bang & Olufsen's line of visually stunning, supremely distinctive products. It unveils only four or five each year, like an $19,000 pair of speakers and a $20,000 50-inch brushed-aluminum plasma television so striking that customers joke they prefer to watch it when it's off.
For 80 years, groundbreaking aesthetics coupled with sci-fi features, such as a CD player that opens with the wave of a hand, or self-equalizing speakers, have given B&O products a magical quality that transcends the stylistic comings and goings of competitors. In the eyes of B&O's brain trust, making that happen boils down to a shocking, and shockingly simple, strategy: Design always wins.