Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks clearly didn’t work at Bang & Olufsen. The company is hoping to bring vintage speakers back into use with its Beocreate 4 Channel Amplifier, and it has partnered with HiFiBerry to ensure that it’s both open source and easy enough so consumers can do everything themselves.
Bang & Olufsen hasn’t created anything completely revolutionary – it’s just done something pretty common in a unique way. Rather than connecting vintage speakers to an external amplifier through miles of cabling, the new Beocreate 4 Channel Amplifier utilises a DSP board that be installed into the speakers themselves to enable wireless functionalities.
According to Anders Buchmann, who has the enviable title of ‘chief intrapreneur’ at Bang & Olufsen, this product is designed to entice customers into upcycling their old speakers using a super-simple DIY tool.
“Bang & Olufsen is known for our design, sound and craftsmanship, virtues that never really go out of style. And our speakers from the 70s and 80s represent this just as much as our current product portfolio,” he comments.
“But with technology changing rapidly a lot of vintage speakers are stored away not being used or even thrown away. We wanted to change that, and this initiative is all about empowering our customers to bring those products back to life themselves with modern day features.”
The Beocreate 4 channel amplifier comprises of a flexible DSP/DAC/amplifier combination board designed for high-quality music playback in combination with passive loudspeakers. It supports up to 180W of output power, and can drive up to four 4-8 Ohm speakers.
The DSP board can either work as a standalone (digital in/4 channel out) or as a digital audio player when paired with the Raspberry Pi. When used with the Raspberry Pi, the user can utilise any software of their given choice, leading to almost endless opportunities.
Daniel Matuschek, founder of HiFiBerry adds: “Our company has always been dedicated to high quality DIY audio. Working in cooperation with Bang & Olufsen is not only a huge pleasure, it also gives us the possibility to implement our hardware to design classics we love. Seeing a company opening up for the idea of DIY audio and upcycling is more than exciting and we are very proud to be part of this process.”