Melbourne’s New Home of Luxury Audio, Bang & Olufsen
Luxury home entertainment brand Bang & Olufsen have a proud history spanning more than 90 years in the business. With the ability to evolve through the generations, Bang & Olufsen have embraced today’s customer, while not forgetting the heritage that gave the brand so much early success.
HiFi and 'good sound' is an experience. So it goes without saying that so to should be the auditioning and shopping process. Gone are the days of buying quality products from the local mass-merchants. Answering this call, Bang & Olufsen’s brand new Russell Street, Melbourne 'Sensory Store' delivers on the experience and more.
One of only four stores in the world of its type, the world-class 381 square metre facility was previewed to an invitational press-only event on Thursday morning.
Occupying the iconic and heritage-listed Cavendish House, attendees were treated to a breakfast feast of culinary delights. Even hand-crafted chocolates in tribute to BeoPlay A9 speakers were included.
Stepping inside the flagship store resembles nothing of a typical HiFi store, but everything it should be. Bang & Olufsen’s company vision of three key values, Passion, Pride, and Persistence, was not forgotten throughout the store’s design process.
Ultra-modern design, yet a homely feel, rich timbers, impeccable finishes and an overall inviting feeling, overtaken only by the urge to interact with the various spaces throughout the store.
The store is broken up into zones reflecting the application and lifestyle of each category of B&O's products. From the largest interactive speaker wall in the country, revolving walls demonstrating TVs, the Active Acoustic Zone, the Play zone where headphones, portable speakers and docks can be interacted with, and finally the Experience Room, housing B&O’s now famous BeoLab 90 floor standing speakers.
A walk throughout the store will allow you to control the music as you pass from zone to zone, or activate all of them at once for a full party experience, simulating what can be achieved in your home.
One thing is sure, Bang & Olufsen may be at the forefront of technology and industrial design, but one thing they do not overlook is the actual sound and acoustics of their products. As Marie Kristine Schmidt, Global Head of Brand, Design & Marketing for B&O joyfully describes to us, ‘friendly-fighting’ is the in-house term used to describe the relationship and process between visual design, and overall acoustic performance when designing a product. There is no doubt that both the sound and the aesthetic appeal are equally important to Bang & Olufsen.
Julian Kipping, General Manager for Australia and New Zealand told StereoNET:
The sensory flagship isn’t just a retail space, it’s a way to experience and share the Bang & Olufsen story with our customers.
Since inception, we have built a culture of enterprising creativity, and as a brand we continue to adopt an avante-guard approach to style, form and function. The new sensory store is a true testament to this.
The flagship store was designed in collaboration with local Melbourne architects, Bates Smarts, as well as global Bang & Olufsen designer, Lene Stenz-Schlünssen. It feels exclusive, but doesn’t exclude. Catering for the next generation of customer, the range starts at just $200 and caters for everyone right through to the BeoLab 90, which sells locally for $120,000. Don’t underestimate these speakers, they’re high-tech, they’re absolutely “hi-fi”, and they compete with the very best in the world of ultra-high end audio.
The purpose built, acoustically designed and treated Experience Room housing them will keep you immersed in real sound for as long as you can spare. You’ll likely need to make an appointment to hear them though as demand is high.
One thing is for sure, Bang & Olufsen have made a statement with their Sensory Store in Melbourne. It’s a rich experience showcasing the brand’s heritage, their commitment to design in every aspect, and ultimately the very best way in which to shop and audition audio products.
From left - Marie Kristine Schmidt (Global Head of Brand, Design, and Marketing), Annie Pearse (Russell Street Showroom Manager), Julian Kipping (General Manager AU & NZ), Yue Chan (Sales Manager, Russell Street)
The 4B/27-37 Russell Street, Melbourne store is now open to public, from 10AM-6PM Monday to Friday, 10AM-5PM Saturday and 11AM-4PM Sunday.
For more information, visit www.bang-olufsen.com/en
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
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