B&O's $40k speakers look surprisingly normal

The design is restrained, the price definitely isn't.

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has announced its latest aural offering, the BeoLab 50, which is available for an eye-watering $39,170 (£22,930) per pair. It's billed as the company's first 'loudspeaker', although this is simply the term B&O use to describe any speaker that's larger than its usual fare, such as the BeoSound 1 or BeoLab 3.

A lot of its technology borrows from the company's flagship BeoLab 90, produced to celebrate B&O's 90th birthday (the design however, couldn't be more different -- the BeoLab 90, pictured below, had a lot going on). The speakers feature B&O's Active Room Compensation technology, which uses an external microphone to measure its acoustic surroundings and then deliver optimum sound. The BeoLab 50 also comes with Acoustic Lens technology. When switched on, a 'lens' rises from the top of the speaker and can be put into one of two different sound dispersion settings, wide or narrow, either diffusing music throughout the whole room (good for parties) or in a more focused direction for sweet spot listening.

A total of 2,100 watts is delivered through seven drivers: three 10-inch woofers, three 4-inch midrange drivers and a single 0.74-inch tweeter, all partnered to seven 300-watt amplifiers. The whole lot is packaged neatly in a tall, slim and low-footprint body, slathered in aluminium and oak wood, as is B&O's custom.

The BeoLab 50 isn't B&O's loudest speaker system, nor is it even its most expensive. But it is one of the first of this calibre designed for high-end domestic use. Of course, unless you're a footballer or rockstar it probably isn't going to feature in your living room any time soon.