Most loudspeaker projects at Bang & Olufsen are conceived in the design or the Product Definition department. This means that someone decides something like “we’re going to make a loudspeaker, this size with this design” and then the project arrives at the Acoustics Department to find out whether or not the idea is feasible. If it is, then it continues through the development process until we reach the end where the is a product in a store. A better description of this process is in this posting.
BeoLab 90 was different. Instead of being a single project that began, evolved, and ended, it was more like a number of little streams coming together to form a river. Each stream was an idea that contributed to the final product.
One of the early “streams” was an idea that was hatched in the Acoustics Department itself around 2009. I went to the head of the department at the time, and offered to make a deal. If I were to pay for all the components personally, could I use my work hours and B&O resources (like the Cube) to build a pair of loudspeakers for home. These would be a “one chair – no friends” style of loudspeaker – so it would not really be a good candidate for a B&O loudspeaker (our customers typically have friends…). In return, I would keep the loudspeakers in the listening room at B&O for an extended time so that we could use them to demo what we are capable of creating, without our typical restraints imposed by design, development time, size, “normal” product requirements (like built-in amplifiers and DSP), and cost of components.