Bang & Olufsen has surprised us of late — sure it still sells AU$33000 televisions — but some of the company's products have actually been price competitive. Take, for example, the A8 earphones which were actually cheaper than the Creative 'phones that ripped off the design. Likewise, the new BeoLab 11 "style" sub is on a par with Bowers & Wilkins' equally sexy PV1.
Both of these subs aim to tackle a problem common with these units: vibration. Bass creates lots of energy and it tends to move things around, though usually it's just your pictures and precipitously towering stacks of CDs. In the most extreme cases the enclosure itself will move around the floor or desk, which is potentially hazardous!
As B&O has designed the BeoLab 11 to mount on your wall, vibration is not a desirable attribute. The BeoLab 11 uses a push-pull configuration similar to the Bose Computer MusicMonitor and the PV1, which places two equal drivers facing each other and cancels out any movement. In the BeoLab's case it has two 6.5-inch drivers set inside a closed box. And what a box it is: to us it kind of resembles a tulip. This would make more sense if the company was Dutch, but no it's Danish.
The sub is constructed from plastic, though it comes with optional anodised panels and it has a frequency response of 33 - 300 Hz (-10dB). Unfortunately, it's not possible to set the crossover frequency on the unit itself, but it does come with a switch that lets it integrate with B&O's own speakers. Never mind if you don't have a set of these yourself, most receivers let you set the crossover as well.
The BeoLab 11 comes in a choice of six colours with the anodised finishes setting you back AU$2800 while the painted finishes are a little cheaper at AU$2500. You can even mix and match covers if you please. They'll be available from June 2010.