Melbourne's heritage-listed Cavendish House is the new home for Australia's flagship Bang & Olufsen home entertainment store. The store, opening today, has an interactive, motorised speaker wall that flips out each of B&O's high-end audio components as you're listening, and a pair of pneumatic pedestals that gives the viewer a tour of the company's super-luxury TVs.
The store is a collaboration between Bang & Olufsen's own global designer Lene Stenz-Schlünssen and the Melbourne-based Bates Smarts team, and is the fourth largest of its kind in the world. The sensory experience — with the speaker wall and the revolving pedestals — makes it unique within Australia.
The store, on the corner of Russell Street and Flinders Lane in Melbourne's CBD, includes all of Bang & Olufsen's current home audio products, as well as the B&O Play sub-brand of more affordable wireless speakers and headphones for younger buyers that want a taste of B&O's signature quality.
There are dedicated listening and viewing stations for the different televisions and speaker systems that Bang & Olufsen produces, and a range of different finishes are also demonstrated. The store also has a private meeting area, for more in-depth demonstrations or for corporate clients.
Most of the floor, though, is dedicated to an extremely versatile setup of Bang & Olufsen's BeoVision televisions and BeoLab speakers. Each of the two pedestals in the centre of the 381sqm space can rotate over 360 degrees at the push of a button, showing a seated viewer a different television or audio setup.
With the pedestal rotating, a prospective buyer can be shown any of the Bang & Olufsen TVs arranged on the showroom floor, and any one of these screens can be synced to up to 18 BeoLab speakers simultaneously through the company's BeoLink home connectivity system — making wireless simple.
Also taking pride of place on the showroom floor is Bang & Olufsen's interactive speaker wall, a setup with 17 different speakers hidden behind revolving baffles that hide them when not in use. All can be played simultaneously, or individual pairs can be demonstrated to show differences between models.
Hidden away in the corner of the Bang & Olufsen store is a dedicated listening room for the company's BeoLab 90 speakers, with a retail price of well over $100,000. The soundproofed room has its audio run by a BeoSound Moment tablet, too — demonstrating the 91-year-old company's design prowess.
B&O's new Melbourne store on Russell Street opens today. [Bang & Olufsen]