BeoSound 1

(2001-2011) FM Stereo/Compact disc music centre with integral loudspeakers

Type numbers: 2581, 2582, 2583, 2584, 2585, 2586, 2587, 2590

 

Picture by Peter McEvedy

Description

The BeoSound 1 fitted into the range of smaller music systems alongside the established BeoSound Century. In exchange for one less sound source and the inability to record, the BeoSound 1 moved the emphasis away from the sources and towards the loudspeaker, which contained a total of 5 drive units. The styling truly reflected this, and the BeoSound 1 could be mistaken for being a loudspeaker only if were not examined too closely. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

A compact disc player and a radio were both included. Both were of conventional performance but included interesting touches, the compact disc player was loaded via a novel folding tray at the rear that saved space and hid the mechanism effectively, whereas the radio had its digital tuning display hidden behind the metal perforated loudspeaker grille (which doubled as an FM antenna) and featured a rod aerial which raised automatically when needed, though it had to be retracted manually. To enhance the usefulness of the BeoSound 1, a timer was included so the unit could be used as a radio alarm. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The real interest was in the loudspeakers. Although portable radios with this many drive units had been fairly common some years previously (notably those made by Hitachi, which were powerful and sold in large quantities), B&O approached the problem using their experience with larger active loudspeaker systems. The loudspeakers were arranged with a small woofer and a dome tweeter at each side for the left and right channels with a mono “subwoofer” in the middle. Each drive unit had its own amplifier and the sound for each was split up using an electronic active crossover network, bringing an unusually competent level of performance for a machine in this class. This sophistication came at the expense of high power consumption, making the BeoSound 1 suitable for use with mains power only, despite having the appearance of a proper portable. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Although intended for close-up operation, the BeoSound 1 could be operated by remote control using an optional Beo 4 terminal, a similar situation as had become familiar with the BeoSound Century. The metal loudspeaker grille was available in some fairly vibrant colours, so to avoid mistakes having long term consequences, and to allow for changing tastes it could be easily exchanged. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Just like the BeoSound Century, the BeoSound 1 could not be used as a loudspeaker in a link system. Despite wasting this opportunity again, the designers did include an “Audio AUX” connector for recording and for connecting external sources. Later catalogues suggested that this could be suitable for use with an iPod (but no mention of the BeoSound 2), but to avoid looking too desperate this was mentioned in small print only in the technical description at the back. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Finishes/colours

 2001200220032004200520062007200820092010
Black
Silver
Light green        
Russet       
Light blue     
Gold1         
Dark blue       
Dark grey  
Violet       
Yellow       
White     
Green      
Copper       
Orange       
Golden2        
 2011
Black
Silver
Light green 
Russet 
Light blue 
Gold1 
Dark blue 
Dark grey
Violet 
Yellow 
White
Green
Copper
Orange
Golden2

NOTE 1: limited edition of 1000 units

NOTE 2: special order

Prices

2001£750 
2002£800 
2003£950 
2004£950 
2005£935 
2006£995 
2007£990 
2008£1050 
2009£1150 
2010£1170 

Further Reading