Beovox RL 45

(1985-1986) 2 way loudspeaker, 45W

Type number: 6504

Picture by Nick Jarman


The original Beovox RL range comprised two models, the RL 45 and the RL 60. Although they looked the same from the front, the RL 45 was slightly shallower and had a reduced cabinet volume. It was the cheaper of the two models. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Compared to the Uniphase models, the RL cabinet was striking. For a start, it had “Bang & Olufsen” embossed into the cloth in possibly the largest letters the company had ever used. The shape and dimensions were unusual for a Hi-Fi loudspeaker, and suggested perhaps electrostatic drive units or something else exotic. In fact the electronic technology inside the RLs was fairly conventional. The cabinets were a departure though, the use if resin injection moulding enabled features to be included in the design to make the cabinets very stiff and non-resonant, preventing vibrations from colouring the sound. The baffle and the rear cover were not only secured around the edge by 6 screws and the two straps one can see across the front, but by also by screws along the centre line. The damping material inside consisted of bitumen strips set into the ribs in the back, and bagged wadding (done to ease mass production) to fill the voids. Connections to the amplifier were by recessed spring clips in the centre at the rear. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The drivers were conventional, a Philips dome tweeter was fitted behind the central panel of the grille and a 6.5” woofer was fitted in one corner of the upper panel. This woofer was of curiously low quality, of Japanese origin and only rated at 20W by its manufacturer. Quite how B&O managed to rate the RL 45 at 45W is not clear! The woofer had a stiff, undoped paper cone with a doped cloth roll edge. The lower panel contained an auxiliary bass radiator, or ABR. This had been seen in Beovox loudspeakers over 10 years before in models such as the Beovox 5700, and was effectively a “drone cone”, an unpowered moveable surface that radiated in a controlled fashion the pressure changes in the cabinet. The ABR was tuned by a metal strip stuck to its back, and radiated frequencies lower than were handled by the woofer. Because this process is only really effective at higher volume levels, the RL 45s could sound a little light of bass, but B&O had an answer for this... the big claim about the RL range was that by moving the loudspeaker around, a variety of different characteristics could be emphasised in the overall sound. This is of course true of any loudspeaker, but B&O provided the RLs with a built-in floor prop and sold floor stands, wall brackets and ceiling brackets, so it was really easy for the listener to experiment with different positioning. In general terms, floor mounting tended to bring out the bass, whilst moving them into free space added clarity. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

When launched, the Beovox RL 45 naturally partnered the Beosystem 3000. It was a very successful model and was sold in various forms for many years, the next version being the RL 45.2. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.


David Lewis

Finishes/ colours

  • Grey



Type number


Further Reading

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