Home Tech An iconic CD changer is back to defy streaming fatigue

An iconic CD changer is back to defy streaming fatigue

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Beosystem 9000c CD player and speakers

Today, Bang & Olufsen, the audio company that has made what we call “the most beautiful devices in the world,” is relaunching its iconic CD player, the Beosound 9000. If you lived in the 1990s, you definitely saw this CD player in a place of honor, six records and a shiny glass cover, whether at your best friend’s house or in the background of an episode of Entourage. Now you can buy it again as a new Bang & Olufsen item instead of bidding for one on eBay.

This is the second project in a series of what the company calls “recreated classics.” Bang & Olufsen acquired 200 original Beosound 9000 units and brought them to the company’s factory in Struer, Denmark. There, the Bang & Olufsen team (some of whom worked on the original models) carefully disassembled, cleaned and repaired each unit. Each was then individually tested and tuned to meet B&O audio standards.

To give it a more modern look, the team reversed the black and aluminum finishes of the original. The new black backplate makes CDs stand out even more like works of art. But fear not: all the aluminum parts are still from the original Beosound 9000. All parts were brushed, etched and shot peened at the Bang & Olufsen factory, then re-machined and anodized to align with the look of the classic player.

The Beosystem 9000c is a complete package.

Photography: Bang & Olufsen

The disguised CD players will only be sold as part of a package that includes a pair of high-end Beolab 28 speakers and a stylish Beoremote. The products are grouped under the name Beosystem 9000c. Only 200 units are produced and each package costs $55,000. Even if that price puts it out of reach for most of us, the Beosound 9000’s design is worth celebrating for what it represents.

What’s near

The glass door of the player opens with a motor so you can change discs.

Photography: Bang & Olufsen

The Danish brand has long prioritized product longevity, using high-end materials and keeping durability in mind. Plus, their products exude timeless and quirky vibes that you really can’t get anywhere else. I always think of the Beosound Bluetooth speaker that looks like a picnic basket, but in 2021 the company also released the Beosound Level, an exceptionally beautiful $2000 Bluetooth speaker that was designed to be easily repaired; The battery, wood, and fabric are all replaceable, giving the speaker a lifespan of decades instead of years.

“The consumer electronics industry is not as resource-efficient as it should be,” says Mads Kogsgaard Hansen, head of product circularity and portfolio planning at B&O, whom I contacted by email. By addressing obsolescence through design, he says, his team can “create a movement toward a more durable future, where products serve a purpose after their first life cycle.”

The original Beosound 9000 was designed by David Lewis, a legendary industrial designer whose work is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art. The design of the player, with its internal workings on display and enclosed in glass, was based on the concept of “audiovisuality,” which is the idea that exposing the basic functionality of a music machine is beautiful.

Of course, nowadays it’s not a big deal to see a transparent computer case or a foldable phone with an exposed hinge. But in the 1990s, watching a smooth clamp slide silently between CDs or watching the Beosound 9000’s motorized glass lid slowly open was the height of luxury.

Comes back

Bang & Olufsen’s new release also comes at a time of a CD renaissance. When I was in my twenties, I worked at a record store, which we called a record store, although we mainly sold CDs. That’s where bands played free daytime shows and signed CDs and where we’d go listen to death metal or African funk stations because the country section was too crowded.

That click-click-click The image of people rummaging through containers full of jewelry is permanently embedded in my brain. It is missed by many of us, even those of us who at the time weren’t old enough to listen to music on CDs, as evidenced by Generation Z buyers. gobbling long forgotten CD collections.

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