'The Cube', one of the world's largest, privately owned electroacoustic measurement facilities, is an empty room measuring, 12 x 12 x 13 meters. Starting from the technical drawings it is used in all stages of product development. Its enormous size makes it possible to measure acoustic response without reflections from walls, floor, or ceiling.
'The Cube' gives us the precision we need to measure a loudspeaker’s frequency, power and directivity responses. Accurate measurements alone aren't enough though. To truly sense whether music comes alive with the right tone and detail the human ear is still the final judge. And it is only until a speaker truly moves our senses, that it ever enters production.
A 103 inch television is hoisted a meter high by a crane, then dropped. A speaker, locked up in a small confined space, is exposed to the equivalent of 20 cigarettes a day, for an entire year.
Welcome to 'The torture chamber', Bang & Olufsen's toughest test facility where products are put through stresses and strains far beyond standard limits.
We inflict every conceivable hardship on our TV’s, speakers and remotes to prepare them for the toughest test of all - the home. A lifetime of simulated abuse that ensures all our products are built to last. Even down to the effects of different types of sweat on our buttons.
While accurate measurements are crucial, at Bang & Olufsen the human is ear is the final judge. In 1981, we assembled the first of our listening panels, bringing together an exceptional group of people carefully selected for their extraordinary hearing. Not only were they expected to distinguishing subtle acoustic differences, they were also required to communicate exactly what they heard.
The secret to consistent test results required that each test was conducted in exactly the same manner. The speaker was hidden behind a curtain so that the listening panel never knew its exact size. If its performance fell below standard, one thing was certain, the experts could tell, which meant that the design was adapted until it satisfied their ambitions.
While our methods may have evolved slightly. One thing is for certain. Our demands remain the same.