Bang & Olufsen - Sound


Sound stories

"The room really dictates how you hear," explains sound specialist Neo Kaplanis, whose inspired experimentation and precise ear ensure that Bang & Olufsen products work perfectly in all environments.

A mixture of experience and perfectionism

Even the most finely tuned speaker will be affected by the space it's in, and the sound you hear is always the sum of two parts: the speaker and its surroundings. Neo understands how powerful an audio experience can be that can be appreciated in all environments. When working on new products at Bang & Olufsen, Neo strives to replicate the kind of real-life situations and experiences that might fall short of that perfect experience. Its dedication to research and development helps engineers create speakers, headphones and soundbars that perform with power and precision in the environments that embody a contemporary lifestyle.

The interaction between music and space

The human experience is at the heart of everything Bang & Olufsen develops, and Neo's work helps to harmonize the interaction between product and environment. Where a speaker is placed, and the type of environment it is placed in, influences the sound more than the speaker itself. "Even if you have the perfect speaker in a really bad environment, what you're hearing is the sum of the two," he explains. This interplay between product and space makes the test room at Bang & Olufsen's headquarters in Struer, Denmark central to the design process.

To create a powerful listening experience, it is also necessary to create ways to query its potential settings. Neo tells us, "the camera is a tool we use for sound reproduction, where we can recreate real-life scenarios." With one highly sophisticated space, engineers can reproduce cramped environments, sweeping vistas and distracting background noises, allowing them to test everything from headphones to speakers. For example, if Neo wants to see how well the noise cancellation works on a prototype pair of headphones, he can “recreate the environment inside the plane. He can then test the headphones under real conditions in a laboratory setting.”

The pursuit of excellence

The pursuit of excellence is what drives specialists like Neo, who uses his expertise to combine cutting-edge Bang & Olufsen technology with knowledge of the world he lives in. “As a sound designer, I have to make sure that wherever you take a product, it sounds as good as it can,” he says. "And that's where all this knowledge about camera interaction and human perception comes into play."