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Bang & Olufsen: ‘Our products are worth more because they’re better’

Bang & Olufsen has moved to justify its premium prices, claiming it’s products cost more than rivals because they are better made.

Bang & Olufsen’s vice president of design, Gavin Ivester, made the claim during the launch of the firm’s new £1750 Beosound Balance wireless speaker, telling Trusted Reviews “our products are worth more because they’re better”.

Ivester highlighted the slow, methodical approach he learned in his previous work at Apple, Nike and Puma as an example why the firm’s products are better made.

“I learned lessons at Apple. I started as a product designer, so I was designing products from the inside out, with the focus on making everything easy for the user. Then in the sneaker business, everything is very lifestyle driven. But the interesting thing about sneakers is, there’s no hiding place. If you think about [the Beosound Balance] there’s seven drivers in the shell – you can’t see what they are though,” he said.

“I took all those lessons around ease of use and empowering users that I learned at Apple and all my experience in the sneaker business and applied it at Bang & Olufsen.”

When pressed about the absence of ANC (active noise cancellation) in its latest Beoplay E8 3rd Gen wireless buds, Ivester conceded that while generally a positive, the design approach can lead the firm to make certain mistakes, and make it slower than its rivals.

“We don’t intentionally make compromises. If I’m being super candid, sometimes we just read the market wrong. I think we develop our products with a lot of care, the gestation for the Beosound Balance, to bring it to market, was 20 months from the initial concept.

“We’re not as fast but we’re more careful. There’s a craft. With the E8’s we can’t change the design overnight. You have to go through the steps to hone it and refine it.”

Related: Best wireless earbuds

The E8 3rd Gen are Bang and Olufsen’s latest Apple AirPods Pro rival. They aim to entice buyers by offering premium design with top end audio performance. Our only issue with them during testing was their lack of ANC, which was a glaring omission considering the E8 3rd Gen’s hefty £300 price. The price means they’re £50 more than the Apple AirPods Pro, which aren’t exactly cheap to begin with.

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