Braun Marks 100 Years With Special Wall-Mounted Hi-Fi System
Braun celebrates its centenary this year, and to mark the occasion, it has created a functional art piece and introduced a limited edition LE03 speaker.
As part of Braun's 100th birthday celebrations, it has collaborated with the Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Off-White and Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton Menswear, Virgil Abloh, to create a “functional art” piece along with a film which can be viewed on www.Braun.com. Additionally, there is a remix track by Abloh available on Abloh's Soundcloud to bring the Braun ethos of good design to life: “it's timeless and meant to be appreciated and enjoyed over time”, states the artist.
The collaboration with Virgil Abloh sees him update and co-curate the 1965 'Wandanlage' hi-fi audio wall unit with Braun's design team into a “functional art” piece.
The metallic finish of the 2021 version is said to be a visual manifestation of the parallels between Braun's polished chrome design aesthetic – such as the 1960 SM3 shaver and 1961 T1 toaster - and the high shine of Virgil Abloh's cultural and musical references of the past 100 years. These range from the brass and silver instruments of Mamie Smith's 1930s blues band to the customised polished 'slabs' on cars made famous by hip hop stars in the 1980s.
However, we're told that by taking a 'less but better' approach to the design process, Virgil Abloh and Braun have ensured that the original hi-fi audio remains centre stage. Furthermore, the technology still functions today as it did back in 1965, resulting in a custom build where design bridges the gap between form and function with materials that ensure it lasts for the next 100 years.
Virgil Abloh told StereoNET:
I have always had a deep appreciation for Braun design. For the brand's 100 years, I jumped at the opportunity to reimagine this iconic Braun product and challenge what we have come to expect from design. The “functional art” piece co-curated with Braun Design not only highlights the original function of the hi-fi wall unit that was the best audio of its time, but also the quality and durable materials that are built to last. As a creator, I continue to question how art is perceived in today's culture. “Functional art” is a lasting legacy of the enduring power of good design that is simple, useful and built to last. In so doing, it advances the frames of design references beyond design 'purists' to broader audiences.
Braun LE03 Anniversary Edition
Braun's 100th Anniversary Collection has been designed for what matters in today's life. In a category first, the special edition LE03 will feature a five-year warranty, confirming the brand's commitment to designing and manufacturing products that are built to last.
Sporting unmistakably German design, the speaker boasts a Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) driver that promise unparalleled dispersion and an almost 180-degree soundstage. The upshot is that you don't have the conventional issue of a specific sweet spot.
Although the LE03 carries the unmistakable DNA of classic Braun speakers, it is both wireless and multi-room capable, not to mention smart, thanks to having Google Assistant voice control and Google Chromecast streaming baked in as well as being compatible with Apple AirPlay.
The LE03 White 100 Years Edition provides beautifully expansive and immersive sound, says the manufacturer. Available only for a short time, it features a special “100 years” limited-edition engraving on the back of the speaker and is retailing for €379 (~US$446), exclusively through braun-audio.com.
WHAT WE THINK
We got hands-on with Braun's LE range at a special preview before they were officially revealed at IFA 2019, and there is no mistaking their heritage. It is undoubtedly a sign of good design when items such as the T3 pocket radio of 1958, or the AB 1 alarm clock of 1987, could easily sit in today's domestic setting without looking out of place. Stay tuned for a StereoNET review of the LE series's middle child, the LE02, coming soon.
StereoNET’s Bass playing gadget junkie and UK correspondent has captained the GadgetyNews good ship for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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