Bang & Olufsen is selling a CD player for $55,000

The Beosystem 9000c is a modernised, refurbished version of the Danish brand’s iconic CD players originally made in 1996.

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Beosound 9000

Beosound 9000. Credit: Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen has reissued a CD player originally launched to market in 1996 – with a hefty price tag of $55,000.

Though this might seem like an outlandish move, this isn’t the first time the Danish electronics giant has made a move like this. In 2020, it released the Beogram 4000c, but only 95 were made and set consumers back $11,000 each. The series originally came out in the 1970s, but the manufacturers tracked down 95 of the 4000 turntables that were made and refurbished and updated them to make them like new, even to the point where they came with a five-year warranty.

It’s now done the same thing with the Beosystem 9000c, the second launch in the brand’s Recreated Classics series. The CD player famously revolutionised the appearance of CD players when it was first released, featuring a tower of six CDs facing listeners viewable within a glass and aluminium housing. In a move that was also remarkably ahead of its time, users were also able to create playlists between the six discs.

“It is actually one of those launches that just set a direction for B&O, and one of those super innovative, very radically different things that creates elements of history,” Mads Kogsgaard Hansen, Bang & Olufsen’s Head of Product Circularity, tells Fast Company. “It is still perceived as one of our most innovative and iconic designs.”

Although CDs made up only three per cent of the music industry’s revenue in 2022 – a drastic drop from 92 per cent 20 years earlier – the format is slowly making a resurgence fuelled by Gen Z’s interest in physical formats. The Recreated Classics was created with this in mind, with the brand purportedly finding plenty of inspiration from the past when it came to working out what can make a product timeless.

Bang and Olufsen 9000 CD player
Bang and Olufsen 9000 CD player. Credit: Bang

Hansen says in a press release that the refurbished CD player was created in recognition of that trend. “More than showcasing our commitment to product longevity, we wanted to celebrate the revival of physical media that has taken place in recent years. Vinyls and CDs have returned to being something special, where people invest time and energy to connect with the music and artists they love. Longevity in design and the passion for music listening are essentially what we are celebrating with the launch of Beosystem 9000c. It is all about keeping listening choices alive”.

“We can actually show that we can manage to connect our past with our present and the most modern technology today,” continues Hansen. “What we really want to do … is to lead and inspire an entire movement for the industry to design more circular and more long-lasting products for the future. Because if we just keep doing it in the same way as we do right now, then we will risk not having an industry.”

Regarding the price point, he says: “We want to really move more and more into the luxury segment of the market – that’s where we see our future. The inventory was sourced from stores and auction houses before being brought back to the factory in Strauer, Denmark, where they were originally made. More than 90 per cent of the original parts form part of the new model.

In addition, the CD player is compatible with Beolab 28s speakers, which feature a high-spec design with Natural Aluminium lamellas on the speakers with a Cosmic Black aluminium base.

“I can’t help thinking about the whole idea of keeping choices alive, right? I really love that,” he continues. “We sometimes have a lot more of a slow-culture approach to the things that we do, and celebrate some of the more analog elements in a world that is increasingly high speed. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see us explore further on both vinyl and CD, but also maybe even consider other music formats, to sort of make the complete lineup. Who knows?”


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