Felicity Haythorn

‘A room without books is like a body without a soul,’ said Cicero. He was right. Books are obviously great for whiling away a rainy afternoon but at home, they are about so much more than just reading. They are proudly and publicly displayed, on walls, shelves and piled up in stacks, showcasing the interests, knowledge and personalities of the people who live there as well as providing decoration. Hands up if you’ve colour coded your book spines at some point after reading too many interior design mags or stacked up your most erudite coffee table tomes to impress your new neighbours. Using books in interior design is a quick, affordable and interesting way to bring colour and individuality to any room and they also serve as a great conversation-starter – guests will love flicking through your displayed titles, or asking you about your antique page-turners.

The side panels wrap around the speaker, serving as the ‘dust jacket’

Which leads me to introduce you to Bang & Olufsen’s latest offering: the Beosound Emerge, designed in collaboration with Benjamin Hubert from trendy design agency LAYER. Beosound Emerge is a slim, sculptural and highly versatile speaker inspired by the compact form factor of a book. It’s designed to seamlessly sit anywhere in the home, whether discreetly tucked away or prominently on display. The side panels wrap around the speaker, serving as the ‘dust jacket’, while the front of the speaker is marked with B&O’s logo in the same way the spine of a book features the author’s name.

Despite their very high-end price point, the folk at B&O understand that not everyone lives in palatial mansions, so they’ve come up with a compact design that can be squeezed onto the bookshelves of any home. ‘At LAYER, we believe that technology should enable happiness but doesn’t necessarily need to be an expression in its own right, so the super-slim speaker has been designed to minimise the physical footprint and maximise the audio output as a response to the real estate in people’s homes being at an unprecedented premium,’ explains Benjamin Hubert, founder of LAYER.

Beosound Emerge Gold Tone uses tactile and warm materials inspired by residential interiors to help it merge seamlessly into your space. The speaker can be added to Bang & Olufsen’s Connected Speakers set-up to deliver music throughout your home or used in a small room to fill the space with powerful and clear sound. 

With its swanky look, space-saving design and phenomenal sound, the Beosound Emerge is certainly in our good books.

From £539. Available online and in Bang & Olufsen stores in selected European markets.