In a move that will bring high-quality -- and almost certainly high-priced -- sound to mobile phones, Bang & Olufsen will link up with fellow Danish firm Lumigon, whose T1 phone we had a gander at last week.
"We are pleased to announce our partnership with Bang & Olufsen which will bring ICEpower audio into our products for optimal sound experience,"
Lumigon wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday. The T1 will use the MobileSound3 chip, B&O's mini audio processor for phones and other mobile devices.
In most phones, software does all the audio processing and sounds pretty awful, even over great headphones. Essentially a tiny amp on a chip, MobileSound3 won't make anything listenable come out of squeaky little speakers, but output from a 3.5mm jack should be more than acceptable. Like a dedicated graphics chip in a laptop, MobileSound3 does the equivalent of boosting the frame rate... but for your ears.
The Lumigon T1 looked impressive enough already, with Android 2.2, a Freescale 1GHz 3D processor, 32GB of memory and a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash.
Combined with Bang & Olufsen branding, the smart phone could be a
definite contender. It also indicates Lumigon is aiming for a market that finds even the pricey iPhone 4 too common.
Facebook member Martin Anderse posted a message of approval on
Lumigo's Facebook page. "Yes! That is the right way to go, highest
quality Danish electronics. It probably will be expensive as hell, but
Lumigon is obvious for those who want the best of the best --
regardless of the price."
Lumigon replied, "The price will be very attractive..."
Bang & Olufsen, which specialises in luxury audio
products, TVs and telephones, has recently branched out into mobile
Earlier this year we sounded out the Asus NX90, a multimedia laptop with a built-in Bang & Olufsen speaker system using the same ICEpower audio. We only saw it on a stand at a trade show, but wrote at the time, "Despite everyone and everything within 100m doing their best to
drown it out, the NX90 sounded good." It generated more volume than
your average laptop, at any rate.
Two years in the making, the Lumigon T1's June release has already been delayed, and it's now expected on 20 October. We'll do our level best to give it a listen before then.
So, what do you think about Bang & Olufsen getting mobile with Lumigon? Let us know in the comments.