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Christmas Gift Guide

If you want your living room to ooze style from every angle and you don't care how much it costs, Bang & Olufsen's new set of surround sound home theatre speakers will be right up your alley.

The standard setup consists of four satellite speakers and a main sub-woofer which will set you back the cool price of £2,500. A five speaker setup will be a better choice, however, if you don't also already own one of B&O's speaker-equipped tellys -- that extra satellite brings the total to £2,800.

As always with B&O, a big chunk of your cash is being lavished on the design. The 280W sub-woofer, B&O CEO Tue Mantoni told me, is designed to look "like a vase," the idea being that you will be happy to have it out in the open, rather than hide it under your sofa like many home theatre sub-woofers. It contains the amplifiers and other gubbins for the satellite speakers too, so there's less unsightly mess from cables trailing everywhere.

The satellite speakers' enclosures are milled from a single piece of aluminium -- rounded out using 170 tonnes of pressure. There's no denying it gives them a seriously slick look but whether it gives a better sound than more natural wood enclosures remains to be seen. You can wall mount them, have them on stands or even have them hanging down from the ceiling.

I wasn't able to perform any of the rigorous comparison tests CNET usually likes to perform on its speakers, so I won't offer any conclusions as to their sound, but the brief demo I was given certainly seemed promising. The BeoLab 14 speakers are available now from Bang & Olufsen stores, although it wasn't able to confirm when -- if ever -- they'll be offered through other retailers.

Bang & Olufsen is not stranger to unusual designs. In October last year it released a AirPlay speaker that looked uncannily like an archery targetand was priced at a princely £1,600.

What do you think to the BeoLab 14 speakers? Are you happy to pay the extra cash for an extra slice of elegance? Click through the images above and let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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