Having created some of the most notable audio designs of the 20th century, Braun have returned to the audio category with three new designs to mark their 100 year anniversary in 2021/22.
The LE series, the first new audio products to be released under the Braun name in 30 years, is a collection of three premium Hi-Fi speakers – the LE01 flagship model, the LE02, a premium mid sized speaker, and the compact LE03 model. An accompanying collection of floor stands, designed to elegantly resolve cable management, is also available.
The simple, minimalist designs draw upon the essence of the original LE1 designed by Dieter Rams in 1959 (now in the MOMA collection), and update it with today’s technology. The company produced a series of pioneering audio designs during the period in which Rams worked as chief design officer, and they are widely regarded as having inspired the design approach taken by Jonathan Ive at Apple. Notable audio firsts included the Braun TP1 (1959) – the first mobile record player, the TS45 (1964) – the first wall mounted integrated sound system, and the Atelier (1983) – the first stackable Hi-Fi system.
The designs in the new LE series are produced by British audio engineering company Pure under license to Braun, (now a subsidiary of Proctor & Gamble). Seeking to remain true to the original Braun design DNA they are built on the same core principles of simplicity, usefulfness and durability. There is no overloading with excessive features, functions or detailing.
References to premium, classic furniture design can be found in the styling of the stainless steel feet, which elevate the speaker, making it appear visually lighter and presenting it as a design object rather than just a purely functional piece. The frameless minimalist designs also take inspiration from high end upholstery. Privacy concerns are addressed via the option to mechanically disconnect the voice function microphone – its status is clearly signalled via a green or red light, indicating whether it is active or muted.
Marking their return to the audio category with a collaboration with the late Virgil Abloh and an apparel line with High Snobiety, Braun have created a collection designed to appeal to those seeking refined sound quality pared with timeless, minimalist aesthetics.