A Sound Diva Wants to Look Pretty

The small company Burmeister Audio Systeme (BAS) from Pritzwalk has, granted, not reinvented sound, but it has thrilled clients across Europe with its omnidirectional loudspeaker system Audiophile. The system’s remarkable feature: the loudspeakers emit sound spherically at an angle of 360 degrees, which corresponds to the natural way in which sound would spread. The resulting listening experience is truly remarkable.

BAS has recently worked together with product design students from the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and added a “pinch” of aesthetics to the project. The optical aspects of the loudspeaker boxes have been improved so that the user now sees them as high-quality pieces of furniture. The state of Brandenburg has supported the development of the new design through the “Grand Innovation Voucher” (“Großer Innovationsgutschein”).

“If I had only turned my hobby into a profession sooner,” says Jens Burmeister, owner of the small but mighty company BAS regretfully. The native from Pritzwalk started out already in 1978 as a part-time disk jockey. This was also when he started being interested in loudspeakers. In 1995 he, by accident, stumbled upon the so-called natural sound principle, which means that sound is being emitted into all directions and not just into one direction – in the way traditional loudspeaker boxes emit it.

After some detours Burmeister founded the company BAS in 2009. Since then he has been working together with his son – a sound technician – and a friend – a carpenter – in a “flat-share-like workshop” on the creation of high-quality sound systems. During the development and manufacturing, Burmeister could also rely on a network of up to 10 small businesses and freelance craftsmen from the region.

Design boosts sales

The BAS sound boxes impress with their extremely high-end sound, which is also smooth and diffuse. This is why they are very popular with professionals and hi-fi enthusiasts. BSA has already brought its sound system to numerous wellness areas, hotel lobbies and suites, physical therapy institutes and hairdressing salons in Germany and abroad.

But it has been ten years and Burmeister decided that his products needed a facelift. “Mainly women, who are important purchase-decision-makers, were pushed back by the technical shape of the speakers. “But they look like camping stoves!” many said,” pointed out BAS boss Burmeister.

With support through the “Grand Innovation Voucher” (“Großer Innovationsgutschein”), the small enterprise was able to “pursue its design-oriented work”. Burmeister set up his collection in the Casino of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and asked for design-suggestions. More than 30 students studying “Product Design” started to work in six working groups under the leadership of – now retired – Prof. Walter Hardt.

A fresh new design for the loudspeaker boxes

In the end, Burmeister was spoilt for choice. There were a lot of interesting drafts – ranging from bizarre and mainstream to extremely exclusive – and in the end Burmeister chose the design suggestions presented by Raphael Singer and Jim M. Görtz, who have in the meantime graduated and are working as freelance designers. After the design had been studied with regard to its technical practicability, Singer and Görtz adjusted their draft to the requirements of a high-quality audio system.

This work formed the basis for the manufacturing of prototypes. The technical fitting and the acoustic set-up was done by the “the Burmaster” himself. In the end, the company and the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam jointly presented their prototypes at the international fair IFA 2014 in Berlin. Their success was resounding: all sector heavyweights, including LG, Grundig and Metz, were delighted with the sound and design.

Now, Burmeister and his team would like to create a modular loudspeaker system with a new design – with the support of potential investors. Beside the DIVA, a large standing column, smaller and also standing systems as well as loudspeakers for ceilings and walls are planned. This means that all interested parties will find their very own high-end product – be it a private user, an interior architect, a store designers or an hotelier.