Dezeen Magazine

Bang & Olufsen brings back classic 90s six-CD player

Electronics brand Bang & Olufsen has collected and restored several hundred units of its 1990s-era Beosound 9000 CD player, giving them a second life as a limited-edition product for fans of physical media.

Released under the name Beosystem 9000c, the offering pairs the classic CD player – instantly recognisable for its linear display of six CDs – with the brand's new Beolab 28 speakers.

Bang & Olufsen sourced 200 units of the CD player for the project, returning them to its factory in Struer, Denmark, where they were disassembled and inspected and had their components cleaned and repaired.

Lifestyle photo of a woman in tight black leather pants walking past the Beosystem 9000c six-CD player system by Bang & Olufsen
The Beosystem 9000c is an update that makes use of restored Beosound six-CD players

The factory is the same one where the machines were first created in 1996 and some of the technicians that worked on the restorations had also worked on the original products.

Bang & Olufsen gave the units a reimagined look, inverting the colours on the original design so that the CD display panel is deep black and the overlapping control bar is aluminium.

According to head of design Tiina Kierysch, this has the effect of enhancing the machine's "graphic edge" and helps the CDs to stand out even more as artworks.

Photo of a restored and recoloured Beosound 9000 six-CD player stand-mounted vertically with a long speaker on either side, on display within a factory
The CD players are paired with new Bang & Olufsen speakers to make a sound system

"The result is timeless and showcases that even though the two products were designed in different decades, they become closely related through the application of colours, materials and finishes," said Kierysch.

Bang & Olufsen is positioning the release of the Beosystem 9000c as an example of how circularity can work within the electronics industry. The brand took a similar approach in 2020 with the Beogram 4000c turntable.

"With our Recreated Classics series, we are showcasing how Bang & Olufsen's unique capabilities within sound, design and craftsmanship are creating long-lasting, circular products," said head of product circularity and portfolio planning Mads Kogsgaard Hansen.

"We want to demonstrate that a second-life product can be just as attractive as a new product and that a high-quality item such as the Beosound 9000 doesn't need to have an end date."

Aerial photo of a man in white gloves handling components of a linear six-CD player in a factory
The CD players were disassembled and their parts cleaned and repaired at Bang & Olufsen's factory

Kogsgaard Hansen said the company also wanted to "celebrate" the revival of physical media that had been seen in recent years.

"Vinyls and CDs have returned to being something special, where people invest time and energy to connect with the music and artists they love," said Kogsgaard Hansen.

"Longevity in design and the passion for music listening are essentially what we are celebrating with the launch of Beosystem 9000c," he added. "It is all about keeping listening choices alive."

The Beosound 9000 CD player was designed for Bang & Olufsen by British industrial designer David Lewis, a frequent collaborator who passed away in 2011.

Overhead photo of white-gloved hands handling the components of a Beosound 9000 CD player as it is cleaned and restored
The "CD clamper" was a recognisable part of the design

As well as its six-CD linear layout – apparently inspired by the window of a record store Lewis passed – the Beosound 9000 was known for some of its mechanical features, which Bang & Olufsen said were designed to "surprise and delight".

This included the "CD clamper" mechanism, which housed the laser to read the discs and could shift between them notably quickly. There was also an "auto-positioning" feature that always returned played CDs to face their original direction, so the text on their front faces would be readable.

As part of the re-release, each Beosound 9000 unit had to have its aluminium elements re-machined and re-anodised so that they would match the appearance of the new Beolab 28 speakers.

Lifestyle photo of a woman dressed in black with slicked-back hair sitting in a cool, minimalist living room with a Beosystem 9000c CD player unit in the middle
The black and aluminium finishes are inverted on the new design

The system also showcases a number of different aluminium finishes, including hairline brushing, etching and pearl blasting.

Released in a limited edition of 200 at £45,000 a piece, each CD player has been individually tested and fine-tuned to meet Bang & Olufsen's contemporary specifications.

More often, it is classic turntables that become collectible pieces. A recent example is the Linn's Sondek LP12, which was rereleased with a design by Jony Ive and his studio LoveFrom.