Beolit 400 Portable Radio

Large photo Small photoSmall photo

Manufactured: 1970 - 1973
Designer: Jacob Jensen

A new range of transportable radios - the Beolit - was launched in 1970. The sound reproduction was unusually good - so good that many of the Beolits are still in use. In principle, the units were battery-powered, but the 600 version could also be connected to the mains. An amusing detail was the indication, of the selected station. This was shown by a small metal ball which moved behind a glass cover in parallel with a magnet on the exterior control slide and was thus encased and protected. Despite its sophisticated exterior, the Beolit was extremely robust.

Beolit 400 was a basic FM-only portable radio, in much the same way as its replacement, Beolit 505. The case was partly aluminium, partly coloured plastic, which formed the front and rear panels. Bright colours such as red, yellow, green and purple were offered, along with black. As the panels were only clipped on and did not form part of the chassis, they could be replaced with different coloured ones at a later date.

The design allowed the set to be used vertically or horizontally, supported by its handle. Even though there was only one loudspeaker, there were grilles on both sides of the radio, so that sound was distributed evenly from both directions. The sliding dial on the top of the radio was similar to that offered on Beomaster 901. A transparent plastic pointer, like that of a slide rule, was slid across the top in order to adjust the tuning, little wheels fitted to the side could be used for accurate setting. Little markers could be set, whose projecting tops slightly blocked the pointer on its way past, providing a reference to frequently-used stations.

A powerful AFC system, which could be turned off during tuning, was also included. The amplifier could provide 3 watts of output, unusually high for such a small set. Sockets for an external 7.5V power supply (via Beopower 600) and a tape recorder were fitted.

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 400 transistor radio, designed by Jacob Jensen was presented with the IF Award in 1971 and the ID AWARD the year before. In 1972 the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) chose seven Bang & Olufsen products designed by Jacob Jensen to be included in their Design Collection as representing excellent examples of the Museum's criteria for quality and historical importance; design, in fact, which had influenced the twentieth century. Beolit 400 was were one of those seven products.

UK price in 1974: £26.90

Beolit 400 Portable Radio Product Specifications

Type: 1503

Power output 3 W / 4 ohms
Speaker impedance 4 ohms
Harmonic Distortion At 50 mV output: < 0.8 %
At specified output < 2 %
Frequency response: 90 - 14,000 Hz
Power consumption:
220 - 240 V, 50 Hz, 0.7 - 5 W
Dry cells: 5 batteries 33 x 60.5 mm
Voltage: 7.5 V

FM Radio:
Range 87,5 - 104 MHz
Sensitivity <1.2µV / 75 ohms
Selectivity >23 dB
Limiting <7µV / 75 ohms
Frequency Response 65 - 20,000 Hz
Harmonic Distortion <1.2 %

Dimensions W x H x D: 22 x 36 x 6cm
Weight 2.26 kg

Connections: External Power 7,5 V

Related Products

Created: 21st January 2007
Modified: 27th February 2007

Author Notes:

My BeoWorld

0 items in your basket

Need a cable? Just ask Steve at Sounds Heavenly
Want to sell your B&O products