Danish audio hifi producer Bang & Olufsen is world renowned for the stylish high quality sound systems, and with the B&O BeoSound 8 announced in London today they are also challenging the growing speaker dock market with a system that lives up to its name.
BeoSound 8 design and features
The BeoSound 8 from Bang & Olufsen is more than just a standard iPod speaker dock in more ways than just one. First of all this is one of the first that does not look odd when you dock the Apple iPad with it, and you would not expect anything else from a Bang & Olufsen system. It also brings that sense of high-end style and sophistication that we have grown accustomed to.
For the most part the B&O BeoSound 8 is made of solid aluminum, keeping very much with an Apple themed style for this unit that is made for the iPod/iPhone/iPad. To be able to dock an iPad the unit has to be of a size to accomodate it, which has resulted in a speaker dock measuring 661 x 239 x 164mm and weighting in at 4.25 kg.
However there is a good reason for the size, besides the ability to dock the iPad, and that is to provide the best possible sound, with the size allowing to shift as much air as possible. The cone designed speakers strike out at you as two big and beautiful eyes, each packed with 5-inch woofers and 3/4 inch tweeters. Combined with the Bang & Olufsen adaptive bass linearization for extra low end response and the their unique room adaptation sound switch, you can be sure that the BeoSound 8 will sound great in all surroundings.
The BeoSound 8 will be available in white and black, but you can also change the color of the speaker cover to either lavender, blue, purple, green, yellow, as well as black and white.
There will also be an associated application for the iPhone/iPad available to download through the iTunes App Store. The free version of the BeoPlayer will in addition to other things provide access to 20 internet radio stations, while the paid for version of the app will provide access to over 10,000 radio stations.
One-one with the BeoSound 8
Having now had a chance to spend some one-on-one time with the BeoSound at a Bang & Olufsen store i can share my non-audio expert experience of the sound of the BeoSound 8.
First of all, the pictures of the BeoSound 8 does it justice as it looks just as striking in real, oozing quality and danish fines. And to a large degree the sound justifies the price tag as well, considering that there are inferior systems in both sound and design out there with a higher price tag.
The BeoSound 8 finds its home when the volume increases, providing a smooth and well-balanced sound that will nicely fill a large room. Unlike many other iPhone speaker docks, it also distributes the sound quite nicely, although as imagined you do get the best listening experience form the front of the unit.
The B&O BeoSound 8 is definitely not a bedroom unit (unless you have a massive bedroom), but would be a perfect fit for a larger living room where you can show off your great taste in both design and sound.
The Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8 will be available exclusively through B&O’s own outlets in the UK and Europe, while it may appear at multiple retail outlets in the US.
At the moment the in-store price for the Beosound 8 is £950, but you might be able to find it cheaper on eBay.
Overall view of BeoSound 8
In its price class the B&O BeoSound 8 is definitely among the frontrunners, with its great and unique design, combined with a high quality sound experience. The fact that it also works as an iPad speaker dock is a big plus compared to many of its competitors.