Bang & Olufsen produces some of the most beautiful hi-fi and audiovisual products in existence, so it is obvious that the Danish high-end specialist can certainly create one of the best sound bars in the world if he chooses to do so – and it seemingly did.
The Beosound Theater has just launched in Berlin, a stone’s throw from the grand technology show known as IFA 2022 – and we’re here to see (and hear) it.
Beosound Theater is touted as an “innovative and meticulously crafted high-end soundbar” with great promise – the power of a multi-product home theater setup in one single product. Moreover, B&O tells us that its new “bar was created with the ambition to be the most powerful and engaging soundbar in the world” because good like being a visually stunning addition to your living room.
How does it provide a cinematic experience from one bar? Beosound Theater is equipped with 12 speaker drivers, including two custom-made 6.5-inch long-stroke woofers and 800 watts of amplification power, delivering sound pressure levels up to 112 dB.
Speech clarity is managed by a custom-made center channel in which the tweeter is mounted directly in front of the midrange. The alignment of these drivers ensures, says B&O, better sound distribution, thus increasing the sound quality for everyone in the room, while the directivity has been designed to optimize speech quality.
However, this is not the first sound test for B&O TVs. Building on Beam Width and Beam Direction Control, developed for Bang & Olufsen’s flagship Beolab 90 speakers (and who could forget the stunning butterfly-like TV and Beovision Harmony sound system in one or rich Beosound Edge?) And unveiled at IFA, Beosound Theater introduces a new three-dimensional directivity in sound with a patent-pending combination of direct, side and up firing speakers.
This means that all speaker drivers work together not only to generate sound, but also to control beam width and direction – essentially this is B&O’s response to Dolby Atmos in a solo product that sits underneath your TV.
“We originally developed Beam Width and Beam Directivity Control for the Beolab 90 to reduce sidewall reflections at the listening position – essentially to make the walls disappear,” said B&O senior technology specialist Jakob Dyreby, adding: “In the Beosound theater, we use this technology to direct the sound away from the listener, increasing the perception of spaciousness and providing a much more immersive experience. ”
At the same time, Beosound Theater was built to last for decades with a modular design that allows upgrades, not replacements.
Analysis: B&O TV high-end audio experience for almost any screen size – provided you can afford it
Bang & Olufsen is renowned for its unique approach to craftsmanship and design, but this product is definitely hidden under the hood.
While we propose one of the best OLED TVs as a starting point for this particular “bar”, Beosound Theater is based on B&O’s fundamental modularity, allowing customers to turn the soundbar into a complete wall-mounted or floor-standing Bang & Olufsen TV home theater experience – if allowed. their budget for it.
This modular design thinking also applies to TV screens and soundbar housings, which are interchangeable. The aluminum “wings” can also be pulled out for customers whose TV screens grow with modernization – although they are available in three sizes (all look bigger and more impressive than our photos show).
Mads Kogsgaard Hansen, B&O Head of Circular Product Circulation, explains: “Beosound Theater is modularly designed to last many televisions over their lifetime. We’ve created a solution that allows you to upgrade your product instead of replacing it, and a product that can evolve over time, “adding,” The Beosound Theater interface bracket allows you to dock almost any screen to the soundbar. “
This interface bracket is motorized and creates a seamless connection between the stand and the TV screen, cleverly hiding the clutter and presenting the TV as one integrated structure. The bracket also includes a partition in which to fit smart TV boxes and hide excess cables from view – no one needs mixed up cables that spoil the aesthetics.
In terms of compatibility and connectivity, Beosound Theater has seven outputs and can support up to 16 external speakers to become the heart of a complete Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 surround sound setup. In this configuration, Beosound Theater would act as a center speaker that combines Dolby Atmos decoding and custom post-processing with Bang & Olufsen’s proprietary True Image algorithm to maximize the capabilities of all Bang & Olufsen speakers. So you can buy a Beosound Theater as a soundbar and later add a pair of rear speakers like the Beolab 28 in a triangle if you wish.
In addition, Beosound Theater features a new bass management system which the company says is “unlike anything else” – and since B&O is speaking here, we’re led to believe it. While other systems simply send bass to the most powerful speaker (usually a subwoofer), B&O says Beosound Theater uses all Bang & Olufsen speakers in the system to collaborate as one unit. This not only gives the entire system the maximum potential, but also helps to control the resonance in the listening room, making sure that different speakers work together and not against each other.
And just look at this construction in solid oak and polished aluminum! The company says it was created to “reflect the effortless grace of sailboats”, with a keel aesthetic that makes it “appear to rest on an aluminum blade, floating in one fluid form.”
And it’s not just about the look – the software is also top notch. Beosound Theater is equipped with Bang & Olufsen’s new setup technology called Roomsense. By placing an external microphone in the listening position, Beosound Theater will work with the Bang & Olufsen app to measure the distance from the viewer to the soundbar. But what’s more, it will assign a “role” to each speaker based on a different placement, perform sound compensation for each speaker (if placed free-standing, against a wall or in a corner), as well as overall room compensation to avoid unwanted resonance.
But it is not everything. The soundbar also comes with Bang & Olufsen’s proprietary software platform called Mozart, which B&O assures ensure Beosound Theater can connect seamlessly to B&O products as early as 1986, creating a cross-generational home audio setup.
In addition to respecting the past, the Mozart platform also anticipates the future; The platform is loaded with loads of computing power and memory, allowing Bang & Olufsen to introduce new features, capabilities and connectivity over time to ensure equally hassle-free operation for years to come – it’s almost like a company reading our tips on how to get the most out of your soundbar Dolby Atmos.
Prices? Of course. Get ready. Beosound Theater is available in a high-quality wood or fabric finish. The MSRP starts at € 6,490 / £ 5,590 / DKK 49,400, which is approximately $ 6,549 or AU $ 9,445. We did say bonus …
IFA 2022 is the largest technology program in Europe and TechRadar is in Berlin to bring you all the latest news and announcements as well as our hands-on first impressions of new TVs, wearables, audio devices and other gadgets on display.