Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8

If you're looking for a top-of-the-line iPod dock that not only supports iPads but looks and sounds amazing, Bang and Olufsen's BeoSound 8 is what you should get.


8.3
CNET Rating
8.3
User Rating

About The Author

CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


Got an iPad? Tried fitting it to a speaker dock yet? Doesn't work, does it? Thankfully B&O has thought of this and presents not only its first iPod dock, but also one of the first docks in the world that will fit the Apple tablet.

Design and Features

By B&O's own admission, the BeoSound 8 is unusual for the Danish design maestros as it centres around another company's product. It may be several years behind the rest of the world in getting an iPod dock into the arms of the public, but when the company does something it says it wants it done right.

The BeoSound 8 is an iPod dock first, but the plinth is wide enough to accommodate an iPad and the player is held on by an adaptable, screw-in brace.

The dock's fascia features a brushed aluminium finish, but the majority of the construction is a hard-wearing plastic. The device features a set of two 70W speakers on either side of the controls and despite the "floating" appearance the speakers are actually conical and not "flat". The speaker covers are also replaceable for coloured versions. The B&O doesn't lean back as far as the competitive Philips Fidelio Primo and so you needn't sit as closely to it to enjoy your music.

The dock boasts a digital connection between your Apple device and B&O's proprietary signal processor for better sound.

If you want a bit of flexibility with connections, the dock comes with a stereo RCA jack and a mini-USB port for streaming from a PC. The USB port uses the same processor for higher quality sonics.

Mimicking the style of the central control interface comes a small remote which features a nub on the back that makes it sit securely between your fingers.

Performance

The company has always prided itself on high-quality design and top-tier performance. Functionally, the B&O has the goods, but does this translate to quality sound?

Curious about the dock's ability to mate with your iPad, we began there — cueing up a copy of Daft Punk's Tron Legacy soundtrack. We were hit with a wave of clean, meticulous robot funk which, at low levels at least, was underpinned by mesmerisingly full bass. Turn it up towards breaking point, however, and you will find that the character changes and becomes less subtle and more trebly, though not degenerating into distortion. The dock wasn't quite as "dance-floor ready" as the above Philips dock, but it was certainly more "hi-fi". If you favour a crisp, intimate sound over warmth and grandeur then the BeoSound 8 may be your cup of tea.

While the dock enjoys compatibility with all the iDevices, we did encounter an issue with a jailbroken iPhone — it played a couple of seconds of music and then went silent, necessitating a reset. B&O were unable to say if this was part of an Apple-mandated security measure, but we'd suggest you should either return your phone to factory settings or consider a different dock.

Plugging the PC in, we were able to enjoy our music and movie collection in glorious stereo, though the size of the unit may preclude it from being used on the smaller desks. Similarly, the dock was able to make a decent fist of any stereo source we connected via the RCA jacks.

Conclusion

At AU$1500, the BeoSound is one of the most expensive iPod docks we've seen, but feel that people who are drawn to the distinctive design won't be disappointed by the sparkling sound on offer.

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JohnnyW Facebook
8
Rating
 

"Nice sound.. but could be better."

JohnnyW posted a review   
Australia

I still prefer the Zeppelin.

 

JaLi posted a comment   

Looks absolutely great but where are other apps or more opportunities to expand with existing B&O stuff?

Hunkboy
9
Rating
 

Hunkboy posted a review   

The Good:Sound Quality, Built Quality

The Bad:At low volume, Bass is too strong and needs airport express for "wireless" stream

It is a work of art this dock. Unfortunately what they advertise as "wireless stream" from your computer to the dock is just an RCA input at the back which you must connect to an airport express unit to get this wireless playback. Not so "wireless" as i hoped.
Apart from that, it is flawless. I use with both Beoplayer and Ipod with my Iphone 3G. Waking up with the sound of your favorite online radio (among the available in Beoplayer) is a very good function. Hopefully Beoplayer will mature and become a more usefull app soon.

BTW I had to erase some of my albuns and download at a better BitRate (320kbps)to get the best out of this dock. The quality of the sound is just astonishing for such a small unit. The soundstage is also impressive if you are listening at a close range. Very good bang for your buck.
Not sure if it is twice as best as the B&W Zeppelin though.

B&O fan
8
Rating
 

B&O fan posted a review   

The Good:Impressive, room-filling sound

The Bad:Bass is perhaps too heavy

Collected my unit a couple of days ago and am generally impressed with the sound of this unit. Treble is sharp and almost as clear as the Beolab 3 but bass is too heavy for my liking.

 

tmac posted a comment   

Philips were the first to bring out an ipad/ipod dock.

 

Ty Pendlebury posted a reply   
Australia

Perhaps in Europe, but it's not in Australia just yet.

 

Rooney posted a reply   

..however.looks **** to me anyway. put an iPhone on it and You'll see. So I'll stick with the BeoSound 8.




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User Reviews / Comments  Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8

  • JohnnyW

    JohnnyW

    Rating8

    "I still prefer the Zeppelin."

  • JaLi

    JaLi

    "Looks absolutely great but where are other apps or more opportunities to expand with existing B&O stuff?"

  • Hunkboy

    Hunkboy

    Rating9

    "It is a work of art this dock. Unfortunately what they advertise as "wireless stream" from your computer to the dock is just an RCA input at the back which you must connect to an airport express un..."

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