At $1490, the BeoSound 8 is an entry-level product from Bang & Olufsen and, priced between B&W’s Zeppelin and the Geneva M, will be a tempting choice for those looking for a premium iPod solution. It supports iPhone, of course, and will be the first dock available locally to support iPad when it goes onsale in the first week of December 2010.
The BeoSound 8’s designer must have a sense of irony as, viewed face-on, it reminds us of an old-time reel-to-reel system. It can be placed on a table-top or wall-mounted (kit provided), and the standard black or white grille clothes can be exchanged for a range of different coloured grilles ($75), allowing you to better mate the system with your interior decor.
Each speaker contains two drivers (a ¾ inch tweeter and 5 inch midrange) within a 1.3 litre cone-shaped sealed cabinet. The approach, and the nine degree rearwards tilt of the unit, allows the BeoSound 8 to be placed more easily into a corner, while the absence of parallel surfaces helps reduce standing waves within the cabinet and improve sound accuracy, according to B&O.
Each speaker is driven by 70 watts of ICEPower, making for a total system output of 140 watts. Frequency response is a claimed 20Hz to 35,000Hz.
’Round the back is a line-input and USB port for connecting other audio devices, including a hard drive or computer. In this arrangement, the DACs within the BeoSound 8 allow it to perform as a quality set of speakers for your digital music library. A switch on the rear of the unit allows you to adjust bass response to suit room placement, with wall, corner and free options catered for.
Bang & Olufsen provides a free app for the BeoSound 8 on the iTunes store, and this allows a docked i-device to perform as a clock, sleep timer and alarm. It also provides access to a selection of internet radio stations, handpicked by Bang & Olufsen. A paid version of the app (around $US20) will extend the selection to 14,000.