on March 7, 2011
I have a multi room B&O system which I have used for 10 years: a Beosound 9000 drives B&O speakers of various sizes and models in 9 rooms throughout the house. I know and love the warm smoothness of the B&O sound.
I also have a screening room which uses B&W Diamond speakers for L,R,C and rear, driven by Bel Canto monoblock amps; I have had this set up for 3 years and I know the precise analytical sound of B&W speakers well, and love them too.
I have used 2 Zeppelins since they were introduced in 2008, I love the sound. Naturally when the Beosound 8 was introduced I was curious and recently purchased one; and having been enjoying it for a few weeks love the sound too.
So which should someone buy? I think anyone would be happy with either (I am), but try to audition them both if you can.
The only strong recommendation I would make is that price wise, comparing both the B&O and B&W and taking into the consideration the fabulous sound quality of both, the Zeppelin is a bargain at 60% of the B&O's price, particularly since there are some pretty low grade plastic used in the back of the B&O.
on January 6, 2011
Have been listening to the BS8 for just over a week now. The look and feel are down to personal taste but my Wife and I love it. It's really solid and feels very well made. It just looks great in any placement.
We listen to a lot of music between us, everything from AC/DC through Muse to Melody Gardot. For it's size, the BS8 sound is unbelievable. The only drawback for me is that the limited EQ settings of my 4th Gen Nano, have me messing with the settings between albums in order to bring out the best sound. My wife doesn't feel the need to do this so perhaps I'm just being fussy.
In addition to using the dock, I have played with connecting the BS8 to my PC via the RCA connectors and via the USB mini connection. The USB connection sounded incredible. Both connections allow you to make full use of the EQ settings in WMP11 or ITunes.
The BS8 is more than capable of producing incredibly clear top end, punchy midrange and exceptionally deep lows. It really does sound astonishing for such a small system.
I haven't heard the B&W Zeppelin or the new Phillips dock so I can't comment on those. I have heard the Bose dock (the bigger one) which did sound very good but it didn't compare to the BS8. It is a lot cheaper.
The B&O remote is really nice to use and the supplied wall brackets are standard B&O quality. The only gripes I have are that the 3 position sound switch is a bit of a pain to get to and that there is no headphone connection.
I listened to Madonna's Paradise, Jet's Cold Hard Bitch, Metallica's King Nothing and even ELO's Mr Blue Sky. The BS8 produced an emotional response in me to all of these tracks. That response was 'Thank God we haven't wasted our money'.
My review is intended for those who are genuinely interested in the quality of this system. If you don't like B&O or you think you could spend your money on something other than a dock or it's overpriced blah blah blah, well you know what to do.
on April 20, 2011
I've listened to a number of iPod docks, including Geneva Labs models S and M, and the original B&W Zeppelin (haven't heard the Arcam rCube or the newer Zeppelin yet), even the Meridian F80. Most iPod docks seem inferior in sound quality to me and I could easily do better with a budget receiver and a pair of bookshelf speakers (or else a DAC and a pair of powered speakers like say the AudioEngine A5). The Beosound 8 was, in my listening, clearly in a different category to other all-in-one docks that I've heard, and of course it's more than an iPod dock, and well suited for use with a computer-based music system (using USB connection).
I listened in the local B&O store to lossless files (from my own CD collection ) using my iPod Touch, and the sound was really good. Vocals and acoustic instruments including strings and brass sounded natural, and there was good volume and bass for a small device. I had a big smile on my face as I listened, I really enjoyed the music, something that doesn't happen that often when I listen to budget systems. My home bedroom system, while not ultra high end, is significantly more expensive with components like Spendor S3/5 bookshelf speakers, Vecteur amplifier, and Adcom DAC.
Many reviews have commented on how expensive the B&O system is (for an iPod dock). While I'm sure there is a healthy profit in the price, from my point of view it's reasonable. I don't think many people realize the significance of the digital to analog converter (DAC) to the sound quality, and the Beosound 8 is a digital system with its own DAC accepting digital inputs directly from an iPod or from a computer via USB cable, and separate amplifiers for each driver (two 2-way speakers, so 4 amplifiers). I figure to beat the Beosound 8 I would need to buy a decent USB DAC (say $200 - $250 or more), a quality integrated amplifier (say $600 for Rotel or Rega Brio 3), or else something like the Peachtree MusicBox ($700) and a pair of bookshelf speakers ($350 +/-, say something from Paradigm or PSB), so that's pretty close to the price of the Beosound 8 and of course the clutter of connecting cables and the separate power cords.
If I wanted a simple all-in-one system for a bedroom or a vacation house this would be my choice.
on March 14, 2012
BeoSound 8 - Black
Great Sound.. BUT...the shortcomings are too numerous for a $999.00 purchase
1.does not have built in wireless. Must use a airport express.
2.If using the express you cannot use the usb cable with it, you must use RCA connections, and it there is no room to install them without leaving the back cover off. So this clean looking device now has all these wires hanging out the back making it ugly on your counter top. plus the space taken by the airport express.
3.The electrical wire supplied has a different configuration than the port where it's plugged in. So you have to force the wire in to make it fit,ie round peg in a square hole. this B&O confirms is correct. two design engineers not communicating with each other?
4. There is no built in radio nor alarm. You have to buy their app for another $15.00, so they are charging you for their oversight.
5. You cannot stream music via your Airport express as long as you have your Ipod/Iphone in the cradle even though it may be turned off . It will not work. You have to remove it in order to do that.
6. You cannot make any equalization adjustments.
Aside the good sound, the above shortcomings may lead one to search an alternative product. Even the Bose has a built in wireless.
on February 9, 2011
I bought the beosound 8 at my local b&o dealer about 1.5 months ago and I have no regrets. I love the way it reproduces music. It produces hi fi sounds by playing all the frequencies from bass to treble accurately. However it will not shake your belly while doing so. It is heard best when using it at casual listening volume levels. It is also a very non-obtrusive design which blends in very well with furniture. I bought the black model with yellow speaker covers.
All in all, If you have the money and you want a very nice sounding, non-obtrusive design and sound, buy it. If you care more about feeling bass than hearing it, you may want to buy something else. But most other systems that produce louder sounds and more bass all have the same boring design of a receiver and two boxes for speakers. Which is not the same as saying b&o put looks over quality!--the beo8 just has a better ratio of the two.
As for the person who gave the system a one star review, stating he/she needed a code/password to play the beo8, that comment made no sense. There is no place or option to type a code. The person may be reviewing another product in the wrong place, which wouldn't surprise me considering the reviewer did not know how to turn the system on! The beo8 is as simple as a music system can be, with only 5 bottoms--volume up/down, next/previous tract and on/off!
on January 31, 2013
The high fidelity sound is great... Better than bose or other docks availables. You can raise the volume to the max level and it will not distorsionate.
on May 9, 2011
I just purchased a black Beosound 8 and lugged all the way home in the subway. The first device I connected to it was my Iphone 4. While the sound quality delivered and the aesthetics was more than satisfactory, there is was detail that I caught while listening critically from certain tracks. I noticed a sort of low level popping sound much akin to playing records, dirty records produced while listening to the Ipod section of the Iphone 4. This low level pops occurred at regular intervals in a MP3 low resolution track. Perhaps hoping for the best, I switched to apple lossless ripped tracks from an original Alisson Krauss record, the pop still remained.
I thought that there could be a possibility that it was some sort of RF interference and decided to disable the WIFI and other data intensive parts to the iphone. The pops still remained.
Then, I decided to try my 2008/2009 Itouch with the original track that game me trouble at first...alas, the reproduction was glitch free.
For a third try, I put an Ipad MKI 16GB on it and it produced exceptional, pop free sound from the same track.
Lastly, I connected an MacBook Pro Unibody 2009 via mini USB to it and it also produced pop free sound.
As it I ascertained, while aesthetically and sonically it is worth the price I paid for, either my own unit or all these units in general can and will possibly have this terrible glitch with the Iphone 4, mines being At&t Iphone 4, perhaps someone can chime in with a Verizon Iphone 4 review.
Bang and Olufsen should look into this issue ASAP as more and more of these docks will be used with the Iphone 4 and later versions of the Apple phone and possibly it will have this glitch.
BTW: I am taking mine back to the Bang and Olufsen store on Saturday to prove my theory and see whether I happen to have a glitchy unit. Will keep posted about the developments.
May 10 update:
I took a trip to the B&O store in the Flatiron district where I purchased the 8. I took the three devices with me, Iphone 4 AT&T edition, Itouch 2008/2009 and a Ipad Generation 1. The popping glitch was easily reproducible, especially with tracks where there was a swing of volume from low to high with the Iphone 4 but it was entirely lacking in the two other devices. Salesperson told me that there was just 1 glitch he had ever heard from the 8 which was with some Itouches, whose problem disappeared when their IOS software was updated. His Iphone 4 did not produce the glitch I suspected.
FF, I returned home and decided to compare my Iphone 4 with my wife's newer Iphone 4, alas, it does not produce the glitch.
Lesson learned: Which at first simple, the problem will necessitate aggressive comparative troubleshooting, in this case my luck meant that I had 2 Iphone 4s but other people will not have access to such scenario. It seems as if the docking pins of the Iphone 4 can become damaged with continuous contact, docking and undocking producing such glitch in sound. My fortune is that the Iphone 4 is within the 1 year parts warranty, before I call Apple, I will necessitate to hard boot it and see whether it resolves the issue. I pretty much have determined it is a electric/physical parts fault.
Goodbye $1000 and Beosound 8 is here for permanent residence.
I am changing my rating to 5 Stars. Case closed.
on March 14, 2013
the beosound 8 will not work with an ipod 5th generation with click wheel or an ipod 4th generation with click wheel. here is how the B&O customer care agent put it:
"I am sorry to inform you that we do not support these two iPod's for BeoSound 8.
If you got any other iPod's you want to connect, please let me know and I will look to see if they are supported.
Sorry for the negative answer."
remarkable, isn't it, that a $700 to $1100 audio product can't dock with the memory units it is *marketed and sold* to be used with?
meanwhile, the scrappy little $200 bose sounddock II plays both ipods without losing a beat.
what is it bose knows that bang & olufson doesn't? the art of engineering, for starters.
on March 13, 2012
If you plan to buy this, then you should do so from Amazon and NOT the Bang and Olufsen store.
I recently purchased the BeoSound 8 from an actual Bang and Olufsen store (See address below)
Although I thought the system was pretty good it did not meet my expectation in sound quality I have come to expect from Bang Olufsen.
When I attempted to return to the store I purchased from within 4 days. I was informed that I could not return it and he pointed me to a small sign hidden behind the computer monitor that explained their return policy. In very small writing that could not be seen from where you sign your receipt, it states that you cannot return anything, except for phones. I had not seen nor been told of this policy when I purchased this product.
This should have been disclosed verbally and the notice disclosed clearly and not hidden behind a monitor as is required by California Law.
I had already reviewed the product online and read their return policy before purchasing from the store:
Since I cannot add links in here. Here is what their return policy states from their website:
We are proud of our products and want you to be satisfied with your purchase. All Bang & Olufsen products carry a three year international manufacturer's warranty. If you are not completely satisfied with your online purchase for any reason, we will gladly provide a refund. You may return unused merchandise within 30 days of the original shipped date for a prompt refund. You will be refunded for the merchandise total, plus any applicable sales tax paid. Shipping and handling charges are not refundable. Please allow 14 business for your return to be processed and 1 to 2 billing cycles for the credit to show up on your credit card statement. Please be advised that if you return any part of your order and that order was part of a promotion, your refund may be reduced.To ensure proper credit/refund, please return your unused merchandise by following the instructions below.
It appears their online and in store policy is different! WTF!
If anyone wants to buy a Bang and Olufsen product. I would suggest doing so from another retailer, such as Amazon, that actually values their customers.
Will I be buying another Bang and Olufsen product again? I think not...
So how does it sound?
I have compared this directly with the new Zeppelin.
Winner: Zeppelin. With AirPlay, hands down winner.
Winner:Zeppelin. BeoSound 8 looks like it's trying to be cool, but isn't.
Winner:Zeppelin. Bass is far superior. Sound is much fuller and volume goes higher.
Beosound 8 needs to be turned almost all the way up to sound good.
Winner:Zeppelin. $599 vs. $999. Clear winner here.
Overall: The B&W Zeppelin in my opinion sounds better. Way better bass if you like that kind of thing.
Bang and Olufsen
3333 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
on September 2, 2011
Just got my B&O beosound 8 and I just love it! Tried different songs (old ones - Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith) and new ones : sound is incredible, so full, rich it truly brings justice to music! So happy with it!!!! Rather than spending $ on multiple other units, just get one - this one! Just listen to Louis Armstrong....beautiful