Heard/Saw Bang and Olufsen Beovision 5.. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-31-2005, 08:04 AM
I saw/heard the Bang and Olufsen Beovision 5 at the Boston Wine Festival yesterday and was not impressed.

I guess it comibines the Beolab 5 speakers with their new flatscreen tv with the built in centerchannel. I was not impressed because it didn't make a huge statement. First of all, while the speakers look cool, they're not really practical unless you live with George Jetson. Don't get me wrong, they'd look very chic in a Manhattan studio in Trump Tower, but not in my place. Yes, I know they are not made for someone like me, but there are many people who can afford $17,000 speakers and want something a bit more normal looking, but to each their own...

Secondly, the price. I thought the sound was decent, but the bass just wasn't present (built in subs) like I expected in the samples they played (LOTR: FOTR). The sales rep said it's because the room is just so huge and bass waves have nothing to bounce off of, which I guess is true. But I was sitting 10 feet in front of the speakers so I expected to hear/feel SOME bass, but nothing. Anyways, the price, $17,000. Now, I can think of a couple of speakers I think could outperform these for much less, but it's my opinion.

And lastly, the screensize of the TV was ridiculous. I think it was maybe 40" widescreen. I'm sorry, but anyone who is going to pay a fortune for that TV (that's not included in the $17k) and only has a 40" TV to show for it, it seems kind of ridiculous to me.

Anyways, I've never been a fan of B&O and this weekend confirmed my belief yet again. I think they are way overpriced. People say our "famous speaker company" is overpriced, but I think B&O is a much bigger offender.

I know everyone has different tastes, appeals, but this is just my opinion.

01-31-2005, 11:41 AM
I've never really thought of B&O as much more than eye candy as well. However, the Beolab 5 really surprised me when I auditioned them at the B&O shop in Newport Beach. I found the sound to be exceptional and the sweet spot was just HUGE due to the acoustic lens'. The bass was very extended and had more than enough gravitas for just about any type of music you care to imagine. I wasn't expecting much from these B&O's, so all of this really caught me off guard. It was actually a good lesson in the danger of preconceptions.

As for the price, well yeah, any speaker that sells for nearly $20 large is going to be questionable in the price/performance ratio. That said, remember that there is a fair amount of cutting edge tech in these speakers. Aside from the obvious acoustic lens tech, they also feature built-in motorized mic's and room equalization dsp's to provide optimum response in each room (up to a certain point, apparently). In addition, let's not forget that these are active speakers and it's not far fetched to imagine that people willing to spend this much on speakers probably have amps that cost a fair amount as well. When you consider that hi-end digital room calibration devices from TacT and others run $5,000 or more, you can start to see why the speaker cost as much as they do.

01-31-2005, 11:47 AM
I will say that the speakers did sound very good, but that first impression quickly disappeared when I heard what the price was.

I've heard the Wilson Watt/Puppy in a similar environment and I felt they sounded MUCH better.

True, it is not a good environment to hear them in, but it just seemed in line with the "lower level" overpriced entry stuff that B&O offers.

01-31-2005, 01:40 PM
The WP7's are my own personal reference point in that I haven't heard a speaker that betters them. This includes Von Schweikert's VR11 which chime in at a coronary inducing $120,000 ($160,000 in the finish I heard them in) although to be fair, the VR11's were being driven by a Spectron amp instead of their normal compliment of VAC mono's with which they were voiced.

I'm in complete agreement that the Beo 5's can't match the WP7's, but they were still very, very good. It sounds like a bad case of room interaction. I think everyone would agree that you can take any great speaker and make it sound horrible in the wrong room.