Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre review: the Dolby Atmos soundbar goes deluxe

2 months ago 30

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre is simply a stunning high-end, all-in-one Dolby Atmos soundbar. It delivers a level of dynamic onslaught beyond thing successful the class we’ve heard to date, and volition astir apt outlast your adjacent TV (or two). Highlights see superb dialog clarity, profound bass without a subwoofer, and dynamics that could startle the dead.


  • +

    Impressive physique quality

  • +

    Outstanding musicality

  • +

    Good connectivity


  • -

    Incredibly expensive

  • -

    Extra B&O speakers needed for afloat immersion

  • -

    Design is an acquired taste

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Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre: One-minute review

Bang & Olufsen intelligibly acceptable retired to marque a connection with the Beosound Theatre Dolby Atmos soundbar. It’s gloriously over-engineered, with a level of plan finesse the class hasn’t seen before. It’s besides a formidable performer. The operator array includes a sublime coaxial center, 2 oversized woofers, and broadside and tallness drivers that physique an immense partition of sound.

We deliberation the Beosound Theatre sets a caller audio benchmark for the soundbar category, pushing past what immoderate of the best soundbars we've heard truthful acold tin bash from a azygous unit. It’s related to B&O's Beosound Stage soundbar, but erstwhile it comes to powerfulness and profundity, this is simply a overmuch bigger brother. 

However, it’s rather the commitment. Both successful presumption of terms – it'll acceptable you backmost an eye-watering $6,890 / £5,590 / AU$11,860 – and weight, astatine a immense 18kg. The plan is unmistakably B&O. The iconic Scandinavian design, which connected our reappraisal illustration includes a melodramatic slatted woody grille (there’s besides a little costly cloth grille enactment available), and slick solid interaction panel, which illuminates erstwhile you approach.

With 12 powerfulness amplifiers onboard, it has rather the sonic arsenal astatine its disposal. As a standalone euphony speaker, it’s amazingly effective, and erstwhile it comes to movie blockbusters it delivers enactment hard and fast. But it can't present rear dependable without adding other abstracted speakers (and other expense).

If you privation the biggest, clearest dependable from a single-unit soundbar, thing other does it rather this well, arsenic you'd anticipation for the price. But if you request a one-box soundbar with Dolby Atmos for a much affordable price, see the Sonos Arc, Sony HT-A7000 oregon Devialet Dione (in ascending terms order), each of which inactive present large sound. Just not quite arsenic big.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre review: Price and merchandise date

  • Costs from $6,890 / £5,590 / AU$11,860
  • Released October 2022

The terms you’ll wage for the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre varies according to the decorativeness you opt for. In its astir inexpensive guise, with a cloth grille, you tin expect to wage $6,890 / £5,590 / AU$11,860. However, upgrade the decorativeness to Silver Oak oregon Gold Tone, and the terms escalates to $7,990 / £6,390 / AU$13,650.

We don't request to archer you that's incredibly expensive, adjacent by the standards of different premium soundbars. For example, the Samsung HW-Q990B, 1 of our top, high-end soundbar picks outgo $1,899 / £1,599 / AU$2,199 astatine launch. Sure the Beosound Theatre whitethorn outperform it successful immoderate ways, but it's inactive an unthinkable inquire for boosting the dependable connected your TV.

A adjacent  up   of the rear of the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre Dolby Atmos soundbar

There’s generous HDMI proviso connected disconnected present to adhd section sources, specified arsenic a Blu-ray subordinate and acceptable apical box. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre review: Features

  • Upgradable design
  • Dolby Atmos soil HDMI 2.1 support
  • Auto-calibration microphone

There’s nary dedicated distant power supplied successful the container with the Beosound Theatre. Instead, you’re directed to the accompanying app. Some radical are bound to emotion the information you don't request to messiness astir with a remote, others mightiness consciousness shortchanged for the terms – this is the aforesaid woody arsenic you get with Sonos soundbars, and we person nary contented with it.

The app has a assortment of dependable presets to take from, including TV, Music, Movie, Game and (dynamically compressed) Night. It besides facilitates Spotify Connect, Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 support.

One cardinal diagnostic of the Beosound Theatre is its modular design. Longevity was a cardinal request successful its design, and virtually immoderate portion of the soundbar tin beryllium swapped retired for a replacement oregon upgrade. This includes the processor and the HDMI interface board, truthful immoderate changes to broadcast specs oregon standards tin theoretically beryllium accommodated.

It’s compatible with Dolby Atmos, TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and 7.1 PCM sources, but not DTS:X. It seems a small ridiculous to miss the second disconnected astatine this price, but present we are.

Connectivity connected the rear comprises 4 HDMI ports – 1 of which is the eARC larboard that connects to the TV. Frustratingly, this is besides the lone 1 that supports 4K 120Hz, meaning that you can't really pass-through 4K 120Hz from the different 3 HDMI ports. But you bash get regular 4K HDR passthrough, astatine least.

There’s besides the proviso to link the Theatre to different Beosound speakers. Indeed, arsenic galore arsenic 16 tin beryllium connected: 8 utilizing Wireless Powerlink, and 8 Powerlink.

There are 4 Ethernet sockets towards this purpose, though 1 is specifically for connecting to LG TVs and controlling the full setup utilizing the B&O app.

The soundbar comes with a calibration microphone to assistance tune the dependable for your country – and it's not constricted to conscionable 1 'sweet spot', usefully. You tin tune for a full seating area, which is not thing you thin to get from soundbars.

  • Features score: 4/5

A adjacent  up   of the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre Dolby Atmos soundbar talker  system

The talker array connected connection wrong the B&O Besound Theatre soundbar is classified arsenic 7.1.4, but instrumentality that with a pinch of salt. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre review: Sound quality

  • Wide spatial soundstage
  • Incredible dynamics
  • A precocious performer with some movies and music

The Beosound Theatre provides a hugely entertaining listen. High frequencies are item rich, there’s a smooth, fulsome mid-range and underpinning some is simply a bass onslaught susceptible of flattening your recliner. The talker array is classified arsenic 7.1.4, but instrumentality that with a pinch of salt. 

Despite the terms tag, this is not a replacement for a high-end AV receiver system. It’s thing altogether different. Perhaps the astir astonishing facet of the Theatre is its bass handling. This all-in-one slams similar a battalion of subwoofers. It tin driblet earnestly deep, and is susceptible of rather startling dynamics. Those 2 guardant facing  6.5-inch woofers cognize however to unit load a room.

But the barroom is besides susceptible of singular mid-range clarity. That center-mounted coaxial operator is beautifully articulate, not conscionable with movie dialogue, which is ever casual to travel nary substance however engaged the soundstage, but besides music.

Stereo euphony sources tin beryllium upmixed to marque afloat usage of the expansive operator array, which is worthy doing. With each cones astatine play, the soundstage is preternaturally wide and spacious. Significantly there’s nary overt saccharine spot – you won’t person to commandeer the premier spot connected the sofa each clip you privation to perceive to Tidal streams. Volume is prodigious too. There’s much than capable powerfulness connected pat to pump the measurement successful a ample listening space.

Of course, movies are the Beosound Theatre’s raison d'etre, and it doesn’t disappoint erstwhile the lights dim. The barroom has a shot with Bond’s pirouetting Aston Martin from No Time to Die. The machine-gun headlights dependable accelerated and fierce.

But blockbusters successful peculiar uncover an Achilles' heel. The Beosound Theatre doesn’t connection a afloat 360 grade soundstage from Dolby Atmos sources. Even with those angled broadside speakers, there’s nary consciousness of Dolby Atmos successful the round. For that, you’ll truly request to adhd further rear speakers.

This isn’t a disapproval peculiar to this B&O arsenic each soundbars request to usage further speakers to convincingly present a afloat situation experience, and we're not knocking the B&O for not being capable to interruption the laws of physics. We're judging it present arsenic a one-box soundbar, not a situation system. But it inactive means that if you privation this, you'd request to adhd much B&O speakers to your package.

What you're presented with from the barroom alone, though, is simply a masterful sonic canvas that looms earlier you for games and music.

However, we recovered a funny contented with the accuracy of dependable placement successful games – they don't lucifer what's on-screen arsenic good arsenic successful movies. This volition lone truly beryllium an contented for superior shooter fans, and likelihood are those radical volition usage a headset (or antithetic screen) anyway, truthful we don't deliberation it holds the Theatre backmost for 99% of its buyers.

  • Sound Quality score: 5/5

A adjacent  up   of the grille plan  connected  the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre Dolby Atmos soundbar

The Beosound Theatre soundbar we're reviewing present features a slatted oak wood grille, but determination are respective different options to prime from, which alteration successful price. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre review: Design

  • Iconic Scandi-style design
  • Multiple basal options
  • Weighs 18kg

It seems wholly due that a flagship soundbar should instrumentality its plan cues from a ship. B&O describes the soundbar’s shiny exterior arsenic a hull, which alternatively cleverly disguises immoderate of the bulk. Another cute plan instrumentality is the cardinal TV mounting plate. This allows virtually immoderate TV to beryllium secured to the bar, efficaciously obscuring the rear 50 per cent of the build.

The Theatre tin beryllium partnered with immoderate surface marque oregon size, astir typically 55, 65 oregon 77 inches. Bang & Olufsen works intimately with LG, and stylistically, that would beryllium the TV of prime – possibly the caller lighterweight LG C3. The aluminium wings – which hole near and right, and tin beryllium changed to accommodate antithetic surface sizes – are an inspired element.

The apical of the barroom is wrapped successful acoustic fabric. The cheapest (!) decorativeness extends this to the beforehand grille. The Beosound Theatre soundbar I tested features a slatted oak wood grille. 

Behind the grille are 12 talker drivers: 2 6.5-inch woofers and that coaxial centre, which comprises a 1-inch tweeter mounted successful beforehand of a 5.25-inch midranger. There’s besides 2 3-inch mid-range drivers, 4 2.5-inch drivers and 2 1-inch tweeters. The full powerfulness output for this array is 800W; 100 watts powerfulness the 2 bass drivers, with 60W going to each of the remaining 10 drivers.

One unintended effect of the interaction solid power up apical is that it’s highly reflective, and ever reflects what’s connected the surface above. Depending connected your angle, this could beryllium a tiny frustration.

  • Design score: 4.5/5

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre review: Value

  • Impeccable physique quality
  • High-end performance
  • Lacking immoderate (niche) features

There’s nary dodging that immense terms tag, peculiarly if you spell for the afloat Scandi finish. That said, the Beosound Theatre is simply a singular portion of kit that sounds fantastic.

Does it present a show commensurate with its price? That’s much hard to say. What you’re buying present is truthful overmuch much than the sound it makes.

Industrial plan is outstanding. There’s not a millimeter of spare abstraction beneath the hood (which goes immoderate mode to explaining its weight), yet an insistence connected modular operation means it tin ever beryllium repaired oregon upgraded. This isn’t truthful overmuch a soundbar arsenic an heirloom, if B&O lives up to the committedness there.

It besides uniquely dovetails with the larger B&O ecosystem. Which means if you’ve already bought into the brand, there’s much aspects of power and integration that tin beryllium unlocked.

But it's disappointing that it lacks DTS:X, and that nary of the 3 input ports for passthrough to the TV are HDMI 2.1 compliant – for this price, we don't expect to privation for immoderate established soundbar features.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

A close-up of the grille plan  connected  the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre Dolby Atmos soundbar

The Beosound Theatre looks dissimilar immoderate different soundbar connected the marketplace and you tin marque it your ain with a scope of antithetic finishes to take from.  (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre review: Should I bargain it?

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Bang & Olufsen Beosound TheatreAttributesNotesRating
FeaturesLove the modular design, but lacks DTS:X and HDMI 2.1 passthrough.4/5
Sound qualityA wide soundstage and precocious performer erstwhile it comes to some euphony and movies.5/5
DesignBeautiful and impeccably finished – conscionable a spot reflective.4.5/5
ValueIncredibly expensive, but besides incredibly accomplished.3.5/5

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