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B&O’s first soundbar is loud and luxurious

Thomas McMullan
3 Sep 2019
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The Beosound Stage boasts 11 speakers and comes with Dolby Atmos

It may come as a surprise, but the Beosound Stage is the first-ever soundbar from high-end audio maker Bang & Olufsen. 

Instead of this week’s IFA technology trade show, B&O unveiled its debut entry into the crowded TV sound system market at the Venice Biennale arts festival. While it might be more living room than Leonardo da Vinci, the Beosound Stage has an eye-catching design – created in collaboration with Danish studio NORM Architects.

The £1,250 soundbar – £1,900 if you opt for the "smoked oak" finish – is equipped with eleven speakers, each packing its own 50W Class D amplifier, resulting in a 3-channel, DSP-based loudspeaker.

On paper, the speaker has a powerful setup. The centre channel drivers include four 4in woofers, which the company says have been designed to reduce distortion and allow greater movement, which should translate to an improved bass performance. The mid frequencies of the centre channel rely on a pair of 1.5in midrange drivers and a 3/4in dome tweeter. 

The left and right sides of the speaker, meanwhile, have a 1.5in midrange and a 3/4in tweeter on each side, placed at 45-degree off-axis angles to create what B&O describes as a “3D sound effect”. That’ll help with the Dolby Atmos multichannel audio, which has been included to give the soundbar the impression of three-dimensional sound. All the better for making a cinema out of your living-room.

The Beosound Stage also comes with a ToneTouch feature, which allows listeners to cycle between five listening modes: TV, Music, Movie, Night Listening or None. If you’re unhappy with how these fit with your specific living space, they can all be tweaked using the soundbar’s equalizer. There’s also support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth, and built-in Chromecast, should you want to connect the speaker with others, although there’s nothing in the way of a digital assistant.

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Given the sheer number of soundbars are on the market, B&O is clearly leaning on its design chops to help the Beosound Stage stand out. Christoffer Østergaard Poulsen, vice president of product management at the company made much of its “simple minimalistic Scandinavian design” in a statement, and the collaboration with NORM Architects has resulted in an emphasis on simple geometric shapes and natural materials.

As mentioned earlier, Aluminium and Bronze tone variants will set you back £1,250 whereas the wooden frame costs £1,900. All will be available in late autumn 2019.

Although the Beosound Stage was unveiled outside of IFA, B&O will be at the trade show this week – keep up to date with all the latest news at our dedicated page for the event.

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