Technology

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre is the Dolby Atmos soundbar we’ve been waiting for

The Bang & Olufsen Beosund Theatre soundbar close-up, sitting on its circular stand

Bang & Olufsen aims to redefine the soundbar market with the premium Beosound Theatre. 

Designed to partner flatscreens from a variety of brands, the spectacular new £6,000 sound system combines characteristic Scandi design with advanced engineering and a modular construction that will support technology updates as and when required.

The Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar employs 12 speaker drivers, including two long stroke 6.5-inch woofers and a coaxial centre driver, wherein the tweeter is mounted directly in front of a midrange driver. It also has up-firing and side-firing drivers for sonic height and width. 

Total power output is rated at a prodigious 800W.

As we’ve come to expect from Bang & Olufsen, design and build quality is exemplary. There’s a choice of facia finishes: acoustic fabric or wooden slats. The bar has adjustable ‘wings’ which can be changed to accommodate ever larger screen sizes, so if you upgrade your TV, from 65-inches to 77-inches at some point, new wider wings can be fitted to maintain a fully seamless appearance.

The soundbar uses a unique universal mounting mechanism able to accommodate virtually any screen (the brand favours LG, for the record), or screen size. 

Connectivity includes a quartet of local HDMI inputs plus Bluetooth.

Installation options include wall mounting, pedestal feet for use with furniture, or a bespoke free-standing circular stand. 

The Beosound Theatre can operate as a standalone music unit, or be paired with other Bang & Olufsen speakers (up to 16). It can also serve as a centre channel duties in a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 surround configuration. 

Bang & Olfusen Beosound Theatre hands-on

We attended the launch of the Beosound Theatre in Berlin last week, and enjoyed several listening sessions with the system. Our initial impression? This may well be the most convincingly musical soundbar system we’ve heard to date.

The standout demo at the launch event was was a selection of two channel music, covering a wide variety of genres, from acoustic to hard rock. The Beosound Theatre upscaled this material so all drivers were in play. The B&O Theatre was able to fill a large room, but never sounded over-wrought or breathless. The star performer transpired to be the audiophile-grade coaxial driver which adds detail and nuance to vocals.

Naturally, we also heard the Beosound Theatre in movie mode, playing a flatbed 5.1 mix of of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Again it impressed with its scale and dynamics.

Significantly, what we didn’t get to hear was the Beosound Theatre playing Dolby Atmos content solo, so we don’t have an idea of how effective its overall immersion is. Instead, for its only Atmos movie demo, a sequence from the James Bond blockbuster No Time To Die, the soundbar was partnered with additional Beosound speakers to the rear, to create a genuinely cinematic listening experience.

Helping it deliver solid LFE, the Beosound Theatre features a proprietary bass management system. Rivals tend to send bass information to a single subwoofer, but the Theatre uses all the drivers in the system to work together as a single bass unit. The result is an inordinate amount of slam.

The Bang & Olufsen bar also utilises a new room calibration system, dubbed Roomsense. An external microphone is supplied in the box, and is used to tune the system to your specific listening room.

From what we’ve heard so far, the Beosound Theatre sets a new high bar (ahem) when it comes to design and performance – and if you’re a B&O aficionado, it’s cinematic TV audio upgrade you’ve been waiting for.

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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