Bang & Olufsen's high-end Beolab 8 is a stylish, versatile and compact speaker

Bang and Olufsen Beolab 8
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Bang & Olufsen has revealed the newest addition to its Beolab range of speakers. The new Beolab 8 is designed to be a versatile, compact wireless speaker, with B&O claiming that the flexible and attractive unit can be used solo, paired as part of a stereo duo, or else linked with other models for an immersive home cinema set-up (provided said models were created in or after 1984).

Featuring a three-driver set-up consisting of a 16mm tweeter, 76mm midrange and a 133mm woofer, the Beolab 8 incorporates numerous smart features for what B&O hopes will be enhanced sonic capabilities. The speaker's beam width control, for instance, allows users to switch between listening profiles for either a narrower listen or a wider, more diffused sound, while the 8's "room compensation" optimises the soundscape based on a given space's acoustic character. There's also wide-band tech incorporated within the Beolab 8, allowing it to direct its acoustic sweet spot based on a user's phone location through the official B&O app.

Speaking of apps, the Beolab 8 uses the Danish brand's Mozart platform as its central operating system, and can connect either to wi-fi or Bluetooth 5.3. Powerlink, meanwhile, facilitates wireless and wired connectivity. 

Bang and Olufsen Beolab 8

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

It wouldn't be a new Bang & Olufsen release without some striking, high-end design flair. Using premium materials, the Beolab 8 is another unique piece from the Scandinavian manufacturer, with an aluminium body combined with either wooden lamellas or a fabric front, depending on your choice. The rather attractive glass interface that forms the speaker's top, meanwhile, "creates a perfect curve that guides the user's finger along the surface effortlessly". So say its makers, anyway.

The new model is designed with the planet in mind, too. Using quality, degradable resources that B&O promises can be continuously customised, serviced and/or upgraded over time, the Beolab 8 can adapt to the latest tech standards, something we saw recently with the company's future-proofed Beosound A9 and Beosound 2 wireless speakers.

“Our goal is to create powerful and immersive listening experiences for our customers. Beolab 8 provides this", says Michael Henriksson, Bang & Olufsen's VP of Product Marketing. "It is a scalable speaker that is all about flexibility, performance and innovation."

The Beolab 8 is available now in an array of customisable colourways, including silver & natural aluminium, gold-tone or black anthracite, pairable with speaker covers in either oak, light oak, dark oak or classic fabric. Prices start from £2199 / $2749 (further prices pending).


Read our five-star Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) review

Here’s how Bang & Olufsen's Dolby Atmos soundbar is designed to outlive your TV 

Our pick of the best Bluetooth speakers we've tested

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.

  • ultraminiature
    The Beolab 8 does something that no other B&O speaker can do unless you feel like moving Beolab 28 around your home and garden and avoid smashing into the top of door ways (it is tall).

    It includes the Mozart platform so has steaming services, DLNA uPnP and internet radio via wi-fi as well as Bluetooth out of the range of a network from your portable devices. So you can set one up in any room. The kitchen, dining room, conservatory, the study, the bedroom as single or paired stereo speakers.

    But when it comes to movie night bring them together for a 5.1, 7.1 surround sound system using WiSA. Speakers like the Emerge, Level, Balance, A2, A9 etc are not able to offer the low latency needed for viewing videos. Only powerlink and wireless powerlink (WiSA) can offer this. In most surround sound set ups they can't easily be split to use them elsewhere. Beolab 8 just need a mains socket to plug into, no cabling for the audio signal. Priced similar to the Beosound Balance and Beoplay A9 all having the same Mozart features but with the Beolab 8 you can use them fully with televisions and computers.

    The change from Mozart to WiSA is seamless. They, like the Beolab 28 work exactly like the Emerge, Level, Balance, A5, A9 for stream services, casting from mobile phone, tablet etc over Bluetooth or wi-fi {the specifications do not include Airplay 2 or Chromecast DNLA and uPnP but it would be silly if they don’t work the same way). As soon as the WiSA transmitter is powered it pairs with the WiSA speakers and locks out the Mozart system and the controls on the top of the speakers. They are then configured for surround sound from a television with WiSA or without using a WiSA transmitter (Sound Send, Axiim Link, B&O, Platin etc). So a computer or Xbox can be used with the appropriate WiSA transmitter.

    I don’t know if bring them together like this would be used in practice. I could see the small Beolab 8 being used around the house most of the time when working in the kitchen, study room and when wanting to enjoy a movie in full surround sound just bring them together. Smaller than the Beosound Balance, much lighter, slightly more expensive (£100 for each speaker) with a similar 104db (no frequency range given).

    List on the B&O web site at £5398 a pair (gold, light oak) and £4398 for the basic aluminium black. That works out at £500 each for the oak fret!

    September 2023 has also seem a large price increase of all the top models. by 10 (Beolab28) to 25% (Beosound Theatre) in a shift and balance of price.