Skip to main content

B&O BeoSound 8 review

Epic sound that will fill a large room and unique looks, that's what you'll get with the B&O Beosound8 speaker dock Tested at £895

Our Verdict

The price might seems steep, but the performance does well to justify the cost

For

  • Relishes big volumes
  • bold and unified sound
  • unique looks

Against

  • Sounds less engaged at more restrained levels
  • not cheap

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The price might seems steep, but the performance does well to justify the cost

Pros

  • + Relishes big volumes
  • + bold and unified sound
  • + unique looks

Cons

  • - Sounds less engaged at more restrained levels
  • - not cheap

Probably the biggest surprise about Bang & Olufsen’s typically design-led entry into the world of iPod docks is that it’s taken so long.

For all the success of B&W’s all-conquering Zeppelin and its self consciously decorative ilk, there’s been an obvious gap in the market for a properly premium, properly effective iPod dock. Well, that gap has now been filled.

Striking design and build
Most B&O products tend to be obviously and immediately desirable on an aesthetic level. The BeoSound 8 is a little more divisive – is the circumference of the speaker enclosures a little too large, or is it that they’ve been placed a bit too close together?

In any event, the BeoSound 8 will dock most of Apple’s current range of iPhones, iPads and iPods, and has additional connectivity via a mini-USB socket and stereo RCA inputs.

The circular remote control feels good in the hand, although it can’t navigate your player’s menus.

There’s also a three-position switch to help compensate for your Beosound’s room position.With one important qualification, it’s a punchy, balanced and large-scale listen. Daft Punk’s Da Funk, for instance, is delivered with gusto, the kick-drum hitting hard and the rhythm handled with straight-edged assurance.

Turn it up if you want to get down
Timing is acceptable, integration throughout the frequency range is smooth, and there’s good dynamic headroom on tap, too.

That qualification, though, is volume. If the BeoSound 8 is to be heard at its best, it demands volume input of the ‘substantial-going-on-party-level’ variety – it could certainly be heard echoing around our testing rooms while it was running in.

At more modest levels, bass response is altogether softer, and balance and integration suffer as a result.

But if you like the looks, can stomach the price and have a large room to fill with sound, the BeoSound 8 is now the best of a not exactly numerous bunch.

See all our dock system Best Buys

Follow whathifi.com on Twitter

Join whathifi.com on Facebook

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


Read more about how we test