Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 8000 Loudspeaker Reviewed

Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 8000 Loudspeaker Reviewed

Offering aesthetics any modern interior designer would die for, the powered Beolab 8000 speaker can be used with anything from an iPod to high end separates. While visually striking for true full range sound a subwoofer might be necessary. Click here for a full review.

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There's good design and then there is timeless design. The BeoLab 8000 loudspeaker by famed manufacturer Bang & Olufsen is one such timeless design. In fact, if you've watched television, movies or read a print magazine in the past ten years, you've seen the BeoLab 8000. With its iconic inverted pencil-shape design, the BeoLab 8000 has stood the test of time and remains one of B&O's most successful and longest-running products. Retailing for $3,000 a pair, the BeoLab 8000 can't be labeled as cheap, which is the single greatest knock purists harp on when discussing the BeoLab 8000, or other B&O products, for that matter. Truth be told, you've got to try hard to match the quality, build and sonics of the BeoLab 8000 using traditional means, i.e., loudspeakers powered by an amplifier mated with a preamp, source and cables. While the BeoLab 8000 is far from perfect, it may be just the right fit for today's lifestyle-oriented, on-the-go music lover.

The BeoLab 8000 has a round, spire-like design, with the drivers and amplifiers (yes, the 8000 is powered) encased in an all-aluminum chassis sitting atop a square bass plate. The BeoLab 8000 comes in a variety of standard colors, ranging from silver (aluminum) to bright red and just about everything between. There is a new all-white model coming soon, but not yet available. The BeoLab 8000 has a two-way three-driver design, featuring two four-inch bass drivers mated to a single three-quarter-inch tweeter. The BeoLab 8000 is front-ported, giving it a frequency response of 52-20,000Hz, so for true full-range playback, you'll want to add a sub or two. The BeoLab 8000 utilizes two 143-watt Class AB amplifiers to power each speaker, drawing a typical load of 12 watts and dropping down to two-and-a-half watts at idle, making the BeoLab 8000 very energy and environmentally friendly. The BeoLab 8000 is fully shielded and can be connected to your preamp or variable source via B&O's own Power Link cable or traditional RCA-style phono cable. Whichever connection option you choose, the BeoLab 8000's power and input cable are routed through a single rubber sleeve to simplify and clean up the look of unsightly connections.

Competition and Comparison
If you are interested in comparing Bang & Olufsen's BeoLab 8000 loudspeaker against its competition, be sure to read our reviews for the
Bowers & Wilkins 703 loudspeaker and the MartinLogan Vista Hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker.  You can also find more information in our Floorstanding Speaker section or on our Bang & Olufsen brand page.  Discuss B&O loudspeakers at hometheaterequipment.com.

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High Points
• The Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 8000 sounds every bit as good as it looks, which is quite a
compliment. While there are speakers that can do things the 8000
cannot, the 8000 is a well-balanced, well-versed complete loudspeaker
from top to bottom, and should suit most listeners' tastes very well.
Audiophiles might be surprised as just how good the 8000 sounds.

• The BeoLab 8000's high frequencies are clear, refined and never fatiguing, though not altogether airy.
• The midrange is the BeoLab 8000's strength, which apparent when you
hear it demoed, for this usually involves a recording of a small jazz
ensemble and/or female vocalist.
• The BeoLab 8000 images well and seemingly leaves no trace. While the
soundstage is vast, it's not the most defined, but center imaging is
exceptional.
• Because the BeoLab 8000 is powered, it can be enjoyed with something
as simple and unobtrusive as an iPod, making the beautiful BeoLab 8000
the most prominent component in your two-channel system, rather than
black boxes and unsightly cables.

Low Points
• The BeoLab 8000's bass is respectable, but not altogether deep, so a
subwoofer would need to be added to a BeoLab 8000 system to achieve
truly full-range performance.
• The BeoLab 8000, because of its powered design, has to be placed
within six feet or so of a wall outlet in order for it to work at all.
• While the BeoLab 8000's fit and finish is superb, keeping it clean and
dust-free is a bit more of a chore than with other speakers.

Conclusion
While $3,000 opens up a wide variety of speaker options, none will
arguably be more of a visual statement then the BeoLab 8000 by Bang
& Olufsen
. While audiophiles will scoff at the mere mention of the
name, don't be dissuaded, for the 8000 sounds very good and provides a
level of simplicity today's modern music lover is bound to appreciate.

Competition and Comparison
If you are interested in comparing Bang & Olufsen's BeoLab 8000 loudspeaker against its competition, be sure to read our reviews for the 
Bowers & Wilkins 703 loudspeaker and the MartinLogan Vista Hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker.  You can also find more information in our Floorstanding Speaker section or on our Bang & Olufsen brand page.  Discuss B&O loudspeakers at hometheaterequipment.com.

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