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Bang and Olufsen Beosound Theatre Review

Verdict

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The Beosound Theatre is a premium soundbar, with an iconic design and uncompromising performance. It doesn’t deliver the kind of pseudo surround pioneered by Sennheiser’s Ambeo post processing, but it compensates with outstanding vocal clarity, musicality, and thunderous bass. It’s great for movies and playlists, but games not so much…

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Huge soundstage
  • Profound bass performance
  • Generous connectivity

Cons

  • You’ll need to add B&O rears for cinematic immersion
  • Unconvincing gaming
  • Horrendously expensive

Key Features

  • 12 speaker setupWith an 800W power output
  • Dolby Atmos supportFor room filling sound

Introduction

The Beosound Theatre is a high-end Dolby Atmos soundbar that serves both as a home cinema sound system and premium Bluetooth audio system.

It’s lavishly appointed, with impeccable build quality, but there are caveats…

The Beosound Theatre sets a new benchmark for the soundbar category. It’s related to the Beosound Stage, but when it comes to power and profundity, this is a very different audio beast. 

Weighing in at 18kg, this sound system sports a distinctive Scandi design with a slatted wooden grille (if you don’t opt for the fabric frontage), and glass touch panel. There’s a formidable amount of firepower on tap too, with 12 power amplifiers locked and loaded. 

So is this the soundbar to end all soundbars? In many ways, yes…

Availability

  • UKRRP: £5590
  • USARRP: $6890
  • EuropeRRP: €6490
  • CanadaTBC
  • AustraliaTBC

What you pay for the Beosound Theatre is down to the finish you opt for. 

Take the Silver Grey melange fabric version home, and you’ll pay £5,590. Opt for the Silver Oak or the Gold Tone models, and the ticket price rises to £6,390.

There’s also a range of stand options, if you don’t fancy the standard table top. These include a motorised wall mount, or a circular freestanding base.

Design

  • Stylish boat-hull design 
  • Slatted wooden grille
  • Four HDMI inputs

The Beosound Theatre can be partnered with any TV of your choice, within reason; although in an ideal world, it would sit with an LG C2, be it 55-, 65- or 77-inches. It comes with a clever mounting plate that sits centrally, so once you’ve attached the TV, half the bar is hidden behind the screen (making the Theatre look a lot slimmer than it actually is).

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Theatre launch event

To keep the ensemble tidy, the width of the bar can be altered by swapping out the aluminium wings that attach left and right; it’s these that maintain visual symmetry. This means that you can upgrade the size of screen and maintain the same integrated look by simply swapping one set of wings for a wider pair.

The top of the bar is clad in acoustic fabric. Helping to disguise its girth, the aluminium section below the driver array curves like the hull of a boat. My review sample came with a slatted oak wood grille, which pops into place with simple lugs.

Back panel connectivity is generous. There are four HDMI inputs, one of which supports eARC and 4K/120Hz pass-through. It can be incorporated into a much larger ecosystem of Beosound speakers, up to 16 in fact – eight Wireless Powerlink, and eight Powerlink.

Bang Olufsen Beosound Theatre rear connections
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Inside are 12 speaker drivers on-board. Two purposeful 6.5-inch woofers sandwich a high-performance coaxial centre, its 1-inch tweeter mounted directly in front of a 5.25-inch midrange driver. There are also two 3-inch mid-rangers, four 2.5-inch drivers and two 1-inch tweeters.

The total power output for this crowded array is 800W, with 100 watts going to each bass output, and 10 x 60W amps covering the rest. There’s no separate subwoofer, but then the Beosound Theatre doesn’t need one.

Control is via the glass top panel, which is illuminated by a proximity sensor, your connected TV remote control, or the Beosound App.

Features

  • Advanced room calibration
  • App control 

The Beosound Theatre ships with a high-spec calibration microphone, which is deployed during setup. The tripod mic plugs into the bar’s front fascia and measures your listening space with a series of chirps and whistles.  You can opt to measure a single listening spot, or multiple positions.

Bang Olufsen Beosound Theatre Touchscreen control
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The accompanying app offers a selection of Sound Modes: TV, Music, Movie, Game and Night; plus a variety of EQ controls and adjustments. There’s also Chromecast, Spotify Connect and AirPlay support.

If you prefer, the system also works with the (optional) Beoremote One BT zapper. 

Sound Quality

  • Profound bass response
  • Excellent dialogue clarity
  • No 360-degree immersion

Let’s cut to the chase: the Beosound Theatre is probably the most dynamic sound bar I’ve ever heard. The speed of its transient response, the depth of its bass, is something else.

It’s brilliant with high energy movies and has a ball with Army of the Dead (Dolby Atmos, Netflix). When Lily the Coyote (Nora Arnezeder) stares down the odious Burt (Theo Rossi), and growls “Two between the eyes!” the resulting double gun retort impacts like a physical blow.

Bang Olufsen Beosound Theatre side and height drivers
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I wouldn’t expect a one-piece bar to blend mid-range so effortlessly with sub-bass, but the Beosound Theatre is seamless. The soundstage is smooth, from crystal clarity highs down to the LFE.

When Valentine, the zombie tiger from Army of the Dead, growls, his guttural rattle is deep and weirdly believable; the sound stage has depth and dimensionality.

Bang Olufsen Beosound Theatre Coxail driver and bass woofer

However, while this phalanx of drivers creates a coherent wall of sound, there’s little sense of wraparound audio. B&O classifies the Beosound Theatre as a 7.1.4 system, but to achieve full cinematics, the bar needs to be partnered with some additional Bang & Olufsen speakers placed to the rear. Only then, does it realise a truly cinematic soundfield. 

The Theatre’s high-end coaxial centre driver is impressively articulate. Dive into The Sea Beast (Dolby Atmos, Netflix) and the Theatre celebrates every nuance of Karl Urban and Jared Harris’ banter, while effortlessly maintaining the open deck ambiance of the monster hunting ship.

There’s support for Dolby Atmos, TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and 7.1 PCM, but nothing for DTS:X

Bang Olufsen Beosound Theatre soundbar with TV on stand
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Beosound Theatre is perfectly at home with music. Two channel tracks are spacious when required, forceful and driving when required to rock out. It’s a fun listen comparable to a pair of premium bookshelf monitors. A proprietary True Image up- and downmixing algorithm is used to make full use of the drivers whatever the source content.

However, its aforementioned lack of immersion comes home to roost when gaming. While the soundstage is artfully rendered, the soundbar doesn’t have the wherewithal to localise movement with any accuracy. If you’re keeping low for a win in Call of Duty Warzone, you won’t be able to identify opponents stalking you from the side-lines.

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Should you buy it?

You’re looking for the ultimate in design and single-box audio This is a statement Dolby Atmos soundbar, with a luxury price tag to match its performance. Build quality and aesthetics are high. 

You’re a big console games player I couldn’t really identify sonic cues in-game, even using the Game preset, and it certainly didn’t help with our campaigns.

Final Thoughts

The price tag may be unashamedly premium, but there’s no doubt that the Beosound Theatre is a cut above the soundbar norm. Its fluid musicality and ability to slam hard make it a great option for action movies and Bluetooth streaming. 

However, it doesn’t have the psycho acoustic post processing that works so well on the original Sennheiser Ambeo bar

That said, build quality and design are class leading. The unit employs a modular construction that simplifies servicing, if required, and also allows components to be upgraded should they need to be.

The finish is akin to that of high-end furniture. We particularly like the Scandi-style slated grille treatment.

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We test every soundbar we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Tested for more than a week

Tested with a range of audio content

FAQs

Does the Beosound Theatre support DTS:X?

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre supports Dolby Atmos immersive sound, but doesn’t support DTS:X.

Full specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
Manufacturer
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Release Date
Sound Bar Channels
Driver (s)
Audio (Power output)
Connectivity
ARC/eARC
Colours
Voice Assistant
Power Consumption
Rear Speaker
Frequency
Multiroom

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As part of this mission, whenever we review a product we send the company a series of questions to help us gauge and make transparent the impact the device has on the environment.

We currently haven’t received answers to the questions on this product, but will update this page the moment we do. You can see a detailed breakdown of the questions we ask and why in our sustainability info page.

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Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is an object-based audio format. It expands on 5.1 and 7.1 soundtracks by adding overhead channels. Sounds are referred to as “audio objects”, of which there can be up to 128 audio channels, and these ‘objects’ can be accurately positioned within a 3D soundscape. This allows soundtracks that support the technology to place sounds above and around the listener with compatible kit.

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