You’ve got to hand it to Swedish audio company Bang & Olufsen: It has never once allowed a little thing like money to get in the way of making a product that looks as good as it sounds. Take its very first soundbar, the Beosound Stage, which B&O recently debuted at an event in Italy.
On the performance side, this speaker is a powerhouse, packing 11 drivers and a matching number of amplifiers. According to the company, these give the Beosound Stage enough range, from deep lows to sparkling highs, that you won’t feel the need to supplement its sound with a subwoofer. And given that the Beosound Stage starts at $1,750 when it goes on sale later this fall, that’s a very good thing. Of course, that price reflects the two standard finishes — natural aluminum or bronze-tone aluminum. But because this is B&O, you also have the option of ordering your Beosound Stage in smoked oak wood, a warm and refined-looking material that apparently does not grow on trees, judging by the massive $850 premium you’ll need to shell out if you want it.
Sticker-shock and hardwoods aside, the Beosound Stage makes a compelling case that it should be your soundbar of choice should your budget allow for such a toy. It’s a Dolby Atmos-capable speaker that includes support for Dolby TrueHD. You connect to your TV via HDMI-ARC, and if you happen to own the company’s Beovision Harmony TV, the Beoremote One BT that shipped with it will control all of the soundbar’s functions. It’s also more than a stand-alone soundbar. It connects to B&O’s multiroom BeoLink speaker system — with a neat one-touch-to-join feature — and also packs Apple’s AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Bluetooth, for an essentially endless number of wireless streaming options.
The Beosound Stage is reminiscent of the Sonos Playbar in that you can place the Beosound Stage on its “back” flat on a surface in front of your TV, or you can orient the speaker grill into the room when it’s wall-mounted, making it a versatile component. Despite the fact that its really just a 3-channel stereo speaker, the Beosound Stage is capable of a 3D-surround effect, thanks to a pair of dome tweeters placed at the far ends of the bar and angled outward. How convincing is this effect, and how well does it deliver on the promise of Dolby Atmos? We’ll let you know as soon as we get out hands on a review unit.
You can head over to B&O’s site if you’d like to be informed when you and your cash can be parted.