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How do you feel about B&O right now?

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9 LEE
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9 LEE posted on Wed, Aug 3 2016 11:13 AM

I thought I'd start this thread as there seems to be a general malaise at the moment. The forum is pretty slow (it is every Summer though, in fairness - but it seems very slow at the moment). eBay is deathly quiet with items making peanuts - and even LifeStyle AV is pretty quiet by our standards when it comes to enquiries and questions. 

The reason for the question is that I wonder how everyone is feeling about Bang & Olufsen at the moment. I don't seem to get a sense of excitement from anyone, and wondered why this is?

Over to you.. Am I wrong?

Lee

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jc
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jc replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 11:36 AM

The last thread I read on this site learned me that no Beosound music system sold right now offers direct digital input to a Beolab 5, apart from the Beolab 90 the top-speaker at  this moment.

I think that pretty well illustrates the situation. I, as a long-time B&O enthousiast, am afraid that if nobody buys B&O in the coming years, it's likely all over, and we will see a 'SAAB'-like tragedy unfold.

The TV-business is very difficult if not impossible for a small firm like B&O, and the market for music systems has virtually vanished. That leaves their core-business; speakers. 

I hope for the best, hopefully I'm to pessimistic.

 

BeoGreg
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Got a good surprise with the little A1 (so good I even thought of selling the too boomy for me Beolit 15) and I'm waiting for the new tv's (Avant Mk2 for a change of BV10/11 design or BV14 or Oled).

The tv's are slow to come on the market but I'm sure that when they do, Lifestyle AV will have a bunch of BV11 / Avant for sell...

Still very positive for me at the moment.
marexy
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marexy replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 12:09 PM

I'm a few years intuziast of B & O

and ..have at least 15 item from B&O


I can not ignore the fact that for several years a lack of ideas, design, marketing,bad decisions and poor leadership abilities.

plus,,,

- Products are depending on the quality of a little overestimated.
- some items too demanding for the average 50+ user
- Design is already a few years into the crisis except couple Exceptions
- Sales and Marketing Strategy limping
- Price service, spare parts and service is overrated !!!
- FM tuners in new installations is no longer in offer
- Where is the ease of use without softwre upgrades?
- B & O are not aware that all users have not the knowledge in the modern electronics (wireless, streaming, bluetooth, ect
yes ..i kow...they must learn..yes ..agree ..but theh have money ..and they buy item that is simple to use..


Maybe I'm wrong ... but some of this is maybe true.
All my clients are such opinions as I stated above.
My small contribution :)

benoit
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benoit replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 12:41 PM

I'm sad and sorry to tell that B&O doesn't make me dreaming anymore. 10 years ago I was an absolute fan of the brand and I was OK to pay let's say double price but now I lost my faith and I'm not ready to pay 3-5 times the price for a device having software problems all the time or not being superior (or even inferior)... They don't innovate anymore and just follow the mass markets with some delay... And I don't speak about the very bad service in some shops. I sold almost all what I had and right now the only device that makes me smile is the little A1. I'm curious to see the future Beosounds 1 & 2 and the new Horizon TV. Maybe they will light again the flame if the design, build quality, characteristics, price, and ease of use are up to date. 

I also would like B&O (like Apple) to tease (more) about the coming new launches in order to keep people curious and push them to speak about the brand. No or poor communication makes people to forget the brand.

Weebyx
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I am missing everything I had with B&O in the 90's and early 2000's. Simple as that.

The magic, the movements, the lights fading in/out. I know that this is not needed anymore, since all is digital, and no physical media is required.

I am from the generation with all these physical devices, and when I talk and show it to young(I am just 43) people today, they don't care at all. They want ease and millions of numbers on their phone. And I understand them, actually so do I.

And that is why B&O is not offering products anymore, where I think that the price is ok. The speakers they make are fantastic, and I think that will be the only thing they will succeed with. All the music systems and apps they have today is not for me.

Maybe if they actually worked from day 1, and not the usual "we promise that if you buy this now, in 6 months it can do this and this and this, and if we were mistaken, then we will make a MKII you can buy. Sorry about your MKI... our bad.."

The TV's have long gone for me, and I probably will never again own a B&O tv. Very sad, but the experience I had with my BV7 and BV4, threw me right of, and the future of new Android tv's which are already outdated before they meet the market, an new LG tv's without B&O menus and SW, but only a sound-bar controlling another tv via CEC. No thanks..

They have made so many bad products and decisions lately, that it will take many years for people to trust them again with all their money. And as stated by someone else, they are way to secret about what is coming. We have no idea if buying a TV today is bad, because the next TV can this and this, and your money has been wasted(I know they haven't if you actually are happy, but you know what I mean).

In today's marked, B&O just cost to much for me to justify buying new units every second year.

I sound mad at B&O, but I am actually very sad. I used to love the company, now I have more joy with my BS7000 and Samsung TV, than the newer products.

I am very capable of IT and computers, byt having seen the thread on the Moment and Twonky and installation and RPC status and Deezer problems, i really cannot be bothered with messing around with all that constantly to have it working.

I hate beta SW, I hate versions problem between systems, I work with it a lot on a daily basis, don't want to do it in the evening when I just need to listen to music or watch TV.

/Weebyx

 

 

Duels
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Duels replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 1:18 PM

Personally I feel fine about B&O overall.  I think that the Play range is absolutely outstanding and a real innovation from the previous CEO that will stand the business in good stead for years to come.  It should continue to represent an increasing proportion of the overall business for the foreseeable future.

Whilst I accept Marexy's point above about some customers not being familiar with streaming/Bluetooth etc, it is the way the world has gone and B&O simply has to address the needs of people who take this stuff for granted. 

As for the B&O branded products I think the speaker range is fantastic for both sound and design.  My only disappointment is that from a sound system point of view the Moment doesn't grab me at all and I therefore continue to use my BS5 to drive my BL18s.  Don't get me wrong, I love my BS5 but by now I would have expected B&O to produce something that I would have wanted to trade it in for, and they haven't.  I don't know what that product should be exactly but I'll know it when I see it much like when I first saw and bought an Overture, followed by a BS9000 and then my BS5.  Whatever that product is it shouldn't require any special knowledge of nas drives or anything else.  It has to be useable by anybody.  And software should stop being a major topic of conversation among users, it should be virtually invisible in this type of consumer electronics. 

On software: I believe that it would in B&Os interests to use its customers better to beta test its software prior to release.  There is a limit to any testing that can be done in-house.  It is only when it is used in real world scenarios that you really find out how things are; and the more scenarios/testers you have the better.  B&O could do worse than to give a Moment to a bunch of beoworlders (just for example) and get their feedback prior to general release of new software versions.  (They may do this already and I'm not aware of it.  In which case they should do it more)

Interested to see the next range of TVs and hoping that the "cheaper" one will blow me away.  Oh and I still want a BL19.

Overall I love my B&O stuff.  It makes me smile on a regular basis.  Here's proof Smile

Paul W
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Well for me, their A1 is the nicest design for years! Nothing else in the range inspires me. H8 problems have been a disgrace and highly dishonest of B&O to continue selling a product with a known fault. Real freud there. Plus their lazy customer service meant zero sales for me. Three days each way to reply to Emails is a pure disgrace. Parts that are not available for expensive PLAY products is inexcusable. It's a shoddy way to do business in a premium market sector. 

They've got what they deserve. Make a product with faults (H8, Moment) along with arrogant customer service that is nothing but lazy and of course, you lose customers big time.

Also, the A1 has NEVER featured in any UK magazines such as GQ, Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue, Esquire, Porter, Vanity Fair, Elle Decoration, Living ETC.   Why is that? All it takes is a marketing assistant to send a press release and pic to the editor. 

marexy
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Overall I love my B&O stuff.  It makes me smile on a regular basis.  Here's proof Smile

+1

as i mentioned..some of them :)

my BS9000 is one of the most beautiful Hi-FI item ever in my eyes :)

for the speakers..no comment nice soud and design.

B&O ..make some icon like that again..and you will be on the propper way.

 

 

KMA
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KMA replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 2:37 PM
Speakers – fantastic.

TVs – the future releases are interesting, I hope they can persuade me to upgrade from BV11. Since I know OLED is coming next year, it'll mean that I'll wait until it is on the market to make up my mind. So even though I'm looking forward to this year's additions to the portfolio, I will not act on them yet.

Music Systems – Moment, Essence... they simply do not do it for me. Hoping for BeoSound 1 & 2 to ignite me.

Integration – I feel B&O does not communicate all the possibilities of NL and the (wireless) interplay within a setup consisting of B&O and Play products. I'm a bit lost with which products / sources can "Join" and with what in a setup. And I never knew all the possibilities of the Essence Wheel: reading this forum, I have an idea it can control lots of other devices besides the Essence. In short: NL and the newer products have left me a bit confused. Poor communication? Poor documentation?

B&O Play – great sub-brand that is in fact more alive than its parent!

Brand Image – B&O having moved just about everything out of Denmark, and reading all the issues people have with their products and B&O's service, I feel it is no longer a truly premium brand that prides in what they do, how they do it, and where they do it.

Financial problems – with all the bad decisions they are making (in my opinion) only to survive, I do not entirely trust the longetivity of the company, and therefore the value of their products.

Software – this puts me off most. I do not have trust in their current (and future) products, which are increasingly software-based, given B&O's track record.

Of this, a prime example: BeoLab 90. I was aghast the other night when I read about all the (software-based) features that have NOT yet been implemented, and especially not in the timeline given to customers, who have invested in this masterpiece. A masterpiece, which, I suspect, will never reach its full promise because B&O will not be able to get the software right.

Design – I some times miss David Lewis and his uncompromising, singular vision so, so much.

I follow B&O closely, and daily (for example this forum). I just don't feel confident about B&O anymore. I am not sure if their products are safe enough "investments" to spend my money on. Uncertainty (software, quality, B&O's future) makes me cautious, and slow to act.

KMA

B&O product history since 1991: Ridiculously long to list in a signature.

Chris
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Chris replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 3:03 PM

@KMA

This is what I call: you hit the nail on the head.

"Believe nothing you read and only half of what you see, let your ears tell you the truth."

Chris Townsend
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We've been sailing sound the Florida Keys for just under 2 weeks, and to a person people have been very complimentary about the A1. Nobody had even heard of B&O, and these were mostly wealthy well to do Americans. 

 

I didn't even bother wearing my H8s on the plane and just wore my A3 ANCs instead. I just couldn't be bothered with trying to make then work. 

 

If I was buying a TV today, and without having seen the new 14 or Horizon, I'd probably buy the 65 inch Loewe OLED tv.

Beosound Stage, Beovision 8-40, Beolit 20, Beosound Explore.

Sal
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Sal replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 3:50 PM

I was heavily into B&O in the 90s/early 2000s. Having owned an Avant (David Lewis), BV8,  BS9000, BS6500, BL3, Bl2, and really, the list goes on. For me, it was design and quality heaven, but the compatibility, interoperability (with non B&O), user-control, or lack there of, issues led me away from the Brand. 

The reason I'm back in the small small sens that I am (I don 't have many B&O products now), is that B&O has addressed the interoperability and user-control issues. That is, I don't have to call a dealer to upgrade my PUC, I can use ethernet cabling (and WiFi) in place of Masterlink. I can use my iPhone as a remote.

Design is still there, in my opinion, but it is different. Lewis and Jensen were geniuses, yes, but we have to recognize that forced-change is sometimes a good thing. I have to admit that the new designs for me are acquired tastes, but they are different from anything else out there, and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery -- the electronics industry continues to flatter B&O.

Quality & Software (I think a component of quality is the user interaction / interface, etc). This is a big deal in my opinion. Much of the ire from B&O customers regarding the newer products has been a result of poorly designed software, which affects the overall experience. Improve the user experience and create robust software, and customers will forgive some corner-cutting in the way of materials / design. 

I'm not going to comment on the speakers, because I think B&O continue to do a stellar job on that front.

Wishlist: I liked when all B&O Products were heavy. I know that sounds silly, but I knew I was getting something expensive and "worth it" when I got a B&O box, and it weighed 40lbs or more. I wish B&O would use less plastic, more glass, more substantial materials. As I said above in the way of software, customers are willing to forgive inadequacies in one area if they find value in another. My old Avant weighed a TON, my BV11 weighs a TON... this is in due part to the materials. 

US Specific thoughts: I worry about B&O here in the States -- almost no stores anywhere. I think in addition to the Pro Partner strategy, B&O need to be in stores. Not dedicated B&O stores, but in hi-end audio shops. Just get exposure. Folks have "heard" of it, but they really haven't HEARD B&O. Imagine looking at a set of B&O speakers amid a sea of black and brown boxes? And then actually listening to them!

In summary: 

Speakers: don't change a thing

Sound Systems: Need another modern choice which doesn't rely on a NAS (my selfish wish)

TVs: perhaps get out of the TV business and into the processor (ie. BS4) business

Overarching Software: Invest the most $$$ in making this robust and user friendly, software should not be an afterthought. 

Sibbi
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Sibbi replied on Wed, Aug 3 2016 4:30 PM

I still like my speakers wich ar the 17s, I also like my A6 and the H7 headphones. And I would love to have the full B&O experience with a beovision. It is just out of my pricerange. In my opinion there are two problems for B&O.  The first is there are simply to many problems with the Essence and transmitter1. I even considered switching to Sonos because, even though it doesnt have the same soundquality, it just workes. And the differenve in soundquality isn´t that great anymoreThe other problem is that other manufacturers are getting so good. For instance the new Lg oled tvs are both nicely designed and have an amazing picturequality. So its harde to justify the extra cost. Still I am hoping that new tvs will be great and prices resonable.

vikinger
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Speakers fine (although I still think that B&O missed out by not having any regular Beovox passive speakers in the range.)

TV's- the hinged BV10/11 is an iconic design. 

Beoplay- going by my A3 most are not robust enough (faulty power socket that cannot be repaired/ accessed for repair.)

Unless you have a stunning feature like a motorised stand (plus amazing sound quality) you might as well stick with a cheap standard mass produced set of boxes and stick them in a cupboard.

Regarding the SAAB comment above, yes there is a real risk that B&O will get bought out by a big player, stripped of its remaining unique technologies/ patents, and then dropped into to the dustbin of history. At least SAAB aircraft are still in business.

Graham

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