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Beolab 8000 vs. Beolab 18 Review

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly Posted: Wed, Jun 19 2019 4:08 PM

Hi Beoworlders,

I have recently received several requests to evaluate the differences between Beolab 8000 and 18 speakers, so I have arranged to visit a local B&O dealer next week to check out both speakers and review them on camera.

I have Beolab 8000s at home, but it is a while since I had any serious listening time on the Beolab 18s.  I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on these speakers, particularly if you have owned (or considered purchasing) both speaker models - please let me know your thoughts!

You can see my previous speaker reviews on my YouTube channel at youtube.com/c/soundsheavenlycables

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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PaulGiles
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PaulGiles replied on Wed, Jun 19 2019 4:54 PM
Have/had both. The 18s win it for me.

ESP the 90th anniversary rose golds.

Both are superb but the 18s just look and perform better in my opinion.
Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks Paul,!

 I must admit that the Beolab 8000s look elegant until you see them next to the 18s, the new speakers seem even more stylish and ‘sculpted ‘.....

I’m keen to hear how their sound compares!

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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Mikipidia
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Mikipidia replied on Wed, Jun 19 2019 7:32 PM
Iam with paul. I like the look of the 18’s more, they’re more modern and i prefer the wood fret.

Where the 8000’s sound a bit woollen the 18’s are a lot brighter and much clearer. Maybe too bright for some, but i like them more. They also sound slightly more powerfull and present to me.

New: Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beovision eclipse, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound 1 Bronze edition, Beoplay M3.

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Old: Beolab 1's, beolab 2, beovision 10-46, overture 2300, beolab 8000's, beolab 4000's, beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

Fansastic
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Fansastic replied on Wed, Jun 19 2019 8:12 PM
I can confirm this also, had the BL8000’s (mk1) for years and liked the sound a lot, full and mature but just a bit to less bass.

When I used them with the V1 tv, due to the sound engine of the tv, they were at their best and gave much more bass, but sounded bit over pushed at their limits.

Switched to BL14’s but due to their design (only sub for bass, midrange and treble by satellite speakers) I never got the full sound the 8000’s gave me. I had to tweak the sub all the time for more or less bass.

Few months ago switched to BL18’s and very impressed. Way more clear than the 8000’s and the bass power is so rich! I’ve put them in free position despite they are close to wall and the bass is so full, it’s almost if a sub is still in place. What I like is that they sound so natural balanced and yet powerful with many different music styles.

To my ears they are way above BL8000’s.

I’ve BL3’s in same room and as they are more close to the BL8000’s, I can compare different style of the speakers. I find the BL18’s very impressive.

I have to state that the sound processing of a Beovision (now a Horizon) does improve the performance of the connected speakers

Of course I lack the experience of the BL20, BL50 or even 5’s or 90’s, so I still might be a dummy in the B&O upper class. But to my humble experience the BL18’s overclass both design- and sound-wise.
matador43
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matador43 replied on Wed, Jun 19 2019 8:17 PM

Mikipidia:
Iam with paul. I like the look of the 18’s more, they’re more modern and i prefer the wood fret.

Hi alls,

If I may bring my stone, following Mikipedia's post…

As a foreigner (I.E not in the league for BL8000, don't even think 18's), when I met the B&O universe, I was stroked by the BL8000, we call them the pencils… Until I saw the 18's: not knowing the difference in technology and the improvement of the ALT, I just genuinely found it was a very smart and beautiful update. I never saw wooden frets before and i found them very modern and classic at the same time, close to perfect if perfection exists.
It was also a great inspiration (along with BV14) for my BV Horizon hommage (copy) with front wooden fret.

Then, no surprise for me that people is looking for solutions to add thoses 18's lamellas to their BL8000.

Don't get me wrong, I dont consider myself like an audio connoisseur, and i dont compare sound: I just dont know.
But aesthetically: god… Nobody can step in your flat without making a comment on the 18's.
And sound wise, I believe they will blow away any average listener.

 

Jaffrey2230
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This would be great Steve. I am seriously considering if upgrading the beolab 8000 with 18s are worth it (I do have BL style wood slats on my 8000) or upgrade to used BL5.

Beolab 8000 (BL 18 style grills) + Beolab 2 + Apple TV 4K + 65 Inch Sony OLED TV [Main TV]

BeoPlay A9 MK2/AirPlay 2 [Living Room Music]

Beolab 6000 + Airport Express/AirPlay 2 [Bedroom Music]

Apple HomePod [Office]

mbolo01
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mbolo01 replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 6:35 AM
Mikipidia:

Where the 8000’s sound a bit woollen the 18’s are a lot brighter and much clearer. Maybe too bright for some, but i like them more. They also sound slightly more powerfull and present to me.

I have both in the same room and when I put myself in the sweet spot I have exactly the same feeling than the one described by Mikipedia.

BS Moment, BS Core, BS Ouverture, BS1, BL18, BL19, BL8000 + RCV1, A6, M5, M3, A1, H5, TR1

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks guys!

That is really helpful.  I am looking forward to this test!

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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marexy
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marexy replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 9:18 AM

Hi Steve

Some time ago i did some modification to a pair of BL 8000

Change woofers for same dimension with much deeper bass and tweeters to.

The sound has been wauuu..much more deep bass ...maybe same middle tone and much more detailed high tones.

bass up from 40Hz with no problem...original is 52Hz i think ?

and ...did you know that woofers from BL4 have same dimensions as woofer forom BL 8000.

You can mount them without any modifications.

 

 

 

 

Beosince98
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I have had both, Beolab 8000 (multiple MK1/also a pair of mk2) and also Beolab 18. I think the Beolab 18 have a slightly more refined design. Also, they are definitely better sonically than Beolab 8000. However, I would much rather buy a pair of Beolab 9 for less money than a pair of Beolab 18! I have not heard Beolab 8002, but I am looking to acquire a pair, if I can get them at a reasonable price. 

AdamS
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AdamS replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 1:11 PM

Another interesting test, Steve!

I'll be interested in the outcome as I seem to be the lone voice in the wlderness here - I love the look of the Beolab 18s but both Mrs. S and I were distinctly underwhelmed when we heard them. They're not bad speakers by a long shot, but we were both expecting them to be noticeably better than our old 8000s and they weren't.

We both much preferred the Beolab 3s, to be honest!

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks Adam!

Interesting to see that there are different views on this one - I will try to get an objective view and define the differences.... 

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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Jeff
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Jeff replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 2:08 PM

Should be an interesting test. I have BL8000s, but never heard a good demo of the 18s. I think the wood frets are sexy, but wonder about effects on imaging and such, think the tweeter tacked on top is fugly, and like the bases and  taper of the bottom of the speaker better on the 8000s.

Wouldn't surprise me if the 18s have more bass and depending on how they voiced them brighter treble. That said, I think the 8000s get short changed by some people on sonics. I had them setup in my last house with careful attention to the usual things audiophiles do with speakers, spiked, good placement, etc. and they were wonderful. I found the treble nice, not bright but smooth and airy, and the midrange just amazing on vocals. Bass was improved by the fact my room had a huge hump in response, so I got down to the low 40 hz region.

The only reason I have 9s in the main listening area is it's huge, and without a sub they got lost in there. As someone above said, given the choice I'd go for used 9s over 18s, they are all around a good, truly full range speaker.

Will be interesting to see what you thing Steve.

Jeff

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CB
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CB replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 2:35 PM
I owned the BL8000 mk1 for about 2 decades.

I have to say I’m not seduced by the BL18s, both aesthetically and sonically...

On the other hand, I tried BL18+BL19 and that was a very good combo !
Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi CB,

Yes, that opens another "can of worms" altogether! Big Smile I suspect that Beolab 19 covers up a lot of the shortcomings of either Beolab 8000 or Beolab 18......

My first thoughts are to hear the speakers without any support from a sub, to judge how they compare on their own merits.  However, a Beolab 2 vs. 19 subwoofer test could be a very interesting topic for the future?

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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Puncher
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Puncher replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 8:49 PM

I've never liked the 18's - they're like painting a 'tache on the Mona Lisa or bright yellow budgie smugglers on The David! I hope whoever thought of sticking a lens on top was fired.

If I was moving on from 8000's I'd go for beolab 9s - better imo and cheaper than new 18's.

Ban boring signatures!

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BEOVOX141 replied on Fri, Jun 21 2019 5:28 AM

Puncher:
I hope whoever thought of sticking a lens on top was fired.
 

I guess he was...

marexy
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marexy replied on Fri, Jun 21 2019 6:26 AM

Yes ..aggree

The combo is good as BL18 have soft bass response down to 45hz and BL19 have sharper bass due to 2x closed enclosure but it's not going down to 25Hz as BL2.

It's much better for music as BL2 is only for movie..that is my personal experiance.

for audio you need woofer with fast and correct bass response.

 

 

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your patience, I am pleased to confirm that the Beolab 8000 vs. 18 video review is now online at https://youtu.be/ZtrErayWCTg

Please let me know if you agree with my thoughts or not..... Whistle

Kind regards, Steve.

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Duels
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Duels replied on Fri, Jun 28 2019 12:29 PM
Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your patience, I am pleased to confirm that the Beolab 8000 vs. 18 video review is now online at https://youtu.be/ZtrErayWCTg

Please let me know if you agree with my thoughts or not.....

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

Great review Steve. As the owner of a pair of BL18s I agree that you can hear so much detail due to the ALT. When I first got them I heard things I hadn’t heard previously in music I thought I knew.
Mikipidia
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Mikipidia replied on Fri, Jun 28 2019 1:18 PM
Hi Steve,

Great video as per usual. Quick question though, you said they (18’s)were launched in 2015, but i’ve had mine for longer. I think mine are from winter 2013. The main way i know that is that my dad bought them and died in 2014. I have a receipt somewhere, but it’s burried in a stack of paperwork Stick out tongue

So was the launch in the uk later vs the continent?

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi Michael,

Good question....I couldn't find an exact launch date, so I was going from the review in T3 magazine from October 2015, when I thought they had an early set of speakers from the launch.  However, I could be way off the mark!  Does anyone know when Beolab 18 was launched please? Embarrassed

Kind regards, Steve.

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Puncher
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Puncher replied on Fri, Jun 28 2019 3:47 PM

2013 according to Beocentral.

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks Puncher!

I will update the video accordingly......

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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cooldude
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cooldude replied on Fri, Jun 28 2019 6:10 PM

Hey Steve,

I heard the lab 18's in the store (first time in 5+ yrs I actually went into a store) and I have the 8000's here at home.(mk1)

Just a few things.
1) There is quite a few years in-between. A bit of an unfair comparison.

2) I changed the tweeters on my 8000's a few year ago as I blew the old ones up. The replacements are slightly different and I do feel they are more powerful somehow. It does create a bit of a different sound.

3) I had a few problems with my pair of 8000's as they were in storage for about 5 yrs. I did change the power and PL wires (which helped to clear up signals a lot) and I did some recapping as I checked some of the boards because some values were off by a lot.  Normal for something this age.. 

4) After the recapping a 'veil' was lifted and they now sound awesome again.  They will never be as omni directional as the 18's but they stand their ground when placed properly for full effect.

5) I borrowed a friends lab2 sub for a test the other night. Yes there is more bass, but honestly couldn't really tweak it properly. The sound was deeper and a bit more detailed in the lower, but it's cost against benefit. 

And as my neighbours already complain enough... lol.

 

 

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi,

Thanks, that is interesting.....  Maybe part of the difference is due to the age of the 8000s?  I will have to try recapping my speakers at home to see what difference this makes.  By the way, apologies for the poor audio in parts of the video, this will be resolved before I do any more filming!

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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PaulGiles
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PaulGiles replied on Fri, Jun 28 2019 11:19 PM
Great video Steve.

Exactly the same as my findings when I first heard the 18’s. listening to a queen track I have heard many times and suddenly it sounded quite different. Extra sounds and just an overall clarity.
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