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Beolab 5 reliability?

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly posted on Wed, May 13 2020 2:05 PM

Hi Beoworlders,

I hope that you are all keeping well.  I have had a pair of Beolab 5s on my wishlist for many years now, to replace the much loved Penta 3s in my study.  However, I have always been put off by the rumours of reliability issues, including shortages of spare parts and the risk of needing to replace the speaker chassis after a certain period of use.

Could I please ask for any input from members who use Beolab 5s, or who are involved in repairing them?

Are the earlier models more risky, or can any age of Beolab 5 potentially have issues?  Is it purely dependent on age, bad luck, or a history of misuse?

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards, Steve.


Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

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Answered (Verified) Dennis replied on Wed, May 20 2020 9:52 PM
Verified by Jeff

Bang & Olufsen have the huge advantage of having the schematics, so they are able to diagnose the fault much easier and find out which components turned into smoke and what to replace them with. They haven't published any schematics in the 21st century as far as I'm aware - only service manuals on how to diagnose which board to replace and how to dismantle the product in order to do so. 

It's pretty sad that they won't publish the schematics even after the products went out of production. Makes life much harder for the enthusiast wanting to keep the products alive in the future when Bang & Olufsen stop refurbishing the old chassis. 


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So a but of a longer story, really technically there was never a mk2 either as the the type number didn’t change, but the pincode change got called mk2 to differentiate by the public and it stuck basically.

The following is EU only/mostly.

Post serial nr: 17772145 is mk2 with pincode

Post serial nr: 19375256 got a new powercord connection.

Post serial nr: 21770424 got updated to meat new EU energy requierments when switched off(0.5watt or less)

Software doesn’t matter too much as that can be updated obviously by your favourite local dealer(would highly recommend).

The boards probably have a few different parts on them here and there, not fully sure, but the main point is that post 17772145 can all still be fixed with a new chassis. Sonically they all sound the same and have been tuned to sound the same way, so that doesn’t matter either in what you choose.

I still highly recommend getting a pair if you love them and can afford them. And if you’re that concerned by the very low failure rates, once again, get them from your favourite local dealer with a warrantyBig Smile

Hope this helps?

New: Beovision Harmony, Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beolab 17's, Beolab 3's, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound Stage & LG, Beosound 2, Beoplay M3, Beoplay A1, Beoplay H4 gen 2, Beoplay E8 3.0

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

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Out of interest. Do you know what causes the chassis faults? Is it the (massive) base drivers when playing very loud?

I am considering replacing my BL9's with newer BL5's, and I only very seldom play very loud music. I love the rumble i movies though.

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I bought a pair of BeoLab 5s about 2 years ago from my 'local' (4 hours away) dealer and as I am writing this the technicians are here replacing the chassis in the second speaker. The chassis went out on the other speaker last year and had to be replaced. So in terms of reliability, I am not impressed. The issue was the same other people have reported, the speakers started making a crackling/hissing sound.

BTW, I too have a pair of Penta 3s, which I love. The BeoLab 5s lack the realism of the Pentas. they are great speakers, but I find them fatiguing to listen to for any length of time. They are unsurpassed in a home theater surround sound set up, but for listening to music I feel that they lack any personality, they are very 2 dimensional. For music, I much prefer my Pentas.

I was initially impressed with the BL5’s clarity, detail and tight bass, however they sounded shrill and harsh at higher volumes with an unnatural tonality. I concur with your observations. Great speakers for films.




Present: BL90, Moment, Core, BL6000, CD7000, 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4.


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I have been using my BL5 since 2013 without any issues. Until now they have been very reliable. But I have to admit that I have used these only for stereo playback and at low to moderate volume levels (wife & kid…). Indeed I have never noticed the subs. But hey, no problems here (fingers 🤞). I also avoid software updates. I have calibrated them in my garden in 2015. Perhaps I should recalibrate these again to avoid that the mechanism gets broke (the B&O dealer told me once this issue can arrive if not used for years)?

Now recently I have bought a Beosystem 4 to build a surround sound system. I am not worried. If the chassis would ever break down I will replace these in a heartbeat. The cost is very acceptable, certainly if you compare this with prices of newer high end speakers.
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olvisab replied on Sat, Nov 27 2021 10:15 PM

Hi Steve

Got a pair secondhand from 2005 in 2010. One has an issue. When I use it for a long time, for a movie for example, the led stay green. I have to unplugged it and then it works again. The calibration doesn't work on it. I have this issue since 3 years now at least.

The other one works perfectly.

I am going to buy another pair from 2006, the chassis has been already replaced by the previous owner one years and a half ago. He pushed them too hard during a party.

They are amazing for movies but as said previously at high volume in a closed place, the sound quality can decline at high volume for music listening.

I have bought a pair of  secondhand devialet gold speakers recently and the deviated have really good bass but nothing will replace the clarity, detail of the acoustic lens and the power of the bass woofer (on concrete floor). For price between 5000 7000 depending their age and chassis replacement, it is an excellent purchase even considering the price of a new chassis. The design. ... timeless

Their main default (that shouldn't be one) is that they are not gentle with bad recordings, new speakers are less dependent to the environment and dsp are correcting more things.

beolab 5, beolab 9, beolab 3, beolab 10, beolab 5000, beolab 8000, beolab 3500, IWS 2000, beovision 7 55 mk2,  beotime, beogram 7000 white mmc2, beosound ouverture, beosound essence, beomaster 900 RG de luxe and the collection continues...

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