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Beosound Core or DAC for Beolab 9

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Saltiresound posted on Tue, Nov 17 2020 12:35 PM

Hello, this is my first message on here because I wanted some advice regarding putting together a system.

I have enjoyed B&O speakers for many years and I now have a preowned pair of Beolab 9s arriving soon. I am very excited as I was hoping for something smaller than my Beolab Penta MK1s but with similar quality.

My question is, as I’ve gone to Pentas and now to the Beolab 9s, I’m beginning to wonder if a good DAC is required to get the best out of them? I am using a 2019 IPad Air to stream music from Qobuz through the 3.5mm headphone jack to a Beomaster unit and this sounds great with my Pentas at the moment.

I'd like to make the effort to make the Beolab 9s sound as great as possible, ideally without spending too much. I could get a preowned Beosound Core to use with them but I was thinking, if I wasn’t too fussed about wireless, would spending that money on something like a Chord Mojo or Chord Qutest DAC make a bigger difference to the sound than a Beosound Core? Or am I just over complicating things? 

I’d love to hear your opinions on this,

Thank you.

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Bieele replied on Tue, Nov 17 2020 12:56 PM

Hi, I took quite some time to compare different options and I feel that a Streamer/DAC makes a big difference in sound quality compared to the option using an iPad. Good options to consider without spending too much money are the Node 2i or, a bit more pricey but also money well spend, the Cambridge Audio CXN V2. A beosound core will also work great I expect (but I did not test myself), but I think this will only give the best performance if you will switch to Deezer which is natively supported.



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Curly replied on Tue, Nov 17 2020 1:47 PM

Welcome to the forum.

This may be insightful for you.

Currently: BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18, BeoSound Core, Beosound Level, Beosound A1 2nd Gen, BeoPlay S8 Connection Hub, Essence Remote

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

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From the sounds of your gear (used, older -- except the iPad), you might prefer a budget solution that lets you operate exactly the same way you do now.  So absolute plug&play would be: an Audioquest Dragonfly (might as well get the cheaper one) and a "tail" to connect it to the iPad (e.g. Apple Camera Adapter/Connection Kit).  Merely switching from the built-in iPad DAC is a big step up.  Various alternatives in that BlueSound Node2i thread are superior -- not to mention wireless rather than chained to a headphone jack -- but of course more costly, as is a Core.

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The DAC in the Beosound Core is excellent. I believe LG used a lower end version of it in their highly rated (for audio) phone the V30. The Chord Qutest is also excellent but expensive. I had a Topping D90 that I also liked.

The Core supports AirPlay 2, Chromecast and the music sources available through the B&O App. I really like the Core AND Essence Remote. I guess in your case it would be the Halo remote!

B&O in my life 😊: 


  • Beolab 8002 + Beolab 2 + Beosound Core with Essence Remote (Office)
  • Beolab 6000 + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core with Essence Remote (Bedroom)
  • Beoplay A9 Mk2 (Living Room)
  • Beosound 1 with wireless dock (Portable)
  • Beosound Balance (Dining)
  • Beoplay H95 (Focused listening, travel)
  • Beoplay H9 (3rd gen) (retired)
  • Beoplay P6 (Portable)
  • Beotime wall clock (hallway entrance)
  • BMW X5 50i with B&O Audio Package (Commute/drive)




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