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Beosound Stage vs Beolab 18

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SharpPencil
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SharpPencil posted on Sun, May 2 2021 5:58 AM

Hi guys,

I have always had an attraction to this brand. And as I'm going to be moving to my new place soon, I am thinking of going for something that allows me to enjoy movies. Currently I am running a traditional 5.1.2 setup. However as my new place is gonna be much smaller, I will be looking either just a set of Beolab or just the Stage.

For someone who is 90% movies and 10% music, what do you guys recommend ? 

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moxxey
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SharpPencil:

Hi guys,

I have always had an attraction to this brand. And as I'm going to be moving to my new place soon, I am thinking of going for something that allows me to enjoy movies. Currently I am running a traditional 5.1.2 setup. However as my new place is gonna be much smaller, I will be looking either just a set of Beolab or just the Stage.

For someone who is 90% movies and 10% music, what do you guys recommend ? 

I've used B&O speakers connected to a BV7, BV11, Avant and BV12-65 for years. I've had BL5s, BL9s, BL3s, BL6000s an a BL2 sub and a BL11.

I'd safely say that the Stage can hold its own compared to most speakers for everyday TV watching. ie. connecting BL9s don't really improve watching regular TV. But for movies:

1) Deep bass would be hugely improved with a speaker setup using a sub. The BL2 would rock my entire room, for example. And annoy the neighbours!

2) You don't get surround sound with the Stage. In fact, the one-directional sound takes some getting used to after using a 2.1 BL3+sub setup. I found that the Stage offered a narrow sound. But, once you get used to that, it really does sound fantastic.

However, there's another caveat. The audio from streamed movies is generally fairly poor compared to that you'd find on a Blu-ray or 4K DVD, so if you do spend some big bucks on a decent speaker setup, don't stream compressed audio via a movie hired on iTunes, as it sort of defeats the object of the speaker setup, imho.

Sandyb
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Bl18’s all the way I’m afraid

If you want that low rumble and thump, add a sub

That way you’ll be all set for a long time I would suggest

They’ll also way outperform the Stage for music

The Stage is an excellent simple solution, but vs 18’s , even alone, it’s not close

laseralex
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For someone who is 90% movies and 10% music, what do you guys recommend ? 

How close are your neighbors?  I have a Beolab 2 attached to a pair of Beolab 8000s and the sound is absolutely fantastic.  But I'm lucky that my neighbors aren't too close - if I lived in an apartment the bass shaking the floor would get me in trouble.

I just looked up the tech specs on current B&O stereo speakers and found this interesting:

  • Model             Max SPL      Bass Capability
  • Stage              100 dB            86 dB
  • Beloab18        107 dB            83 dB
  • Beolab20        108 dB           104 dB
  • Beolab28        110 dB            95 dB
  • Beolab 50       120 dB           116 dB
  • Beolab 90       126 dB           123 dB
  • Beolab 2             N/A             110 dB
  • Beolab 19           N/A              98 dB

I must say I'm impressed that the Stage has more bass capability than the 18s!

If you live near a dealer you can do a comparative listen, and perhaps even try your preferred option in your home with a return guarantee.  

 

Sources: 2x Beosound Moment • 4x Beosound Essence Mk II
Speakers: 3x Beolab 8000 • 1x Beolab 6000 • 1x Beolab 3 • 3x Beolab 2
Integrated:  1x Beosound Level • 4x BeoPlay M5 • 1x BeoPlay A6
Control:  9x Essence Remote  • 1x Beoremote Halo

Sandyb
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Remember the 2 as a sub is much boomer than the 19s

I don’t have an issue with my neighbours, and I’m in an apartment
Millemissen
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SharpPencil:

Hi guys,

I have always had an attraction to this brand. And as I'm going to be moving to my new place soon, I am thinking of going for something that allows me to enjoy movies. Currently I am running a traditional 5.1.2 setup. However as my new place is gonna be much smaller, I will be looking either just a set of Beolab or just the Stage.

For someone who is 90% movies and 10% music, what do you guys recommend ? 

Unfortunately you don’t tell us which tv you use or intend to use in the new place.

Setting up a system with a set of Beolabs (or as a 2.1 combination) with a non-B&O can be a hard task and will maybe require additional hardware (some kind of preprocessor) and a second remote.

However combining a Stage with a modern non-B&O tv is fairly easy.

So.....hard to advice - although a Stage obviously could be a good choice, when you are going to use the setup 90% for movies in a smallish room.

IMO - movies with a 2 channel setup is kinda contradicting - movies need multichannel (or the virtual version from a soundbar like the Stage).

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Sun, May 2 2021 12:55 PM

Sandyb:

The Stage is an excellent simple solution, but vs 18’s , even alone, it’s not close

Bit of an exaggeration Sandyb. I've owned most of the older combination of speakers and the Stage is beyond 'simple solution'. It's pretty fantastic, all things considered. With movies you do get the low rumbles and, besides, what's the point of recommending really expensive speakers for movies, only to then go off an stream low-quality audio via an iTunes or similar movie.

Like I said, the biggest difference is more the one-directional sound, lack of surround and lack of a sub, but the Stage does a far better job than, say, 2 BL6000s, 2 BL3s or similar, which I've owned.

There's also a huge difference in price between BL18s + sub and a Stage. Two BL18s + BL20 = £13000 of speaker.

Sandyb
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Perhaps, but the poster is a 90% movies guy, so it sounds like music reproduction is much less of a priority.

All told, I'd always take 18s over a Stage for movies, and for music the 18s would be a good deal better.

The Stage may be excellent for a sound bar, but vs a pair of 18s, its an easy decision for me.

Cost considerations aside of course.

moxxey:

Sandyb:

The Stage is an excellent simple solution, but vs 18’s , even alone, it’s not close

Bit of an exaggeration Sandyb. I've owned most of the older combination of speakers and the Stage is beyond 'simple solution'. It's pretty fantastic, all things considered. With movies you do get the low rumbles and, besides, what's the point of recommending really expensive speakers for movies, only to then go off an stream low-quality audio via an iTunes or similar movie.

Like I said, the biggest difference is more the one-directional sound, lack of surround and lack of a sub, but the Stage does a far better job than, say, 2 BL6000s, 2 BL3s or similar, which I've owned.

There's also a huge difference in price between BL18s + sub and a Stage. Two BL18s + BL20 = £13000 of speaker.

 

Curly
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Curly replied on Sun, May 2 2021 5:07 PM

 

I just looked up the tech specs on current B&O stereo speakers and found this interesting:

  • Model             Max SPL      Bass Capability
  • Stage              100 dB            86 dB
  • Beloab18        107 dB            83 dB
  • Beolab20        108 dB           104 dB
  • Beolab28        110 dB            95 dB
  • Beolab 50       120 dB           116 dB
  • Beolab 90       126 dB           123 dB
  • Beolab 2             N/A             110 dB
  • Beolab 19           N/A              98 dB

Indeed, the Stage has these newfangled long-throw woofers that are apparently very strong for their size. BL18 doesn’t have them but the subwoofer is BL28 does, which, again, is apparently responsible for really great performance given size. 

I’d ask this: you’re 90% movies—well, what do you like in movie sound? Do you like impactful bass? Or do you prefer a wide soundstage and noticeable differences between left and right front channels?

If you really want that wide sound field and sense of envelopment from hearing things distinctly come from the right or left, maybe you go BL18 since you can place them as wide as you’d like to get the effect you prefer. But if you prefer more heavy-hitting effects, maybe Stage. And people say the Stage is pretty decent at throwing sound around (Atmos); I’ve never heard Stage so I can’t say how convincingly it does this but maybe you can get closer to your 5.1.2. system with Stage.

Of course, the price differential is huge between the two so we’ll leave that out of this chat for now. 

A great problem to have! Good luck! 

Currently: BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18, BeoSound Core, BeoPlay S8 Connection Hub, Essence Remote

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

Stan
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Stan replied on Sun, May 2 2021 7:14 PM

If you are used to having a dedicated center channel, you might be disappointed going to 2 channels, regardless of how good the speakers are.  I used to run a non-B&O Tv with 2 bl4000s, and while they were a huge improvement over the Tv's stock speakers, dialogue could get lost at times.

I much prefer the 3 channel output of my Eclipse sound center.  I realize that this isn't exactly a fair comparison, but with 90% movies, you may find stereo a step backwards.

 

Millemissen
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Stan:

If you are used to having a dedicated center channel, you might be disappointed going to 2 channels, regardless of how good the speakers are.  I used to run a non-B&O Tv with 2 bl4000s, and while they were a huge improvement over the Tv's stock speakers, dialogue could get lost at times.

I much prefer the 3 channel output of my Eclipse sound center.  I realize that this isn't exactly a fair comparison, but with 90% movies, you may find stereo a step backwards.

 

Totally agree there.

Movies/tv listening needs a center speaker.
Only if you are alone and sit dead center between the two R/L speaker, you can get along without the center speaker. Alternatively if you have a stereo loudspeaker like the 7.1/2/6 with the speakers relatively close to each other under the screen, you’d be fine.

For ages B&O tv’s have offered a center speaker, when you had external R/L speakers connected. The old MX6000 had a centre balance function, which showcases, that B&O always has had an eye on the importance of center sound, when watching tv.

To me it is either R/L with a center channel (which nowadays would require some kind of multichannel processor.......if you don’t have a B&O tv) or a soundbar like the Stage, which has a center channel built in.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

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