Reply To: 3rd party surround sound decoder

  • Toronto, Canada
  • Topics Started 2
  • Total Posts 59

I was in a similar situation as you where I had a Marantz 6011 receiver with pre-outs powering my BL18’s and BL3’s for about 7 years and I was rather happy with it. Marantz is really the best sounding receivers I have ever used.

But I just replaced it all with the Beosound theatre and reported my issues with it here. But to be honest once you get used to the sub menus of the app and get it set up it works very well.  Better than I was expecting but I had low expectations based on previous experiences. I’m quite sure they will update the software to make things better.

In terms of experience and setup the Theatre kills the marantz.  You don’t have to worry about what you plug into what speaker port. You don’t have to set crossover levels per speaker you don’t have to go through a long setup etc.  The Theatre basically does the hard work for you.

In terms of sound it’s complicated.  The marantz really made the speakers transparent and filled the room maybe more than was intended, but I loved that.  The bass was clean and not boomy and the 5.1 surround was flawless. My only complaint is that the centre channel never sounded clear or loud enough despite a high end B&W speaker.

The theatre accomplishes a lot considering I no longer have an external sub hooked up. 90% of the time I feel like I don’t need one but there is a bit of impact at some levels I feel are missing. The theatre doesn’t seem to make quite as much use of my rears as my marantz did so I usually feel like it’s a forward stage unless something bold happens in the rear speakers. On the plus side the centre channel is always perfect. I don’t know if it’s the processing or the speaker or both. The bass is also there but it’s very clean but I feel like even if I add the sub this is just a typical B&O non-offensive level of bass. I feel it does a great job with movie audio when I throw it an atmos track but not as good at up converting older 3.1 or 2.0.

So in terms of sound difference there is a HUGE price difference between the two but I don’t see the value in that difference.  The value for me is more the experience with the theatre as its more Apple like. Everything detects each other and works well with one another. It finds all the other B&O equipment in my house and will unify everything. And of course I no longer have a huge box just to process the sound, its all hidden within the theatre.

So if you just care about sound go with an external system. If you care about overall experience and design all for much more money go for the B&O.