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A9 MK4 vs. 2 BS2 in Stereo via Google Home Groups

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kornelius
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kornelius Posted: Tue, Jul 9 2019 12:27 PM

Hi all,

I have been constantly following the forums where I am really happy to enjoy great discussions about B&O, the thing we all enjoy. I have decided to create my first discussion for an upcoming decision I am making.

Let me explain the situation. I am looking for a (somewhat flexible) speaker for my place. Hearing the A9 mk4 really made me fall in love with my music again! But my dealer recommended that I should try the BS2s in stereo and although they were less powerful, man they sound good. The stereo separation and imaging was impressive for a speaker of that price point. So now I'm stuck between the two. I have considered other options, beolabs especially as I really enjoy the 90s in particular, but simply have no space at my current space.

I have a few questions that make the situation more troublesome.

1. As the A9 has been here since 2012, and on its 4th iteration, will it be quickly replaced with something. Although I no doubt will enjoy it for years to come and it is natural for all products to be eventually put a side and replaced, will it be the case that it will be somewhat dated with a design that has existed for 7 years?

2. The BS2 can be placed in a speaker group for music but when connected to a TV, wouldn't I have to manually connect each to the TV to enable stereo to be played back? As I am planning to place them either diagonally or on the sides of the TV, if space permits, it would be a bit of a tangle with cables going everywhere...

Ideally a single unit placed at a corner between the bedroom and living area would create the least clutter but the space could be overwhelmed by the larger footprint of the a9, have to try to be sure. On the other hand, a single BS2 is not that ideal in terms of performance... I have tried the AR app but it is not fully indicative with day-to-day movement I find so I might be getting a loaner, if possible. 

Anyway, what do you all think? Single A9 at the corner, single unit but somewhat stereo-like playback, or try to fit the 2 BS2s and find a way to reroute cables to the TV without causing too much mess if that's even possible?

Thank you all in advance!

K.

Jaffrey2230
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I recnetly tried out and was blown away with 2XA9 MK2 where I connected one side to be left and the other right from my TV. The 2X A9 connected to my Sony TV easily outperforms  pair of BL 8000 + BL2 by a huge margin.

I own BL 8000, 6000 (both with BL 2s for bass)  and  a pair of A9 and find the A9 to be the best speaker of the lot - whether on its own or as a pair.

B&O products I use by zones in my home: 

Platform: Apple Home  (iOS/Mac, with Google Wi-fi (mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV/Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K];  Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core [LG UST Projector directly to wall, Apple TV 4K]; Beoplay, Guest Rooms: Apple HomePods Dining: Beoplay M5 [previously BS Stage] ; Portable in-house: Beosound 1 with dock; Travel/bluetooth: Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen), AirPod Pro

 

BeoFrederic
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Jaffray, re: your 2XA9s. Cool idea. I assume the connection is wired to/from l & r channels on your TV, yes? What cable do you use?

Have you tried to group the two together as a wireless stereo pair? I understand that Apple now allows this for, e.g., HomePod pairs, using AirPlay 2.

Aussie Michael
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Hi

Welcome to the forum.

1. Being that the A9 is in its' fourth iteration i doubt it will be gone any time soon.  The A9 is pretty rock solid and it's the best bang for buck speaker in the range, i would be more concerned with how it sounds and how easy it is to integrate in to my setup versus if it would be gone any time soon.  I appreciate your concern, but if we wait for what's around the corner, we can always continue to wait.  If you feel the design is dated, there is your answer.  It's quite iconic to me though. 

2.  Yes you can put the BS2 in to a speaker group on the app for music (ie playing the same source at the same time either in the same room or in a different room), and as a side line, if you connect to a B&O TV, there is a menu item on a B&O TV also called speaker group that is however just for WISA speakers and not NL speakers.  But i'm thinking that you're considering connecting these to a Samsung, LG or Sony, etc?  If so, then why not try what the other poster has written and put one left channel in to the one of the BS2 and the other in to the other.  The things you would have to consider is, does the BS2 have line sense? Ie if it gets a signal it turns on from stand by and then starts playing and if you're connecting it out of the headphone socket of your TV, can you regulate the volume via the headphone socket on your TV?  Just some considerations. 

The A9s foot print isn't that much larger than that of a robot (miele) vacuum. 

I reckon, go with an A9, put it in the corner, and when the B&O soundbar comes out in the near future, go for that for your TV.  Or get a bigger place and go for the 90s ;-) 

Cheers

 

 

kornelius
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kornelius replied on Wed, Jul 10 2019 11:27 AM

Thank you for your input! I have not tried A9s in stereo but will give that a shot. The only problem I have with that is space restrictions in my home. I can sort of make do with 2 BS2s but most likely on a single a9 if I were to go down that route. I'm sure they sound awesome and will definitely consider the a9, as you recommended, even by itself!

... or maybe I'll get rid of my bed to make space for the 2 Big Smile

kornelius
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kornelius replied on Wed, Jul 10 2019 11:31 AM

BeoFrederic:
Jaffray, re: your 2XA9s. Cool idea. I assume the connection is wired to/from l & r channels on your TV, yes? What cable do you use?

Have you tried to group the two together as a wireless stereo pair? I understand that Apple now allows this for, e.g., HomePod pairs, using AirPlay 2.

I'd also be interested, as BeoFrederic mentioned, how you would stereo pair them wirelessly to the TV as that will be optimal. Saves me all the trouble to cable manage BUT, and a big but, I will be sacrificing sound fidelity which I feel uneasy about...

kornelius
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kornelius replied on Wed, Jul 10 2019 11:45 AM

Aussie Michael:

2.  Yes you can put the BS2 in to a speaker group on the app for music (ie playing the same source at the same time either in the same room or in a different room), and as a side line, if you connect to a B&O TV, there is a menu item on a B&O TV also called speaker group that is however just for WISA speakers and not NL speakers.  But i'm thinking that you're considering connecting these to a Samsung, LG or Sony, etc?  If so, then why not try what the other poster has written and put one left channel in to the one of the BS2 and the other in to the other.  The things you would have to consider is, does the BS2 have line sense? Ie if it gets a signal it turns on from stand by and then starts playing and if you're connecting it out of the headphone socket of your TV, can you regulate the volume via the headphone socket on your TV?  Just some considerations. 

I am planning to connect it to a Samsung "The Frame" I have in the bedroom (booo I know Unsure) but from preliminary research, it seems the only wireless option I can use is bluetooth which is definitely not optimal. I'm going to ask my dealer to see what he has to say as well. If I go with the BS2s and cannot cable both to the TV, I will only be getting sound from one of them which is definitely not giving me what I paid for so that may not be an option altogether...

I'm leaning a bit towards the A9, as you recommended, but should probably have it in my space again to see if it fits as the corner is quite small, to be honest. So in the case that the space is just small, I might have to find a way to connect the second or both of the BS2s wirelessly or (cable manage) to the Samsung TV.

 

One more thing I'm wondering:

Is there a way to wirelessly stream from a turntable (after the Phono pre-amp that is) to the speakers in a wireless fashion? I really want to have the turntable as a wireless source, at least for the time being, before I move as there is simply no way to connect with wires between the turntable and speaker as the speaker is besides the couch and the turntable is closer to the front with the TV. I recognize that it is, in a way, the wrong way to go about it without wiring the turntable directly to the speakers for the highest quality of sound but for the current space, I don't want to do too much with cabling as I think I'm moving soon.

 

Anyway, thank you Michael for your input and I'll sure consider moving so I can fit the 90s Big Smile

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Wed, Jul 10 2019 12:02 PM

Having an A9 offset to the side of the TV, but using it for TV sound is a slightly odd experience to me.

In my bedroom, I have a B&O TV wall mounted, and an A9 off to the side 1.5m away.

I dont really use the A9 for TV audio, as the TV itself it more than good enough.

But on the odd occasion I've tried it, the soundstage (such as it is) coming from the A9 at the side seems misplaced vs the image coming from directly in front of me.

I'd personally get an LG OLED (this years model), which are WISA capable for the first time, and a pair of BeloLab 17's, which are also WISA capable.

The 17's are by all accounts the most under-rated (not any more perhaps) speaker B&O have made in recent years.

You can Airplay music to the new LG OLEDs too, as that's also a new feature of this years TVs from a few brands.

 

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Wed, Jul 10 2019 10:00 PM

kornelius:

Anyway, what do you all think? Single A9 at the corner, single unit but somewhat stereo-like playback, or try to fit the 2 BS2s and find a way to reroute cables to the TV without causing too much mess if that's even possible?

I owned a MK 1 A9 for many years - said on this forum how much I rated it. Sold it recently to buy a more portable BeoSound 2. Although the BS2 is decent, the A9 completely blows it away on so many levels. The clarity is immense and it really shakes the room. Unless portability is your priority (it's far easier to move a BS2), then go for the A9 every single time.

Not sure I'd bother with the MK4 either. I've seen a new MK2 for 50% of the original price and many discounted MK3's.

Jaffrey2230
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I haven’t tried AirPlay 2 wireless. Although, I can do it using an AirPort Express (with the AirPlay 2 firmware). For cables, there might be a better option but I just used a stereo to RCA cable. I just plugged the left to one A9 and right to the other A9. The A9s are on line to work this way. Interestingly, now I can connect to the A9 in stereo mode using the Airport Express (or TV’s headphone jack), or can AirPlay into each A9 which I labeled as A9 left and A9 right on the B&O App.

I just did an A-B test compared to a BL 8000 + BL 2 as a result of being able to AirPlay from Apple TV to the A9 and the TV outputting to the BL speakers. First, there was no audio synch issue  across all speakers (So kudos to AirPlay and Apple TV), but the sound on the A9 is so much more punchy and wider than the BL 8000. Not even close...

B&O products I use by zones in my home: 

Platform: Apple Home  (iOS/Mac, with Google Wi-fi (mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV/Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K];  Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core [LG UST Projector directly to wall, Apple TV 4K]; Beoplay, Guest Rooms: Apple HomePods Dining: Beoplay M5 [previously BS Stage] ; Portable in-house: Beosound 1 with dock; Travel/bluetooth: Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen), AirPod Pro

 

Aussie Michael
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The Frame is a good TV, so i hope it all works out

I'm with Moxxey that if you can get a Mk2 (that's what I have), grab them.  I think the power is great and the sound is excellent too. 

kornelius
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kornelius replied on Thu, Jul 11 2019 12:02 PM

Sandyb:
Having an A9 offset to the side of the TV, but using it for TV sound is a slightly odd experience to me.

I do agree that the soundstage is coming from a weird angle but as my bedroom is small and the A9 or BS2 is probably going to be only 0.5m it may work. But definitely, as you said, it might be weird. I will keep that in mind and try them out at the dealer's. Thanks Thumbs Up

The new LGs with WISA are awesome! I cannot wait to get them or be "turnt" by my dealer, again, to get the Harmony. He has been raving about the harmony so I can't wait to see them in person. Maybe I should refrain from seeing them in person if they're that good so I don't need to find myself sobbing at my bank balance at the end of the day Big Smile

Cheers Sandyb!

K.

kornelius
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kornelius replied on Thu, Jul 11 2019 12:06 PM

moxxey:

kornelius:

Anyway, what do you all think? Single A9 at the corner, single unit but somewhat stereo-like playback, or try to fit the 2 BS2s and find a way to reroute cables to the TV without causing too much mess if that's even possible?

I owned a MK 1 A9 for many years - said on this forum how much I rated it. Sold it recently to buy a more portable BeoSound 2. Although the BS2 is decent, the A9 completely blows it away on so many levels. The clarity is immense and it really shakes the room. Unless portability is your priority (it's far easier to move a BS2), then go for the A9 every single time.

Not sure I'd bother with the MK4 either. I've seen a new MK2 for 50% of the original price and many discounted MK3's.

I have read your posts as well and that is one of the things that is making me really consider the A9s over the BS2! It seems really good! I plan to go down to the dealer's another time soon to try them out again. Will keep you posted on how that goes.

Have you had a chance to hear the BS2s in a stereo group? Its really amazing by the way!

K.

kornelius
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kornelius replied on Thu, Jul 11 2019 12:10 PM

Jaffrey2230:

I haven’t tried AirPlay 2 wireless. Although, I can do it using an AirPort Express (with the AirPlay 2 firmware). For cables, there might be a better option but I just used a stereo to RCA cable. I just plugged the left to one A9 and right to the other A9. The A9s are on line to work this way. Interestingly, now I can connect to the A9 in stereo mode using the Airport Express (or TV’s headphone jack), or can AirPlay into each A9 which I labeled as A9 left and A9 right on the B&O App.

I just did an A-B test compared to a BL 8000 + BL 2 as a result of being able to AirPlay from Apple TV to the A9 and the TV outputting to the BL speakers. First, there was no audio synch issue  across all speakers (So kudos to AirPlay and Apple TV), but the sound on the A9 is so much more punchy and wider than the BL 8000. Not even close...

I can't imagine how good 2 A9s sound Surprise I wish I had the space but currently I can only fit a single A9 or 2 BS2s. Do you think a single A9 will be outshined by 2 BS2s in stereo (with a more pronounced stereo imaging)?

Thanks for doing the test by the way, very insightful!

K.

kornelius
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kornelius replied on Thu, Jul 11 2019 12:42 PM

Aussie Michael:

The Frame is a good TV, so i hope it all works out

I'm with Moxxey that if you can get a Mk2 (that's what I have), grab them.  I think the power is great and the sound is excellent too. 

The Frame is not too shabby indeed! I'll take that into consideration as the A9 itself sounds awesome!

Although the A9 is somewhat 360 degree sound capable with stereo abilities too, if it is by one side especially slightly in front of you, will the stereo imaging and sound not be fully immersive? I appreciate it will never be like 2 separate units but for what the A9 offers as a single point (but stereo - limited you could say) speaker, will it be the case that sound is stereo-like but has a soundstage to one side because of this placement. The placement is in a corner to the left of the TV just slightly in front of the bed.

I have found that speakers on the side, although 360 by nature, produces a soundstage that I find too weird unless I crank up the volume a bit such that the sound envelops most of the space and I don't feel I am hearing too much from one side.

K.

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