Question for Geoff Martin or other very knowledgable people re Beolab 17

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    BeoCom 1401
    BRONZE Member

      Hello Geoff and the B&O experts on this forum. I have a pair of Beolab 17 that I’ve been absolutely loving but I’m trying to do something more with them than I’ve done in the past, and I haven’t been loving the sound quality since I attempted something new.

      I’ve always used them as true bookshelf speakers, on a a wall mounted shelf in a home office setup. Source has been a Core with Deezer HiFi. Sound quality has always been 10/10.

      Now I’ve decided I want to bring them into my main living room, as I acquired a lovely Beogram 4002 and I want it prominently displayed. So I would like to make these my home theater speakers, replacing a Stage.

      On the advice of Andrew Robinson I purchased a Bluesound Node to use with eARC from the TV and the L/R out to each Beolab. Everything works fine, but the bass has disappeared. I’ve tried all 3 placement switch settings (wall/free/corner) and free muddies the bass, but wall or corner there just isn’t enough.

      My major question is this: does the Core apply some kind of DSP to these speakers? I wasn’t aware that using the Core with Beolink would actually  improve the sound. But my experience is that bass has disappeared.

      The room these speakers are now in is much larger than before, but it’s still small-ish (500 square feet app). The 17 should be able to sound great in this room and they don’t.

      Even if nobody else has tried a Bluesound or similar product to drive a B&O speaker, I’m hoping someone on here can tell me if the Core does in fact apply some kind of magic processing when connected to a Beolab.

      Thanks, in advance, for all the help.

      GOLD Member

        I can confirm the Core has a setting within which you tell it what BeoLab speakers are connected to it—but I don’t know what this does, precisely.

        I, too, tried using a Node 2i with a pair of BL17 but did not notice any change in the sound profile so sadly, I can’t be of much help there. 🙁

        BeoCom 1401
        BRONZE Member

          Thanks for the reply. I spent a lot of time today going back and forth between the Core and the Node. My findings are that I can’t tell a difference. I listened to the same track back to back with both devices, and if there is magic with the Core, I can’t find it.

          What it really comes down to is that these speakers are far more room dependent than I thought. In a small space they deliver prodigious bass, but in a larger room they really struggle to fill the low end. It’s understandable given their small size, but it was jarring given what I was used to hearing from them in the past. I’ll need to add a sub to my setup, but that’s OK.

          I’m still in love with these speakers. Bravo again to Geoff and his team; they are remarkable. They just need a sub when your room approaches 500 square feet.

          GOLD Member

            On the old site, I began a fairly extensive thread detailing my experience swapping my Core for a Bluesound Node 2i in a BL17 setup. Unfortunately, it is not showing in my Google searches but it was called “A Day With a Bluesound Node 2i”. If you have better search capabilities than I, it may be worth a read.

            I was interested in determining if I could hear a difference between CD-quality and higher-rez music and bottom line, I could not tell a difference. I ended up returning the Node 2i to retain the Multiroom functionality of the Core, among a few other minor details that just made it more pleasant for me to stay within the B&O ecosystem. But if one day I buy non-B&O equipment, I would get an NAD M10 or M33 and stay within the Bluesound world without a second guess. It was a fantastic user experience, IMHO.

            As for adding a sub, sadly, B&O never made this easy outside a BeoVision TV. There is no way to manage the subwoofer crossover frequency in a 2.1 system, say, consisting of BL17 and BL19 if you’re using a fully wired setup. You’d have to use a third-party product of some type to do this. (I believe the Node 2/2i has a subwoofer out and bass management in the software, BTW.)

            Alternatively, if you get a B&O Transmitter 1, you CAN have bass management capabilities. The T1 will crossover automatically at 120Hz. This is not adjustable. But of course, it requires using WISA and not cables.

            Hope this helps! I love my BL17 but I use mine in a 12×12′ bedroom currently, so the bass is superb. In a larger room like yours, I’d probably just try to find more full-range speakers rather than deal with using non-B&O equipment if I didn’t have a BV TV or using a Transmitter 1 and WISA.


            GOLD Member


              I found the old thread! Not on Google but by actually searching the Archived Forum. A big job well done to Keith and Lee and other moderators who brought back the forum but also made revisiting the forum before the switchover so easy.

              BeoCom 1401
              BRONZE Member

                Thanks for linking to that. I’m a bit sad to be giving up the B&O ecosystem with the switch to the Node, but honestly, Bluesound’s app is much, much better. The sheer number of supported music services is vast, and I might end up making the switch from Deezer to Tidal. My car has Tidal built in, but not Deezer, so that’s a nice perk.

                Also, Bluesound makes it really, really easy to add a sub, unlike B&O. They really want you buying their TVs, and I will never do that. Their TVs are the absolute worst value of anything they make. I have a 77″ Sony OLED and I don’t want to sacrifice quality with the switch to LG (I know the panels are the same, but Sony still improves the image) and pay 80% more in the process. I’m sure the center channel performance in the Harmony is amazing, but it’s not $15K amazing. Phantom center with the Node and my 17s sounds great.

                • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by BeoCom 1401.
                GOLD Member

                  You’re preaching to the choir. As I said, if I stepped outside of B&O, I’d go Bluesound via NAD in a heartbeat. The app is fantastic. It was the easiest thing in the world to use AND is much more featureful than anything B&O has. I am with you on this one.

                  The TVs are very, very, very expensive. I’ve done the math, too, and it hurts.

                  Not much more to say, I guess. Value is subjective.

                  I’m glad you like your 17s so much. I love them. What a fantastic, fantastic speaker. Perhaps you need a BL19 to add to them in your large room?

                  • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Curly.
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