BeoLab 90 reviews


“B&O has also succeeded in using all that technology to serve the music: the BeoLab 90’s sound quality equaled the general performance of any other speaker I’ve heard, and exceeded them in the resolution and stability of the sound-stages the pair of them presented.” (Kal Rubinson)

“For now, I exhort every caring music listener to listen to the BeoLab 90 and hear what is now possible. It’s that good. (KR)

“To say how impressed with how the BeoLab 90 measured in its Narrow mode would be an understatement. This loudspeaker demonstrates just how much can be achieved with intelligent use of DSP to optimise its acoustic performance. As Kal Rubinson summed up, it is a tour de force. Wow! (John Atkinson)

January, 2017 edition

Lyd og Bilde Norway

“Lyden av BeoLab 90 er vanskelig å forklare, den må egentlig bare oppleves. Personlig har jeg aldri hørt en mer livaktig musikkgjengivelse, og flere som har vært på besøk reagerte med å klype seg i armen eller felle en tåre når de hørte et opptak de kjente, eller rettere sagt trodde de kjente!”

“The sound of the BeoLab 90 is hard to explain, it must really be experienced. Personally I have never heard a more lifelike music reproduction, and several who have been visiting reacted by pinching their own arm or shedding a tear when they heard a recording they knew, or rather thought they knew!”


After Munich High End 2016

From “Fazit: Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 – Die Zukunft des Klangs? Die Antwort darauf: Nach unserer Meinung zurzeit eine, wenn nicht sogar die beste Möglichkeit für optimales Klangerlebnis im High End-Bereich. Mit einer Einschränkung: Selbst angesichts des nicht minder beachtlichen Preises kann es aufgrund der hohen Nachfrage zu Lieferengpässen kommen…..


From  High End 2016 – Munich – Best Sound: Runner-up – “My colleague Martin Colloms wrote a long feature article about the Beolab 90 for Hificritic. Still I wasn’t ready for what I heard. An immersive holographic sound even when I was sitting no more than 5 feet away from the loudspeakers. Excellent focus, amazing localization of musicians and singers in the huge and deep soundstage. Maybe a hint of upper mid emphasis. To say that I am amazed is an understatement. It gets an A verging on the A+…”

Press reviews from CES 2016

201602_bestofces “…this demonstration was, by far, the best I heard – and the BeoLab 90 was my favorite product – at CES 2016.”


Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 22.23.44 “The sound was incredibly dynamic but relaxed. This was the best bass I heard at the show, and the most startlingly different soundstaging and midrange I experienced during CES 2016.

The question I’ve been asked at every CES more often than any other is “Which sound system impressed you the most?” It’s a question that’s often difficult to answer. Typically, I’ve been impressed by several systems, often for different reasons, and it’s hard to say which was “the best.” That is, except at CES 2016. This time, I had no trouble answering this question: the BeoLab 90. The sound was utterly natural, effortless, with outstanding soundstage and imaging. I also couldn’t help but be impressed by the technology represented by this speaker system: 18 drivers of the highest quality, 18 amplifiers, full DSP control, cast aluminum enclosure. Given the components and the extensive research that went into the design of the speaker, $75,000 for the pair does not seem excessive.”


Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 14.19.25 “When we sat down for a short audition, we were gobsmacked by what we were hearing. Though we were in the very back of the room with enough people blocking our sight of the speakers that we could barely see the system, we heard a perfectly balanced presentation with the vocals seemingly coming from directly in front of us, just 2 feet away (someone’s head was in that spot).




Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 08.31.32 “From common audiophile test tracks to a sweet spot rotation, whoever was leading the charge at the company certainly seemed vastly familiar with the hobby’s eccentric standards. The sound of the BEOLAB 90 followed in suit, the quick listening session yielded surprisingly tight image and responsive dynamic range. The bass was big, properly proportioned and beautiful in a way that reminded me of other high end rigs that play in this price range. Overall, it felt like a very impressive presentation that didn’t disappoint, checking off boxes left and right for both the audiophile and the luxury lifestyle listener.”


Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 08.27.16 “These speakers have real guts, and yet possess more finesse than passive speakers I’ve heard that cost even more. In the rarefied price point that they occupy, Bang and Olufsen’s flagship speakers actually strike me as a bargain, as outrageous as that may sound when discussing $80,000 speakers. But, that’s exactly how good they are. Respect.”


Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 07.32.29 “what I heard from the pair at CES 2016 absolutely blew me away — the way the pair imaged, coupled with the fullness, richness, and presence exhibited, had me talking about them for the rest of the day. Now feel a little foolish for at first thinking they were a stupid design. Don’t make the same mistake — hear a pair of 90s if you can.”


Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 09.42.21 “We got a brief demo and the sound is incredible.”



Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 09.44.34 “The soundstage is breathtaking, the low end is positively massive. Possibly the best speakers I’ve ever heard. Possibly the very speakers Crom has in his throne room in Valhalla.” “Having two of these exquisite pieces focused on me made for a smooth, powerful sound that will likely standout in my memory for the rest of my life. For those who can indulge, I strongly advise doing so.”




From the early press events

“So how did the BeoLab 90 make us feel? When we closed our eyes in Bang & Olufsen’s special listening room, the pair of master reference speakers (#2 and #3 ever made)—along with the room—seemed to vanish the instant a song played. We weren’t listening to sound emanating from two specific points; instead, the Weeknd was singing his heart out right in front of us. Benny Goodman’s band performed an intimate set, and you could picture where each musician was sitting. The BeoLab 90’s ability to create such a lifelike three-dimensional sound stage is unparalleled when you’re sitting in the sweet spot. It certainly brings up the question of whether a speaker can be “too” good for the music—some now-classic albums weren’t necessarily well-recorded and mastered (think of when the Rolling Stones turned the basement of a rented French mansion into a makeshift studio slash drug den). But when all the variables align perfectly, the music engulfs listeners entirely and hits the guts. The result of such incredible technology and engineering happens to be a very visceral human experience.”



“Die Abbildung war phänomenal, jedes Instrument der gewählten Musik nahm ganz selbstverständlich den für sich bestimmten Platz im Raum ein, jedes Element war von Anfang bis Ende verfolg- und erlebbar. Aber nicht nur die Ortung verblüffte, auch die Detailgenauigkeit, mit der selbst kleinste Feinheiten bis zum erkälteten Backgroundsänger aufgedeckt wurde, sucht ihresgleichen.”


“Vi kan bevidne, at effekten er besnærende. Højttalerne spiller sammen med lytterummet på en måde, vi ikke har oplevet før. Personligt har jeg aldrig hørt et mere holografisk realistisk lydbillede, hverken i eller uden for sweet spot. BeoLab 90 er også en fuldblods, fullrange-højttaler, der ikke overlader noget til tilfældighederne.”


“I found that the size of the soundstage was consistently proportional to the size of the ensemble and the recording. I found that the bass was very well extended, taut, and satisfying. Most of all, I was impressed by the prototypes’ reproduction of detail throughout the audio band, and the uniformity of that quality across the soundstage.”
– Kalman Rubinson, Stereophile magazine (print version, October, 2015)


“Wohl noch nie haben Lautsprecher die musikali­ schen Akteure so scharf ins Wohnzimmer projiziert. Ganz gleich, ob grosse Orchester oder kleine Jazz­-Formationen – jedes ein­ zelne Instrument hat seinen exakten Platz im virtuellen Raum, der auch seine Tiefen­ dimension verblüffend genau zu erkennen gibt: Der Hörer kann zum Beispiel fast in Zentimetern abzählen, wie weit das Schlag­ zeug hinter dem Kontrabass placiert ist. Dass der Beolab 90 auch für schwärzeste Bass­Tiefe, überbordende Dynamik und feinen, luftigen Obertonglanz steht, müssen Test­Hörer der Vollständigkeit halber natür­ lich ebenfalls zu Protokoll geben, aber das eigentlich Spektakuläre des Lautsprechers ist tatsächlich seine überragende räumliche Abbildung.”
– NZZ am Sonntag 18. Oktober 2015

For more comments and reviews:

How Bang & Olufsen’s BeoLab 90 Became a Reality:

Skønheden eller udhyret? Bag om B&O BeoLab 90:

BeoLab 90: B&O laver banebrydende højttaler:

Beolab 90 is Bang & Olufsen’s striking 90th anniversary speaker:

Der Traum vom Raum: Frankfurter Allgemeine

Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90: Erster Hörtest:



Outside the mainstream press… “The Beolab 90 is a BEAST; I’m surprised Bang & Olufsen wasn’t kicked out of CES. I never even got close to the SPL limits of my Summas, but if the Beolab 90 had a limit, I couldn’t tell what it was. B&O cranked it up for a couple of tracks, and you could FEEL the bass. … The sound is clean and dynamic. The soundstage is whatever you give it; give it a good recording and the soundstage is pinpoint and huge, give it a crummy recording and it’s crummy. … If you couldn’t tell yet, this is the best speaker I’ve ever heard, bar none. In fact, I feel a little silly lumping it in with other loudspeakers.” I have heard a lot of powerful speakers, veeeery expensive speakers, crazy speakers and well, very much different setups. But the Beolab90 blew my mind!  … The power in them, the presence of all the tones, the clarity of the sound, the smoothness, the details…. I could go on for ever. It was like I had smooth whipped butter made out of diamonds inside my ears. I will probably never again, or at least for sure not in a long time hear a speaker like this again. I will surely hear the BL90 again, but I doubt something else will beat this. It could very well be the best speaker ever made. Simple as that. Mind you, that they had only the basic software in them, so they are just getting better.”

  1. Patrick Bateman says:

    I was blown away by the demo at CES. The 90s have the pinpoint imaging of a Danley SH50, but with wider bandwidth and “dryer” bass. I’m glad I got to hear them on Friday. I posted my thoughts on the speaker in more detail on the diyaudio forum.

  2. Hi.

    Thanks for your comment. Could you send me a link to your posting on the diyaudio site? I’m curious to read it.

    – geoff

  3. Hi again,

    Never mind. I found it.

    Just a small correction to what you wrote on the diyaudio form. I wasn’t playing tracks off our server – almost all of them were being streamed from Tidal The only exceptions were a couple of commercially-available SACD’s that I played. So, definitely no tricks with pre-processed recordings.


  4. Patrick Bateman says:

    I love the internet. The designer of the speaker saw my post. That’s so cool!

    I’m supposed to be at work in seven hours but I’ve been busy working on a new speaker, your design was quite an inspiration.

  5. Roger Kanno says:

    Hi Geoff,

    Doug Schneider and I were truly “blown away” by your demo of the BeoLab 90 at CES although we would have loved to have listened to the speaker for longer. It was one of the most memorable demos that I have heard at the show in a long time.

    Roger Kanno
    Associate Editor
    The SoundStage! Network

  6. One small comment about those reviews: Some of the articles are talking about “noise cancelling” which is misleading. Beolab 90 cannot do noise cancelling. This misunderstanding comes from the fact that, occasionally, when I’m trying to describe how the Beam Width Control works, I talk about one driver (like a midrange) being used to cancel out the sound from another – similar to the way noise-cancelling headphones work.

    Unfortunately, this gets interpreted as “Beolab 90 have noise cancelling” which is not true.


  7. Geoff let’s not forget the demo that proved BeoLab 90 is age cancelling.
    The comment from the gentleman who said he felt 50 years younger listening to “Whole Lotta Love” because it took him back to seeing Led Zeppelin live in 1969!
    Nothing but goosebumps :-)

  8. Dear Geoff,

    Impressed by the sound of the speakers and the design – well done! The bad news: it is truly difficult to get a reliable timeline concerning software updates for the speakers… B&O shop says the software update, which is required for proper functioning – especially with regards to the “beam width control” and other innovations, has been “most likely postponed to Q3”?). What does this mean? Could you kindly elaborate why this is the case and when “early adopters” can use your products full potential? So far the speakers work as beautiful “standard” speakers – without access to their lauded functionalities, which is a real pitty… Hope you can help!

    Thanks a lot,


  9. Hi Pascal,

    Thanks for the compliment!

    I can unfortunately, only give you half of an answer to your question at the moment.

    All three options of the Beam Width Control are already available. Narrow, Wide and Omni are all included in the current publicly-available software.

    However, the Beam Direction Control options of Side and Rear directions are not yet available in the publicly-available software. Perhaps the person you spoke with confused Beam Width Control with Beam Direction Control?

    Unfortunately, I am not able to provide dates of future software releases. I can, however, say that I am still working almost full-time on the BeoLab 90’s (as are many people), primarily doing testing on features that will be implemented in future releases. Our goal is, of course, to not release features until we are certain that they are working absolutely reliably.

    – geoff

  10. thanks, Geoff. I appreciate your quick and helpful reply! You are absolutely right about the “Beam Width Control”, thanks for pointing this out. It would still be helpful to get some updates on the “Beam Direct Control” developments.

    Would you mind to elaborate on the Active Room Compensation (ARC) for multiple listening zones? I was told that an update removes the need for a laptop to do the job and that the speaker takes over all the calculations. ARC will support then also multiple listening zones. How do I get this done? Thanks!

    My experience so far – as a first-time B&O customer who fell in love with the sound of your new product and the design – is that retailers don’t necessarily know the product well enough. This can leave a customer confused and a little bit helpless, which is a pitty.

    (It might well be that I am not tech savvy enough, to throw in some self criticism. I can’t build an apple laptop but I love how it works plug and play and is self-explanatory).

    Maybe there is a distribution list for regular official updates that you could put me on? This would help.

    Again, many thanks for your swift reply – which is unusual and gives me a much better feeling for B&O.

    Also good to hear that you and your colleagues are working full time on further improvements and software updates. A timeline and idea what to expect would help!

    Best regards,


  11. Hi again Pascal,

    No problem.

    I have spoken with a colleague today at work and have gotten a go-ahead to make a checklist of which features have been released with which software update. This is currently available through your dealer – but I’ll just make a simplified version here to allow for easy access to the information.

    As I said in my earlier reply, it is impossible for me to release information regarding which features will be released on what dates in the future. I hope that this is understandable.

    Currently, as you already know, the Active Room Compensation measurements are performed using an external laptop which outputs a set of parameters that are loaded into the loudspeaker based on three microphone positions. When the final ARC implementation is released, you will be able to use up to 20 microphone positions, divided between multiple ARC Zones that can be individually assigned to a Preset. Another difference between the current ARC and the final version is that the current version creates a filter for the Beam Width used to do the measurement (typically, Narrow mode). The same filter is used for the other Beam Widths. In the final ARC implementation, the BeoLab 90 will calculate a custom ARC filter for each Beam Width and Beam Direction.

    Again, however, unfortunately, I am not able to give a date for the release of this software version.

    So, although I know that it doesn’t really answer your question: I will, over the weekend, make a page on this site where you can see which features are included in which software release. I could offer to send you an email when new software versions are released – or at least give you a heads-up to check back to this site. (If your BeoLab 90’s are connected to your home network, then they will automatically update their own software – so you would also see in the App that an update has occurred.) I can’t, however, release any information about future timelines.

    On the other hand, I can say that I am also a BeoLab 90 customer, and I’m using the the same software in my loudspeakers at home as you.

    I hope that this helps a little. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask!


  12. thanks a lot, Geoff!

    A short overview of the released features and the respective update would be very helpful – thanks :-)

    And the features to come sound VERY exciting – looking forward! I do understand that you can’t give more details ahead of the release.

    If you could post the above mentioned overview and news regarding released features on this page for all BeoLab 90 owners to follow, that would be fantastic!

    Thanks a lot! :-)

    Have a wonderful weekend and again – many thanks for your help!


    P.S. My speakers are not yet connected to the home network because I was initially waiting for wireless connectivity. Will connect them now to use the app and to see the information reg. updates.

  13. Hi Geoff,

    Do you have any news regarding the above mentioned checklist and feature updates? Maybe I missed it somehow. Thanks a lot!

    Have a good week ahead,


  14. Done! Check the posting here. I’ll just keep updating that page as new features are publicly released.

    My apologies once again for forgetting about you.