Will a Dolby Atmos soundbar work in this room?

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
That is the basic situation, perfectly summed up! Quality vs Immersion.

I'm used to 5.1 currently so my main worry with the B&O Stage is that I'll miss the rears. Current system is a Panasonic BTT-590 which is an all-in-one system. While it's probably slightly above average compared to other similar systems, the sound quality isn't amazing as you'd expect. So I'm sure the JBL will be a big step-up in quality anyway, if not on the same level as the Stage.

Whathifi's review of the JBL's sound performance was pretty scathing, but most other reviews of it I've read (e.g. avforums) were very good. I'm wondering if Whathifi's setup went wrong somehow as they said the Atmos effects seemed disjointed etc, whereas avforums seemed to say the Atmos worked really well?

I've started a list of pros and cons. It doesn't really help particularly as what I really want is something with the sound quality of the B&O but with the immersion of the JBL, at a reasonable price and with no wires anywhere. Not too much to ask is it?! :rotfl:

B&O Stage

Pros:
- Sound quality
- Looks
- Build quality
- Product support
- Minimal and neat solution (think it will look really good wall mounted below the TV).
- No sub on display
- Will work well as a music player as well as for movies

Cons:
- No rear speakers
- Less immersion, less Atmos effect due to no upward-facing drivers
- No DTS:X support
- Expensive at full price
- Fabric cover looks like it could be a problem with a sticky-fingered 2 year old

JBL Bar 9.1

Pros:
- Fully wireless rear speakers
- More immersion, more Atmos effect from upward-facing drivers (in theory)
- Supports all formats
- Dedicated sub
- Looks like a robust piece of kit

Cons:
- Not as attractive
- Sub is large and might not be easily hidden in the room
- Sound quality not as good overall
- Not great for music

At least I've got plenty of time to decide as I'm not buying a TV until Nov (unless any amazing offers appear before then), therefore I'd have no Dolby Atmos until then anyway.

I noticed Curry's have an offer of 30% off the JBL when bought with a TV, but they have zero stock currently. If they happened to have stock come November then that would make it a very attractive proposition, but who knows. I'm not a big fan of Curry's though and would rather buy from Richer Sounds if possible. Depends if they would price-match that offer.

Decisions, decisions!

Edit: Regarding Atmos itself, I probably need to go somewhere and actually get a demo of it, as I can only understand it in theory at the moment. A lot comes down to how it's used I imagine. If the sound track is developed specifically to use Atmos to it's full effect I'd imagine it's quite impressive, but if it's just an afterthought of the odd height effect added to the mix then it maybe won't be that great? A bit like 3D I suppose, the only film I've seen where the 3D was actually any good was Avatar, because it was specifically designed to use 3D to it's full extent (edit: forgot about Gravity, that was alright). Every other 3D film I've seen just had the odd bit of depth or something flying out of the screen at you. I don't expect Dolby Atmos to die off in the way 3D has, but it needs to be more than just a gimmick to make it worthwhile.
Beautiful summary with bullet points for added effect!

Mike - I think in some respects you are comparing apples to oranges. The Stage is fundamentally meant to produce sound in front of you (though it does have some small upward-firing drivers at its extremities, you should find an image of the driver array online somewhere) and is never going to be as immersive as a 5.1 system with speakers separately placed around your room.

Every sound system is a compromise of some sorts unless you build a dedicated room from the ground up. I suppose you want it all! Don't worry about one bad review from "What Hi-Fi", I've bought quite a few things based on reviews from this site and have never felt let down or misled.

Soundbars require minimal accommodating and set up and are centred around convenience, 5.1 requires more careful planning and are more centred around sound quality. I know B&O and Sennheiser have muddied the waters somewhat with producing excellent sound quality in one box, but you're paying for that excellence.

Speaking of which, you say you want the sound quality of the Stage + the immersion of the JBL? Well, there is a product on the market that can do that: the Sennheiser Ambeo. I know there have been teething technical issues (almost like it was released as a test product and owners are the lab rats!), but it does sound quality + immersion all in one box.

Having said that, I believe that @keithwiggins owned an Ambeo and returned it? (apologies if I've got you mixed up with someone else, Keith) It does tick all your Pro boxes apart from price, and the only things that put me off getting one was having to accommodate the Beast and the initial cost. I think Sennhesier will sort out the technical issues in due course, I can't believe it's fundamentally flawed as a design.

Sorry to add something else to your already extensive list! For what it's worth, I think the JBL would suit your needs perfectly: you like an immersive sound, there are no stupid wires everywhere, it should be a sound quality upgrade to what you already have and you should be able to get it at a competitive price. I think Richer Sounds do offer Price Match, so they may match Currys' offer.

I think we may have muddied the waters somewhat by suggesting a non-Atmos soundbar for consideration, when that wasn't something you suggested in your initial post. For your current budget and needs, the JBL is probably the most suited. But if you can find the extra money, then the Sennheiser is undoubtedly the best at what it does.
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
Beautiful summary with bullet points for added effect!

Mike - I think in some respects you are comparing apples to oranges. The Stage is fundamentally meant to produce sound in front of you (though it does have some small upward-firing drivers at its extremities, you should find an image of the driver array online somewhere) and is never going to be as immersive as a 5.1 system with speakers separately placed around your room.

Every sound system is a compromise of some sorts unless you build a dedicated room from the ground up. I suppose you want it all! Don't worry about one bad review from "What Hi-Fi", I've bought quite a few things based on reviews from this site and have never felt let down or misled.

Soundbars require minimal accommodating and set up and are centred around convenience, 5.1 requires more careful planning and are more centred around sound quality. I know B&O and Sennheiser have muddied the waters somewhat with producing excellent sound quality in one box, but you're paying for that excellence.

Speaking of which, you say you want the sound quality of the Stage + the immersion of the JBL? Well, there is a product on the market that can do that: the Sennheiser Ambeo. I know there have been teething technical issues (almost like it was released as a test product and owners are the lab rats!), but it does sound quality + immersion all in one box.

Having said that, I believe that @keithwiggins owned an Ambeo and returned it? (apologies if I've got you mixed up with someone else, Keith) It does tick all your Pro boxes apart from price, and the only things that put me off getting one was having to accommodate the Beast and the initial cost. I think Sennhesier will sort out the technical issues in due course, I can't believe it's fundamentally flawed as a design.

Sorry to add something else to your already extensive list! For what it's worth, I think the JBL would suit your needs perfectly: you like an immersive sound, there are no stupid wires everywhere, it should be a sound quality upgrade to what you already have and you should be able to get it at a competitive price. I think Richer Sounds do offer Price Match, so they may match Currys' offer.

I think we may have muddied the waters somewhat by suggesting a non-Atmos soundbar for consideration, when that wasn't something you suggested in your initial post. For your current budget and needs, the JBL is probably the most suited. But if you can find the extra money, then the Sennheiser is undoubtedly the best at what it does.
Just to mention, i didnt own an Ambeo it was Clark, he returned it after a fault with his second unit and bought the Stage, he did feel it was actually better sounding in several key areas , but thats subjective of course.
i did look at the Ambeo but really couldnt justify the cost, then the stage came along and it was love at first sight!
re immersion, yep not perfect but not bad either, but without rears it will never deliver a tru atmos expirience, but i dont want rears so its not an issue.
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
Beautiful summary with bullet points for added effect!

Mike - I think in some respects you are comparing apples to oranges. The Stage is fundamentally meant to produce sound in front of you (though it does have some small upward-firing drivers at its extremities, you should find an image of the driver array online somewhere) and is never going to be as immersive as a 5.1 system with speakers separately placed around your room.

Every sound system is a compromise of some sorts unless you build a dedicated room from the ground up. I suppose you want it all! Don't worry about one bad review from "What Hi-Fi", I've bought quite a few things based on reviews from this site and have never felt let down or misled.

Soundbars require minimal accommodating and set up and are centred around convenience, 5.1 requires more careful planning and are more centred around sound quality. I know B&O and Sennheiser have muddied the waters somewhat with producing excellent sound quality in one box, but you're paying for that excellence.

Speaking of which, you say you want the sound quality of the Stage + the immersion of the JBL? Well, there is a product on the market that can do that: the Sennheiser Ambeo. I know there have been teething technical issues (almost like it was released as a test product and owners are the lab rats!), but it does sound quality + immersion all in one box.

Having said that, I believe that @keithwiggins owned an Ambeo and returned it? (apologies if I've got you mixed up with someone else, Keith) It does tick all your Pro boxes apart from price, and the only things that put me off getting one was having to accommodate the Beast and the initial cost. I think Sennhesier will sort out the technical issues in due course, I can't believe it's fundamentally flawed as a design.

Sorry to add something else to your already extensive list! For what it's worth, I think the JBL would suit your needs perfectly: you like an immersive sound, there are no stupid wires everywhere, it should be a sound quality upgrade to what you already have and you should be able to get it at a competitive price. I think Richer Sounds do offer Price Match, so they may match Currys' offer.

I think we may have muddied the waters somewhat by suggesting a non-Atmos soundbar for consideration, when that wasn't something you suggested in your initial post. For your current budget and needs, the JBL is probably the most suited. But if you can find the extra money, then the Sennheiser is undoubtedly the best at what it does.
Just to mention, i didnt own an Ambeo it was Clark, he returned it after a fault with his second unit and bought the Stage, he did feel it was actually better sounding in several key areas , but thats subjective of course.
i did look at the Ambeo but really couldnt justify the cost, then the stage came along and it was love at first sight!
re immersion, yep not perfect but not bad either, but without rears it will never deliver a tru atmos expirience, but i dont want rears so its not an issue.
The Ambeo does look amazing but I’m not sure I can justify that sort of money. Original budget was £1500-£2000 for a TV, soundbar and 4K blu-ray player, and it already looks like I’ll be over that!

I know I’m comparing two quite different products and I guess that’s because I want the best of both worlds, and I’m realising now that’s not possible, so somethings got to give. More thought needed.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
The Ambeo does look amazing but I’m not sure I can justify that sort of money. Original budget was £1500-£2000 for a TV, soundbar and 4K blu-ray player, and it already looks like I’ll be over that!

I know I’m comparing two quite different products and I guess that’s because I want the best of both worlds, and I’m realising now that’s not possible, so somethings got to give. More thought needed.
If your budget is £1500-2000, then it makes financial sense to buy the new TV + the JBL via Currys 30% discount offer. See if you can get a deal if you buy a 4K player from them as part of the bundle too.

But no need to spend money on expensive HDMI cables!;)
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
If your budget is £1500-2000, then it makes financial sense to buy the new TV + the JBL via Currys 30% discount offer. See if you can get a deal if you buy a 4K player from them as part of the bundle too.

But no need to spend money on expensive HDMI cables!;)
thats one hell of an offer.
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
If your budget is £1500-2000, then it makes financial sense to buy the new TV + the JBL via Currys 30% discount offer. See if you can get a deal if you buy a 4K player from them as part of the bundle too.

But no need to spend money on expensive HDMI cables!;)
thats one hell of an offer.
Hi guys

I’ve been thinking (probably over-thinking! :rotfl:) about this over the weekend, and reading some more reviews and forums etc.

I’m actually leaning more towards the Stage at the moment. I think it’s the one I really want hanging on my wall and the looks coupled with the sound quality is hopefully going to be worth losing some immersion. There’s very few pictures of the JBL wall mounted and the reason for that I think is it probably juts out too far and hence looks better sitting on a unit, which is not how I’d want it have it ideally. The Mrs did say she’d rather not have a subwoofer in the living room if possible so it would satisfy her as well, plus it’s one less remote whereas it seems you really need to use the remote with the JBL.

Also having read more about the JBL there does seem to be some restrictions or frustrations with the settings, e.g. it always starts in something called Smart Mode which adds additional processing. It can be turned off of cause but it’s that kind of thing that would irritate me.

So basically I think with the JBL I’d be putting up with a lot of things which aren’t ideal essentially just to get rear speakers. Whereas the Stage ticks all the other boxes and would give us one speaker that does everything else and looks great too. I might well miss the rears at times, but considering how often I actually get to watch a film that’ll really take advantage of it (i.e. not as often as I’d like) compared to the amount of every-day use it will have, it’s probably a good compromise.

Only question now is whether to get the open box one or wait. Tyson’s do have £50 off as standard which makes it £1200 retail, so might be worth paying the extra £200 for an extra years warranty and a bit more peace of mind.

Regarding HDMI cables, I believe for eArc you just need cables with Ethernet, is that correct? If so I might need to be one new cable for that, but otherwise standard cables are still fine? Certainly won’t be buying any £40 ‘ultra HDMI Cables’ or whatever they’re marketed as!

Thanks so much for all your help and advice both of you, it’s definitely helped at lot with the decision!
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
Hi guys

I’ve been thinking (probably over-thinking! :rotfl:) about this over the weekend, and reading some more reviews and forums etc.

I’m actually leaning more towards the Stage at the moment. I think it’s the one I really want hanging on my wall and the looks coupled with the sound quality is hopefully going to be worth losing some immersion. There’s very few pictures of the JBL wall mounted and the reason for that I think is it probably juts out too far and hence looks better sitting on a unit, which is not how I’d want it have it ideally. The Mrs did say she’d rather not have a subwoofer in the living room if possible so it would satisfy her as well, plus it’s one less remote whereas it seems you really need to use the remote with the JBL.

Also having read more about the JBL there does seem to be some restrictions or frustrations with the settings, e.g. it always starts in something called Smart Mode which adds additional processing. It can be turned off of cause but it’s that kind of thing that would irritate me.

So basically I think with the JBL I’d be putting up with a lot of things which aren’t ideal essentially just to get rear speakers. Whereas the Stage ticks all the other boxes and would give us one speaker that does everything else and looks great too. I might well miss the rears at times, but considering how often I actually get to watch a film that’ll really take advantage of it (i.e. not as often as I’d like) compared to the amount of every-day use it will have, it’s probably a good compromise.

Only question now is whether to get the open box one or wait. Tyson’s do have £50 off as standard which makes it £1200 retail, so might be worth paying the extra £200 for an extra years warranty and a bit more peace of mind.

Regarding HDMI cables, I believe for eArc you just need cables with Ethernet, is that correct? If so I might need to be one new cable for that, but otherwise standard cables are still fine? Certainly won’t be buying any £40 ‘ultra HDMI Cables’ or whatever they’re marketed as!

Thanks so much for all your help and advice both of you, it’s definitely helped at lot with the decision!
Hi the Stage arrives with a suitable Hdmi cable of quality. Good choice its an outstanding product, let us know when you get and of course your feedback.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Hah - we're rubbish, we are!

You come on here requesting our advice regarding two JBL's and a Sony, and you end up gravitating towards a Stage!:facepalm: We just love leading people down different pathways!;)

It was kind of you to thank me, Mike, but it was @keithwiggins who first suggested the Stage and should receive all the credit, I think. Mind you, I think I probably did assist with helping you achieve more clarity regarding what your priorities are. So yes, big up to me!

Only question now is whether to get the open box one or wait. Tyson’s do have £50 off as standard which makes it £1200 retail, so might be worth paying the extra £200 for an extra years warranty and a bit more peace of mind.
This is too good an offer to miss, quite frankly:


The listing does state that this item comes with a "full manufacturer's warranty", which in B&O's case is a generous three years. You could always ring them to check the validity of this. And whilst you're on the phone, ask if they'll accept trade in on your existing gear to knock some more off the price? They also have an online form you can fill out too:


If you do decide to get a Stage, I'd suggest running it in overnight as the treble was overly sharp straight out of the box and definitely needed taming. The app's not the best but it works and, to be honest, once you've set it up the way you want it you'll probably only ever use it to adjust the volume.

Let us know how you get on!:)
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
Hah - we're rubbish, we are!

You come on here requesting our advice regarding two JBL's and a Sony, and you end up gravitating towards a Stage!:facepalm: We just love leading people down different pathways!;)

It was kind of you to thank me, Mike, but it was @keithwiggins who first suggested the Stage and should receive all the credit, I think. Mind you, I think I probably did assist with helping you achieve more clarity regarding what your priorities are. So yes, big up to me!



This is too good an offer to miss, quite frankly:


The listing does state that this item comes with a "full manufacturer's warranty", which in B&O's case is a generous three years. You could always ring them to check the validity of this. And whilst you're on the phone, ask if they'll accept trade in on your existing gear to knock some more off the price? They also have an online form you can fill out too:


If you do decide to get a Stage, I'd suggest running it in overnight as the treble was overly sharp straight out of the box and definitely needed taming. The app's not the best but it works and, to be honest, once you've set it up the way you want it you'll probably only ever use it to adjust the volume.

Let us know how you get on!:)
Good taste always prevails, lol
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
ah - we're rubbish, we are!

You come on here requesting our advice regarding two JBL's and a Sony, and you end up gravitating towards a Stage!:facepalm: We just love leading people down different pathways!;)

It was kind of you to thank me, Mike, but it was @keithwiggins who first suggested the Stage and should receive all the credit, I think. Mind you, I think I probably did assist with helping you achieve more clarity regarding what your priorities are. So yes, big up to me!
Haha yes good point, I'm happy with the end result though :thumbsup:

@keithwiggins definitely helped convince me, he should be on commission from Bang & Olufsen! :laugh:

This is too good an offer to miss, quite frankly:

The listing does state that this item comes with a "full manufacturer's warranty", which in B&O's case is a generous three years. You could always ring them to check the validity of this. And whilst you're on the phone, ask if they'll accept trade in on your existing gear to knock some more off the price? They also have an online form you can fill out too:

If you do decide to get a Stage, I'd suggest running it in overnight as the treble was overly sharp straight out of the box and definitely needed taming. The app's not the best but it works and, to be honest, once you've set it up the way you want it you'll probably only ever use it to adjust the volume.

Let us know how you get on!:)
I've gone for the open-box one, it did seem too good an offer to miss. It may be there are other offers come November and I could have got a non open-box one for a similar price but who knows. I spoke to Tysons and it is brand new and will get the full manufacturers warranty which is 3 years as you said. He thought it looked like a mistake on their website that it only says 2 years. No part exchange possible unfortunately as he said it's already discounted so much. I won't be able to get the best of it it until I have a new TV, and also I don't want to have it on the current TV unit as kids will mess with it, so will be leaving it in the box, but I'll obviously have to make sure if works first! :D Will let you know how I get on!
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
@mike_armitage - did you pay £999? That's a great price considering it's new and unused, "Open Box" in this instance means they just opened the box then closed it again, it seems!

Are you going to sell your old kit on Ebay or here now? I'd recommend here if you still have the original box and/or it's in good condition.

As I mentioned before, I wasn't that impressed when I first switched it on. The sibilants were just so sharp, especially on female voices. I left mine running for a few days 24/7 on one of the Internet radio stations that are built-in, made all the difference to the sound.

If you have any technical queries, @keithwiggins is your man! He helped me enormously with navigating and using the app, especially as the BeoRemote One didn't access all the functions that the app provides.

Well done on your choice, hope you like it!:)
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
p.s. Just read all the posts on the JBL 9.1 Bar Thread and there seems to be quite a few technical issues with HDMI handshaking, display information and even just setting it up. You shouldn't have any of that nonsense with the Stage.
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
@Derek S-H yes it was £999. It was apparently just taken out of the box to show a customer in-store.

Part of the reason for upgrading is the blu-ray player of my current system (Panasonic SC-BTT590) has stopped reading some discs. Not all discs bizarrely, just some. The ones which it can't read happen consistently. E.g. The Dark Night won't play, but Dark Night Rises will, which makes no sense. I've obviously checked for scratches and dirt etc but still no joy, in fact some of the kids DVDs which have fingermarks on etc will still play. From what I've read (albeit limited info out there) it's probably the blu-ray laser which has gone, if so a repair won't be worth it. I'm planning to factory reset it just to see if that helps. There's no new firmware available, last firmware update was years ago which I've already got. As it's an all-in-one system it's a bit of a problem really, so I'm not sure it'll be worth much as it stands. I don't have the original box either. To be fair it's done me proud for what I spent on it. It's lasted 8 years and clunky software is it's only issue, picture quality and sound were great for what it cost.

Noted on the running in. Does it matter what volume that is done at?
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Ah, yes, those all-in-ones tend not to be worth very much once they start to fail and you're right, 8 years' use is pretty good going with built-in obsolescence and all that.

Be a shame if it just ends up in landfill, though - donate to a local charity that takes electronic items?

As for running in volume: I think I had mine quite low so that I could sit in the same room and not be irritated by non-stop House Music! Just loud enough to work the drivers but still have it as background sound, if that makes sense.
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
Yeah I wouldn't just throw it away, it'll either go to charity or I'll freecycle it. Might even be fixable by someone with the right know-how.

Thinking I'll use the Stage in my office as a music player while working from home, that way I get to run it in and also have some use of out of it before the new TV arrives. Win-win!
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
@keithwiggins @Derek S-H my Stage arrived yesterday so I had a play around with it last night.

First impressions - it's a bit bigger than I expected! Even though I knew the dimensions, all the pics I'd see were with it below large TVs, so it dwarfs my current 42". Should be fine when I get a bigger TV though. Definitely feels like a quality product from the moment you open the box.

Setup was easy. I already use Google Home and had installed the B&O app so no issues there. Other than it needing to do a software update I was up and running in no time really.

Ended up watching John Wick 3 on Netflix which would have been standard Dolby 5.1, as I couldn't play a Blu-ray through my current HTIB system and get the sound out of the sound bar. Sounded fantastic though, so I'm looking forward to trying some TrueHD/Atmos & DTS-HD content. I was definitely getting some virtual surround but only really noticeable in the corner of the living room which is enclosed. Essentially when sitting on the sofa there's a wall to the right, but no wall to the left as it's open-plan, so nothing for the sound to bounce off there. May be it's never going to work that well. I also tried the opening scene from Unbroken which sounded brilliant but really needed to be cranked up a bit, but I didn't want to wake the kids up!

Played around a bit with the listening modes, but not much. I'm a bit confused as to what 'Upmix' and 'Low frequency effects tuning' actually did. Virtualize seemed obvious enough. I couldn't decide if I preferred Movie mode or None. I thought Movie sounded slightly better in scenes with action etc, but other parts of the film didn't seem to work that well. E.g. there's some scenes where there's heavy rain and people talking, and the rain was made so loud that the voices then sounded a bit muffled. All sounded a bit overly processed. I ended up leaving it on None for the second half of the film and didn't feel the need to switch it back. Will need to try out more settings when I have proper content. Keith - I noticed on the Stage owners thread you said you preferred None to Movie. Is that still the case now you've had it for some time? Also is Movie Mode basically the same as None but with 'Upmix/Virtualize/Low frequency effects tuning' turned on, or is there more to it than that?

I did have one issue about an hour in where the sound went off completely and I had to change mode and back again. I'd read about other people having that issue hence I knew what to do to fix it. Hopefully just a quirk of using ARC on an 8 year old TV but it is a bit concerning as I'll be out of the 30 day return period by the time I get to try it again, so would mean sending it back to B&O if it's an actual issue.

Tried some music too Chromecasted from Spotify which sounded great. Currently got it set up in my office so makes a nice change from PC speakers/headphones.
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
@keithwiggins @Derek S-H my Stage arrived yesterday so I had a play around with it last night.

First impressions - it's a bit bigger than I expected! Even though I knew the dimensions, all the pics I'd see were with it below large TVs, so it dwarfs my current 42". Should be fine when I get a bigger TV though. Definitely feels like a quality product from the moment you open the box.

Setup was easy. I already use Google Home and had installed the B&O app so no issues there. Other than it needing to do a software update I was up and running in no time really.

Ended up watching John Wick 3 on Netflix which would have been standard Dolby 5.1, as I couldn't play a Blu-ray through my current HTIB system and get the sound out of the sound bar. Sounded fantastic though, so I'm looking forward to trying some TrueHD/Atmos & DTS-HD content. I was definitely getting some virtual surround but only really noticeable in the corner of the living room which is enclosed. Essentially when sitting on the sofa there's a wall to the right, but no wall to the left as it's open-plan, so nothing for the sound to bounce off there. May be it's never going to work that well. I also tried the opening scene from Unbroken which sounded brilliant but really needed to be cranked up a bit, but I didn't want to wake the kids up!

Played around a bit with the listening modes, but not much. I'm a bit confused as to what 'Upmix' and 'Low frequency effects tuning' actually did. Virtualize seemed obvious enough. I couldn't decide if I preferred Movie mode or None. I thought Movie sounded slightly better in scenes with action etc, but other parts of the film didn't seem to work that well. E.g. there's some scenes where there's heavy rain and people talking, and the rain was made so loud that the voices then sounded a bit muffled. All sounded a bit overly processed. I ended up leaving it on None for the second half of the film and didn't feel the need to switch it back. Will need to try out more settings when I have proper content. Keith - I noticed on the Stage owners thread you said you preferred None to Movie. Is that still the case now you've had it for some time? Also is Movie Mode basically the same as None but with 'Upmix/Virtualize/Low frequency effects tuning' turned on, or is there more to it than that?

I did have one issue about an hour in where the sound went off completely and I had to change mode and back again. I'd read about other people having that issue hence I knew what to do to fix it. Hopefully just a quirk of using ARC on an 8 year old TV but it is a bit concerning as I'll be out of the 30 day return period by the time I get to try it again, so would mean sending it back to B&O if it's an actual issue.

Tried some music too Chromecasted from Spotify which sounded great. Currently got it set up in my office so makes a nice change from PC speakers/headphones.
The movie mode I tend to use for what I would describe as shows and movies with lots of action
For everything else I use none with virtualise and for me that’s it
I find too much so stuff makes voices sound a bit odd
For music I use non the stage preset for music is horrible
Construction is substantial compared say to jbl lg which are pretty much plastic throughout
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
The movie mode I tend to use for what I would describe as shows and movies with lots of action
For everything else I use none with virtualise and for me that’s it
I find too much so stuff makes voices sound a bit odd
For music I use non the stage preset for music is horrible
Construction is substantial compared say to jbl lg which are pretty much plastic throughout
The modes are confusing me a bit to be honest. I assumed NONE would be a flat EQ with no processing (so directly playing the source as it was recorded), and yet it has Upmix enabled by default which must add some processing? Upmixing stereo to 5.1 (virtual) presumably? I agree, flicking between the two NONE sounds better, more bass. I have bass on +3 on the EQ though. I wouldn't say MUSIC mode sounded horrible (but then I'm no audiophile), just a bit different, like it has less weight.
 
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keithwiggins

Well-known Member
The modes are confusing me a bit to be honest. I assumed NONE would be a flat EQ with no processing (so directly playing the source as it was recorded), and yet it has Upmix enabled by default which must add some processing? Upmixing stereo to 5.1 (virtual) presumably? I agree, flicking between the two NONE sounds better, more bass. I have bass on +3 on the EQ though. I wouldn't say MUSIC mode sounded horrible (but then I'm no audiophile), just a bit different, like it has less weight.
Up mix will take a stereo input and re process it to add a center channel
Virtualise creates more of an atmos effect
I don’t mind using the virtualise the upmix seems to bloat the bottom end in my room, horrible to me yes
Of course other folk may well like it
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I'm back from sunny Chichester!

@mike_armitage - like Keith I also just use VIRTUALISE and NONE for all my content.

I tried UPMIX for a while, but found it really thins out the sound, and everything else gives you something with one hand but takes away with the other.

All the different sounds modes do serve a function I suppose, but also can sound overly processed and artificial with different emphases across the frequency range. Using NONE creates the best balanced sound I find and I like having a taller and wider sound image, but nothing else.

Did you find the second page of sound settings on the app? I didn't realise it was there until Keith pointed it out. Again, it is kind of more trouble than it's worth, but there's no harm in looking even if you don't change anything, like me.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Oh, and one quirk with mine is that it randomly switches itself on for no apparent reason. There's probably something in the settings menu to reduce the time it's on without receiving a signal and then turning itself back off again, but I can't be bothered to look!:blush:
 

AlanT1

Active Member
Oh, and one quirk with mine is that it randomly switches itself on for no apparent reason. There's probably something in the settings menu to reduce the time it's on without receiving a signal and then turning itself back off again, but I can't be bothered to look!:blush:
I had this problem. Stage switching itself on overnight which also switched the tv on at the same time. B&O had no answer so the bar was returned. I started using my old soundbar again with no such issues.
 

mike_armitage

Active Member
Did you find the second page of sound settings on the app? I didn't realise it was there until Keith pointed it out. Again, it is kind of more trouble than it's worth, but there's no harm in looking even if you don't change anything, like me.
Is that where you can change the default volume and max volume etc? If so yes I've seen that. Changing the max volume to a lower level might be useful actually with kids about, as they sometimes lean on the remote buttons etc.

Will experiment further with the modes etc. Currently I'm finding NONE with UPMIX sounds slightly better than NONE with VIRTUALISE for music. This is in my loft though and I'm sitting diagonally to the stage due to the room layout, so not going to worry too much about getting the perfect settings until it's back in the living room. Noticed if you have UPMIX and VIRTUALISE on it goes really quiet though and loses nearly all bass. Presumably that combination is only meant for movies/atmos content.

Regarding software quirks, unfortunately that's the age we live in. Everything is so cutting edge and reliant on technology that inevitably bugs creep in. The more high-tech a device, and the more other devices it can interact with, the more likely certain people are to see issues because it'll be some combination of devices and/or settings that the manufacturers didn't test for. You can see by the amount of software/firmware updates that are released for every device now that nothing is ever really stable. It does sometimes make you yearn for the days when things were more simple, and there was less to go wrong!

Really loving it though, playing through a load of tunes old and new and everything is sounding great.
 

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