Bang & Olufsen BeoLab Penta Floorstanding Speakers

Bang & Olufsen BeoLab Penta Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

  • Nine individual loudspeakers units in its columnar cabinet
  • Active loudspeaker
  • Built-in power amplifier
  • Bass fine tuning
  • Stainless steel cabinet

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-5 of 5  
    [Nov 02, 2012]
    Frank Owen
    AudioPhile

    I have a £200,000 serious home cinema setup with Fostex studio speakers, Krell amps etc. However in our lounge seating area I bought several years ago the B&O Penta Passive speakers that are connected to the B&O 6500 amplifier, tuner, CD, casette player, record player ensemble. These days I use the AUX input to play back from my iphone.

    I am delighted about the quality I get with these speakers in all respects and may upgrade them to add the active amplifiers that B&O produced later as I am told this gives an even better sound. I obviously compare the sound to the cinema room which is better but not much better, and at comfortable listening levels there is no difference.

    The base is excellent and so it should be as there are FOUR mid to base speakers on each channel capable of shifting a lot of air. This is complemented by Tweeters for the high frequency notes with a well conceived crossover unit that has seriously heavy duty components.

    The speakers look good and in character with the Danish Design standards you expect from B&O. I would highly recommend them.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Aug 23, 2010]
    B3Nick
    Audio Enthusiast

    Summary:
    This review is of the Bang and Olufsen Beolab Penta 2's. They are large tower speakers (standing at over 5ft) with an integrated amplifier and tone controls built into the base. Dispute their size they do a surprisingly good job blending into the room decor. The sound is detailed and room filling. These speakers have an intensity that I have not heard in any other non-professional speaker. They are felt as much as they are heard. The speakers are non-fatiguing even at high volumes with a warmth that is typically characteristic of British speakers. I do not have a Bang and Olufsen head end, so I can't comment on the digital display, powerlink etc. If you can find a pair of these used I highly recommend you audition them.

    Strengths:
    Excellent imaging, incredible power and dynamics, great bass performance, they look as great as they sound. The Pentas can be bought used for a fraction of their original price.

    Weaknesses:
    B&O no longer makes them, foam surrounds on midrange speakers will need to be replaced every 20 years or so.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [May 14, 2010]
    asif Ayub
    Audio Enthusiast

    i purchased my Pentas over 13 years ago and still havent come across any speaker that performs and looks better! play any music you want or watch any movie you wont be disappointed.

    i currently have a full bo home system which includes lab1 4000 3500 and Pentas... i still prefer the pentas.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Apr 24, 2009]
    Ian
    AudioPhile

    Ive owned several peices of high end speakers and headphones in the past. I bought my Penta's for quite cheap. They were a bit banged up and the midranges needed to be re-foamed badly. I did the re-foam and BAM they opened up to sound wonderful. I remember the very first thought I had was "wow, this sound high-end". They have a forgiving and unfatiguing sound that is still detailed. The imaging and soundstage are accurate and big. The amount of physical impact from the bass, mids, and treble is very natural sounding. My only gripe is the tonality is slightly on the warm side compared to some of the very transparent and uncolored speakers ive heard in the past. But everything is still there and sounds great.

    Buy them if you get a good price. There is better out there but these things are seriously nice.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    [Apr 11, 2009]
    Andrew
    AudioPhile

    Many are critical of the Penta without comparing to modern alternatives which are nearly all underwhelmed by the Pentas performance. First of all, no decent full-range speaker can be small; the Penta is huge. Secondly, the drivers used are excellent, although many see the mid-range as being weak. The previous poster said the tweeter is poor, and he must be deaf, because it's a SEAS unit which in 1989 was top of the range.

    Compared to recent B&O offerings only the Beolab 5 will out-perform the Penta in terms of soundstage and accuracy. Unfortunately the powered Penta has a rather rubbish amplifier which is why the Beolab 5 wins here. I bought the Beovox model and fitted an IcePower 200ASC to both giving 125W of B&O Class D power like in modern models. The quality is simply breathtaking and will give the Beolab 5 a run for its money, although not in terms of volume.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Jan 07, 2008]
    Richelle
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    The design.
    The off-vertical-centre screen is really cool. You can see the volume and the channel and the "source" (where the sound is deriving from). Also the screen breaks up the speaker, looks more interesting. Hexagonal shape very appealing to eye. Absolutely fantastic sound quality: clear, direct, loud.

    Weakness:

    Has a dark yellow stripe down the sides adjacent to the speakers. Purpose: unknown. Strange colour. Matches the colour of text on screen though.

    Hi,
    Just thought I'd write something about these awesome speakers if you are thinking of buying them.

    Im not an expert on them though. My dad works at B&O and we have a pair of these currently in use in the lounge room.

    They are fantastic! The best sound quality, they look fantastic and powerful sound.
    Im not quite sure how old ours are. But i remember dad saying once "they are older than you". And im 17.

    The above price is excellent, go for it! They look great in any room, and combined with other B&O products make television viewing extra special.

    The height of the speakers projects the sound further back, and (from and interior design view) can make low ceiling rooms look taller.

    **please note though, im not an expert. This may help those not as techologically savvy as other.

    Similar Products Used:

    Other (similar) loudspeakers we have/have used:
    Beolab 6000
    Beolab 8000

    Beolab 4000 speakers and Beolab 2 subwoofer are excellent partners for use in a surround sound environment.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Apr 27, 2006]
    erikss
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    Excellent imiging & bass performance for its size. And looks and style for a speaker thats about to have its 20th birthday is off the scale.

    Weakness:

    Can only get display with B&O products. Price

    The beolab pentas originally came out in 1986, It is important to realize this and yet look at them they are classic. Can you get better?" yes" even at the time one could get better, but it would not have had the look. One must also recognize that these speakers were years ahead of there time and set the pattern of the now familiar colunm speaker design "tall and skinny" ,at the time speakers were in rectangular wood boxes. The pentas were the first speaker in the B&O range to have its own amplifier producing a total of 150 real watts RMS.The penta contained a total of 9 drivers and two reflex ports, the largest number fitted to any B&O loudspeaker to date. The layout was symmetrical, with the bass ports outermost, followed by two groups of two woofers. The 4 midrange units (wired in two sets, the two outer ones and the two inner ones receiving slightly different signals) and the single tweeter were mounted in a separate bay in the centre, and all the loudspeakers were fed from a very complex crossover/phase corrector network. Beolab Penta also included a display, which showed which source was playing and the volume level. An "auto limit" indicator was also fitted to show that distortion had been identified and was being surpressed. Easily dismissed as a silly gimmick, the displays were very useful in the context of a linked room in a Beolink system, where of course, as the volume could be set independently, amplified loudspeakers were at their most useful.

    The pentagonal cabinets were made of a similar resin that the fronts of the "Uniphase" loudspeakers of the 1970s and early 1980s had been moulded in. The pentagonal section was claimed to offer an acoustic advantage as there were no parallel opposing faces inside, aiding in the damping of internal reflections. The outsides were clad in stainless steel, polished to a soft sheen. This finish reflected the colours of the surroundings whilst not reflecting the image of any specific object, helping the large loudspeakers to blend in. Whilst even this could not make them disappear, they certainly were not the eyesore that some large loudspeakers could be.The pentas exsited in three types penta 1,2,3, they were all identical sonically and in construction. The primary differances were that on the penta 2 powerlink sockets were added that is still used by B&O today and the penta 3 added a green display in the place of the penta 1&2s orange one.The high price was offset by its elegant appearance and excellent performance, though despite this it was and still is largely ignored by the wider hi-fi community somthing common with B&O. I think that the sound was a revelation being capable of very high volumes with no distortion. Still highly rated by many owners even today, it was joined in the B&O range of column speakers by the Beolab 8000 and Beolab 6000 but, although these were proper active speakers, neither offered the full range or power of the Penta.

    Even the eventual replacement, the Beolab 1, is felt by many to still be bass light in comparison to the Penta. In my opinion The only speaker in the B&O range of speakers today that will hands down beat the penta is the beolab 5 but at a collosal expence.

    Similar Products Used:

    beolab 8000, paridigm studio 100,

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Jul 25, 2000]
    Ole Bo Andreasen
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Huge sound stage, depth, powerful

    Weakness:

    Price, clouds detail at times, tweeter too unprecise for the price tag.

    The Beolab Penta speaker is an old model in the Beolab range. True, modifications have occurred since its introduction in the late 1980s, but compared to the new Beolab speakers its construction is outdated. It is an active loadspeaker as i.e. the Beolab 4000, but the Beolab Penta is "just" a normal speaker with ordinary crossover technique. Thus the Penta is not as sophisticated as the new Beolab speakers with two amps pr. speaker and electronic crossover technique.

    I used the Beolab Penta for close to a year and was very impressed with the sound. Although clearly lacking in details and a tendency to focus on width rather than instrumental individuality, the Pentas impressed with a huge sound stage, good imaging, and a powerful reproduction of frequencies down to 40 hz (however, the reproduction of the lowest frequences could become a little bit too massive depending on the material). However, the reproduction of the highest frequencies is the main problem: although nicely balanced, it has to be more crispy and precise to justify the price tag.

    If you compare the sound of the Pentas with other speakers from the Beolab range, you will understand why Bang&Olufsen has decided to gradually fase it out of production. The newer Beolab speakers, even with a fairly reduced size, generally sounds better than the Pentas. True, they are not capable of delivering the sound level and the depth that are the Beolab Pentas, but the sound is more detailed, precise, neutral and therefore more accurate. I changed my Beolab to the Beolab 4000 and got less attack, but more accuracy, far better midrange and an highrange performance far better than the Penta. Alright, the Beolab 4000 may not look as impressive as the Penta, but the former is easier to accommodate and much cheaper.

    Similar Products Used:

    Beolab 4000

    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Showing 1-5 of 5  

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