Bang & Olufsen vs Bose

mdre83

Registered User
First off, does anyone have a full detailed spec of the Bang & Olufsen sound system in the new A4/A5 etc or maybe know where I can find one?
(I've done a quick search around but cannot find it)

Does anyone know how this compares to the 'old' Bose system?
(Unfortunately I've not yet listened to the B&O system)

Does anyone know what headunit would best deal with the B&O system and has anyone considered trying to 'retro fit' it to an A3?
(Understandably this would be a BIG job if at all possible... but then I suppose anything is possible ;)
 

N8

Kowalski Details
VCDS Map User
Good thread, I'm interested for the answers myself.
 

pluves1

Registered User
Is Bose really worth it over the standard sound?

Having looked at the Bose website you seem to get your money's worth!
 

10blazin

HYPERDRIVE NEEDED
bose is good i love it alright its not lung feeling bass but going down the road with bass like that these days your considered a tit

bose sounds great and is loud enough for me as for the bang and olufson well it pees on the bose in clarity the one in the s8 does anyhow not sure on the a4 a5 but the bang and o is much better than bose not in bass there probably about the same but in sound and clarity its .....bang on
 

AuldReekie

Registered User
Does anyone know how this compares to the 'old' Bose system?
(Unfortunately I've not yet listened to the B&O system)

Can't help with the technical Q's, but I have listened to both. I had a fully loaded MY09 A4 as a loaner two weeks ago which had the B&O system and my car has BOSE. First thing about the B&O is the added functionality over BOSE: you can adjust the surround effect to be focussed on the driver; the front two seats or in the centre of the cabin (can't remember if you can focus on the rear:think:). The difference is astounding and a very handy feature. The next improvement in the clarity: whilst the BOSE is defined, the B&O treble and mid is far more pronounced - although IIRC you still just have adjustment for treble and bass, like BOSE. As you would imagine it is louder too and does not distort at high volume, although to be fair neither does the BOSE. There is also adjustment for the subwoofer and a thing called GALA, which I have no idea about; it certainly didn't appear to make any difference to the sound, so I dunno. If you are an audiophile and have the money I would say that it is well worth it.
 

mdre83

Registered User
Unfortunately the Bang & Olufsen site doesn't really tell you much in the way of speaker sizes etc.

However, the Bose one is a little better.

Before considering to retro the Bang & O system, I need to find out speaker sizes, wiring harness details and most importantly which OEM headunit will cope with it.

I don't beleive this has yet been done (correct me if I'm wrong) so it may take some time to get all the details together. I'm going to head down to my local dealer sometime today or maybe over the weekend, first to listen to the B&O system, then hopefully someone there will be able to give me all the details I need including part numbers.

 

mdre83

Registered User
Cheers AuldReekie, your comments below make it sound well worth it. Definately going to head down to my local dealer and check it out ;)

Can't help with the technical Q's, but I have listened to both. I had a fully loaded MY09 A4 as a loaner two weeks ago which had the B&O system and my car has BOSE. First thing about the B&O is the added functionality over BOSE: you can adjust the surround effect to be focussed on the driver; the front two seats or in the centre of the cabin (can't remember if you can focus on the rear:think:). The difference is astounding and a very handy feature. The next improvement in the clarity: whilst the BOSE is defined, the B&O treble and mid is far more pronounced - although IIRC you still just have adjustment for treble and bass, like BOSE. As you would imagine it is louder too and does not distort at high volume, although to be fair neither does the BOSE. There is also adjustment for the subwoofer and a thing called GALA, which I have no idea about; it certainly didn't appear to make any difference to the sound, so I dunno. If you are an audiophile and have the money I would say that it is well worth it.
 

Hastie1776

Registered User
Can't help with the technical Q's, but I have listened to both. I had a fully loaded MY09 A4 as a loaner two weeks ago which had the B&O system and my car has BOSE. First thing about the B&O is the added functionality over BOSE: you can adjust the surround effect to be focussed on the driver; the front two seats or in the centre of the cabin (can't remember if you can focus on the rear:think:). The difference is astounding and a very handy feature. The next improvement in the clarity: whilst the BOSE is defined, the B&O treble and mid is far more pronounced - although IIRC you still just have adjustment for treble and bass, like BOSE. As you would imagine it is louder too and does not distort at high volume, although to be fair neither does the BOSE. There is also adjustment for the subwoofer and a thing called GALA, which I have no idea about; it certainly didn't appear to make any difference to the sound, so I dunno. If you are an audiophile and have the money I would say that it is well worth it.


"GALA" :idea: I think this sets the control of the volume which automatically adjusts at the vehicles speed.

Bose in my 09 Sportback sounds awesome however bose in my 06 Avant was poor in comparison. Not nearly as much bass. All in all, the B&O has always been superior to Bose. I would get your own opinion and have a listen to both.
 

AuldReekie

Registered User
"GALA" :idea: I think this sets the control of the volume which automatically adjusts at the vehicles speed.

Thats that sorted then. :yes: I was just at Audi picking up my car (after the coil pack repair :asskicking:); anyway I had a gander in the rear of an A6 with B&O and ****** hell there is A LOT of hardware for this is left panel in the boot. Massive heatsink on what I assume is the amp and all manner of other gubbins, so I would be considering space for the fitment of this stuff too.
 

Scott

Registered User
Thats that sorted then. :yes: I was just at Audi picking up my car (after the coil pack repair :asskicking:); anyway I had a gander in the rear of an A6 with B&O and ****** hell there is A LOT of hardware for this is left panel in the boot. Massive heatsink on what I assume is the amp and all manner of other gubbins, so I would be considering space for the fitment of this stuff too.

Out of interest, how do you get to the sub in the A3? I think it's in the same area but can't see how to get access to it.
 

mdre83

Registered User
It doesn't really take that much effort. I had all the trim off quite a few times in my old A3, but yes, it's definately in there ;)
 

scoTTy

Registered User
A guy on Audiworld asked B&O about the saloon & Avant differences and he got some great info :

Sedan Technical specifications

Front door & Front/Centre loudspeaker:
Two 25 mm tweeters
70mm full-range (centre)
80mm mid-range +200mm woofers

Rear Door & Parcel shelf:
25mm tweeters + 168mm woofers
Two 80mm full-range + 200mm "free-air" subwoofer that uses the parcel shelf as a baffle (like the A5)


Avant Technical specifications

Front door & Front/Centre loudspeaker:
Two 25 mm tweeters
70mm full-range (centre)
80mm mid-range +200mm woofers

Rear door and "D" pillar:
25mm tweeters + 165mm woofers
Two 80mm full-range

Luggage compartment:
A 165 mm subwoofer in an 11L bass reflex ported cabinet placed within the excess space of the spare tyre.


Amplifiers (for both Sedan and Avant):
Five 25 watt Class-A/B amplifiers for tweeters, mid-range and centre driver
Two 40 watt Class A/B amplifiers for rear woofers
Two 75 watt Class D amplifiers for front bass drivers
One 150 watt Class D amplifier for the subwoofer



Specifically regarding the subwoofer differences:


The Limo (sedan) has a 'free-air' subwoofer that uses the parcel shelf as a baffle. The A5 uses the same principle.

The Avant does not have a parcel shelf so we opted for a subwoofer in a ported cabinet. The only difference in performance is below 30Hz where the subwoofer port starts to roll off. This will make little difference to the listening experience for 2 reasons : 1. Most music contains very little information below 30 Hz. 2. This frequency area is masked by background noise while driving. The Q5 uses the same principle.

Of course it is possible to put a subwoofer in a sealed cabinet but the loudspeaker itself needs to be very large (as in the A8 / Q7). A ported cabinet can achieve good SPL at low frequency with a relatively smaller loudspeaker.


Furthermore, B&O also told me that:


Both cars are tuned individually as each car is unique. Further there are usually two tunings per car as a car with fabric seats and no sunroof will differ from one with leather and sunroof.
 

dunk

Registered User
of course in an a3 then a good aftermarket setup will still be better than a retrofit to the a3, particularly as the tuning of the system was for a different car, even when keeping the oem head unit such as the rns-e for looks/functionality.

there are loads of great amps/speakers that can be fitted, and equalizers like the alpine sound processors will custom tune your car for you (adjustable with a laptop at home) - also a ported or IB stealth sub in the wheel well completes the system for an easier install and custom matched to the a3 body/trim etc.

i currently have:
focal utopia front components
cdt rear components
genesis profile 5 amp
ED 9kv2 in 26L stealth box in a qb3 alignment in the wheel well - makes the bose system sound like a £1 a.m. radio in comparison and was easy to fit (apart from making the sub enclosure....)
 

scoTTy

Registered User
With regards comparing Bose and B&O :

I had Bose in my B6 S4. I sold it after 5 years so I certainly know how it sounds. One thing that is key in this discussion is whether you're talking Saloon or Avant. My S4 saloon sounded much richer and full compared with his same age S4 Avant.

I've now had a B8 Avant with B&O for a couple of months and it's a fair chunk better. The music simpy sounds clearer, fuller and there's no noticable white noise generated .... even if very quiet period of orchestral music for example - I've been stress testing it with the 1812 Overture :D

I often run with the bass between 60 and 75% as it's often enough.

The other thing to note is that in the B8 the B&O is dependant on if you have Sat Nav or not. If you do then you get proper MMI (not a pseudo system configured similarly) and it is based entirely on optical connections. i.e. a fibre backbone using MOST. If you don't have SatNaV then it's wired. This is why retrofitting SatNav isn't easy.

I've not done a side by side with a fibre Vs copper installation. Some guys in the US have and some say they can't tell the difference whilst others say the fibre solution sounds a little sharper and cleaner. Either way it sounds fecking excellent!! ;)
 

dunk

Registered User
i forgot to add:
alpine h650 sound processor ( a computer driven 500 channel equalizer with calibrated microphone automatic setup and time alignment)
rns-e head unit
phatnoise
 

mdre83

Registered User
EDIT: Ah! overlooked your las post, cheers ;)

Dunk, what headunit are you running with mate?

of course in an a3 then a good aftermarket setup will still be better than a retrofit to the a3, particularly as the tuning of the system was for a different car, even when keeping the oem head unit such as the rns-e for looks/functionality.

there are loads of great amps/speakers that can be fitted, and equalizers like the alpine sound processors will custom tune your car for you (adjustable with a laptop at home) - also a ported or IB stealth sub in the wheel well completes the system for an easier install and custom matched to the a3 body/trim etc.

i currently have:
focal utopia front components
cdt rear components
genesis profile 5 amp
ED 9kv2 in 26L stealth box in a qb3 alignment in the wheel well - makes the bose system sound like a £1 a.m. radio in comparison and was easy to fit (apart from making the sub enclosure....)
 
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mdre83

Registered User
Dunk,

What kind of cabling have you used for this system?

Do you have any pics of your motor and sound system?


Cheers

i forgot to add:
alpine h650 sound processor ( a computer driven 500 channel equalizer with calibrated microphone automatic setup and time alignment)
rns-e head unit
phatnoise
 

Feemy

Registered User
I had a 08reg A4 with the Bose system and the bass was full and present. Very deep. I loved it. Listening to music was a pleasure.

Now I have a B8.5 A4 with B&O system and I have to say the bass is extremely underwhelming. I've done some reading on this and come to the following conclusion:

The 12 speaker setup is all marketing BS. Music simply doesn't sound good with surround sound. Movies, yes! The B&O system has no setting for the Subwoofer level, whereas the Bose did. The B&O sounds good, but you have to turn Surround off.

You also have to adjust the settings according to the music source which you didn't have to do in the Bose. I know the Bose gets a lot of bad comments, not having nice fidelity and having boomy bass, but I don't find it to be boomy at all. The bass was deep and tight. I used to have the Subwoofer setting at 2 clicks past middle and it was beautiful.

The B&O just lacks deep bass. It's present, but if I wanted the same result as on my previous car, I have to increase the bass right up, but then it makes a thudding sound rather than tight bass. If there was a separate setting for Subwoofer like for the Bose, I would be interested to see the difference.

And as I eluded to earlier, the right music source is required, and the settings need to be adjusted according to whether you're listening to BT source, DAB or CD which is a bit of a nuisance.

Bottom line is if you want the B&O to sound good, or have better bass, you have to faff around with the settings, and if you like your deep punchy bass, it's simply not there. With the Bose, you had plenty of it and you had the ability to adjust subwoofer level. The 2 speakers worked perfectly fine as well

Quite disappointed in the B&O subwoofer. The Bose looks the same and sounds so much better. Overall SQ from the B&O is decent though

Sent from my HD1913 using Tapatalk
 
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