B&O Harmony Review • Timeless technology and aesthetics
Tech Week score:
B&O takes the available video and audio technologies to the next level and offers B&O Harmony, a TV set exceeds all expectations.
Would it be another TV? And if not, how could the Danish company pleasantly surprise us? Our visit to the Bang & Olufsen store in Athens was scheduled for Saturday morning. We headed there with high expectations, a choice that was best supported by the price of the system we would first come in contact with. Yes, it was an LG Display panel OLED TV in terms of basic picture technology. We had taken care to find out about the main features of the system that we would see (and hear) and what was left was a simple confirmation, right?
Not exactly. The LG OLED77C is the basis for the creation of B&O Harmony, in the sense that the latter uses the panel of the former to create the image. The C9 is known to signatories for both image performance and LG’s menu management capabilities. The 77 ″ 4K OLED panel is mounted behind a thin glass surface wrapped with metal at its edges. Since there is no frame, we can say that the margin from the image to the edge of the panel is about one centimeter. Responsible for the image is LG’s α9 gen2 Intelligent Processor, which is significantly upgraded from the company’s previous image processor. This means B & Harmony is able to reproduce high-quality content not only from 4K HDR sources, but also lower quality signals, such as those that “come” from the Internet, upgrading the quality before being sent to the revealing OLED panel. It is not only the resolution of the B&O Harmony screen, but also its size, elements that would not forgive quality errors in the input signal. Based on the equipment, the B&O TV is impeccable in terms of “image”, as we expected. elements that would not forgive quality errors in the input signal. Based on the equipment, the B&O TV is impeccable in terms of “image”, as we expected. elements that would not forgive quality errors in the input signal. Based on the equipment, the B&O TV is impeccable in terms of “image”, as we expected.
What did the demo with Harmony add to our experience, in terms of image? He confirmed that the new generation of LG panels are able to perform even in an environment with quite intense natural light, as is the case with the bright B&O store, high up in the Academy.
Given the high picture quality that B&O TV offers in a variety of conditions and signals… we can take things from the beginning. What one sees, when the TV set is out of order, is the 77 πάν TV panel placed low so that it is not imposed on the space. A large black surface could easily upset the aesthetic balance inside a home if it is at the normal height at which the views are made.
Whether the Harmony is wall-mounted or floor-standing, when out of order, the impact of the large panel on the space is minimized. In addition, the interchangeable front of the TV speakers, which are located in front of the panel, contributes to this when it does not project an image. It is worth noting that the facades that hide the speakers are designed to play an active role in the performance of the speakers, assures B&O. Their appearance is inspired by the middle of the 20th century, when television had first appeared and the intention of the manufacturers was to hide the decorative dissonance of the cathode ray tubes. If you look at pictures of the time, you will see TVs mounted on furniture, even inside them, so that they are not visible. B&O is doing something similar today with Harmony.
HARMONY: Premium experience
To ignite the experience, television is revealed. The speakers from the vertical position come to the horizontal, while at the same time the panel is raised and comes to a viewing position for a seated spectator. The visual transformation with the activation of the screen, has an audio continuity. The Harmony sound system gives a large sound stage, with very good channel separation and special care for the middle area and the voices. The dome twitter is dedicated to the main channel and takes care of the performance of the dialogues in the movies and the vocals in the music tracks, mainly.
Harmony easily “filled” the space of the B&O store with low, very high levels. The 3-channel stereo configuration is extended with a module for 7.1 channel control. This means that it supports the discreet treatment of channel 0.1, while allowing the addition and control of peripheral speakers. The scalability of the system is one of the advantages offered by B&O Harmony. Entertainment conditions can be developed by adding well-meaning complexity to the sound system, using company speakers that connect automatically and wirelessly to the main set. The owner can set different audio configurations using the B&O speakers available on site.
B&O Harmony controls for the above functions through a thin “conventional” remote control, which incorporates a small screen that informs about basic functions. The communication with the set is done via Bluetooth. Even better, the Harmony control and set up can be done through the B&O app that is available for iOS and Android.
Harmony is a very expensive TV. But its purpose is not to be “another TV” and, quite simply, it does not. B&O Harmony is a passport to a world of unique experiences, which include the best picture you can see on a TV today and by far the best sound performance. At the same time, as part of the B&O ecosystem, it has the qualification to be part of the unbreakable technological and aesthetic continuity that the company stands for over time.