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B&O BeoVision 11 review

Bang & Olufson's latest TV delivers luxurious looks and performance

Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11-40 review
The 40-inch Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11 has a large sound bar

If any 40-inch TV can justify costing £5,250 (around US$7,972 / AU$7,622) or more, it's the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11. For starters it looks like no other TV around, deliberately shunning the current trend for barely there chassis designs and mounting its 40-inch screen atop a huge speaker-bearing section a third as high as the screen, before surrounding the whole thing in a positively chunky but gloriously finished metallic outer frame that looks like it's hewn out of solid silver.

Its optional mechanically rotating stand is a stunning combination of looks and build quality too, and you can even customise the TV's final look thanks to the availability of different body, rear and cloth speaker cover options.

The Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11 is also prodigiously featured, thanks to built-in online, network and multimedia playback, an optional built-in 500GB HDD video recorder, peerless audio flexibility and uniquely clever automatic picture optimisation systems.

The best thing of all about the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11, though, is that it marries its instant design and feature appeal to one of the best picture performances and the best audio performance we've ever witnessed on an LCD TV.

We liked

Its design is big, bold and beautiful, and its build quality is peerless. It's also incredibly well featured on the audio front, sports six HDMI ports and delivers far and away the best sound you'll hear from a flatscreen TV. Its picture quality, too, is outstanding.

We disliked

The remote control, while beautifully engineered, feels a little dated in its layout in places. You can cause some minor backlight inconsistency if you set the brightness too high, and it's a shame B&O couldn't run to including even one pair of 3D glasses for the high asking price.

Finally, B&O's online services offer less content than those of most mainstream brands.

Final verdict

With its grand-standing design, exquisite build quality, healthy feature count and best of all brilliant picture and peerless sound performance, the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11 manages to justify its £5,250 (around US$7,972 / AU$7,622) asking price - some feat in today's competitive TV marketplace.

It's not perfect, though. Its online services are a bit lightweight, you need to be careful with brightness levels to keep dark scenes looking evenly lit, and there's room for improvement with its control system.

Nonetheless, the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11 is one of the most compelling reasons for being rich we've come across in a long time.

Also consider

There isn't any other brand available in the UK that's quite in B&O's league when it comes to design, build quality or sheer opulence. The nearest would be Loewe, which tries to offer similar levels of design chutzpah and customisation as well as system building options and at least decent audio for a good deal less money than B&O.

However, recent experience suggests that Loewe's Individual range, which is probably the closest current match to the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision series, is in need of a refresh where picture quality is concerned.

Sony's HX853 series probably offers the closest picture quality match, since it also employs a locally dimmed edge LED array to similarly dynamic effect.

Or if you want a strong-performing TV that combines a stunning but much slimmer design with more advanced smart TV features, Samsung's F8000 series is worth considering.