All modern Bang and Olufsen Beolab active speakers (ie. those powered from the mains supply) should be connected to your audio system or television using Powerlink cables. These are all similar in outer appearance, usually with a round 8-pin DIN plug at each end of the cable (and now the newest form using RJ45 plugs).
To confuse things, there are three versions of this 8 pin DIN cable, plus the newest “RJ45 / ethernet style” Powerlink cable:
- Powerlink mark 1 is the simplest type and can be used by only a few of the earliest Beolab speakers, including Beolab 2500, Beolab 4000, Beolab 6000 and Beolab 8000. For this role, Sounds Heavenly recommend using Powerlink mark 3 cable instead of mark 1 – see below for the reason why.
- Powerlink mark 2 (also known as “fully wired”) is for speakers with built-in displays, including Beolab Penta (Penta mark 2 & 3 models only). This is also the type required for use with Beolab 5 speakers. This cable will also work with all other Beolab speakers with Powerlink connections, so it is the best version to choose if you are likely to change your speakers in future.
- Powerlink mark 3 is the latest version of 8 pin DIN cable designed for the ICE-Power Beolab speakers with class D digital amplifiers, as it contains an additional voltage reference wire intended to prevent background hum. This is for Beolabs 1, 2, 3, 4, 7-1, 7-2, 7-4, 7-6, 9, 10, 11, 4000 mk.2, 6002 and 8002. It can also be used to replace and upgrade Powerlink mark 1 cable.
- Powerlink “RJ45″ or Ethernet style. The newest type of Powerlink cable now uses an RJ45 plug at each end. However, do not be mistaken – these are NOT regular Cat5 ethernet network cables! We suggest using only the highest quality shielded cabling; regular Cat5 “patch” cable is noisy and susceptible to electrical interference when used for speaker connections.
- The exception to the rules above are the very earliest Beolab speakers (notably the Beolab Penta mark 1), which used a special connection type called Speakerlink. This used a specially made plug, which has not been manufactured since the late 1990’s. We hand build every Speakerlink cable to order and use only genuine B&O plugs. Alternatively, our 2-pin DIN speaker cable can be used with these type of speakers, although the displays will not light up.
The video below gives more information on choosing the right Powerlink cables for your speakers: