B&W Panorama 1 or 2? Advice please! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-16-2012, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi. My local B&W retailer offered me a Panorama 1 for $1,500 or a Panorama 2 for $2,000. Other than HDMI hookups, do you know if there's a meaningful sound difference between the two? Said differently, would you pay the extra $500 to get the updated model assuming the HDMI's not that important to me.

Also, I'm replacing a Yamaha YSP-3000 (w/sub). Any guesses as to how much of a performance improvement the Panorama will provide? We watch mostly cable TV during the week and a movie on the weekends...so not always high quality source.

Thanks for your input!

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-16-2012, 06:02 PM
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I just switched from the Panorama to the Panorama2 and there is not much sound difference. I can hear a little more detail from the side speakers but only when sitting at a very close distance. I actually think the Panorama has a little better center channel and that the vocals were clearer but the difference is not huge. If you don't need hdmi, I'd go with the Panorama. The Panorama2 doesn't decode any of the HD audio formats so the hdmi just gets you more inputs. I have also found a couple of issues with mine, one of which has been confirmed by tech support which will hopefully be fixed by a software revision.

The other issue with the Panorama2 is that it only has on screen display where the Panorama has display on the speaker itself. The osd only works with a 720p or 1080 input. If you are watching SD, the display will not work so you won't see volume or won't be able to run setup without switching to a hd source. I'm actually considering switching back to the Panorama.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-21-2012, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by achun View Post

I have also found a couple of issues with mine, one of which has been confirmed by tech support which will hopefully be fixed by a software revision.

Can you elaborate on the issues, or PM me please if you don't want to post? I have sitting in the box waiting a week or so for install so don't want to be outside my return window if issue is a show stopper for me.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-21-2012, 11:26 PM
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1. There are different bass eq settings for table or wall mount. The default is table. You can change it to wall and exit setup. Go back into setup and it will still be at wall but if you turn the unit off and back on and then go back into setup, it reverts back to table. All of the other changes I have made in setup stay. This has been confirmed by tech support.

2. There is a setting for the unit to turn on when it receives an input signal. This doesn't appear to work. Waiting for confirmation from tech support.

3. The on screen display only works with a 720p/1080 source. If I am watching a sd channel on my cable box, the osd does not work. If I switch to a hd channel, it still does not work. If I turn the cable box on and it is on a hd channel, the osd works. If I switch to a sd channel and back to hd again, the osd does not work. Waiting for confirmation from tech support.

I don't think any of these are deal breakers IF they are going to fix the issues but they are definately not acceptable. With black Friday coming up, you might be able to get a good deal on the Panorama. I only switched because I had bought mine just before the Panorama2 came out and returned it because the power supply had a hum that you could hear at low volume. The retailer gave me the option of getting either as a replacement.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-23-2012, 10:41 AM
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I dont mean to jack this thread, but I just bought a B & W panorama from best buy for $1200. It was the floor display so I got a pretty good deal. Only problem is the optical one input door is broke. Im going to return it to Best Buy but I may have to pay the difference for a new one which is $1500. Im going to see if B & W warranty will handle that first.

With that being said, Ive been reading about the panorama 2. Im considering spending the extra cash to upgrade, but after reading achun's post that doesnt sound like it would be worth the money. The thing that bothers me the most is the optical. Optical will not support any of the hd audio formats, right? So I would think it would be worth the upgrade to the panorama 2. I too thought the panorama 2 decoded hd audio. Does anyone else have any input on 1 vs 2?
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 09:22 AM
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I bought a Panorama 2 recently to replace my 3.1 system comprised of B&W DM 602 fronts, a B&W VM6 center and a MK sub. I got it to accomodate the Ms. who grew tired of the space the old system occupied. I was concerned that this soundbar (any soundbar) would be a huge sacrifice in sound quality. Wow, was I ever wrong. This soundbar is a beast. Awesome clarity with all the bass (did not add a sub) I could ever want. Very natural sounding which is what I love about B&W. Of course, the sound quality varies by audio source. Music from CD's and my IPOD sound awesome. TV is excellent but sound quality varies by channel. Have not heard a DVD yet but can only imagine how great it will sound. Surround sound is minimal (too much open space/not enuf walls to take advantage of sound reflecting capabilities) but the soundbar absolutelly fills the room without having to raise the volume to excessive levels. FYI, I was inititally disappointed with the sound but after upgrading the HDMI cable from a Comcast generic to Audioquest Chocolate... WOW, what an improvement (video was about the same, maybe some added richness to color). I do have thesame 3 issues mentioned in another review but they don't bother me. I listened to a lesser quality soundbars (and researched other bars online till I was nearly blind) and these are issues I can live with. I did not hear the Panorama 1 so I cannot compare it to the 2 . I relied on my trusted salesman who felt that the 2 was a better sound and that HDMI connectivity was the was to go for my future needs. Couldn't be happier!! I got 15% off $2,200 price as previous customer reward, so I paid $1,870 vs. $1,500 for the Pano 1. I balked at $2,200 but with the discount, $370 more was worth it to me to have the latest and greatest. I highly recommend the Panorama 2. If you appreciate quality audiophile sound, you will absolutely love this soundbar.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-07-2013, 12:43 AM
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I've auditioned both the P1 and the P2. To me they sound very similar, and power ratings are also the same along with similar driver layouts. On the BW Parts website there ARE different part numbers for the driver units on the P1 and the P2 so it's safe to say there were some improvements made, and likely primarily to bass output. That said, I certainly can't tell the difference in audio output or audio quality. I'm not sure I'd refer to any soundbar as audiophile quality anything, but the Panoramas are the cream of the crop in this segment. As I've mentioned in the last couple of posts I've replied to, Best Buy is aching to get rid of these boat anchors and I got mine for about 700 bucks. If you search the Open Box deals on the Best Buy website and you live in a major metropolis, you are sure to find at least one OB unit laying around, and it wouldn't surprise me if the last straggler units end up going closer to the 5-600.00 range. Keep in mind that you will not likely receive the remote control which is necessary to set up the room acoustics for your unit. The remote from BW parts is 52.00 plus shipping, and is in limited supply. Logitech's Harmony website lists the Panorama as a supported product, but I do not yet know if the advanced features are accounted for as I will be obtaining the Harmony 300i specifically for this purpose tomorrow.

All in all, you simply can not do better for the money for an all in one contained solution *IF* you get one heavily discounted. At or anywhere near the 2200.00 pricetag, I can't fathom getting one of these over a nice system with separate components. The only thing I've auditioned which has the potential to outshine the Panorama MIGHT be the Bose Cinemate 1SR system due to its included and very versatile wireless subwoofer and crisply tuned driver array, but it costs 1400.00 itself. One good thing with BB open boxes is that you still get the standard BW warranty should you need it later on. As for P1 vs P2, It appears that the primary upgrades on the P2 were primarily functional and cosmetic with the HDMI switching (a non issue if you have a basic A/V setup or multiple HDMI ins to your TV with an optical or coaxial out on the TV) and the very nifty proximity sensing front touch panel on the P2. As mentioned above however, this comes at the expense of the direct visual cues on the P1's red LED display.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-07-2013, 01:10 AM
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I've heard both bars (not in a direct comparison) and they both sound great. I couldn't honestly say which one sounds much better but either one is probably one of the best soundbars available. IMO I'd be more inclined toward a P1 -- adding HDMI to a soundbar just adds needless complexity and potential headaches. I know at work they were having trouble with lots of handshake issues and dropouts with the P2 as well as the Deftech Solocinema XTR. IMO speaker manufacturers shouldn't really be messing with HDMI considering its inherent complexity. Martinlogan has it right with their Vision - optical only. I don't really think the lack of processing lossless codecs really matter on a soundbar - your soundbar is likely applying so much of its own DSP on top of the original track to simulate surround or whatever that it's an entirely different animal than having, say, an AVR decode a DTS-MA track.

^^^As far as the Harmony, it wil probably work for your Panorama, but I don't think the 300i is a good choice since it lacks the screen. The 300i may control some functionality but if there it a button that the original Panorama has that isn't mapped to any of the harmony's tactile buttons then generally the harmony relies on moving said commands to the screen of the traditional harmony which IMO gives you much more flexibility, so I'm not sure ow/if there's a way around that potential problem on the non-screened models.

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post #9 of 14 Old 02-07-2013, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

I've heard both bars (not in a direct comparison) and they both sound great. I couldn't honestly say which one sounds much better but either one is probably one of the best soundbars available. IMO I'd be more inclined toward a P1 -- adding HDMI to a soundbar just adds needless complexity and potential headaches. I know at work they were having trouble with lots of handshake issues and dropouts with the P2 as well as the Deftech Solocinema XTR. IMO speaker manufacturers shouldn't really be messing with HDMI considering its inherent complexity. Martinlogan has it right with their Vision - optical only. I don't really think the lack of processing lossless codecs really matter on a soundbar - your soundbar is likely applying so much of its own DSP on top of the original track to simulate surround or whatever that it's an entirely different animal than having, say, an AVR decode a DTS-MA track.

^^^As far as the Harmony, it wil probably work for your Panorama, but I don't think the 300i is a good choice since it lacks the screen. The 300i may control some functionality but if there it a button that the original Panorama has that isn't mapped to any of the harmony's tactile buttons then generally the harmony relies on moving said commands to the screen of the traditional harmony which IMO gives you much more flexibility, so I'm not sure ow/if there's a way around that potential problem on the non-screened models.

Thanks for the heads up on the 300i. I think I'll go ahead and try it first since Microcenter has the 300 for 20.00, and if I can't get to the setup portion of the soundbar I'll switch over to the Harmony 650 which is about 50 bucks more. My current remote is an Auvio 5 device learning remote I got for 5.00 at Radio Shack and I'm very happy with it, but suffice it to say its learning feature is worthless without an original remote to teach it in the first place. In that sense, even the 300 would be a major upgrade for me, but I'll jump to the 650 if I have to.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-26-2013, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Playdrv4me View Post

I've auditioned both the P1 and the P2. To me they sound very similar, and power ratings are also the same along with similar driver layouts. On the BW Parts website there ARE different part numbers for the driver units on the P1 and the P2 so it's safe to say there were some improvements made, and likely primarily to bass output. That said, I certainly can't tell the difference in audio output or audio quality. I'm not sure I'd refer to any soundbar as audiophile quality anything, but the Panoramas are the cream of the crop in this segment. As I've mentioned in the last couple of posts I've replied to, Best Buy is aching to get rid of these boat anchors and I got mine for about 700 bucks. If you search the Open Box deals on the Best Buy website and you live in a major metropolis, you are sure to find at least one OB unit laying around, and it wouldn't surprise me if the last straggler units end up going closer to the 5-600.00 range. Keep in mind that you will not likely receive the remote control which is necessary to set up the room acoustics for your unit. The remote from BW parts is 52.00 plus shipping, and is in limited supply. Logitech's Harmony website lists the Panorama as a supported product, but I do not yet know if the advanced features are accounted for as I will be obtaining the Harmony 300i specifically for this purpose tomorrow.

All in all, you simply can not do better for the money for an all in one contained solution *IF* you get one heavily discounted. At or anywhere near the 2200.00 pricetag, I can't fathom getting one of these over a nice system with separate components. The only thing I've auditioned which has the potential to outshine the Panorama MIGHT be the Bose Cinemate 1SR system due to its included and very versatile wireless subwoofer and crisply tuned driver array, but it costs 1400.00 itself. One good thing with BB open boxes is that you still get the standard BW warranty should you need it later on. As for P1 vs P2, It appears that the primary upgrades on the P2 were primarily functional and cosmetic with the HDMI switching (a non issue if you have a basic A/V setup or multiple HDMI ins to your TV with an optical or coaxial out on the TV) and the very nifty proximity sensing front touch panel on the P2. As mentioned above however, this comes at the expense of the direct visual cues on the P1's red LED display.

First, you'll be better of with a Harmony 650 if you want it to have the same functionality as your original remote.

Second, I don't think the Cinemate would be competitive with the Panorama. I'm thinking the ML Motion Vision as more of a competitor, it's $1500 and can be set up to work wireless with one of their subwoofers. Together they'll be the same price as a Panorama 2.

Third, most televisions only pass through PCM stereo sound from their HDMI inputs. The advantage of HDMI inputs is it allows for fewer cables since you don't need a separate cable for video (HDMI to the TV) and audio (optical/coaxial to the sound bar). And if you want to watch OTA signals or streaming services from your television then you'll need an additional optical cable from the TV to your sound bar (this will be the only way to get a DD or DTS signal from your television's optical output). The output HDMI on the Panorama 2 has ARC (Audio Return Channel) which means it works as an video input to the television AND also as an audio output for audio originating from the television. The stipulation being that your television also has ARC.

I'm going back and forth between the ML and Panorama. Does the Panorama have enough of an advantage in sound quality for the $700 difference. Or another way of looking at it, for the same $2200 you can have the ML sound bar and a rumbling subwoofer. But the HDMI inputs and output on the Panorama 2 is a definite advantage. The whole appeal of a sound bar is to have the best compromise between sound and the least amount of clutter.

Samsung PN60E7000
Samsung PN51F5300
OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player
MartinLogan Motion Vision Gloss Black 5-Channel Soundbar
MartinLogan Dynamo 700 10-inch Wireless Ready Subwoofer
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-27-2013, 09:09 AM
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hey, I picked up a P1 at Best Buy open box as well without remote. Did you manage to get the Harmony to program it? Not looking forward to paying $50 for a dinky remote I'll use once. Maybe we could split the cost!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Playdrv4me View Post

I've auditioned both the P1 and the P2. To me they sound very similar, and power ratings are also the same along with similar driver layouts. On the BW Parts website there ARE different part numbers for the driver units on the P1 and the P2 so it's safe to say there were some improvements made, and likely primarily to bass output. That said, I certainly can't tell the difference in audio output or audio quality. I'm not sure I'd refer to any soundbar as audiophile quality anything, but the Panoramas are the cream of the crop in this segment. As I've mentioned in the last couple of posts I've replied to, Best Buy is aching to get rid of these boat anchors and I got mine for about 700 bucks. If you search the Open Box deals on the Best Buy website and you live in a major metropolis, you are sure to find at least one OB unit laying around, and it wouldn't surprise me if the last straggler units end up going closer to the 5-600.00 range. Keep in mind that you will not likely receive the remote control which is necessary to set up the room acoustics for your unit. The remote from BW parts is 52.00 plus shipping, and is in limited supply. Logitech's Harmony website lists the Panorama as a supported product, but I do not yet know if the advanced features are accounted for as I will be obtaining the Harmony 300i specifically for this purpose tomorrow.

All in all, you simply can not do better for the money for an all in one contained solution *IF* you get one heavily discounted. At or anywhere near the 2200.00 pricetag, I can't fathom getting one of these over a nice system with separate components. The only thing I've auditioned which has the potential to outshine the Panorama MIGHT be the Bose Cinemate 1SR system due to its included and very versatile wireless subwoofer and crisply tuned driver array, but it costs 1400.00 itself. One good thing with BB open boxes is that you still get the standard BW warranty should you need it later on. As for P1 vs P2, It appears that the primary upgrades on the P2 were primarily functional and cosmetic with the HDMI switching (a non issue if you have a basic A/V setup or multiple HDMI ins to your TV with an optical or coaxial out on the TV) and the very nifty proximity sensing front touch panel on the P2. As mentioned above however, this comes at the expense of the direct visual cues on the P1's red LED display.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-03-2013, 08:43 AM
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I also picked up an open box from Bestbuy with no remote. Manage to lower the price even more. You can program the speaker using the logitech Harmony remote. However, the speaker is listed under the Amplifier section. Good Luck!
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-03-2013, 07:44 PM
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Hey guys I got an open box Panorma from Best Buy today too!! Lol, the thing has never been out of the box. Everything was packed like brand freaking new. 100 bucks for an extended 4 year warranty through Best Buy and I'm set. I paid $625 for the speaker. It had the remote and everything. Accessories box had never been touched. It was all stock packing. I think the thing just popped open at some point in shipping. The speaker was still wrapped in its bag and all. So 725 for 6 year warranty (2 manufacturer + 4 Best Buy) and the speaker with all its accessories. I thought that was a great deal.

I returned my brand new ZVOX 580 bar for this guy because the ZVOX had a really loud fan noise when volume was muted. I could never figure out if it was power supply or what.

I've heard something similar just not nearly as obnoxious from the Panorama 1 I have now. Is this noise just consistent with most soundbars? Should I not sweat it? Its the reason I returned the ZVOX and now the brand new B&W Panorama does it (but more subtle as stated before).

Overall I love this thing. I just want to be sure I know what I'm doing before I let my 30 day return period pass me by. I didn't even look at the Panorama 2 since the price tag is 2200!!!! I know the new Sonos Soundbar is coming out at a $700 price point but my sales guy didn't think it would touch the 1st gen Panorama.

What's everyone's take? Anyone else have an issue with this very subtle fan/power supply/humming noise? This a normal thing? I've seen in a different post several people sent it in for warranty work but they never followed back up. I don't want to keep the damn thing if it already needs worked on, Its BRAND NEW!

Thanks guys. I look forward to reading your reply's.
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-04-2013, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel1400 View Post

Hey guys I got an open box Panorma from Best Buy today too!! Lol, the thing has never been out of the box. Everything was packed like brand freaking new. 100 bucks for an extended 4 year warranty through Best Buy and I'm set. I paid $625 for the speaker. It had the remote and everything. Accessories box had never been touched. It was all stock packing. I think the thing just popped open at some point in shipping. The speaker was still wrapped in its bag and all. So 725 for 6 year warranty (2 manufacturer + 4 Best Buy) and the speaker with all its accessories. I thought that was a great deal.

I returned my brand new ZVOX 580 bar for this guy because the ZVOX had a really loud fan noise when volume was muted. I could never figure out if it was power supply or what.

I've heard something similar just not nearly as obnoxious from the Panorama 1 I have now. Is this noise just consistent with most soundbars? Should I not sweat it? Its the reason I returned the ZVOX and now the brand new B&W Panorama does it (but more subtle as stated before).

Overall I love this thing. I just want to be sure I know what I'm doing before I let my 30 day return period pass me by. I didn't even look at the Panorama 2 since the price tag is 2200!!!! I know the new Sonos Soundbar is coming out at a $700 price point but my sales guy didn't think it would touch the 1st gen Panorama.

What's everyone's take? Anyone else have an issue with this very subtle fan/power supply/humming noise? This a normal thing? I've seen in a different post several people sent it in for warranty work but they never followed back up. I don't want to keep the damn thing if it already needs worked on, Its BRAND NEW!

Thanks guys. I look forward to reading your reply's.

So I went to Best Buy today and purchased a Panamax 4300 power conditioner just to rule out the power at my house. I'm hoping a 2 layer conditioner is sufficient. It should be. I emailed B&W and they told me there is a small fan in the soundbar that runs from time to time depending on the needs of the power bar and running temp. I'm guessing that is what I'm hearing. Any thoughts?
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