Despite the unusual connections used on Bang and Olufsen audio systems (typically 2, 5, 7 and 8 pin DIN plugs), it is possible to get your B&O system to interface to equipment from other manufacturers, including such items as non-B&O CD players, turntables, active subwoofers, amplifiers and speakers.
B&O themselves make a limited range of adapters to allow you to interface with other companies' equipment, with further ranges available online through manufacturers such as Sounds Heavenly.
The most common (and useful) ways of integrating B&O into other systems include:-
1) Adding a non-B&O source into a B&O system: This needs an adapter with two RCA plugs at one end and a 5-pin DIN plug at the other. Measure the distance between the equipment, as these cables are sold in various lengths!
2) Using a Powerlink-equipped B&O system with a conventional amplifier and passive loudspeakers: Again, this needs a DIN plug at the B&O end (ensure this is wired correctly for the job!), with two RCA plugs being the current industry standard for the connection to the amplifier. As the B&O system alters the volume coming out through the Powerlink outputs, you will normally need to set the external amplifier to nearly maximum for best results.
3) Connecting an iPod/MP3 Player or PC into a B&O system: This needs a 3.5mm mini-jack to plug into the source, with the usual B&O DIN plug at the other end. Always ensure that lead you choose is long enough for the job, it pays to buy one longer than you think you will need, so that you can have to iPod or laptop near your comfy chair to make changing tracks easier! Most iPods and MP3 Players need their volume control to be set to maximum when played through a home hifi system, due to the low level of signal they normally produce via headphones.
4) Adding several extra audio inputs to a B&O system: Why do B&O only give you one Auxiliary Input on each of their audio systems? I wish I knew! Aux. Input Doubler Adapters are available on eBay to allow you to connect two items into the one socket at once. Just don't try to play both sources at the same time!
5) Adding a non-B&O active subwoofer to your B&O system: This is a common arrangement, due to the high cost of B&O's own sub, the Beolab 2. As for Option 2 above, the Powerlink outputs are your best option, with a DIN plug to single or dual RCA adapter allowing you to connect most subs to your system and still keep their volume controllable by the B&O remote control. Just ensure that you have the correct connections inside the DIN plug for use with Powerlink outputs!
Steve runs Sounds Heavenly, a UK-based company producing specialist audio cables and accessories for high-end audio systems including Bang and Olufsen, Naim, Quad, Meridian and Rega. Steve is a sound engineer, musician and music lover with an Electronics degree and 20 years experience of installing and repairing audio and hifi equipment.