BeoSound 3200

(2003-2011) FM Stereo/AM/CD music centre, HDD “CD memory”, Master Link and Power Link output only

Type numbers: 2681, 2682, 2683, 2684, 2685, 2686, 2687, 2690

Picture by Peter McEvedy


The BeoSound 3200 was the first B&O model to offer a new type of recording technique, known as CD memory. In simple terms, this involved copying the data from a music CD onto a built-in hard-disc drive (HDD), so that the music could then be played back directly from the HDD at any time in the future, either using the BeoSound 3200 itself, or another system connected to it via Master Link. This seemed to offer a replacement for the discontinued BeoSound Ouverture, which had a conventional cassette deck of reasonable quality. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

In practice though, the “CD memory” left a lot to be desired. At least 7 software updates were issued in the first year of production in an attempt to make it work properly. Missing the first second of each recording was one of the many faults, though this was cured eventually. More fundamental was the lack of versatility, the fixed nature of the media meant that the recordings made could not easily be transferred to another machine (e.g. a car player), something that was routine and easy with cassettes. Stranger still, it was not possible to record from the radio, an inexcusable omission and a definite backward step, especially when one considers the likes of the Beocenter 7000 and 7700, both of which had been on sale over 20 years previously and could make unattended recordings of radio programmes if the owner so desired. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

It would be unfair to blame the retrograde nature of the BeoSound 3200 solely on B&O. Instead, it is best viewed as a result of an industry which, despite over 10 years of trying, still had yet to find a practical and universally acceptable replacement for the compact cassette. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.


David Lewis



Type numbers

2681, 2682, 2683, 2684, 2685, 2686, 2687, 2690

Further Reading