Power Link cable is a special conductor cable designed by Bang & Olufsen for use with many of the company’s more recent audio/video products. Usually Power Link cable is connected to any Bang & Olufsen active loudspeakers sourced from a Beosystem (such as a BeoVision, BeoSound, Beomaster, MCL 2P or MCL 2AV) through built-in 8-pin DIN sockets. PowerLink cables are available either in pre-manufactured lengths of 5m, 10m and 20m with plugs attached, or in unterminated lengths.
Power Link carries left/right pre-amp signals along with necessary turn-on/off information, display data and protection signals. Audio information is transmitted along the cable as a volume-adjusted line level signal with both left and right signals being carried along the one cable, together with data signals for a BeoLab status display (if there is one). This means that the user does not have to use left and right sockets on say, a Beomaster, when deciding upon the sound position to be used. Instead a slider switch on the BeoLab loudspeaker is set to the correct loudspeaker position - either left or right.
Power Link is very flexible with regard to connections. A pair of loudspeakers can be connected the usual way, with one cable to each loudspeaker; a BUS system - where a signal is looped through one of the loudspeakers and then on to the next; or by a combination of both where more than one pair of speakers is required. No matter which method is chosen, there has to be a correct setting of the L - R slider switch on the active loudspeaker. Up to 10 pairs of active loudspeakers and up to 100 metres of cable may be connected within a Power Link active loudspeaker system.
There are three versions of the Power Link cable:
Power Link Mark I is manufactured from 4-core cable and is the simplest type of Power Link cable available and may be used on the following active speakers where there is no built-in display: BeoLab 1, BeoLab 4000, 6000, 8000, BeoLab 2 and 2500
Power Link Mark II (which may also be referred to as ‘fully-wired’ cable) is for active loudspeakers with built-in displays such as Beolab Penta (MK II and MK III models only), Beolab 3000 and Beolab 5000. The MK II version can also be used with BeoLab 5. Mark II will also work with all other BeoLab speakers with Power Link connections, so it is recommended for use if the user plans to change Bang & Olufsen active speakers in the future. The Mark II variant is thicker than the Mk I and Mk III Power Link cable. It is recommended that BeoLab 5 uses the fully-wired Mark II speaker cable. If combined with a source with a digital output such as the BeoSound 9000 or BeoCenter 2, a digital cable can also be used in conjunction with the Power Link cable.
Power Link Mark III is the latest version and is used with ICE-Power BeoLab speakers with class D digital amplifiers. This is because Mark III contains an additional voltage reference wire intended to prevent background hum. The cable may be used with BeoLab 3, BeoLab 4, BeoLab 7.1, BeoLab 7.2, BeoLab 7.4, BeoLab 7.6, BeoLab 9, BeoLab 10 and the new BeoLab 11 active sub-woofer. Mark III may be used in place of Mark I Power Link cable which means that any of the speakers listed above for use with Mark I cable can also be used successfully with Mark III cable. Mark III PowerLink cables are recognised by a small moulded triangle sign on their plastic plug ends.
Note the following exception to the above: the very earliest BeoLab speakers (mainly the Beolab Penta Mark I) used a special connection type called Speakerlink. Speakerlink utilised a specially made plug which is no longer manufactured by B&O. All is not lost however, as 2-pin DIN speaker cable may be used to power these older speakers although the source displays will not illuminate.
Power Link cable of various lengths may be obtained from local Bang & Olufsen stores. Additionally there are further sources to be found on the Internet. To extend Power Link cables special adapters may be purchased; equally, cables may be ’split’, joined or extended with other similar cables by way of Power Link accessories. Power Link outputs may be adapted to standard RCA outputs for powering non-Bang & Olufsen power amplifiers using the DIN to RCA adaptor (part number 6270316). A remote mains switch may be activated by Power Link outputs using DIN to DC female adaptor (part number 9627100).