You can't really evaluate a B&O speaker on B&O electronics, and come away feeling like you know what the speaker is capable of. I took an extended vacation from hifi several years ago. Sold most of my geeky gear and put away the rest. But I kept a decent CD player, turntable and vacuum tube preamp and wanted something low-impact for speakers/amplification while I focused on a demanding business schedule. On a whim, out of pure aesthetic motives, I slipped a pair of B&O 8000s into my room, feeding them the output of my vacuum tube preamp. The resulting sound was in a different league entirely from the harsh, dynamically-choked sound from an end-to-end B&O chain. The company has put better power amplification in its active speakers, than the electronics in its sources and linestages in integrated components.
I'm no fan of ICE amps, but while they can be hard, they are not harsh. I've heard the Beolab 5 outside of associated B&O gear, and it is interesting in its enveloping soundstaging, is capable of fulfilling projection into the room, and its bass is quite controllable. Generally, multi-channel is a bad idea, bordering on horribly wrong for any semblance of music fidelity. The Beolab 5 is among the speakers that spatially demonstrate why 2 channels are enough, and more to the point preferred. But you have to divorce them from other B&O gear, and feed them signal from a tube preamp or an unusually musical solid state pre, and an appropriately smooth source.
I ended that short vacation from hifi and since built up two complete and independent systems. Since owning Zu full range driver speakers, I can't any longer accept crossovers in speakers, so Beolab 5s won't make it into any of my systems. However, for systems where active speakers are advised or desired, the Beolab 5 is capable of delivering elevated musical enjoyment only if used as the sonic endpoint of highly-evolved musical chain. I advise a good tube preamp and carefully selected source to make it so. There are other choices, but there the B&O buyer always has extenuating reasons to be interested. If you don't need the space efficiency of an active speaker but want something with stunning visual design, consider Sonus Faber Cremona and above, with stellar matching amplification, if you're not ready for crossoverless Zu Definitions.