BDI Mirage 8224 Featured

BDI Mirage 8224 AV Cabinet Review

BDI is one of a handful of furniture companies that have built a solid reputation for constructing high quality units specifically targeted towards storage of audio and video gear. The Mirage line represents one of BDI’s more understated collections. I took a look at the BDI Mirage 8224 Double Component Cabinet. This small rack proved quite capable. With a bevy of features specifically designed to effectively house AV gear, a sophisticated look and solid build quality, the 8224 rack is a stellar option for those with a small to medium system.

Almost No Assembly Required

The BDI Mirage 8224 stand arrives almost fully built. All that was necessary for me to install was the two removable back panels. Included with the unit is an allen wrench that allows you to level the hidden feet below the unit.

Specs
Manufacturer: BDI
Model: Mirage 8224
Size: 19.5” H x 41” W x 20” D
Weight: 102 lbs.
Review Date: August 18, 2014
Price: $1,099.00
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Mounting of the shelves within the unit is done with high-quality studs that are encircled with a rubber o-ring to minimize vibrations. The studs screw into each hole, rather than slide, for a firm, secure fit. The front of the rack has smoked glass that mounts to the stand with European-style brackets that allow you to fully align both doors for a perfect look. The shelves inside the unit have multiple slats to facilitate air flow.

As stated above, the lower back panels on both sides of the unit are removable for access to your gear. They are secured in place by sliding the panels up into a channel that runs along the bottom of the unit.

The BDI Mirage 8224 is exceptionally well built. The stand has the solid feel of a “real” piece of furniture. In terms of aesthetics, the BDI Mirage 8224 can be characterized as a clean, understated piece. With its gloss black sides, black glass top and dark glass doors, the BDI Mirage is handsome and stylish without being showy. BDI says of the Mirage line that its “gloss black finish beautifully complements today‘s home theater components”, and I have to agree. In this installation, flanked by two gloss black subs and gloss black bookshelf speakers, the unit looked terrific.

The particular installation where I evaluated the Mirage is impractical for mounting a TV to the wall. Therefore, I also was interested in taking a look BDI’s solution for such a situation: the BDI Arena TV mount. The Arena allows one to suspend a flat panel above the stand and is appropriate for any installation where wall mounting is impractical or infeasible. The Arena comes in a flat box that includes the stand itself and the necessary hardware to mount essentially any flat panel made. The stand can accommodate a flat panel up to 65” and 175 lbs. Assembly is straightforward and involves attaching the vertical arm of the stand to a U shaped base and affixing two large, articulated arms for attachment to the flat panel. There is a channel up the back of the main arm to run cables. Once constructed, the feet of the Arena slide in between the legs of the BDI Mirage, allowing for seamless integration. With a 50” Panasonic VT30 plasma on the Arena it works as advertised.

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This Mirage is a double unit and appropriate for a compact system. In this installation, I am able to accommodate a 5-component system that includes a pre-pro (Marantz AV8801), a full-size 5-channel amp (Parasound A51 Halo 5 Channel Amp), a Blu-ray player (Oppo BDP-105), a video processor (Lumagen Radiance XS) and a HD cable box. While the BDI is capable of taking the Marantz processor and Halo Amp, they are too deep once plugged in to various components to use the removable back panels. Shallower receivers may be able to accommodate these panels when all of the cabling is plugged in. Either way, I left off these back panels without incident. The top of the unit will easily accommodate a center channel speaker – in my testing a medium sized B&W HTM4, though you could get away with something far bigger with the real estate available.

Solid and Silent

In use, the best thing I can say about the BDI Mirage 8224 is that it disappears. Owing to its excellent construction, vibrations and sound from the piece were entirely absent regardless of content. I never run into heat issues, despite the presence of a bevy of hot running gear. The Arena TV mount works wonderfully, and looks as close as you could get to wall mounting without the hassle.

What is missing from the BDI Mirage 8224? As a basic piece of A/V furniture, not much – but there are refinements one finds in more specialized A/V gear that are absent here. The “cable management” is lacking, especially compared to what we’ve seen from other companies. If you like the idea of rack mounting your gear, you’re out of luck here. Also lacking are upgrades like sliding shelves, or installable cooling fans – just a handful of things that are offered from some other companies making dedicated A/V gear. Still, I consider these complaints minor: for the right size system and installation type, there is little more you need from a basic stand.

Stylish and Practical

The BDI Mirage 8224 is a terrific piece of targeted AV furniture. It is well constructed, good looking, and possesses a nice set of features that make it perfect for any small to medium A/V system. The Arena TV mount is terrific and integrates well for an installation where wall mounting is difficult or impractical. Though the unit lacks some upgrades and refinements of more advanced A/V furniture offerings, I believe the Mirage represents a compelling option for one looking to store their gear simply and attractively.

Review Summary
Product: BDI Mirage 8224
Reviewer:
Pros: Terrific build, solid set of AV friendly features, clean & understated look
Cons: Lacking some refinements of other AV targeted gear; upgrade options minimal
Summary: Lacking some refinements of other AV targeted gear; upgrade options minimal
Value: 3.5/5
Performance: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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