Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen review: The portable Bluetooth speaker king

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Quick Verdict

It might be small and rather pricey, but the second-gen Beosound A1 packs a big punch in the sound department. That, plus Alexa voice control and waterproofing, makes it worth every penny.
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For

  • Exemplary sound quality
  • Far better low-frequency handling than many speakers
  • Solid battery life
  • Simple yet iconic industrial design

Against

  • No 3.5mm jack
  • Not truly 360-degree sound
  • App-based EQ can push to excess
  • Still costly
  • Can’t stereo pair new model with old

In 2016 we assessed the convenient speaker to govern every single compact speaker: the Beoplay A1. Practically a large portion of 10 years after the fact and Bang and Olufsen’s re-named development, the Beosound A1 second Gen, has shown up with extra highlights to go one better.

With water-obstruction now part of the list of capabilities, alongside prepared in Amazon Alexa voice control, and a bigger battery limit, does the second Gen Beosound A1 secure itself the grandiose situation as the Bluetooth speaker ruler again?

What’s new?

  • Battery capacity increase (to 3,000mAh from 2,200mAh)
  • Amazon Alexa voice control integration
  • IP67 certified dust- and water-proof
  • 3.5mm headphone jack removed

We’ve utilized the first A1 for a considerable length of time so know about its arrangement. While the second Gen A1 looks near on indistinguishable at a snappy look, there are some new highlights – some obvious, others concealed in the background.

As a matter of first importance: the two speakers are a similar size. In any case, the second Gen builds the battery limit by more than 25 percent, coming about in surprisingly better life span (the case is for 18 hours battery life for each charge). That additional battery has been accomplished by moving around some inside segments.

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The second Gen A1 additionally includes IP67 affirmation, which implies assurance against residue and water. What’s more, we don’t mean sprinkle confirmation – you can lower the new speaker in a meter of water for 30 minutes. We’d recommend you don’t do that, however at any rate pool parties, stormy picnics, and such like, will be no boundary for this speaker being out in the components.

In any case, the 3.5mm earphone jack that included on the first A1 has been expelled for the second Gen, which means you can just utilize Bluetooth network. There’s still no Wi-Fi, AirPlay and such like – yet with Amazon Alexa and the Bang and Olufsen application it’s anything but difficult to interface with your preferred source material and stream.

There are more complicated changes somewhere else as well. The second Gen A1 highlights a LED pointer light up top, inside one of the metal work’s openings, which is a far best situation to the side-position on the first model.

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Physical catches involve two trios: on/off, Bluetooth, amplifier on one side; volume up, volume down, play/delay on the other. Their vibe on the A1 second Gen is unmistakably more tacticle than it was on the first, which essentially improves it to utilize.

At last, the calfskin tie on the second Gen fuses a more extended “Blast and Olufsen” marked holder, contrasted with the first’s round “B&O” insignia.

Design & Connectivity

  • Finish: Pearl Blasted Aluminium top, polymer base, waterproof leather hanger
  • Buttons: on/off, Bluetooth pair, mic, play/pause, volume up, volume down
  • Dimensions: 133mm diameter x 46mm height / Weight: 558g
  • Bang & Olufsen App with EQ presets/custom
  • Bluetooth 5.1 (AAC, aptX Adaptive)
  • LED light indicator on top
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • USB-C charging

As we said of the original: Bang & Olufsen is well known for its design. The Danish company walks the line between understated and outlandish.

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The Beosound A1 second Gen is more the previous. Its round base, which is produced using polymer, gives it down to earth strength against scratches, while its aluminum work top – the openings of each being the littlest piece littler than the first – gives it both a mechanical appearance, combined with sound-scattering characteristics.

The polymer and aluminum parts are all around associated, with the dark completion of this survey model looking more strong than the ‘Common’ dim of the first A1.

A USB Type-C port guarantees speedy charging of the on-board battery, which can without much of a stretch keep going for as long as a day at once – relying upon how noisily you tune in. We’ve effectively impacting out the tunes in the house over a long end of the week and it’s taken care of business.

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There’s application availability with the Bang and Olufsen application, which is additionally where you can (de)activate Amazon Alexa (which requires the different Alexa application) for voice control smarts. Alexa functions admirably on account of a trio of on-board receivers, so no difficulties there.

Sound system blending is likewise conceivable inside the Bang and Olufsen application, however it’s limited per age, for example you would need to purchase two second Gen models to get a sound system pair; matching the first A1 with the subsequent model is preposterous – unfortunately! Given the cost of these speakers, it’d be incredible for that to be redressed in a product fix.

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The application additionally makes the way for evening out modification, with five presets and a simple to-utilize customized custom choice (which permits you to spare custom presets with assigned names). In principle this is extraordinary – and continually something we need from a Bluetooth speaker – purchase by and by a ton of these presets will basically harm your listening experience; some push the bass to twisting, for instance, and given the standard profile is so excellent, we would ordinarily leave these settings at default.

Sound Quality

  • 1x 3.5in woofer
  • 1x 3/5in tweeter
  • 2x 30W Class D amps
  • 55-20,000Hz frequency range

In spite of the fact that the A1 second Gen is anything but a round and hollow plan for all out 360-degree sound, its work top despite everything does a generally excellent activity of scattering sound to a wide point. Sat on a tabletop and even practically side-on this speaker despite everything sounds fantastic. You’ll show signs of improvement impression if it’s dangling from its calfskin line while pointed legitimately at you.

However you decide to situate the A1 second Gen – and that is a piece of its excellence, as it’s so compact – the sound is basically grand. That it very well may be hung up and still convey driving bass is amazing; with its base set immovably on a surface that low-end collects extra effect. Given the size of this speaker, we’re despite everything overwhelmed by its treatment of the low-end frequencies – it’s unquestionably more capable than all else of an identical size.

The inward sythesis has changed each so marginally contrasted with the first model, as the particular cases the bass can go that tad more profound (55Hz contrasted with 60Hz) – not that you’re probably going to observe such a distinction. It’s sort of superfluous in any case: all you have to know is that it sounds huge, rich and profound.

Not that it’s everything about the bass – the BeoPlay A1 second Gen is still truly even with its conveyance. That applies to all sorts of music, from guaranteeing mid-run vocals slice through, to shimmering top of the line percussion – without it getting excessively sharp or full.

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Regardless of whether you like pop, underground, rock, traditional, or anything in the middle of, the Beosound A1 second Gen is praiseworthy for what can be accomplished at this scale. It resembles sonic sourcery.

Verdict

In case you’re searching for a compact Bluetooth speaker – and can excuse the absence of Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and a 3.5mm port – at that point the Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1 second Gen is unmatched. With included Alexa voice control and waterproofing it’s obviously better than the effectively marvelous unique as well.

For some the glaring issue at hand will be the Beosound A1 second Gen’s asking cost. No, this is definitely not a minimal effort speaker. Yet, indeed, it most unquestionably is a top notch one that conveys immense sound from a flawlessly made bundle.

It may be little, yet the Beosound A1 second Gen sneaks up all of a sudden that makes it worth each penny.