Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) review: Products from Bang & Olufsen are not for an average Joe like me. The company provides high-end audio products. The products compete in the luxury segment, with a superior sound quality. Not just audio quality, B&O is also known for its high class design and expensive materials. Now that we know this detail, I would not put too much emphasis on the price of the product. Instead, we will check how good the product is, and if it is of any use to audiophiles.
Beosound A1 is an incredible device. The 2nd gen A1 provides a much wider sound with more believable bass. We got an improved sound performance and a slimmer design with an intuitive button interface and reduced weight. Beosound A1 is a portable device with a high water resistant rating (IP67).
The Beosound A1 is an excellent speaker that will grab your attention. Above $200 is rather expensive for a portable speaker, but the audio and sound quality are stunning. The sound A1 is available in black, gray, green, or pink.
- IP67 rating
- Portable device
- Alexa integration
- 3 microphones
- Small status LED
- 1x 9cm woofer, 1x 2cm Tweeter
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) Design
Beosound A1 has a circular disc with rounded edges. The device comes with 13.3 x 13.3 x 4.6 cm dimensions and weights around 600 grams. The circular base of the device is made up of polymer which prevents scratches. A brown leather lanyard is attached to the side panel, bearing a strap with Bang & Olufsen logo, which makes it easy to grab and hook onto a wall.
The top of the panel is made up of many tiny circular grille drilled with aluminium, one of which is equipped by a small status LED light that shines out from the metal grille to indicate power or pairing status. The base of the device also consists of buttons which are situated close to the leather strap. To the left are the play/pause button and volume controls and to the right you’ll find power, bluetooth pairing and mic on/off buttons.
The Beosound A1’s splendid IP67 rating indicates that the speaker is waterproof. The number 7 in the rating indicates that it can be submerged up to a meter for 30 minutes. While Bluetooth signal does not work well underwater up to 30 mins, you can rinse off the speaker under a faucet or expose it to rain or poolside splashes without issue. The 6 in the rating means the speaker is dust-tight, and no solids can enter into the device interiors, except the uncovered USB-C charging port. There’s also a three-microphone setup arranged in an array to better pick up your voice and support hands-free calls. Beosound A1 comes with 1x 9 cm woofer and 1x 2 cm Tweeter.
The Bang & Olufsen app is used for setting up Alexa, making sure your speaker is running with the latest software. you must create an account with B&O, once you set up your account, select “set up Amazon Alexa” and choose your language. Sign in to your Amazon account on the Amazon Alexa App and follow the instructions to enable Alexa Voice Assistant on your Beosound A1 2nd Gen. Alexa can then be accessed by pushing the microphone button on the speaker.
Average battery life of Beosound A1 is around 18 hours with moderate usage, and the device can survive up to 48 hours with the minimal usage. Beosound A1 is also a portable device. It charges up through USB-C port, and Beosound takes upto 2 hours to charge completley.
In the B&O app, you can also access various listening modes. Sound A1 comes with 5 EQ presets modes. The EQ is a piece of hardware that allows us to shape sound by adjusting the volume of a sound at selected points. This is a circular chart you drag your finger through to make the audio brighter or more bass-heavy. You can pause and play audio in the app. The speaker is compatible with Bluetooth. As the device doesn’t have an integrated WiFi or LTE connection of its own, it’s dependent on your phone to get online and pass Alexa’s commands to the cloud.
Sound Quality :
Beosound A1 2nd Gen is designed to produce 360-degree sound. Its mesh top still does an adorable job in spreading wide angle signals. The Beosound A1 is simply excellent. It can be hung up and still deliver an impressive bass, with its base set firmly on a surface. It is amazing given the size of this speaker, how effective it is in handling low-end frequencies.
The internal composition has changed slightly when compared to the original model. As the specifications declare that it has a deeper bass (55Hz compared to 60Hz).
Beosound A1 Sounds big, rich and deep. The device is well balanced with its delivery that applies to all genres of music, from ensuring mid-range vocals cut through, to high-end sound collision.
Beosound A1 has a 3.5-inch woofer along with a 0.6-inch tweeter, and it’s powered by 230W Class D amplifiers. It also now supports Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive codec. Bang & Olufsen recommends the speaker for small social gatherings, offices or mid-sized rooms.
Its soundstage is suitably impressive in a relatively small room, delivering a sense of 360 degrees of music.
Beosound A1 sounds a delight. It’s consistently crisp. It also sounds exciting, punchy and energetic, The soundstage could feel a bit wider, but you’ll only really notice this in a large space. In the bathroom, bedroom, or a medium sized living room, the B&O Beosound A1 easily captures your attention.
You can only imagine pairing it up with a second device when their softwares gets matched. Stereo sound would prevent these soundstage issues very well. It’s always a satisfying feeling like you’re rediscovering music with a new speaker.
Battery life and connectivity
The B&O Beosound A1 supports Bluetooth 5.1. The device can also pair in large distances, which comes in handy if you’ve got a big room or outdoor space.
Bluetooth 5.1 also allows for a better battery life, with B&O claiming 18 hours of playback at a typical volume, with even more possible at a lower volume.
In our tests, we found that it definitely varies according to the usage, when you increase the sound to very high levels. Still, that’s not bad at all, and it recharges quickly too.
There’s also a 3.5mm AUX-in port that keeps the B&O Beosound A1 sleek and minimalist.
Perhaps the biggest feature here is the aforementioned Alexa support, despite the Beosound A1 being a good Bluetooth-connected speaker.
B&O Beosound A1 is the world’s first Bluetooth speaker to offer Alexa without Wi-Fi support. Of course, it does still rely on Wi-Fi but that comes via the smartphone that you have connected to the speaker.
You can adjust volume, switch Alexa support on or off and also change listening modes via an equalizer. Eq presets are responsible for these changes. You can adjust volume presets to ambient, party, and speaker. It’s possible to customize these too. You will get the sound just how you would like to listen. Beosound A1 also has the option to pair with two or many A1 speakers together for stereo sound, although you can’t do this with an older first generation due to the lack of software update.
One should be aware that Alexa is not fully integrated like in Sonos or Echo. For example, you cannot connect your streaming services to Beosound A1 and operate them with Alexa keyword. So you cannot say “Alexa, play Pink Floyd on YouTube Music”. However, you can definitely say “Alexa, play Pink Floyd”, and Alexa would play some Pink Floyd playlist from its music catalogue once your account is linked to the device.
Final verdict :
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 is the most dynamic device which overcomes the flaws of its predecessor. It might be costiler in price but the features equipped in this device makes it more worthy. The device produces a true 360 sound experience, and it is fully dust and waterproof, with a long battery life. Sound adjustment by EQ preset, Alexa integration, B&O’s rich sound system, classy design, and a lot more features in just a small portable device makes this device a worthy purchase.