One in all my favourite audio manufacturers has all the time been Bang & Olufsen. Between the model’s fashion and sound high quality I can’t assist however be a fan. Lately, B&O launched the Anthracite shade of its portable, waterproof, and smart A1 second-gen Bluetooth speaker. Additional, they had been good sufficient to ship one out to us for assessment.
Bang & Olufsen is nicely regarded for each its sound high quality in addition to its design prowess. The brand new second-gen Beosound A1 does little to vary the look from the primary one, and that’s advantageous by me. Nonetheless, this newest mannequin does take away the three.5mm jack that was discovered on the first-generation A1.
The spherical dome form of the A1 collection includes a distinctive and sensible design paired with the brushed aluminum masking on the highest and waterproof leather-based strap for a premium really feel. The underside is made out of a rugged polymer to assist shield it whereas on the go, and the complete speaker is IP67 water and mud resistant.
The physique of the Beosound A1 second-gen consists of buttons to regulate the ability, Bluetooth, and the microphone–in addition to playback and quantity–together with a USB-C port across the again to cost it up.
The Beosound A1 second-gen is greater than your typical Bluetooth speaker, this one has the flexibility to work with Amazon Alexa. Nonetheless, since Wi-Fi isn’t built-in–and the A1 depends on a Bluetooth connection–you’ll must have the Alexa app put in and set it up in your cellphone.
Together with the Alexa app, you’ll additionally want the Bang & Olufsen app to get every part arrange. When you do you’ll then have the ability to use the far-field mics on the A1 to activate Alexa with the key phrase and use the 1000’s of expertise supplied by Amazon. This consists of taking part in music, asking for the climate, controlling your good house, and way more.
I’d have most popular if I might have used Google Assistant or had the choice, however at the very least you’ll be able to activate Alexa along with your voice. To that finish, the mics labored very nicely, even from a distance. It’s value declaring, although, there’s a pause of a second or two between saying the Alexa key phrase and getting a response.
Together with hands-free help for Alexa, the Bang & Olufsen app has another helpful options for the A1 speaker. Before everything is updating the firmware. I had a few firmware updates after I first acquired mine, so make sure you test that if you happen to purchase one. Subsequent, you’ll have the ability to management the quantity in addition to tweak the EQ to make sure the A1 second-gen sounds precisely the best way you need.
Sound high quality
I’ve all the time been a fan of the B&O signature sound; it’s one that features a good dose of bass with subdued highs to stop ear fatigue and loads of element. The A1 second-gen lives as much as that whereas additionally placing out loads of quantity for its compact dimension.
Moreover, you’ll be able to tweak the equalizer within the app to make the A1 higher match your preferences, however what’s most vital is that the A1 is a speaker that places out high quality sound and offers you a great baseline to begin with.
My largest criticism could be that the A1 second-gen is missing relating to quantity in comparison with competing Bluetooth audio system. I didn’t have any points filling a bed room or kitchen with music utilizing the A1. However when you’re outside and making an attempt hear your favourite music over cicadas, automobiles, lawnmowers, and environmental noises, it could have been nice if it acquired louder.
Bang & Olufsen charges the Beosound A1 second-gen for as much as 18 hours at regular playback quantity. I discovered that to be correct in my testing. It’s loads of listening time to get you thru a protracted day on the go or for a weekend tenting journey.
The Beosound A1 second-gen retails at a dear $250 which is double that of a competing speaker just like the JBL Flip 5. Nonetheless, with the A1 second-gen, you get a premium construct, longer battery life, the B&O signature sound, and help to make use of your voice (Amazon Alexa) to function.
Whether or not all of that is sufficient to justify the worth improve is as much as you. Personally, I can actually attest that the Beosound A1 second-gen is a high-quality Bluetooth speaker that sounds and appears unbelievable.