What is the B & O Beoplay A1?
The B & O Beoplay A1 is not the cheapest Bluetooth speaker at £ 249; In fact, it is one of the most expensive. As such, and as expected from B & O, it also stands apart from the rest when it comes to sound quality. In truth, this could be one of the best sound Bluetooth speakers there is now. It also seems, well, just look at it. Do we need to say more?
However, we will say more. The Beoplay A1 does not have Wi-Fi, and for that money, and could opt for a smart speaker with a voice assistant instead. But would you like it?
Related: Best Bluetooth Speakers 2018
B & O Beoplay A1 – Design
B & O is well known for its design quality. For the Beoplay A1, the famous industrial designer Cecilie Manz has been enlisted to create a quality that will exceed the expectations of most people.
The result is a perfect synergy of the upper part of the perforated metal grill with a solid and sticky base. It looks amazing and is the perfect size for portability while still being large enough to offer a lot of power as well.
The buttons sit inside the edge of the rubber body. They respond to touch and emit a warning noise if necessary, so you always have control. This means that you will not find any of the moments "did that work?" Which are often experienced with Bluetooth speakers.
Controls include power, volume, Bluetooth along with a circular button that will allow quick reconnection to the last paired device. This last button has more uses, such as pause and skip tracks, and can be configured in the application to control the Tonetouch sound modes, continue the last song played or turn it off completely.
Another good addition to the design is a leather strap that facilitates its transport, but, what is more important, also allows hanging. It may seem like something you do not need, but I can guarantee that you will end up using it a lot.
Since the speaker is so well done, it is not necessary to configure it to offer decent bass; It will sound great even when it hangs on a hook. As such, this is a fantastic means to keep the unit out of the way if the space is tight, safe from damage and, as an extra, it also looks great.
A negative design is that the A1 is not waterproof like the Ultimate Ears EU Boom 2 competition. As a result, that strap to hang the unit from the water is more functional than initially thought.
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B & O Beoplay A1 – Features
The A1 is primarily a Bluetooth speaker, which means it will deliver aptX quality sound transmitted from any device. There is also a 3.5mm audio port for more direct playback. Either way, you have the B & O Beoplay application to expand the usage options.
This application allows you to connect more than one speaker to offer a stereo pair. Theoretically, this is ideal for multiroom but, since you are in Bluetooth, you will most likely use it to increase the power in a room.
The application is useful for adapting sound styles, with the ability to vary between presets or to make adjustments based on a slider moving between the Warm, Excited, Relaxed and Brilliant levels.
The Beoplay A1 also has a built-in microphone, which means it can take and make calls from a connected phone. It will be a great high quality phone call, and not a particularly cheap way to get a speaker. However, it is a good addition to have.
When it comes to charging, you have the latest USB-C for the fastest recharge of that 2200 mAh battery. This 2.5-hour charge offers a 24-hour day of use, says B & O. Actually, if you do not have it flying at full volume, then you'll easily get two days of it. More so if you turn off Bluetooth and use the 3.5mm direct audio port to connect your music.
Related: B & O Beoplay H9i review
B & O Beoplay A1 – Performance
The sound quality is where the Beoplay A1 really shines in comparison to the rival Bluetooth speakers. All this talk about design and features is fine, but just by listening to the Beoplay A1 B & O in action, you can really appreciate how impressive this speaker is.
The bass is excellent, it offers much more depth than you expect from a unit of this size. This is balanced by a mid-foot range that offers a lot of clarity. Even the highs are well defined to offer smoothness.
Do not try too hard, but that bass is super rich: rich at 60Hz to be precise. This is thanks to an aluminum core subwoofer, powerful magnetic system and amplifiers, says B & O. It is a combination of two class D amplifiers of 30W for woofer and tweeter, plus two of 140W of maximum power.
The audio is strong, but when you get to that higher end you will not have to worry about the distortion; everything remains solid and balanced. This is definitely a speaker ready for the party at home. The Beoplay A1 also extends the sound enough to remain very clear at lower volumes as well.
If I had to make a hole in the quality of the sound, which is hard to do, then it would be that everything can sound a touch. submitted compared, for example, with the EU Roll 2, but that lacks serious. In general, it will depend on the sound signature you prefer.
When listening to the Beoplay A1, you will notice that the price of 249 pounds, which would otherwise be quite expensive, is quite reasonable for the quality you receive.
Related: Best multiroom speakers 2018
Why buy the Beoplay A1 B & O?
If you're looking for a portable speaker that does not compromise on sound quality, spending £ 249 on the B & O Beoplay A1 will make you not regret it.
Either to start a party, use it outdoors in the garden for a barbecue, or to work or relax, this speaker will satisfy all types of music and situations.
For the money, you're also getting a high-quality design and exceptional construction, in addition to constantly updated application support with new features that are added regularly.
The only drawback is the lack of waterproofing, but with that leather tie to hang the unit out of harm's way, even that is not much of a negative.
This is one of the best sounding and most attractive Bluetooth speakers that exist at the moment. The price may seem high, but when you hear this gem, you will throw your money there to get one.
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