Almost always, the second generation of a device will always be better than the original. It looks like this is the case with B&O’s Beosound A1 which is actually an updated version of the Beoplay A1. The portable Bluetooth speaker has a lot of improvements this time around, including support for Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant, but only if your smartphone is nearby. It is also slimmer and more portable than the original model so you can bring it everywhere, even when you’re in the shower.
The Beosound A1 has improved on its sound quality and even just as a Bluetooth speaker, it’s worth taking a look at, or rather, a listen. It now has a 3.5-inch woofer and a 0.75-inch dome tweeter along with two 30W amplifiers with DSP filtering and apt-X support so you know your music or podcasts or audio books would sound better. There are five customizable EQ presents in the Bang & Olufsen app. The battery life is now at 18 hours if you keep the volume at 70 decibels. But if you lower it to around 55dB, you can even extend power to 48 hours. You can charge it fully at around 2.75 hours.
One of the improvements here is that you can now summon Alexa through the triple microphone array. But since it doesn’t have WiFi or LTE connection, your connected smartphone has to be nearby. The phone itself has to be online as it will pass Alexa commands through the cloud. There’s an LED indicator to show you when it is active and listening to you. The microphone has a range of 16 feet and it will keep listening out for the wake word three hours after your music has ended.
You can bring the speaker to the pool or in the shower because it has IP67 water and dust resistance. The device has music playback controls on the sides of the speaker and it also has a button if you want to mute the microphones. If you want to use other digital assistants like Siri or Google Assistant, there is a button that will trigger it on your smartphone. It has Bluetooth multipoint so you can connect two devices simultaneously.
You can order the B&O Beosound A1 from the B&O website. Its price is $250 which is the same as the Beoplay A1 so if you’re thinking of upgrading, it shouldn’t be that much of a pain.