Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 Review

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 Review

The Danish manufacturer Bang & Olufsen (B&O) produces consumer electronics in the high-price segment. The high-quality products now also include various Bluetooth speakers. Whether at first glance very small and inconspicuous B&O BeoPlay A1can meet the extremely high expectations, we want to clarify that in our test.

PROS:

  • High quality with powerful inner workings True360 sound technology
  • Excellent sound with rich bass and high volume

CONS:

  • Somewhat awkward to use
  • Not exactly cheap
  • The battery life of the manufacturer could not be reached in the test

Processing and impression of quality

The Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 has a small round housing and looks relatively inconspicuous and very light at first glance. However, during our test, when we picked up the small Bluetooth speaker for the first time, we realized that pictures could be completely deceptive – because it’s larger than the product pictures suggest.

As expected from the manufacturer, the compact speaker has excellent quality because its entire surface consists of high-quality, curved aluminum. The modern design looks like it was made from one piece and weighs an astonishingly high of around 600 grams. The lower area consists almost entirely of a rubber coating, protecting the speaker from moisture (splash water), dirt, and bumps.

The BeoPlay A1 has a strap made of high-quality leather with classic rustic tanning and can be hung almost anywhere, thanks to this. The elegant speaker is commercially available in seven colors and comes with a small information booklet and a USB charging cable.

The Features of Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1

The compact speaker is extremely robust, and thanks to the light aluminum dome, the device is reliably protected against dust and splash water. It can also be used outdoors and, because of its powerful battery, it can be used for up to 24 hours after just 2.5 hours of charging.

For example, the speaker can be attached to a backpack or a tent. Inside the 4.8 x 13.3-centimeter speaker, there is a tweeter and a woofer, and these ensure a peak power of 2 x 140 watts.

In addition to the USB port, there is also a 3.5-millimeter jack on the case, which can connect analog devices. Two loudspeakers can become a stereo pair with a simple key combination on the housing or via the app.

An integrated hands-free facility for mobile devices is also available. However, bang & Olufsen probably forego further features for the sake of the compact case.

The handling

Since the speaker’s case is very compact, the controls aren’t large either. We noticed this immediately in our test because the buttons on the side are a bit inconspicuous and small in size.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not set the controls a little further away from the case to be pressed more easily. In addition, there are no labels on the controls, but only small and difficult to read symbols. That’s why it took us a while to get used to handling the Bluetooth speaker.

Furthermore, the maximum battery life specification was not confirmed in our test. We reached about 10 hours at about 50 percent of the full volume – if the volume is increased further, the battery life drops relatively quickly to about 3 to 6 hours. The runtime specified by the manufacturer can, therefore, probably only be achieved under ideal conditions and at very low volume.

The connection via Bluetooth worked without any problems in our test, and the link remains completely stable. Even if the operation directly on the case is not exactly comfortable, the free app makes up for it. The application adapts to the color design of the Bluetooth box, is laid out, and offers many setting options. The sound of the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 can be adjusted and individually improved in the app according to the user’s wishes.

The sound quality

What the manufacturer Bang & Olufsen saved in terms of the simple operation makes up for the most important criterion in the test, the sound quality. Despite the small housing, the high-quality Bluetooth speaker turned out to be (like the BeoPlay P2) a real bass miracle and surprised us very positively during the test.

Of course, the rich and full basses come into their own best with suitable pieces of music. The loudspeaker impresses with a very powerful, rich, and deep bass reproduction for its compact housing size. This can be demonstrated well with Futures “Mask Off.” When this track is played on the A1, you quickly believe you are dealing with a more powerful speaker.

Despite the extremely strong bass, the mids sound extremely clear and of very high quality with every type of music. The bass is automatically reduced a bit from about 60 percent of the maximum possible volume.

The BeoPlay A1 illuminates the mids with dazzling and authentic colors and utmost meticulousness. The BeoPlay A1 excelled in every music genre with very high sound quality during our test.

The compact speaker from Bang & Olufsen is also convincing in the treble and resolves the details excellently in every type of music. Moreover, the tweeters give the highs a certain brilliance, making listening to acoustic music, such as jazz, a real pleasure.

The Bluetooth speaker delivers an amazingly balanced and well-rounded sound even at a higher level and very fine details in the highs (easily audible in Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”).

In our test, we noticed that the BeoPlay A1 works as a real bass booster when placed directly on the floor and in the corner of the room. If the loudspeaker is ideal, it plays lively, loud, and without distortion even at the maximum volume level. The compact speaker almost looks like a larger hi-fi system thanks to its excellent clarity.

Despite the small housing, the high-quality loudspeaker is also suitable for larger rooms and impresses with its high volume outdoors.

  • Treble: Very good
  • Middle: Very good
  • Depths: Very good

Conclusion on the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1

The BeoPlay A1 may not look like it at first glance, but it is the most powerful Bluetooth speaker from Bang & Olufsen. Buyers get a robust, high-quality, compact speaker with a great 360-degree surround sound for a high price.

Unfortunately, the buttons on the case that are relatively difficult to read and operate, as well as the very optimistically estimated battery life, clearly cloud the grade in the “Handling and Features” area – too bad.

However, the BeoPlay A1 makes up for its obvious disadvantages with the successful app, its long battery life, and its high sound quality. The high-quality inner workings ensure a more convincing sound with powerful and rich bass.

The Bluetooth speaker is also suitable for larger rooms in combination with the successful highs and mids and the high volume. A clear purchase recommendation for everyone willing to spend so much money for a high-quality and very portable Bluetooth speaker!

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 Review
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 Review

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