Review: The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 speaker will blow your mind

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Let Beoplay A1 blow your mind

By Paisal Chuenprasaeng

As a speaker, this portable unit from Bang and Olufsen is rather outspoken

The lovely little dome of the Beoplay A1 portable Bluetooth speaker churns out some pretty heavy sound. Bang and Olufsen built this 600-gram, 4.8×13.3-centimetre powerhouse for your home or, if you prefer, your backpack.

It’s certainly compact, but it has a pair of 30-watt Class D amplifiers threatening to bring the ceiling down.

The rounded aluminium grill as lovely as it is protective, especially when coupled with the double-moulded polymer base.

The speaker is splash and dust-resistant and designed to withstand tumbles and scrapes without damage to the delicate drivers and other electronics inside. You can take it hiking with peace of mind.

The built-in rechargeable battery can last up to 24 hours straight when set to a moderate level, and if you do run low, quick charging is possible via a USB Type-C port.

The built-in microphone can be used as a speakerphone or in conference calls.

Beoplay A1

Because of the rim around the speaker base, the microphone has 360-degree uniform speech sensitivity, which makes voice recognition at the other end of a phone call much easier.

You can also use the microphone for Apple Siri and Google Now voice commands with the simple press of a button. You get ambient True360 sound, beautifully dispersed from wherever the unit’s sitting.

Did I mention this thing is powerful? I tested it in all sorts of places around the room and there were no dropoffs anywhere in the sound or sound quality. Bass, highs and mid ranges were identical in every spot.

Slap on some bass-heavy rock and you’re guaranteed hours of enjoyment, and possibly a headache eventually. The details in the instrumentation come across crisp and clear.

Get the Beoplay app on your smartphone and it becomes a remote for adjusting the sound. With the app you can also hit “Add device” and you’ll be shown what other gadgets are available for linking. It will even show you how to pair up two A1 units for proper stereo.

The app controls include four equaliser settings – Lounge, Party, Podcast and Favourite – and five types of music – warm, excited, relaxed, bright or “in the middle”. The app keeps an eye on battery level too.

The speaker buttons are blended into the base – Power, Volume, Bluetooth, Microphone and Music – alongside a battery-charge indicator that flashes orange during charging and stays green when you’re topped up.

Press and hold the Bluetooth button for two seconds to connect other devices.

Use the Music button to reconnect to the last device linked up and to play tunes from the previous source.

There’s also a speakerphone button, which is handy for making calls on the speaker. Press it briefly to accept an incoming call and keep it pressed to reject a call or hang up.

Connected with a USB cable, the A1 makes a great speaker for your desktop or notebook computer.

Sold in Thailand by RTB Technology, the Beoplay A1 comes in Natural (silver), Deep Red, Moss Green or Black for Bt10,500.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Key Specs

– Power: 2x30W Class D for woofer and tweeter

– Connectivity: One 3.5mm minijack, one USBC for charging up to 3A

– Microphone: One electret-type, omni-directional, supports Apple Siri and Google Now voice commands

– Bluetooth: 4.2, ADK 4.0

– Battery: Up to 24 hours’ playtime at moderate listening level. Builtin, rechargeable, 7,2V, 2200mAh, LiIon

– Dimensions: 4.8×13.3cm

– Weight: 0.6kg

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