One of the well-known names in audio is Bang and Olufson. one that is well-known and typically linked to a specific level of renown and high caliber. When the business made the decision to enter the portable Bluetooth speaker market and compete, I was really pleased.
In the past, people have typically associated portable Bluetooth speakers with inexpensive Chinese models or whatever is on sale at Best Buy. It is widely acknowledged that you shouldn’t have any expectations of sound quality when purchasing something this little. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 aims to challenge preconceived notions about what a portable wireless speaker is capable of.
The A1 is a $250 quality portable Bluetooth speaker by all standards and is available now. That is far more expensive than the competition, which includes companies like Ultimate Ears and their boom, flip, and roll speakers. Is it worth it, then? Does the Beoplay A1 sound good enough to warrant paying more than $2500 on a portable speaker? That is the question that needs to be answered first.
REVIEW – THE DESIGN IS SMALL, LIGHT, AND AMAZINGLY ATTRACTIVE
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Review of the Bang & Olusfesn A1
In my opinion, the Beoplay A1 is the market’s most attractive portable speaker. It does a fairly good job of distinguishing itself from the rather uninteresting appearing competition since everything about it exudes class. It has a disc-like shape with a somewhat UFO-like top that is slightly bent but flat on the bottom. The outside housing is entirely constructed of aluminum, which is available in three various colors (Mint, Silver, and Black) and all of which have a refined, well-executed appearance.
The speaker wouldn’t appear out of place if you moved it around your house, but because of its sturdy construction, you can be sure that it will withstand the rigors of travel, camping, and trekking. It weighs considerably under 2 pounds and is sufficiently tiny and sturdy (7.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches).
The exterior is uncluttered, but there are a few touch-sensitive playback power and volume controls, as well as a microphone for conference calls. Last but not least, you receive a cute little leather lanyard that is more than just a novelty item. We used it to hang the speakers all over the place when we were out and about, even though doing so somewhat lessens the bass effect.
NOT LIKE MOST OTHER PORTABLE SPEAKERS, THE SOUND QUALITY
The quality of the sound is absolutely astonishing for something so small. When attempting to strike a balance between portability and sound quality, there will always be a trade-off. In general, something will sound worse the smaller it becomes. The main issue appears to be that the bass drops greatly when you go smaller. People increase the volume to make up for the reduced bass, but this causes distortion. When attempting to listen, distortion and bass can both be very distracting. It is much simpler to overlook muddiness or a lack of detail than a total loss of sound quality.
Thankfully, the Beoplay A1 delivered strong, snappy bass during our review that matched speakers several times its size. It can accomplish this simultaneously with minimal to no distortion, be loud enough to fill large rooms, and make a terrific outdoor party speaker.
Contrary to what you typically find with cheap speakers, the treble is relaxed and very smooth. We never experienced any uncomfortable surges brought on by the highs popping out. The A1 offers a nice amount of detail, though, and if you’re into jazz and classical music, it still works well for you despite its smoothness.
The midpoint is perfect. It is adaptable to many genres since it is smooth and clear, free of spikes in the upper mids, and has a pleasant shading of warmth. The Beoplay A1 is perfect for parties since it produces an engaging sound that is inviting rather than an all-out harsh clarity due to its luscious midrange. The Minirigs speaker we examined last month is the only speaker that comes close to matching the separation between instruments.
As we’ve already established, the Bang & Olufsen A1 excels most in the low end. This is one of the best attempts yet at achieving the ideal blend of size, loudness, clarity, and impact in the low end. I still believe the Minirigs has slightly stronger bass, but this is really picking at straws given how much better both products are than everything else on the market. It is hefty enough to sound fantastic in open spaces like parks or beaches and is excellent for playing hip-hop and electronic music. But in a well large room, it truly shines. The experience is improved much more if you place the B&O speaker against a wall or in a corner. It never feels overpowering and muddy, despite the very slight low end creep into the mids. It has the perfect timbre.
MINIRIG BLUETOOTH SPEAKER VS. BANG & OLUFSEN BEOPLAY A1
The small rigs are among the greatest portable Bluetooth speakers currently available, in our opinion. There are several reasons to choose it, including its nearly durable build, excellent battery life, and high-quality sound. I would have chosen the B&O A1 over any other product on the market had we not heard the B&O A1. It’s difficult to decide between the A1 and the Minirigs because each of them do a variety of tasks exceptionally effectively. The A1 is more expensive than the other, but it also has a nicer appearance. The Minirigs will be more advantageous because to their construction quality and availability in areas outside of the UK. In contrast to the A1’s intended bi-directional arrangement, sound output from the Minirigs is mono only. The A1 is meant to be used independently, however the Minirigs may be daisy-chained with the sub and another Minirigs speaker for an additional fee to produce an amazing sounding 2.1 small HiFi setup.
Considering the size, they both sound great. The styling and price will ultimately be the key dividing factors. I’d be pleased to accept either one, thank you. My main concern is the sound, and both are top-notch products in incredibly small containers. The Minirig, on the other hand, is more affordable, better made, and extensible into a full 2.1 system with a powerful sonic presence. The B&O A1 has a standard power connector via the USB-c connector in contrast to the Minirigs cable’s exclusive connector. In contrast to the Minirigs, it also boasts a 360-degree sound projection.
It’s difficult to choose between the two, and your final decision will depend on your personal standards for a high-quality portable speaker. Though rest assured that both of these devices are at the top of their respective categories.
IN SUMMARY – A SUPERB HIGH-END PORTABLE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER
The B&O A1 is still very much at the top of the heap even though it does face some competition for the title of finest portable Bluetooth speaker. The build and sound quality make it impossible to compare with the countless Chinese speakers in this size category, despite the fact that it costs a lot of money to listen to audio on the go.
We still would have loved to see some sort of waterproofing, probably WiFi, and maybe even we well in future iterations. For now, though, if you enjoy spending time outside but require a higher caliber of audio, the Beoplay A1 is one of the best-looking and sounding wireless speakers.