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Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Apr 27, 2021 at 10:02 am
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 Picture
6.5
Music
5.8
Videos/Movies
7.7
Podcasts
9.1
Voice Assistant
6.7
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a small, lightweight speaker that supports Alexa. It has a very sturdy build, and even comes with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It also has a carrying strap, letting you attach it to your bag so you can listen to music when you're on the go. It has a balanced mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments are reproduced accurately, but it struggles to produce low-bass, like many small speakers. Thankfully, its 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and EQ presets available in its companion app allow you to tweak its sound profile to your liking. Unfortunately, its battery life is very short, offering less than five hours of continuous playback on a single charge, but overall it's a suitable option if you want a portable speaker that has fantastic voice assistant support.

Our Verdict

6.5 Music

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen is okay for music. It has a balanced mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, its treble range is underemphasized, so the higher frequencies of these instruments may sound dark and veiled. Also, it struggles to produce low-bass. Thankfully, there's a 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and five EQ presets in its companion app that let you customize its sound profile to your liking. Although it doesn't get very loud, it has amazing directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, resulting in an open and spacious soundstage.

Pros
  • EQ presets available in the companion app.
  • Wide and spacious soundstage.
Cons
  • Struggles to produce low-bass.
  • Has to downmix stereo content into mono.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
5.8 Videos/Movies

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen is sub-par for watching videos and movies. It has amazing directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, resulting in a wide and spacious soundstage. However, it doesn't get very loud, and it struggles to produce low bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed movie scenes. Thankfully, its mid-range is well-balanced, so dialogue sounds clear and present in the mix, though sibilants like S and T sounds may seem dark or veiled. It has low Bluetooth latency with iOS devices but high latency with Android devices, so it may not be suitable for watching videos over this connection. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your results may vary.

Pros
  • EQ presets available in the companion app.
Cons
  • Struggles to produce low-bass.
  • Has to downmix stereo content into mono.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
7.7 Podcasts

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen is good for podcasts. It has a balanced mid-range, so dialogue is reproduced clearly and accurately, though higher frequencies may sound dark. It supports multi-device pairing over Bluetooth, so you can frequently switch your audio source between your phone and laptop with no problem. You can take it with you on the go since it's very small and lightweight, but its battery lasts less than five hours. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has incredible directivity, resulting in an even sound from all angles.

Pros
  • EQ presets available in the companion app.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Has to downmix stereo content into mono.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Short battery life.
9.1 Voice Assistant

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has incredible voice assistant support. It supports Alexa, though it relies on the Wi-Fi connection of your paired smartphone to work. It has no trouble understanding your voice, even if you're far away or in a noisy room. There's even a mic mute button if you want Alexa to stop listening to you.

Pros
  • Voice assistant has no trouble understanding your voice.
  • Mic mute button.
  • Alexa support.
Cons
  • Not Wi-Fi compatible.
6.7 Outdoors

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen is okay for outdoor use. It's small and very portable, and even has a carrying strap that lets you attach it to your bag. It has a sturdy build and comes with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Also, it has amazing directivity, so audio sounds clear from all angles. However, its battery life is very short, offering less than five hours of continuous use on a single charge. Also, it doesn't get very loud.

Pros
  • EQ presets available in the companion app.
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Wide and spacious soundstage.
Cons
  • Struggles to produce low-bass.
  • Has to downmix stereo content into mono.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Short battery life.
  • 6.5 Music
  • 5.8 Videos/Movies
  • 7.7 Podcasts
  • 9.1 Voice Assistant
  • 6.7 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jun 09, 2021: Updated the text to provide more information regarding the 'Beosonic' feature and EQ presets.
  2. Updated Jun 04, 2021: Updated results since this speaker doesn't support Party Mode.
  3. Updated Apr 27, 2021: Review published.
  4. Updated Apr 22, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Bang & Olufsen A1 is a small, circular speaker with a sleek design. It has a removable carrying strap, which lets you attach it to your bag. It also comes in several colors, so you can find a look that fits your style.

9.3
Design
Portability
Volume
46 inยณ (749 cmยณ)
Weight
1.1 lbs (0.5 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Bang & Olufsen A1 is incredibly portable. It's very small and lightweight, so you can easily carry it with one hand. It also has a built-in carrying strap, letting you attach it to your bag. Since it's battery-powered, you can use it outside without worrying about plugging it into an outlet.

8.3
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Impact Resistance
No
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has a great build quality. It's mostly aluminum, which feels solid, and it sits on a rubber base, so it doesn't slide around too much. It has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Its carrying strap is also advertised as waterproof, but the speaker isn't advertised to be impact resistant, so the manufacturer suggests trying not to drop the speaker.

8.9
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Good
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
Yes (Physical)
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
Yes
Additional Controls
Yes

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has amazing controls. There are several buttons located on each side of the speaker. These let you turn the speaker on/off, adjust the volume, and connect a device over Bluetooth. You can also press the Bluetooth button for five seconds to enter TWS mode, which lets you connect two speakers over Bluetooth to form a stereo pair. There's a play/pause button that you can press twice to skip a track or three times to go back. Also, you can short-press it to accept a call or long-press it to reject a call. There's a mic mute button, which you can press quickly to activate the voice assistant or hold for five seconds to mute the microphone.

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen also has two lights that indicate the current setting and the remaining battery life. The speaker makes a sound when it enters TWS mode and when a device connects over Bluetooth.

Design
In The Box

  • Beosound A1
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Sound
6.4
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.25
Std. Err.
3.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
62.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
13.5 kHz

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has a passable frequency response accuracy. Using the 'Optimal' EQ preset, it has a well-balanced mid-range that can produce vocals and lead instruments accurately. However, it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM or hip-hop. Also, its treble range is underemphasized, so sibilants like cymbals and S and T sounds may seem dull or veiled. Thankfully, there's a 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and EQ presets featured on its companion app, so you can adjust its sound profile to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
7.4
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
1.09 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has a decent soundstage. It has amazing directivity, so the soundstage is perceived as wide and spacious. However, unlike the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore, it has to downmix stereo content into mono, which doesn't sound as immersive.

5.8
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
84.2 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.33 dB

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has a middling dynamics performance. It doesn't get very loud, and there's quite a bit of compression present when you push it to max volume, especially in the bass range. As a result, it may not be very suitable for use in large, crowded rooms.

Active Features
3.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
4.6 hrs
Charge Time
4.9 hrs
Power Saving
No
Charging Port
USB-C

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has poor battery performance. Although it's advertised to last for eighteen hours on a charge, it lasted less than five hours in our tests. That said, battery performance can vary based on usage, so your real-world experience may vary.

10
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
Yes
Microphone Mute
Yes
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Excellent

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen has outstanding voice assistant capabilities. It supports Alexa, which you can activate with your voice, though it relies on your paired smartphone to work. It has no trouble understanding your voice, even if you're far away or in a noisy environment. There's also a mic mute button if you want Alexa to stop listening to you.

6.0
Active Features
App
App Name
Bang & Olufsen
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

Update 06/09/2021: We updated the text to provide more information regarding the 'Beosonic' feature and EQ presets.

Update 06/04/2021: We updated the results since this speaker doesn't support Party Mode.

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1's app, Bang & Olufsen, is good, and is compatible with iOS and Android devices. The app has five EQ presets you can choose from, which you can customize by moving a 'Sound Level Circle'. It also comes with a 'Beosonic' feature which is located next to the 'Favorite' preset, and you can use it to customize the speaker's sound to your liking, by moving around the feature's sound circle in order to make your audio sound brighter, warmer, more energetic, or more relaxed. Additionally, you can pair two Bang & Olufsen A1 2nd Gen speakers together to create a stereo pair. The app also lets you completely disable the voice assistant feature.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, but it's just for charging the speaker.

8.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Bluetooth iOS Latency
104 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
160 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 has impressive Bluetooth connectivity. It has supports multi-device pairing with up to two devices, and it has a remarkable Bluetooth range, so the speaker stays connected to your paired device even when it's far away. While its Bluetooth latency is low with iOS devices, it's high with Android devices, so it may not be suitable for watching videos over this connection. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen comes in five color variants: 'Black', 'Grey Mist', 'Green', 'Pink', and 'Gold', which isn't as widely available as the other colors. We tested the 'Black' variant, though we expect all variants to perform similarly in tests.

If you come across a variant not listed here, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Bang & Olufsen A1 is a small, portable speaker with a sturdy build and removable carrying strap. Like many small speakers, it doesn't get very loud and struggles to reproduce low-bass. However, it has EQ presets and a 'Beosonic' sound customization feature, which let you adjust its sound profile to your liking. Also, it's compatible with Alexa, and it can understand your voice commands easily, even if you're far away or in a noisy room. It's fairly suitable for outdoor use, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, but its battery doesn't last very long.

If you want to see more options, check out our recommendations for the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers, the best outdoor speakers, and the best Alexa speakers.

JBL Charge 5

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Bang & Olufsen has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. It's more customizable thanks to its EQ presets and 'Beosonic' sound customization feature. It also offers outstanding voice assistant support through your smartphone. That said, the JBL has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass out-of-the-box. It can also get louder with slightly less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volumes. Additionally, it has a much longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage and your experience may vary. 

Anker Soundcore Motion+

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 or the Anker Soundcore Motion+. The Bang & Olufsen offers outstanding voice assistant support. It uses Alexa through your smartphone and does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far and in noisy environments. It's also smaller, more portable, and better-built than the Anker. That said, the Anker can get louder, and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono which is more immersive. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage and your real-world experience may differ.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a slightly better speaker than the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2, though they have different strengths. The Bose offers a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, that can produce a more extended low-bass. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage and your experience may differ. That said, the Bang & Olufsen is more customizable thanks to its EQ presets and 'Beosonic' sound customization feature. It also uses Alexa from your smartphone, and does an excellent job of understanding you from far and in noisier environments. 

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore and the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 are similar speakers, though they have different strengths. The Gen 2 has a better-balanced sound profile and offers outstanding voice assistant support. However, the Explore has a wider-sounding soundstage and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which sounds more immersive. It also has a longer battery life, though this can depend on your usage habits, so your experience may vary.

Sonos Roam

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 and the Sonos Roam are similar speakers with different strengths. The Bang & Olufsen has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. Also, it has lower Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices, making it more suitable for watching movies and videos. That said, the Sonos offers a slightly better-balanced sounding sound profile, and offers fantastic voice assistant support with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in. It's also Wi-Fi compatible, and supports Apple AirPlay 2 which may please some Apple users.

Bose SoundLink Revolve II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a slightly better speaker than the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 overall. The Bose has a slightly better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage and your experience may vary. That said, the Bang & Olufsen is more customizable thanks to its EQ presets and 'Beosonic' sound customization feature. It also offers outstanding voice assistant support through your smartphone, and does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far away and in noisier settings.

Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod is a better speaker than the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2. The Apple gets louder, and it has a more extended low-bass and a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. It also supports Wi-Fi, while the Bang & Olufsen supports Bluetooth. That said, the Bang & Olufsen has a better build and a more portable design. There's also the 'Beosonic' feature and five EQ presets on its companion app to help you customize its sound.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better speaker than the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2, though they have many different strengths. The Ultimate Ears has a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it can play stereo content without downmixing it into mono. It gets louder, with less compression present at max volume. Also, its battery lasts for close to thirteen hours on a single charge, while the Bang & Olufsen lasts less than five hours. However, the B&O has a companion app with a 'Beosonic' sound customization feature and five EQ presets, so you can tweak its sound to your liking.

JBL FLIP 5

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a better speaker than the JBL FLIP 5. The Bang & Olufsen has a more solid build, and its directivity is better, so audio is more even from all angles. Also, it has a 'Beosonic' sound customization feature, EQ presets in its companion app, and supports Alexa, while the JBL doesn't support voice assistants. However, the JBL's battery lasts slightly longer.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. The Bang & Olufsen has Alexa support and understands voice commands very easily, while the Anker struggles to understand you. The Bang & Olufsen is better built, comes with a carrying strap, and is advertised as dustproof. However, the Anker's battery lasts longer, and it can play stereo content without downmixing it into mono.

JBL GO 3

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a better speaker than the JBL GO 3. Only the Bang & Olufsen has voice assistant support, and it gets slightly louder. Although both lack low-bass, the Bang & Olufsen has a more extended bass, so you feel more of the deep, rumbling bass in genres like EDM and hip-hop. Also, the Bang & Olufsen has better directivity, resulting in a more open soundstage. However, the JBL has less Bluetooth latency with Android devices, so it's more suitable for watching videos over this connection.

JBL Boombox 2

The JBL Boombox 2 is a better speaker for most uses than the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2. The JBL gets louder, has a longer battery life, and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It also has a more extended low-bass. That said, the Bang & Olufsen offers an incredible voice assistant performance. It also comes with some EQ presets and its 'Beosonic' sound customization feature to help you adjust its sound more to your liking.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 and the Bose SoundLink Revolve are very similarly performing speakers. Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose has longer battery life. However, the Bang & Olufsen has a better voice assistant performance. It also comes with some EQ presets and its 'Beosonic' sound customization feature to help you adjust its sound to your liking.

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