In 2016, we reviewed the portable speaker to control all portable speakers: Beoplay A1. After nearly half a decade, Bang & Olufsen’s follow-up to re-brand BeoSound A1 2nd Gen came with additional features for a better experience.
With water resistance now integrated into Amazon Alexa voice control and greater battery capacity, part of the feature set, does the BeoSound A1 Bluetooth speaker protect itself again as a King?
We’ve been using the original A1 for years so we’re very familiar with its setup. While the second-generation A1 looks alike at a sharp glance, some of the new features – some are visible, others are tucked behind the curtain.
First and foremost: both speakers are the same size. However, the second generation increased battery capacity by more than 25 percent, resulting in better longevity (that’s claiming 18 hours per charged battery). Additional batteries are obtained by installing some internal components.
The second generation A1 also adds IP67 certification, which means protection from dust and water. And we don’t mean splash resistance – you can submerge your new stethoscope in the water meter for 30 minutes. We suggest you don’t do this, but at least pool parties, and rainy walks, and these items shouldn’t be a hindrance to being outside of this speaker.
However, the 3.5mm headphone jack on the original A1 has been removed for 2G General, which means you can only use a Bluetooth connection. There’s still no Wi-Fi, Airplay, etc. – but with Amazon Alexa, Bang, and the Allufense app, it’s easy to connect to your favorite source content and stream.
There are also more complex changes elsewhere. The second generation A1 features an LED indicator light inside the metal grille hole, which is a better place for side placement over the original model.
The physical button includes triples: one side on / off, bluetooth, microphone; Volume up, volume down, play / pause on other device. Their experience with the A1 2nd Gen is more complex than the original, which makes it better to use.
Finally, the 2G General leather strap includes a “Bang & Olufense” branding longer than the original “B&O” circular logo.
As we said about the original: Bang & Olufsen is known for its design. The Danish company manages the line between the understandable and the external
Beosound A1 2nd Gen is higher than the previous one. Its round base, made of polymer, gives it practical flexibility against scratches, while its aluminum mesh surface – the smallest of all is the smallest of the original – gives it an industrial look, with a lesser sound quality paired with it.
The polymer and aluminum parts bond well, with the black appearance of this review model being more consistent than the A1’s original “natural” gray.
The USB Type-C port ensures fast charging of the onboard batteries, which can run smoothly for up to one day at a time – depending on the volume you’re listening to. We easily blow up the tunes at home during a long weekend and that distance is over.
There is an app connection with the Bang & Olufsen app, which can activate (de) Amazon Alexa (which requires a separate Alexa app) for smart voice control. Alexa works well with three tablet microphones, so no problem.
Stereo pairing can also be done inside the Bang & Olufsen app, but it is restricted to each generation, that is, you have to purchase two 2nd generation models to get a stereo pair; The original A1 cannot be paired with the following model – much to our dismay! Given the price of these headphones, it would be nice to correct them in a software patch.
The app also opens the door to flattening adjustments, with five equations and an easy-to-use individual custom option (allowing you to save custom presets with specific names). In theory, it’s great – and always with the Bluetooth speaker we want – in practice, too much of these presets will damage your listening experience; For example it pushed some bass towards distortion, and given the standard profile is cool, we usually leave these settings at default.
Although the A1 2nd Gen isn’t a cylindrical design for a full 360-degree sound, its mesh upper does a great job of diffusing sound with a wide angle. On the table top and almost even on this speaker it still looks excellent. If you are pointed directly, you will get a better impression when hung with leather wire.
Whichever way you place the second-generation A1 – that’s part of its beauty, because it’s so portable – the sound is simply great. It can be hung up and the warm bass is still impressive; With its base firmly fixed to a surface that has an additional low impact.
The internal structure has changed a little bit each time compared to the original model, with the specifications claiming the bass can go a little deeper (60Hz compared to 55Hz) – you’re unlikely to understand that difference. Keep it. It’s irrelevant anyway: You should all know that he feels big, rich, and deep.
It’s not just the bass – the BeoPlay A1 2nd Gen still balances well with its delivery. This applies to all styles of music, from ensuring mid-range vocals to high-tempo – without being too intense or resonant.
Whether you prefer pop, underground, rock, classic, or anything in between, the second generation Beyond A1 is perfect for what can be achieved on this scale. It’s like sonic acid.
If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker – and you can tolerate the lack of Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and 3.5mm ports – the Bang & Oleusen Beyond A1 Second Gen is second to none. With additional Alexa voice control and waterproofing, it’s better than the already great original.
There will be a asking price for the Beosound A1 2nd Gen Elephant Kit in the room. No, not a low-cost speaker. But yeah, it’s definitely a premium quality that delivers heavy sound from beautifully crafted packaging.