The Beoplay A1 has nothing to do with steak sauce and everything to do with taking big sound on the go. Beoplay is the style and signature sound of Bang & Olufsen built for portability, offering music on the go that doesn’t compromise on style or sound quality.
Like most Bang & Olufsen products the A1 takes design seriously. Always simple and modern B&O products include clean lines and a fashionable look. The A1 has a simple half dome shape using aluminum on the top providing a strong exterior and polished look.
The A1 can stand up to a beating as evident by the sizable dent in the review unit I received. It is also splash and dust resistant but it is not IP67 rated, so you’ll still want to keep an eye on it around water.
The polymer bottom base offers a good grip and feels soft to the touch. It picks up marks here and there but wipes clean without issue. The buttons are all recessed under the polymer and give the speaker a very clean and elegant look. As far as usability goes though, I found the buttons a little difficult to press sometimes.
Not only does the A1 provide Bluetooth connectivity but it also includes a 3.5mm jack making it easy to connect all of your devices. The only other port present is a USB-C port for charging the A1. I commend Bang & Olufsen for embracing this hardly new port at this point, while most other speaker makers are still using the micro USB port.
The Beoplay app found on the Play Store and App Store for iOS offers some great features. There is a built in equalizer, media controls, and volume control. It even offers the ability to pair another A1 speaker wirelessly for stereo sound. The app itself is beautiful and offers some handy features, my only issue is connecting with the app can be a little slow or take a couple of tries occasionally.
Another nuisance I always have with Beoplay speakers is they lower the max volume after being powered off. This can be seen as a “feature” to prevent the music from blasting the next time you turn it on. However, it is more of an annoyance for me because I’ve been using Bluetooth speakers for years and I always lower the volume before turning them off.
This is often made worse because I have to increase the max volume or the speaker is not as loud as I’d like. Thankfully the Beoplay A1 includes physical buttons for volume control and doesn’t require you to use the app to increase the max volume.
Bang and Olufsen has a great reputation when it comes to sound quality and the reputation is well deserved. Every product I’ve tried from them provides amazing sound. No matter how big or how small, I’m always impressed by the quality of the sound.
The Beoplay A1 again continues on with this tradition offering deep powerful bass while not being overwhelming and providing a wonderfully full warm sound. There is more than enough volume for use outdoors and if you need more you can always add a second one with the app.
In the beginning, I had a couple of issues with the connection being spotty. Once I tried a different location the speaker offered a much more solid connection. After trying a few more locations and having no issues as long as you stay within the 20-30ft. supported range. It seemed my initial trouble was with the location alone and not the speaker. Even indoors with a couple of walls between me and the speaker, the connection continued to be reliable.
Beoplay lists the battery life for the A1 speaker for up to 24 hours. While I cannot vouch that it will play for 24 hours straight, I can say that the A1 has fantastic battery life. With my moderate usage, I was able to listen to music for a little over two weeks before needing to charge it again. This was using the Beoplay A1 mostly outdoors near max volume, so I was very impressed.
With its minimal design and rugged build, the Beoplay A1 is perfect for carrying in your bag and enjoying premium sound anywhere. The $249 price tag makes it a little more expensive than other speakers in this same category for the size. For that price, you get a premium build and the high-quality signature sound from B&O in a convenient form factor. Most importantly you get a long lasting battery that will keep the music going after many other speakers have died. You can pick one up using the links below at either Amazon or Beoplay’s own site.Buy from Amazon Buy from Beoplay