Let’s take a look at the photos of the delivery kit and other details first. Well, be sure to add the device to the Bang & Olufsen app: if it does not see the gadget at close range, then this should make you suspicious of originality.
The great man who created A1 is Cecilia Manz, who has worked with B&O for many years, and fans of the brand are probably well acquainted with her work. First, here’s to your interview with Cecilia where she talks about the process of working on A1. And here is great stuff about speaker system design P6.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P6 Audio System Overview
I’ve been familiar with A1 for a long time, but the thing still evokes a storm of emotions. The speaker can be picked up from the table by the leather strap or by slipping your fingers under the bottom.
I really like the combination of perforated aluminum and plastic, pleasant to the touch – the buttons are not touch-sensitive, they are pressed, you quickly get used to their location. In the second version of A1, support for a voice assistant appeared. This is Alexa – in our country, of course, there is no sense. Anyway, I strongly doubt the usefulness of such supplements.
For charging, USB Type-C is used. The declared operating time is about 18 hours, while it has not yet worked until it is completely discharged. Moreover, I use it as a speakerphone in the office, and for this time, I connect it to the power supply – just an old habit. You ask if this makes any sense. Well, when we have “Zoom” and three colleagues are sitting next to us, the use of A1 is quite justified.
There is another question here: why bother with a portable speaker system in 2021? Is there a place for her? On the one hand, any use case now seems a little far-fetched. On the other hand, I know people for whom the P6 or A1 is the main home audio device. Throw in a backpack and connect a smartphone to ride a bike with sound – you can. Pulling out onto the balcony and sitting with a glass of cold alcohol is great. Exercising on horizontal bars, using in training, taking with you on a hike is also great.
Moreover, now A1 is completely protected from water. It is allowed to be immersed in water for half an hour – I do not recommend doing this, but the system will survive a fall into the pool. Well, now you can safely keep nearby while splashing around in the bathroom.
There are five different versions of the second generation A1 available. Silver, like mine, is a classic. There are also bright green, pink, gold, and other versions.
Experience has shown that silver aluminum is good for travel. Of course, there will be scratches and maybe even dents, but Cecilia has said this many times in interviews: the device lives with you, and every scratch is a memory. I completely agree with this. I do not understand those who wrap Rimowa aluminum suitcases in cloth or foil. In stickers, they have to be crumpled, abrasions – a combat thing with a difficult but interesting fate.
The indicator light on the top is still there – as always with B&O. In a book on indicator lights (I have been writing it for over ten years), I will separately commend the company’s engineers and designers for their excellent work in this direction.
An interesting feature has appeared: you can combine two speakers into a stereo pair. All this happens through the Bang & Olufsen app (but you will definitely need the A1 second generation!). I have already spoken about this above. The program must ALWAYS be set.
There is a software update, nice equalizer settings, and turning on / off the voice assistant. It’s just a pity that for some devices, for example, for the Level system, a very convenient Internet radio appears in the program, but for other gadgets, it is not. This is how it looks:
The A1 does not have dedicated station selection buttons, and there is no Wi-Fi either, but I would love to transmit sound via Bluetooth. You say – so open any program. But I will object to you: B&O specialists managed to create an excellent utility, and why not give it to users of all devices of the brand?
By the way, the Level review will be published on the website soon. In general, I want to review the most interesting things about vacation and suburban life before the beginning of summer: this is A1 and Level as well.
In the office with men, they thoughtfully listened to a variety of music. Firstly, the speaker has a perfectly realized sound around it – a sound wave spreads out elegantly around it, and there is no feeling of a small device. Second, you get exactly what you expect. Old records of Johnny Cash enchant with a concert atmosphere in the old hall, modern electronics are clear, verified, and a lot of bass. This is what the A1 wins over. This kind of gadget gives in to difficult things. You can even listen to classics here – why not? Turn it up. You can’t wait for wheezing and artifacts.
Acoustically, the second-generation A1 is no different from the first-generation speaker: a healthy low-frequency driver is paired with a tweeter. In fact, the entire internal volume of the speaker is occupied by emitters and a little electronics, including a class D amplifier. Here, you can watch the video:
Conclusion: Should you buy Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen2 Speaker?
In retail, the system costs about €250. It seems to me that the best-selling column will remain so. It’s just that all manufacturers of portable acoustics have left the luxury segment, JBL does not strive to play expensive things, but the middle class traditionally loves bang & Olufsen. As they say, the choice is obvious because there is not much of it.
Traditionally, A1 is bought at the airport, when a glass of sparkling wine pleasantly relaxes, and money burns a thigh, or before leaving to the country, or simply on a whim. And the magic of B&O works very simply: more often during the day, I just look at the A1 and get aesthetic pleasure, and when I turn it on, it’s generally a thrill.
By the way, the combination of IDAGIO and A1 has shown itself perfectly. I advise you to use it!
It was joyful to write again about a wonderful device.