Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 Review

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Updated December 17, 2022
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Expert Score (From 3 Experts)
81/100

Customer Score (From 2404 Reviews)
4.5/5

Overview

First released in mid-2020, the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a top-end Bluetooth speaker available in five color streams. The speaker has an IP67 rating, so it is waterproof and dust-tight. It comes with a carrying strap that allows users to attach it to a bag and listen to music when outdoors, and weighing just 1.1 pounds, it is much more portable than some of the best speakers on the market.

The speaker’s battery lasts about 4.6 hours, and since it also has its companion app, users will be able to customize its EQ presets or even pair two A1 Gen 2 speakers for a stereo output. This is a feature that is also quite common among the highest-rated Bluetooth speakers in the industry. It can also take up voice commands after being integrated with the Alexa app, but it doesn’t work with Siri. If this sounds like a deal breaker that you wouldn’t want to deal with, then check out our Apple HomePod review.

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Works with voice assistants
  • Allows for EQ presets
  • Supports multi-device pairing

Reasons to Not

  • Short battery life
  • No WiFi connectivity
  • Low bass response

Market Context

Compared to the same brand’s similar models: There are many differences between the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 and the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore that may make customers swing either way. The former has a longer 9-hour battery life compared to the latter’s 4.6-hour playback time, but the latter has support for both voice assistant and speakerphone functionality, while the former does not. Go ahead and learn more about the latter in our Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore review.

Compared to other brand’s similar models: The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2’s sound output can be customized through EQ presets while that of the Bose SoundLink Revolve II cannot, but the Revolve II has a longer 9.5-hour battery life than the Gen 2’s 4.6-hour playback time. The Revolve II also supports Google Assistant and Siri, while the Gen 2 only works with Alexa. So, if you need a speaker to work with Alexa, then check out our Amazon Echo Studio review.

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 supports speakerphone functionality while the Sonos Roam does not, but the Sonos Roam supports WiFi connectivity while the Beosound Gen 2 does not. The Gen 2 also supports multi-device pairing, while the Sonos Roam does not.

Critic Consensus

Product specialists lauded the Bang & Olufsen A1 Gen 2 Bluetooth speaker for its small design, sturdy build quality, and durability. Experts from Rtings were delighted with how well-suited the A1 Gen 2 speaker was for outdoor use. They liked that it was compact and that it was both water and dust-resistant. They commended it for its accurate vocal reproduction when playing music and wide soundstage when playing movies. Reviewers from T3 also liked that they could pair the speaker to two devices at once and that it could act as a speakerphone.

Still, testers didn’t appreciate its bass response and low battery life of 4.6 hours. In contrast, the Bose Portable Smart Speaker lasts longer. (check it out in our Bose Portable Smart Speaker review). Testers also didn’t like its lack of WiFi compatibility, which is a discredit it shares with the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 – more on that in our Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 review.

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