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Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 review

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 review

I remember first reading about Bang & Olufsen as a kid in some rich-folks magazine in mid-nineties and wondering why would anyone buy a stereo at those outrageous price points. 20 years later and I’m starting to understand, it’s time to have a closer look at one of B&O’s cheapest entry-level products. This is a Beoplay A1 review.

It’s called Beoplay A1 and the first thing you notice even before turning it on is that they definitely haven’t skimped on design, materials and build quality. Small portable bluetooth speakers is already quite a saturated niche, so is the Beoplay A1 just another speaker in a sea of round boxes or does the B&O legacy bring something unique to the table?

Design

There’s no denying – everyone of my friends who have seen it have liked the way it looks, surprisingly enough a lot of people say that the detail they like the most about it is the leather strap and adjustment clip, which is also very practical.
The bread and butter of B&O are expensive huge stereos that will sit on the shelf or floor their entire life, so the Beoplay is something quite different in that regard and designers have not missed this fact – the aluminium mesh top material was chosen with active use in mind and is said to age beautifully where dings, scoffs and scratches arguably make it look more interesting, not just beaten up and old.
This is what the folks at B&O have to say about it:
The rounded aluminium grill is both a thing of beauty and of strength, and together with the double-moulded polymer base, it forms a strong protective shell for the components within.
Splash and dust resistant, Beoplay A1 is designed to take its fair share of bumps and scrapes while still protecting the delicate drivers and electronics inside. The more it travels with you, the more stories it can tell.
The bottom is a rubberised material to keep from slipping and make it easy and comfortable to keep in the hand. Control buttons are also placed on the bottom part, look quite nice and minimalistic but do take some time getting used to and in my personal opinion could be clickier, but that’s just nitpicking.

Sound

Beoplay A1
Beoplay A1

Beoplay is one of the most expensive portable bluetooth speakers on the market now, but once you turn it on you probably understand why. Sound is clear even when cranked all the way up, bass is really solid for its small size and overall it just sounds good like you would expect from an expensive speaker. I’m not an audio expert myself so I also asked from some people who think they are. The verdict was quite unanimous saying that “this is probably the best sound you could squeeze out of the relatively small form factor”.

Competition

As I mentioned above, the competition is definitely there – there are dozens that sound and look average, but none of them actually compete to the Beoplay, so we won’t list them here. Our recommendation is to go for the Beoplay or not get anything at all. Paying 150 USD for an average looking and sounding speaker is just a waste of money.