Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd-gen is built for Bluetooth Alexa on the go

Latest portable speaker from Danish giant has Amazon's voice assistant baked in

B&O Beosound A1 has Alexa on the go
The Ambient is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Bang & Olufsen has revealed its latest voice-assistant packing speaker, although this time there’s somewhat of a twist. Calling itself the world’s first Bluetooth Alexa speaker, the 2nd-gen B&O Beosound A1 is on sale now.

It’s not actually true that it’s the first Bluetooth speaker with Alexa (Amazon Tap and Sonos Move to name a couple), it’s maybe the first genuinely portable Alexa speaker that doesn't have a Wi-Fi radio.

You will, of course, need to tether it to a data connection to get Amazon’s voice assistant working and you'd do that using your smartphone. It's a similar setup to what the likes of the Roav Viva uses to get Alexa in your car. It does, of course, mean that you'll always need your phone within Bluetooth range of the A1 to keep Alexa alive.

What you're getting for a $250 outlay with the Beosound A1 2nd Gen is a hockey-puck shaped portable Bluetooth speaker that packs in a pretty impressive audio punch; no less than you'd expect from the Danish high-end goliath.

Ambient verdict: Marshall Uxbridge Voice review

You'll get 360-degree sound from a 3.5-inch aluminum cone mid-woofer and a neodymium magnetic system; combined with a silk dome 0.75-inch dome tweeter and advanced DSP filtering courtesy of by a pair of 30-watt class D amplifiers. There's an aptX adaptive 5.1 codec for better Bluetooth quality too.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd-gen is built for Bluetooth Alexa on the go

Despite being 7% lighter than the original the battery life has been bumped up to 18 hours at a typical volume; or even as high as 48 hours at a moderate volume.

Obviously, your interpretation of 'typical' and 'moderate' may be vastly different to B&O's... but those numbers are up from 4 and 24 hours on the original A1 - so it's clear there's a boost in battery life whatever volume you listen at.

The A1 is also IP67 rated (it can survive 1m of water for 30 mins) - so it's somewhat pool and bath friendly as well.

Alexa is called upon from a newly designed 3-microphone array setup and Far Field tech is on board too.

As mentioned, the new Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 is available to buy now, priced at $250. It comes in either Black Anthracite or Grey Mist.

It's been a busy couple of months B&O; back in March it took the covers off the Beosound Balance; a high-end smart speaker.

Costing $2,250, the AirPlay 2 speaker, which also has the Google Assistant baked in, is first and foremost an audiophile-grade bookshelf speaker, with the smarts very much on board to complement the acoustics.

TAGGED    smart speakers    amazon alexa

Related stories

amazon alexa How to play podcasts on Alexa with your Amazon Echo
google home Google Home multi-room music setup explained: Nest, Chromecast and more
amazon alexa The best Alexa speakers: Smart speakers with Amazon's Alexa built-in
amazon alexa Samsung's 6th-gen Family Hub Fridge wants Alexa to chill out
amazon alexa Amazon Alexa v Google Assistant: Pitting the voices against each other
amazon alexa The best Alexa compatible devices to work with your smart home