Bang & Olufsen invites Alexa to join Bluetooth speaker party
Luxury hi-fi brand Bang & Olufsen has launched its second generation A1 Bluetooth speaker, which is a little slimmer than the 2016 original, is now waterproof, and comes with the Alexa voice-assistant built in. Kind of.
The Beosound A1 features a three microphone array that allows you to chat with Alexa, but the speaker has Bluetooth wireless connectivity only so you'll need to pair the A1 with a smartphone that can connect to Alexa over mobile Wi-Fi (or to your router if you're at home).
Within the IP67 water- and dust-proof housing, that measures 46 mm high and has a diameter of 133 mm (1.8 x 5.2 in) and weighs 558 g (19.6 oz), you'll find a 3.5-inch woofer and a 0.75-in tweeter which are each driven by a 30-W Class D amplifier for the promise of all-around sound across the 55 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range.
There's Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX and AAC codec support, and the A1 is capable of wireless stereo pairing between two 2nd gen units. Easy connectivity is on offer courtesy of Apple Fast Pair, Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair. A USB-C port is also present and correct for charging, speakerphone and cabled steaming.
Elsewhere, a 3,000-mAh battery promises up to 18 hours of continuous play at "normal" listening volume, and volume and playback can be controlled on the device, though EQ can be adjusted via the B&O mobile app.
The second generation Beosound A1 is available in black or gray for US$250.
Product page: A1