Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 review: A Bluetooth speaker that packs a serious punch

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 review: A Bluetooth speaker that packs a serious punch

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The Beoplay A1 is made of top-tier materials and crafted with meticulous precision (Image: Bang & Olufsen • Express Newspapers)

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 review • £230 (as tested)

  • FOR – Powerful sound • Supremely portable • Splash resistant • Elegant design
  • AGAINST – Audio can occasionally sound slightly muffled at high volumes • Expensive

Design

Just like all Bang & Olufsen (B&O) products, the Beoplay A1 lives in an elegant fantasy-land where everything oozes its fair share of class.

It is made of top-tier materials and crafted with meticulous precision which makes this one of the more premium Bluetooth speakers on the market.

And of course, the A1 was brought to life with the help of an award winning designer. This time the audio powerhouse is crediting Cecilie Manz for her efforts in putting together the Bluetooth speaker’s elegant curves, functional aluminium grill and more.

Pictures don’t really do the A1 justice – we were expecting to unbox a speaker similar in size to the doughnut-shaped Google Home Mini. But in truth, the device is slightly larger and significantly heftier than Google’s connected home offering.

The Beoplay A1 feels rugged and built to last, mostly for its aluminium casing that covers over half the speaker. The rest of the hardware is made from polymer (plastic).

There’s nothing about the Beoplay A1 that draws attention (unless you pick it up in B&O’s flashy Peony pink colour of course) – you won’t find any searing flashes of papaya orange à la McLaren here. In fact, we’d go so far as to say the device does a superb job of blending into the background of your home, as long as you go for a colour that matches your furniture of course. B&O recently refreshed the A1 with a couple new colours for winter aptly titled Chestnut and Tan, too. So there’s now even more finishes to choose from.

On the top of the Beoplay A1 you’ll find its speaker vents. Interestingly, these aren’t only used to blast powerful sound out the top of the device, but they also pair with its polymer base to help seal it from dust and water, too.

On its plastic bottom you’ll find physical volume controls, and buttons to turn the device on, off or summon Apple’s Siri or the Google Assistant.

To top things off, B&O has also thrown in a handy leather strap so you can hang the Beoplay A1 around your home.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 review

B&O’s speaker gets incredibly loud and thumps out a ton of bass for its size (Image: Bang & Olufsen)

Performance

From the outside, the Beoplay A1 looks like a lightweight boxer with expertly groomed hair and a classy pair of shorts. But internally, the speaker packs a punch that can only be compared to the right hook of Deontay Wilder.

B&O’s speaker gets incredibly loud and thumps out a ton of bass for its size. The device can easily fill an entire room with sound and then some.

But does the Beoplay A1 sound any good? In a word, yes. Fantastic actually. The hardware comes fitted with a tweeter and full speaker that combine to deliver rich, powerful sound.

The A1 is certainly a treat for bass – it never goes overboard to the point where it overpowers the rest of the audio, but it does pack a noticeable punch.