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May 28, 2016

B&O Play Beoplay A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker review – CNET

by John_A

The Good The dome-shaped, aluminum-clad Beoplay A1 speaker looks sleek, delivers relatively high-quality sound for its very compact size, has excellent battery life and works well as a speakerphone. A leather carrying strap allows you to hang the speaker from a hook, loop or branch.

The Bad It’s fairly pricey and heats up a little when played at high volumes for long periods. Also, no protective carrying pouch or case is included.

The Bottom Line The Beoplay’s strong design, sound and batter life make it a worthy premium mini Bluetooth speaker contender.

Credit B&O Play for creating a Bluetooth speaker that doesn’t look like anything out there already. The new dome-shaped Beoplay A1 is not only the smallest wireless speaker from the Danish company, but also the most affordable at $249, £199 in the UK and AU$379 in Australia.

Designed by well-known Danish furniture designer Cecile Manz, the aluminum-clad A1 is clearly meant to take on Bose’s popular SoundLink Mini II wireless speaker, and it’s one of the best-sounding mini Bluetooth speakers I’ve heard, though it better be considering its elevated price point.

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The Beoplay A1 charges via USB-C and has an audio input.


Sarah Tew/CNET

While it looks sleek and has no protruding buttons B&O Play says it’s “robust enough to handle the bumps and scrapes of everyday use.” It comes with a leather carrying strap, though no protective carrying pouch, which is too bad.

The speaker has two drivers — a 3.5-inch mid cone woofer and a 3/4-inch tweeter. It manages to play very loud for its size, delivers a surprising amount of bass and is very strong in the midrange where vocals live. That said, like all these small speakers, it does have its limitations, and has a harder time resolving more complicated tracks (a lot of instruments playing at the same time) at higher volumes. That said, it will fill a small room with sound and would work well in a kitchen, bathroom, home office or dorm room.

Beoplay A1 (pictures)
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As its shape implies, it also doubles as a speakerphone and it’s a good one. The other plus is the strong battery life — it’s rated at 24 hours thanks to a 2,200mAh internal rechargeable battery and an efficient adaptive power management system. It’s worth noting that it charges with a USB-C cable, not a standard Micro-USB cable.

Here are the A1’s key specs:

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