Bang & Olufsen just announced an updated model of the Beosound A1 portable Bluetooth speaker that it released back in 2016. The 2nd-generation model looks almost identical to its predecessor — same disc shape, same leather strap — but the Danish audio company made a few notable upgrades. They gave it a new grille, made it a little bit thinner and lighter, boosted its battery life to 18 hours (when played at a reasonable volume), and improved its overall sound. All that will cost you a jaw-dropping $250.
The two biggest changes, however, are that the new Beosound A1 is now fully waterproof (IP67 rated), so you can take it to the beach or submerge it in water, and it has Alexa built-in. It uses your smartphone’s Wi-Fi or LTE connection to access Alexa, because the Beosound A1 can’t connect to the internet on its own, which means you can ask Alexa to play songs or answer queries anywhere your smartphone has connectivity.
But perhaps most notable is its $250 price tag compared to the wide variety of portable speakers out there that are both bigger (and therefore able to be louder) and a lot cheaper. I haven’t listened to the Beosound A1 so I can’t speak to its acoustic capabilities, but it’s hard to imagine it sounds that much better than Bluetooth mainstays like the UE Boom 3 ($150), UE MegaBoom 3 ($200) or Bose’s SoundLink Revolve ($200).
Then again, maybe you just really like the way it looks. The new Beosound A1 is available now in two colors: black and grey.
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