|Look & Feel|
|Comes with Alexa|
|Bang & Olufsen App|
|Mic Test Results|
|Price to Value|
Hey, guys. Today, we're going to review the Bang & Olufsen A1 2nd Generation Bluetooth Speaker. This is an upgrade from the original A1 and has some new features, which we'll discuss today. But this is a pretty expensive Bluetooth speaker, as the brand name might suggest. What we're going to find out today, after checking out the sound, the mic, the feature, everything, I'm going to do some tests on it as well, and we're going to find out whether this is actually worth the money or not. Let's go check it out.
The price of the Bang & Olufsen A1 is about $250 (prices may change). However, you might find it a little cheaper on Amazon. By the way, I have some affiliate links in the description, which will help me support this channel.
Let's start with the look and feel. That's a place where Bang & Olufsen really shine, and this thing doesn't disappoint. The A1 actually looks really nice. Aesthetically, I love it. It has this nice aluminum grille, which screams premium, and I actually like the look of it. Also, the aluminum grille has a small light as one of the dots, which tells you whether it's on or if the battery's been charged, etc. It looks pretty cool. It comes in a bunch of colors, and I chose a gray version, which is kind of silver, actually. It also has this really nice leather strap that is also waterproof, which I think is pretty cool. The bottom is rubber, which helps it not to slip when you put it somewhere, and it has quite a good grip.
Also, the Bang & Olufsen A1 has these buttons on it, the power, Bluetooth, and the mic button on the sides. The other side has the play button and the volume buttons. The press, although it's not touch, you have to press it in, is pretty easy and quite effective. It's nice and tactile. It doesn't feel too hard or too soft, so it's a plus over there. At the back, there's a USB-C port, which is also good. Thank God, it doesn't have a micro USB. Also, the weight is good. This is heavier than my original JBL Flip 3, which I have. It weighs around 558 grams, but it's much lighter than a JBL Charge 5, which is probably something people would compare this with. Overall, the look and feel gets a solid 9 out of 10 from me.
Now on to features. The Bang & Olufsen A1 is IP67 certified, which is a great big upgrade from its predecessor. Basically, this is dustproof and waterproof, and not just waterproof, IP67 rating means that this can be submerged into water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. That's pretty cool. You won't have to worry about this falling into the pool or the bathtub. Actually, the pool, if it's deeper, you might have to worry about that. But overall, that's a fantastic feature.
The next feature is Bluetooth 5.1, which is also an upgrade. Also, because of that, this drains less battery. It's pairing and connectivity is very solid, very stable, and you can also attach another 2nd Gen B&O A1 to this and make it into a stereo experience, so that's pretty cool.
Also, the Bang & Olufsen A1 comes with Alexa built in. This is kind of a substitute for an Alexa Echo Dot. However, there is one thing this doesn't do. It doesn't do standalone. Basically, you need to connect this with your phone app, your Alexa app. Then it will work. You can wake it up by saying, hey, Alexa. It'll work just like that, which is really cool. If you don't have the phone app attached to this, it won't work like that, so that's something you should know.
The Bang & Olufsen A1 also has an app of its own, the Bang & Olufsen app, which you can download on your phone. But to be honest, I wasn't that impressed with it. I mean, you can control the volume and sound profiles, but it doesn't give you an equalizer, so you can't really customize the bass and the treble to your own exact liking. However, the sound profiles are there, and some people may like that. It might make it more bright or more bass-heavy. At least, it does have an app, so I'll give it some points there.
Also, probably one of my favorite features is that the Bang & Olufsen A1 has multipoint connection, meaning you can pair this to two devices at the same time. Whether it's your phone or your laptop, you can just connect this to both the devices and just switch between them at your own convenience. So as for the features, I'm going to have to give this a 9 out of 10 as well, because the features are quite solid, and I think they do justice to this device.
As for the battery, the Bang & Olufsen A1 has a pretty good battery. If you're listening to it on medium volume, it's going to give you around 18 hours of playback time, and if you lower that just a bit, it'll go to like 24 hours, which is great. If you listen to this on low volume, this will touch 40 hours and above. They rate it to 43 hours on low volumes, so that's a pretty good battery time. But, if you listen to this on maximum volume, you'll get only 3 hours. That's the thing with most Bluetooth speakers. The max volume makes a huge difference, so 3 hours on max, 18 hours on medium, and about 43 hours on low. Charging time is around 2.5 to 3 hours on this device. So for the battery, I'm going to give this an 8.5 out of 10.
Now let's talk about the mic, because the Bang & Olufsen A1 actually has pretty good mics. They actually have three mics in it now, while the old version had only one. What I'm going to do is do a small mic test quickly, so you can actually hear it for yourself. I'll also give you my opinion on how it sounds to me in person. Also, I'm going to compare this to the JBL Flip 3. Although this is old, it'll give you a good reference point, so you'll know how it sounds compared to something else.
Listen to the test from 5:51 to 6:36.
Okay, so we heard the mic. Now, I think the mic is really good. When I'm close to it, it sounds excellent. But even when I'm far off like 6 or 7 feet away and I'm walking around the room, as you would in a conference call or a meeting, this sounds really good even with background noise, because I tested all of this. Compared to the JBL, I think the Bang & Olufsen A1 blows this out of the water. Although, it might not be fair because this is pretty old, and this is not known for its good mic. The mic gets a solid 9 out of 10 for me.
Let's talk about the sound quality, but before I talk about it, let's quickly have a listen. I'm going to compare the Bang & Olufsen A1 to the JBL's, my iPhone, and my MacBook, just so you have a good reference, because on YouTube it's going to be very difficult. I'll also give you my opinion how it sounds in person.
Listen to the test from 7:23 to 8:01.
Okay, so we had a listen. In my opinion, the Bang & Olufsen A1 has pretty good sound quality. Its bass is really good and punchy. Its mids and highs are also really good. The good thing is, it has great clarity. When you compare it to something else like the JBL's, you could tell that this was much clearer, especially in the mids and the highs. The bass was pretty solid. I really liked it. In loudness, I would say maybe the JBLs were tad bit louder. But honestly, what's the point when the clarity is not there? I really like the sound signature of this way better. The instrument separation was also really good.
You heard it compared to my iPhone and my MacBook as well, so maybe you could tell through YouTube how it sounds to you. But in person, I definitely like the sound quality of the Bang & Olufsen A1 2nd Gen. However, is the sound quality worth the $250 (prices may change)? I wouldn't say so. You could get something that sounds just as good, maybe even a little better, for quite a bit cheaper, maybe $150. For example, the JBL Charge 5. To be honest, I haven't heard it myself, but I'm sure that matches this. That rivals this in sound quality pretty well. Maybe if I get my hands on it, I'll do a comparison. Having said that, overall, it was clear and for what it is, I'm going to give it an 8 out of 10 for sound quality.
Okay, so the last category is price to value score. We all know that this is Bang & Olufsen. This comes with a special prestige attached to it, a promise of quality because this is expensive. You can get stuff that is much cheaper than this such as a JBL Charge 5 with the same amount of features, sound quality, maybe even some better stuff. I'm not sure about that, but this is B&O. The price of value, I'm going to judge taking that into consideration as well. Having said that, I'm still not going to give the Bang & Olufsen A1 a very high score because it's $250. I would have given this a 5 out of 10, but I'm going to give it a 6 out of 10 just because this is B&O, and people who buy this know that. They're not going to buy a JBL. They're not going to buy an Anker. They want that brand name or that promise attached to it.
As for the conclusion, the Bang & Olufsen A1 gets a solid 49.5 out of 60, which is a pretty good score. I wasn't expecting this to get such a good score. I thought it'd be much lower because I knew this was overpriced. But, I think it's pretty impressive. It's a great product if you can afford it and if you want Bang & Olufsen. Otherwise, go for something else. Personally, I would probably buy a JBL Charge 5 or something equivalent to that because I'm a value-for-money type of guy, and I like the best bang for the buck. That's the overall score, and I think it did pretty well. If you like it, if you want to buy it, there's a link in the description here. It's an affiliate link. It'll help me support this channel. I hope you liked this video. If you did, please like it, subscribe, and definitely stick around for our next video. Until then, take care. Bye.
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