Bang & Olufsen introduces fully integrated Alexa into Bluetooth speaker

Bang & Olufsen has launched the Beosound A1, the second generation of its award-winning portable Bluetooth speaker, and the world’s first with fully integrated Alexa.

The Beosound A1 2nd Gen speaker has been redesigned with several performance and design improvements, making it more powerful and easier to use.

Christoffer Østergaard Poulsen, Bang & Olufsen’s VP of product management, said: “Our first A1 speaker was loved by customers for its combination of minimalistic design, portability, powerful sound and the built-in speakerphone that made it easy and fun to speak with friends and family. The new Beosound A1 builds on these characteristics and improves them in every way that matters.”

Improved design
Beosound A1 2nd Gen keeps the same elegant shape and unique contours, brought to life in collaboration with renowned Danish industrial designer, Cecilie Manz. However, the design has been refined and is slimmer than its predecessor, weighing seven percent less. A stylish leather strap ensures easy portability as well as making it versatile for hanging options. 

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The speaker’s buttons have also been redesigned and repositioned to improve usability. Now placed nearer to the strap for easier location, the buttons have bigger and clearer symbols to identify the use. The LED indicator has also been moved to the top of the speaker, significantly improving its visibility from any angle. 

In terms of improved performance, the Beosound A1 features two re-designed drivers for clearer 360-degree sound; a 3.5-in aluminium cone mid woofer using a powerful neodymium magnetic system, a silk dome ¾-in dome tweeter and advanced DSP filtering powered by a pair of 30-watt class D amplifiers. 

Improving the wireless listening experience, the speaker also now comes with aptX adaptive codec.

World-first Bluetooth only voice assistant
A key feature to the new Beosound A1 2nd Gen is the fully integrated Alexa voice assistant, the first Bluetooth speaker to do this. 

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Using Far Field technology, Alexa can be activated from up to five metres away, depending on the room conditions, and remain responsive for up to three hours after being turned off (this will be available as a software update in Q3 of 2020). 

Ensuring its reliability, Beosound A1 uses the latest Bluetooth codec 5.1 to give the best connectivity and accuracy available. 

Battery-life improvement
Introducing huge improvements to battery life, the Beosound A1 now boasts up to 18 hours of listening time at typical volume (70dB) compared to just four hours in the original. When listening at moderate volume (55dB), the Beosound A1 can last up to 48 hours compared to 24 hours in the first edition. 

A new LED warning system warns users of low power and links easily to the Bang & Olufsen app to show its battery status. 

Waterproof & dustproof 
The Beosound A1 2nd Gen now includes an IP67 certification making it safe for the speaker to be exposed to water and dust. The IP67 rating means the speaker is resistant to water ingress up to 1m deep for 30 minutes and safe from sand a dirt, allowing it to be used safely outside and in beach and pool environments. 

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Three microphones
The updated speaker now includes a three-microphone array, giving a notably improved call clarity when Beosound A1 is used as a speakerphone. 

It is also handy to use for business and conference calls with Microsoft Swift Pair as well as Google Fast Pair gives a fast set up. 

Beosound A1 is available now in Black Anthracite and Grey Mist. It is priced at £200/€250.
 

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