B&O's most affordable speaker rocks smoke alarm chic

beoplay a1

Luxury Danish brand Bang & Olufsen today released its most affordable product yet, the Beoplay A1 bluetooth speaker.

The speaker has an emphasis on simplicity with a choice of just Bluetooth or a single 3.5mm jack for connectivity. This is definitely meant as a portable device, not one that's going to sit permanently on your hi-fi shelf at home.

The A1 is the cheapest of the Beoplay lineup which range from £250 to a wallet-busting £1670 for the A9 speaker. If the same technology from the company's more expensive models makes it into the budget A1 then this could be a very nice sounding little speaker indeed.


So it's disappointing that unlike other similarly portable speakers such as the Roll from Ultimate Ears, the A1 isn't waterproof. The obvious use case this rules out is using the A1 in the shower, but you'll also have to be ready to stash the speaker away when the weather turns if you're using it out and about.

The lack of waterproofing is the price you'll pay for the device's aluminium exterior. The design has divided opinion in the Techradar office, with some likening the design to that of a smoke alarm, but we think the design is perfect for a speaker of this size.

B&O is claiming that the A1's 2200mAh lithium ion battery is capable of delivering 24 hours of music so more than enough for a day out, and it's also equipped with a speakerphone in case you find yourself needing to conduct a conference call whilst in the park.

The Beoplay A1 will cost you £199 and is available now.

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.