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Meet the first Bluetooth speaker to come with Alexa built-in... well, sort of

beosound a1
(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

Finding a Bluetooth speaker that ticks all the boxes can be tricky, especially if you're looking for something that will perform outdoors as well as in your home. 

Bang & Olufsen claims to have the answer with the second-generation Beosound A1, what it says is "the world’s first Bluetooth speaker with fully integrated Alexa".

Now, it's important to take that claim with a pinch of salt – other portable speakers like the UE Megablast can connect with Alexa over Wi-Fi – but the Beosound A1 solely relies on Bluetooth to do this. This means that as long as you have data, you don't need a Wi-Fi connection to access Alexa's smarts or control your smart home devices.

As well as built-in Alexa, the puck-shaped Bluetooth speaker has been given a light redesign, with a slimmer build that are "fully dust and waterproof", according to the company – while retaining its chic carrying handle. 

Bang & Olufsen says that the Beosound A1 comes with an IP67 certification, which means "the speaker is resistant to water ingress up to 1m deep for 30 minutes, and safe from sand and dirt so users can enjoy music outside by the pool and at the beach".

Battery life comes in at 18 hours – that's more than the best Bluetooth speaker of 2020, the Sonos Move.

Sound all around

So, how does it sound? Well, Bang & Olufsen says that the new Beosound A1 can deliver 360 degrees of audio, with two 30W Class D amplifiers powering a woofer and a tweeter. 

If you want to make that audio more immersive, you can pair two of the second-gen A1s for stereo sound, while a dive into the Bang & Olufsen app will give you customizable equalizer presets to let you personalize the sound.

The brand also says that voice calls should sound just as good, thanks to a three microphone array, while support for Microsoft Swift Pair and Google Fast Pair "gives a fast setup if you want to use the speaker for business conference calls".

Available from May 14, the new waterproof speaker will set you back $250 / £200 / AU$400.

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