Bang & Olufsen – the creators of high-end audio and visual equipment – has announced that it is entering the portable Bluetooth speaker fight and its first effort certainly appears worthy of our attention.
From the looks of it, B&O has come out swinging.
During the same week that another top-of-the-line audio company released its own Bluetooth device, B&O’s lower brand BeoPlay is showing off its A2 for the first time. Built utilizing their strong background in audio, this speaker has a striking design that certainly has the look of a high-end audio device.
While it may not be as many “features” as some Bluetooth devices, certainly the name B&O will turn some heads in the audio world.
The design is stunning and is available in three colors: gray, black and green, with the center of the speaker being machined from a solid block of aluminum. The outer shell itself is a polycarbonate material that raises up slightly from the aluminum, creating a clear break from the rest of the speaker. On one side you’ll find all of the controls that you’d come to expect on a Bluetooth device, as well as a leather handle extruding away for carrying the speaker.
Its flat profile is the defining mobility feature of the device, designed to fit easily within a bag or purse. Although it doesn’t sound like you’d want to bring the A2 anywhere with potentially harsh conditions, as B&O doesn’t rate it for rain or sandy conditions like the beach.
For the audiophiles out there, who I’d guess will be B&O’s major market for this device, don’t go running away just because it is a Bluetooth speaker. The BeoPlay A2 features the latest aptX Bluetooth codec which will increase the audio quality with potential for streaming 16-bit 44.1kHz files. Certainly a step up from some of the other Bluetooth speakers, which are known to drop chunks of file data during the transfer from your device to the speaker.
BeoPlay is touting its new True360 sound design and 24 hours of battery life as two key components to the design. Additionally, the A2 features two three-inch full range woofers, two three-inch passive bass radiators and two 3/4-inch tweeters. From a connectivity standpoint, it operates with Bluetooth 4.0 (aptX), a 3.5mm line-in as well as a USB port for charging your device while playing back music.