Bang & Olufsen has released the second-generation model of its popular Beosound A1 portable Bluetooth speaker which arrives with updated hardware and design. The much sleeker 2nd-gen speaker gets the added functionality of Alexa voice assistance — a world-first for a Bluetooth-only speaker. In case you’re wondering how can Bluetooth-only speaker use Alexa without an internet connection, the device has to be connected over Bluetooth to a smartphone, which in turn is connected to Alexa over a network connection. Thanks to the speaker’s far-field microphone technology, Alexa can be hailed from up to 5m distance and it remains active for up to 3 hours after being turned off – a software update due later this year will enable this.
The other significant update on the new Beosound A1 arrives in the form of increased battery life. It has increased from 4 hours to 18 hours at 70dB, or from 24 hours to 48 hours at a more moderate 55dB. The 3.5-inch aluminum mid/bass driver and the 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter have also been improved for better sound performance and enhanced clarity. In terms of design updates, the new A1 is 7% lighter than its predecessor and a repositioned control arrangement with bigger, more clearly labeled buttons. The Beosound A1 is now also waterproof and dustproof to IP67 standard, which means it’s safe from dust and can be placed in water up to 1m deep for 30 minutes. The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen-2 speaker is available for purchase on the company’s official website for $250 USD.