BeoPlay A2

A magnificent Bluetooth speaker with powerful 360-degree sound

Image: Hugh Threlfall

Bang & Olufsen is a little like Apple in that rather than rush into a new product, it will bide its time, allow competitors their say, and then bring out its own, generally superior version. This new Bluetooth speaker from these great Danes is simply magnificent, as well as being a beautiful thing to handle. Neither small nor enormous at 256mm x 142mm x 44mm and weighing 1.1kg, it is pretty much the ideal music machine for an impromptu get-together – on a Caribbean beach, Greek-island patio or yacht deck. The sound the A2 produces is exceptionally powerful; B&O claims 180 watts and, although that seems unlikely, I would still categorise it as jolly loud – and with no distortion. It’s really impressive.

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There are two other remarkable features to the A2. One is that, due to B&O’s True360 technology, the A2 radiates 360-degree sound (which we’ve seen in a couple of high-end products this year) but in stereo, seemingly audible from any angle. I don’t quite understand how B&O’s engineers have done this. Nor do I know how the A2 gives 24 hours of continuous performance on one three-hour battery charge. Immense. And, to my mind, curiously underpriced.

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