Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is a well-known lifestyle audio brand well established and regarded the world over. They have always had stylish and cutting-edge products line up over the years and off late have continued to live up to their lofty standards in whichever segment they choose to be in. Noting the huge growth and demand of portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, B&O decided to enter this segment under their play sub division. The product mix under Play are aimed at the youth segment who want to buy premium lifestyle products that are also relatively affordable in context to the B&O brand. We received 2 of their bestselling models – the A1 & A2 for review, which we will cover individually in the form of 2 separate reviews The B&O Beoplay A2 is the next model in the line of play products after the A1. It also has a version called the A2 Active, that essentially is dust and splash resistant, has USB type C fast charging capability and has a NATO style, hand strap.
Inside the Box:
The B&O Beoplay A2 comes in a rather large and well-crafted smooth surfaced box that cocoons the A2 in its dedicated recess along with an instruction and info booklet, a charging adaptor and 3 types of detachable male plug sockets to attach to the charging adaptor. The box is very sturdy and can be used multiple times to transport the A2.
The A2 is based on a retro slim design that makes it look rather trendy and eye catching. A strong yet soft leather handle is at one end of the A2 that enables one to carry it around stylishly. A substantial metal band forms the frame around which the plastic speaker grille panels are fitted. The top side sees recessed buttons into this metal band, which consist of power, volume and Bluetooth pairing. The large plastic speaker grilles are well built, sturdy and slightly flexible to ensure that light knocks on them do not cause any concern to the wellbeing of the A2. 4 little indents at the bottom ensure that the A2 is on a firm footing and does not move around when being played. A USB type A port enables one to use the A2 as a mobile charging device for other devices, along with a 3.5mm Aux Input and the power adaptor socket which has a light adjacent to it that blinks when the unit is being charged. The A2 comes in three colours and we were sent the champagne grey colour option for review. 2X30W Class D amplifiers power the 2 x 3-inch full range drivers, 2 x ¾ inch tweeters. There are also 2 x passive bass radiators on either side of the speaker. The placement of identical speakers on both sides enables the sound to be covered a full 360-degree circle. An android or iOS app ensures that the A2 can be controlled via a smart watch. There is also the possibility of having stereo sound by pairing two A2’s via Bluetooth/where one is the master and the other is the slave unit.
Build Quality: 5 Stars
The A2 has a definite clean sound that is coherent and fatigue free. Whilst the highs, mids and lows are certainly represented in an even manner there is a little prominence of the upper mid bass frequencies which really shine through it. The A2 plays any genre of music pretty well and can also be the focus of your party The A2 can go seriously loud if required but playing consistently at high volumes drains the battery rather quickly. We managed 3 hours tops at full tilt and 12 hours at low to moderate volume levels, which is nothing near to what the 24-hour figure as stated by B&O. A charge time of about 1 hour 20 minutes can be expected if one charges the A2 intermittently. A 2200 mAh battery powers the A2. When the battery charge drops towards its end, the sound automatically goes low and various lights on the power button denote the status of the battery.
The A2 is a stylish looking portable Bluetooth speaker that has great balance between ease of use and sound quality delivered. At Rs.25500/-, the A2 is expensive and can be lost in the sea of options available in the market but we would strongly advise to consider it none the less.