Bang and Olufsen is usually best known for audio equipment that costs more than your car. But now, it's decided to create something that normal people can afford — its first ever portable Bluetooth speaker.
The BeoPlay A2, presumably squaring up to Bowers & Wilkins' new offering, claims to be supremely portable — so, despite a reassuring weight, it's slim and flat. Portable is a subjective term, of course, but it certainly looks promising.
And while we're on looks, it's... well, stunning. Hewn from a single piece of aluminium, its sides are shrouded by polycarbonate to guard the controls and ports that sit around the edge. At one end there's a leather strap to carry it, and add a touch of decadence.
But sound. What about sound? Well, there's a large woofer at one end, a smaller tweeter at the other and a passive bass radiator between the two. Combine that with what it calls "Power Response Enhancement" — a way of helping sound emanate in all directions so that that speaker is agnostic to orientation — and it sounds like it should produce some promising audio. Engadget has taken a listen and claims that "this looks like the sort of device you'd use as your primary home speaker, let alone one you'd take on the road." Which would be quite something; it might be worth taking a listen before you go in that direction, though.
In terms of battery life, the company claims will last for 24 hours, which is very healthy, and there's a USB port so you can share some of that juice with your other devices, too. It's not waterproof, but B&O does claim it will put up with a few gentle splashes and survive being dropped.
The BeoPlay A2 will be available in Burnished Gold, Camouflage Green and Black and will set you back $US350. You can get one as of today in the US. Australian availability and pricing is yet to be announced.