Back in 2016, Bang & Olufsen announced its first compact Bluetooth speaker. The Beoplay A1 is a small disc-shaped device with big sound and 24-hour battery life. Like all B&O gear, it also came with a premium price to go with those premium materials. Today, the company is introducing the 2nd-generation model, which is now called the Beosound A1. And while there are a number of updates, the biggest new feature is Alexa voice control.
B&O says this is the first Bluetooth-only speaker with Alexa “fully integrated.” It isn’t the first to offer a Bluetooth speaker with any voice capabilities, but typically that function requires you to push a button on products like this. Because the new A1 doesn’t have an internet connection, it relies on your phone or another connected device to power those voice assistant smarts. During the initial setup, you’ll need to link or create an Alexa account. In order for this all to work, you’ll need to keep your phone or other device in Bluetooth range of the A1. B&O says the on-board microphones can pick up your voice from five meters (about 16 feet) and the speaker will still pick up your commands for up to three hours after it has been turned off.