Bang & Olufsen's modular Beosound A5 portable speaker has a wireless phone charger
The high-end model starts at $1,049.
Portable speakers aren't really considered luxury items, unless they're made by a company like Bang & Olufsen. The Danish audio outfit is well-known for its lavish take on home entertainment gear, headphones and even Bluetooth speakers. Today, B&O is introducing its latest portable option: the Beosound A5. Built in collaboration with designers GamFratesi, the A5 combines aluminum, wood and paper fiber for a decidedly high-end take on the modern portable speaker. As is the case with all of the company's products, there's a premium price tag to match.
Bang & Olufsen says the Nordic Weave color option is made with an aluminum top and bottom, a light oak handle and a woven paper fiber grille, inspired by "laid-back Scandinavian summers spent at the beach." There's also a black anthracite aluminum version with a dark oak handle and matching speaker cover that's meant to conjure "the aesthetic of winter woodlands." Despite the seemingly temperamental materials, the company explains that the A5 is IP65 rated water and dust proof, so you should feel free to take it outdoors. That is, of course, if you feel comfortable taking a $1,000 speaker outside.
Another notable aspect of the Beosound A5 is its modular design. B&O says it opted for this construction so that the speaker can be easily repaired with the aim of extending its life. The company also plans to sell additional covers in other materials and colors for customization. The A5 runs on B&O's Mozart software, which allows the company to introduce new features for both audio and connectivity over time — like proximity pairing that's already in the works. Mozart also allows two units to be used in a stereo setup and to integrate the A5 into a multi-room arrangement.
The company says the Beosound A5 is its most powerful portable speaker thus far, thanks to a four-driver arrangement and four digital amplifiers that muster 280 watts. B&O explains that's enough to fill larger spaces with 360-degree sound. More specifically, the A5 houses a 5.25-inch woofer, two 2-inch mid-range drivers and a 3/4-inch tweeter. The speaker also offers beamforming audio tech from the high-end Beolab 90 and 50 hi-fi speakers. Bang & Olufsen says this addition "creates an immersive experience far beyond the expectations of a portable speaker." What's more, AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Spotify Connect are all options for audio playback.
The A5 is capable of 12 hours of playtime on a charge and the top panel doubles as a wireless phone charger. Of course, topping up your handset is sure to impact battery life. Onboard controls give you access to basic audio tweaks or you can make those inside the Bang & Olufsen app.
The Beosound A5 is available in stores and online starting today. The Nordic Weave color option costs $1,049 (£899/€999) while the Dark Oak version is $1,149 (£999/€1099).