Bang & Olufsen’s modular Beosound A5 portable speaker has a wireless phone charger | Engadget

Portable speakers are not considered luxury items unless they are made by a company like Bang & Olufsen. Danish audio equipment is well known for its high-end take on home entertainment equipment, headphones, and even Bluetooth speakers. Today, B&O introduces its latest portable option: the Beosound A5. Built in collaboration with designers GamFratesi, the A5 combines aluminium, 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 an anthracite black aluminum version with a dark oak handle and matching speaker cover that evokes “the aesthetic of winter woodland.” Despite the seemingly temperamental materials, the company explains that the A5 has an IP65 waterproof and dustproof rating, so you should feel free to take it outdoors. That is, of course, if you’re comfortable with 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 serviced with the goal of extending its life. The company also plans to sell additional covers in other materials and colors for customization. The A5 is powered by B&O’s Mozart software, which allows the company to introduce new features for both audio and connectivity over time, such as proximity pairing which is already in development. Mozart also allows you to use two units in a stereo setup and integrate the A5 into a multi-room setup.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5

Bang & Olufsen

The company says the Beosound A5 is its most powerful portable speaker yet, thanks to a four-driver arrangement and four digital amplifiers that pack 280 watts. B&O explains that that’s enough to fill larger spaces with 360-degree sound. More specifically, the A5 houses a 5.25-inch woofer, two 2-inch midrange drivers, and a 3/4-inch tweeter. The speaker also offers beamforming audio technology from the high-end Beolab 90 and 50 hi-fi speakers. Bang & Olufsen says this addition “creates an immersive experience far beyond expectations for a portable speaker.” Additionally, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Spotify Connect are options for audio playback.

The A5 is rated for 12 hours of playtime on a charge and the top panel doubles as a wireless phone charger. Of course, recharging your phone will surely affect the battery life. Onboard controls give you access to basic audio adjustments, or you can adjust them within the Bang & Olufsen app.

The Beosound A5 is available in stores and online from today. The Nordic Weave color option is $1,049 (£899/€999), while the Dark Oak version is $1,149 (£999/€1099).

Gallery: Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5 | 21 Photos

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