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The classic audiophile/ millennial conundrum is the problem of finding a portable speaker that keeps up with an active and demanding lifestyle. On the quest to find the best Bluetooth speakers, as any true millennial would, you might start with google. The google results will provide you with the starting point you need to make a shortlist. One familiar name should stand out, Bang & Olufsen, a Danish electronic company that has been around since 1900. Bang & Olufsen were innovators in radio and loudspeakers technology, constantly pushing the boundaries of the industry. The value the company has placed on high fidelity musical reproduction makes them leaders in the space. Few companies rival Bang & Olufsen design and quality. In fact, the Danish Ærlig musikgengivelse, translated to “honest music reproduction”, is a principle applied to every aspect of the products they create. So when a high end specialty speaker company like Bang & Olufsen makes portable Bluetooth speakers, it deserves your attention.
Bang & Olufsen makes 3 Bluetooth models that are perfect for anything you can throw at it. It’s perfect for a day at the beach, a picnic, a summer splash at the pool, a rock climbing trip, or any other social function you can think of. The Beoplay A1, A2 and Beolit 15 all have the inherent heritage Bang & Olufsen is known for, but all of them also have their own distinct charm. In a perfect world, you have a bottomless bank account and one of each. They are well designed and each has its own merits and limitations. I took the time to break down the specs to help you decide which one of these beauties you will buy. After all, Christmas is right around the corner and chances are if you have a few hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket one of these three might be on your coffee table the following day.
The B&O Play A1 is a pocket-sized powerhouse. The most portable out of the three mentioned units, the B&O Play A1 produces ambient true 360 sound, meaning that whatever your position around the speakers, the sound dispersion will be the same. Pound for pound the B&O Play A1 packs a pretty heavy punch with an overall solid performance that upholds the Bang & Olufsen core principle of Ærlig musikgengivelse.
The visual aesthetics of these speakers suggest sheer elegance. It features a modern minimalist design utilizing a circular case comprised of an aluminum shell, a polymer base and is all tied together with soft leather straps. The B&O Play A1 boasts strength as well as longevity with a 24-hour playtime on one charge and a built-in mic for making calls. The B&O Play A1 costs $299 and is available in four chic colors: natural, moss green, black and deep red. As the adage goes, good things come in small packages so don’t be fooled by the size.
The B&O Play A2 is the perfect balance between portability and power, sporting two vibrant speakers, one on each side of the sleek rectangular aluminum housing. Despite the flat form factor, the B&O Play A2 produces a full stereo experience as a result of an innovation Bang & Olufsen calls Power Response Enhancement. This allows sound to radiate around the edges resulting in a true 360 sound experience. The B&O Play A2 is available in five colors: green, black, natural, champagne grey and ocean blue and just happens to be splash and dust resistant. So whether you’re hiking a new trail or tanning by a rooftop pool, the B&O Play A2 has got you covered. The B&O Play A2 will run you $499 and is worth every penny.
The B&O Beolit 15 should be considered the millennials’ equivalent of the 90s boom box. Heavy bass and warm clear details strike a perfect balance. Just like the B&O Play A1 and A2, the B&O Beolit 15 produces a true 360 sound experience, but it can also easily fill a large room with that Bang & Olufsen signature sound. The B&O Beolit 15 costs $629 and is not the most portable of the three, but if you want to start a party this will be your best bet.
So all in all, it’s safe to say you can’t go wrong with any of these works of audio engineering art. Bang & Olufsen continues its tradition of excellence with its range of Bluetooth speakers and has one for any budget so that an impeccable listening experience is more accessible now than ever. Plus, we just spoke to Santa, and apparently you made the nice list, so go ahead and treat yourself.
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