No, the iconic Danish audio company Bang & Olufsen (B&O) does not refer to its new Beosound A5 portable speaker as a picnic basket, but one look at the photos and the comparison becomes unavoidable. Still, picnic basket looks or not, the A5 packs an impressive array of design and technology, which given its starting price of $1,049, you’d hope would be the case. You can buy the Beosound A5 starting April 27 in stores and online at bang-olufsen.com.
B&O says the A5, which comes in two colors (natural aluminum/light oak and black aluminum/dark oak), is the result of a collaboration with the Danish-Italian design team, GamFratesi. It’s got an IP65 rating for dust and water resistance, and most of the parts — including the exterior grilles and the handle — can be easily replaced or swapped out. As part of B&O’s Mozart family of products, even the A5’s communication module can be upgraded over time.
From a functionality point of view, the Beosound A5 is the natural evolution of B&O’s Beolit 20, a portable Bluetooth speaker that incorporates a wireless charger into its top panel. The A5 has this same handy feature, but goes considerably further in terms of flexibility.
Unlike the Beolit 20, the A5 can also become part of your overall B&O multiroom sound system thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity, plus it supports Airplay 2, Chromecast, and Spotify Connect. When you consider its components — four digital amps with 280 watts of combined power, driving a 5.25-inch woofer, two 2-inch midranges, and one 3/4-inch tweeter (all arranged in a 360-degree pattern) — it’s easy to imagine this picnic basket pumping out some seriously good sound.
B&O has pegged the A5’s battery life at 12 hours, which while not great when compared to the Beolit 20’s up to 30 hours, is still on par when you look at other Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers like the Sonos Move and Sonos Roam.
Two A5s can be set up as a stereo pair, or you can connect an A5 to any other Mozart series speaker.