Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5 Evaluate: Excellent Sound, Nice Vary

Thorough is a phrase that may simply be utilized to this app. It’s steady, simple to navigate, logical, and even fairly handsome. Right here’s the place you possibly can examine on remaining battery life, assign favourite radio stations or playlists to the preset buttons, and examine EQ settings by way of each a graphic “goal” and the extra frequent bass and treble sliders. Right here’s the place you possibly can set default and most volumes, create a stereo pair if you happen to’ve invested in multiple of those sonic picnic baskets, and change loudness on or off.

Software program updates, Bang & Olufsen’s admirable Radio function and the TuneIn equal, and Deezer streaming service integration are all out there. Right here’s the place you possibly can run a “room optimization” routine in an effort to calibrate your A5 to its particular circumstances, and change the omni impact on or off. The A5 can not, nonetheless, calibrate itself on the fly mechanically just like the Sonos Transfer—it have to be instructed to take action.


Room-Filling Sound (Sure, Actually)

As soon as the Besound A5 is about as much as your satisfaction, it proves an achieved and entertaining hear. As soon as by a stream of Benjamin Clementine’s “Residue” is sufficient to affirm it: The A5 might appear to be a premium frivolity, however the place the intense concern of sound is worried, this B&O is all enterprise.

General, it’s a poised, hefty, and full-scale hear that sounds fairly bigger than its bodily dimensions. Numerous merchandise optimistically describe their sound as “room-filling,” however the Beosound A5 can really accomplish that. Even large-ish rooms pose no issues for it, with out having to interrupt an excessive amount of of a sweat the place quantity ranges are involved.

Low-frequency extension is kind of startling, and the A5 controls its bass presence correctly. Straight edges on the assault of low-end sounds implies that tempos and lifelike, rhythmic expression is sweet, and momentum is appreciable. The world’s not wanting wi-fi audio system that may dig as deep and hit as laborious because the Beosound A5, however the authority and management this speaker demonstrates is in a lot shorter provide.

On the reverse finish of the frequency vary, there’s brilliance and no little assault to treble sounds. However the authority the A5 has over its top-end output isn’t any extra equivocal than it’s on the backside finish, so sounds by no means threaten to develop into edgy or laborious. Even at important quantity (and never solely is the A5 able to enjoying at important quantity, it’s glad and unstressed when it does so, and doesn’t alter its sonic traits within the slightest), treble sounds keep their form or self-discipline. So it’s by no means lower than a snug and convincing hear.

In between, the midrange is simply as achieved and engrossing. Even a compressed recording or radio broadcast is given enough respiratory area by the midrange—and vocalists are capable of absolutely specific themselves because of this. The transition from midrange to bass at one finish, and to treble on the different, is easy, constant, and by no means apparent. Tonality is impartial all through, and there’s no under- or overstatement of any specific space of the frequency vary.

Spatial Audio? Type Of

The unity and coherence of the Beosound A5’s total presentation is spectacular and certainly not a given, irrespective of how a lot you’re spending in your audio gear. Element ranges are at all times excessive, and the Bang & Olufsen is especially spectacular in the best way it attends to even the smallest transients and harmonic variations in a recording. The broader dynamics of “quiet” and “loud” are simply as confidently handled, too, because the A5 places fairly a distance between the 2 positions with no audible effort.

{Photograph}: Bang & Olufsen

Nonetheless, the declare for 360-degree sound is rarely fairly made good on, it’s truthful to say, regardless that the Beosound A5 creates a big, immersive, and correctly organized soundstage. The brand new Sonos Period 300 is a much more convincing performer the place the nuts and bolts of spatial audio is worried, however then, it’s not fairly a direct competitor of this speaker. It’s mains-powered and extra inexpensive, and it seems to be profoundly daft. The A5 merely seems to be a bit uncommon. However in the case of presenting a giant, enveloping sound, the Beosound A5 is the wi-fi speaker to beat.

So the place does this go away the B&O Beosound A5 (aside from in your picnic blanket, I imply)? There’s little question its attraction will probably be pretty restricted, if for no different motive than that it’s a number of orders of magnitude dearer than another worthwhile battery-powered speaker. Those that have the wherewithal, although, and are turned on (slightly than mildly freaked out) by the seems to be, will discover themselves in possession of the most effective audio system Bang & Olufsen has ever produced—which, by extension, means the most effective pound-for-pound audio system round.