Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5 Review: Superb Sound, Great Range

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Thorough is a phrase that may simply be utilized to this app. It’s secure, simple to navigate, logical, and even fairly handsome. Here’s the place you may test on remaining battery life, assign favourite radio stations or playlists to the preset buttons, and examine EQ settings through each a graphic “target” and the extra widespread bass and treble sliders. Here’s the place you may set default and most volumes, create a stereo pair for those who’ve invested in multiple of those sonic picnic baskets, and swap loudness on or off.

Software updates, Bang & Olufsen’s admirable Radio characteristic and the TuneIn equal, and Deezer streaming service integration are all accessible. Here’s the place you may run a “room optimization” routine with a purpose to calibrate your A5 to its particular circumstances, and swap the omni impact on or off. The A5 can not, nonetheless, calibrate itself on the fly mechanically just like the Sonos Move—it have to be instructed to take action.

Room-Filling Sound (Yes, Really)

Once the Besound A5 is ready as much as your satisfaction, it proves an completed and entertaining pay attention. Once via a stream of Benjamin Clementine’s “Residue” is sufficient to verify it: The A5 might appear to be a premium frivolity, however the place the intense concern of sound is anxious, this B&O is all enterprise.

Overall, it is a poised, hefty, and full-scale pay attention that sounds fairly bigger than its bodily dimensions. Lots of 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 sort 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 nice, and momentum is appreciable. The world’s not in need of wi-fi audio system that may dig as deep and hit as onerous because the Beosound A5, however the authority and management this speaker demonstrates is in a lot shorter provide.

At the other finish of the frequency vary, there’s brilliance and no little assault to treble sounds. But the authority the A5 has over its top-end output is not any extra equivocal than it’s on the backside finish, so sounds by no means threaten to change into edgy or onerous. Even at important quantity (and never solely is the A5 able to taking part in 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 cushty and convincing pay attention.

In between, the midrange is simply as completed and engrossing. Even a compressed recording or radio broadcast is given enough respiration area via the midrange—and vocalists are in a position to absolutely categorical themselves consequently. The transition from midrange to bass at one finish, and to treble on the different, is easy, constant, and under no circumstances apparent. Tonality is impartial all through, and there’s no under- or overstatement of any specific space of the frequency vary.

Spatial Audio? Sort Of

The unity and coherence of the Beosound A5’s general presentation is spectacular and on no account a given, regardless of how a lot you’re spending in your audio gear. Detail 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

However, 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 new Sonos Era 300 is a much more convincing performer the place the nuts and bolts of spatial audio is anxious, however then, it’s not fairly a direct competitor of this speaker. It’s mains-powered and extra reasonably priced, and it appears profoundly daft. The A5 merely appears a bit uncommon. But in relation to presenting an enormous, 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 doubt its attraction shall be pretty restricted, if for no different purpose than that it’s a number of orders of magnitude dearer than another worthwhile battery-powered speaker. Those who’ve the wherewithal, although, and are turned on (moderately than mildly freaked out) by the appears, will discover themselves in possession of among the finest audio system Bang & Olufsen has ever produced—which, by extension, means among the finest pound-for-pound audio system round.

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