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

Thorough is a phrase that may simply be utilized to this app. It’s secure, straightforward 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 by way of each a graphic “target” and the extra frequent bass and treble sliders. Here’s the place you may set default and most volumes, create a stereo pair when you’ve invested in multiple of those sonic picnic baskets, and change loudness on or off.

Software updates, Bang & Olufsen’s admirable Radio function and the TuneIn equal, and Deezer streaming service integration are all out there. Here’s the place you may run a “room optimization” routine as a way to calibrate your A5 to its particular circumstances, and change the omni impact on or off. The A5 can’t, nevertheless, calibrate itself on the fly robotically 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 achieved and entertaining pay attention. Once by means of a stream of Benjamin Clementine’s “Residue” is sufficient to verify it: The A5 might seem like a premium frivolity, however the place the intense concern of sound is worried, 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 truly achieve this. 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 exhausting 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 turn into edgy or exhausting. 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 cushty and convincing pay attention.

In between, the midrange is simply as achieved and engrossing. Even a compressed recording or radio broadcast is given sufficient respiration area by means of the midrange—and vocalists are in a position to totally specific themselves in consequence. The transition from midrange to bass at one finish, and to treble on the different, is clean, 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? Sort Of

The unity and coherence of the Beosound A5’s total presentation is spectacular and in no way a given, regardless of how a lot you’re spending in your audio tools. Detail ranges are all the time excessive, and the Bang & Olufsen is especially spectacular in the way in which 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 isn’t fairly made good on, it’s honest to say, despite the fact 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 worried, however then, it’s not fairly a direct competitor of this speaker. It’s mains-powered and extra inexpensive, and it appears profoundly daft. The A5 merely appears a bit uncommon. But in the case of 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 will probably be pretty restricted, if for no different motive than that it’s a number of orders of magnitude dearer than some other worthwhile battery-powered speaker. Those who’ve the wherewithal, although, and are turned on (relatively than mildly freaked out) by the appears, will discover themselves in possession of top-of-the-line audio system Bang & Olufsen has ever produced—which, by extension, means top-of-the-line pound-for-pound audio system round.

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