Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has released a new version of its picnic basket-shaped Beosound A5 Bluetooth speaker that’s wrapped entirely in aluminum. The company calls the new look Spaced Aluminium and says that you can swap the speaker’s cover with two other available finishes — Nordic Weave and Dark Oak. The Spaced Aluminium version is available for $1,399 starting October 26 from bang-olufsen.com and select retailers.
What’s intriguing about the Spaced Aluminium’s design is the way it uses an array of 3,500 individual aluminum discs to form the speaker grille.
“We have worked with different circular patterns across our speaker grille designs for many years,” said Michael Henriksson, B&O’s vice president of product marketing. “It has become a signature, but this is a brand-new style.”
Normally, when B&O creates grilles with circular patterns, the circles are the cutouts — the part of the grille that’s acoustically transparent. On the Spaced Aluminium cover, it’s the opposite. Two layers of aluminum are used to give the illusion that the discs are floating and sound is channeled through the spaces between the discs.
B&O is no stranger to aluminum. We saw what it can do with the material when we reviewed the company’s Beosound Stage soundbar. “We’ve got a rich history in aluminium,” Henriksson said, “and we’re intrigued by our past. Aluminium is a timeless material that ages gracefully and reflects our values for creating products that last.”
Other than the visually and materially different cover, the new Beosound A5 variant is identical to the speaker B&O launched earlier in 2023. It has 280 watts of power, IP65 water and dust protection, a rechargeable battery that provides 12 hours of playtime, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless speaker connectivity, and a handy wireless charger built into the top surface.
Along with the new Spaced Aluminium model, B&O says it’s adding two new features to the Beosound A5. Starting in November, you’ll be able to automatically stereo-pair two A5s that are physically close to one another — a welcome addition given that the Beosound A5 is a mono speaker when used alone.
Then, in 2024, the company says it will release a feature called Fluid Sweet Spot. If you have an iPhone 11 or newer and a stereo-paired set of Beosound A5s, Fluid Sweet Spot can alter the sound output of the two speakers such that it’s optimized for your listening position (as determined by your iPhone). The same feature was first announced in September when B&O debuted its Beolab 8 speaker, though at the time, the company hadn’t landed on the Fluid Sweet Spot name.
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