June 2, 2023

Thorough is a phrase that may simply be utilized to this app. It’s secure, simple to navigate, logical, and even fairly handsome. Right here’s the place you’ll be able to 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 widespread bass and treble sliders. Right here’s the place you’ll be able to set default and most volumes, create a stereo pair in case you’ve invested in multiple of those sonic picnic baskets, and swap loudness on or off.

Software program updates, Bang & Olufsen’s admirable Radio function and the TuneIn equal, and Deezer streaming service integration are all accessible. Right here’s the place you’ll be able to run a “room optimization” routine in an effort to calibrate your A5 to its particular circumstances, and swap the omni impact on or off. The A5 can not, nevertheless, 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 ready as much as your satisfaction, it proves an completed and entertaining pay attention. As soon as via a stream of Benjamin Clementine’s “Residue” is sufficient to affirm it: The A5 might appear like a premium frivolity, however the place the intense concern of sound is anxious, this B&O is all enterprise.

Total, it is a poised, hefty, and full-scale pay attention that sounds fairly bigger than its bodily dimensions. A number of merchandise optimistically describe their sound as “room-filling,” however the Beosound A5 can really 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 sort of startling, and the A5 controls its bass presence correctly. Straight edges on the assault of low-end sounds implies that tempos and sensible, 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 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 is not any extra equivocal than it’s on the backside finish, so sounds by no means threaten to turn into edgy or laborious. Even at vital quantity (and never solely is the A5 able to taking part in at vital quantity, it’s comfortable and unstressed when it does so, and doesn’t alter its sonic traits within the slightest), treble sounds preserve 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 sufficient respiratory house via the midrange—and vocalists are capable of totally categorical themselves because of this. The transition from midrange to bass at one finish, and to treble on the different, is clean, constant, and on no account apparent. Tonality is impartial all through, and there’s no under- or overstatement of any explicit space of the frequency vary.

Spatial Audio? Kind 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 tools. Element 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

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 anxious, however then, it’s not fairly a direct competitor of this speaker. It’s mains-powered and extra inexpensive, and it appears to be like profoundly daft. The A5 merely appears to be like a bit uncommon. However on the subject 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 (other than 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 costlier than another worthwhile battery-powered speaker. Those that have the wherewithal, although, and are turned on (somewhat than mildly freaked out) by the appears to be like, will discover themselves in possession of among the best audio system Bang & Olufsen has ever produced—which, by extension, means among the best pound-for-pound audio system round.

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