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B&O's new Bluetooth speaker is handsome, compact, and (kind of) affordable

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A1 B&O

Bang & Olufsen has announced a new Bluetooth speaker that looks to be both highly portable and highly accomplished - and it won't break the bank either.

The BeoPlay A1 is a new entry to the B&O Play range, and it's verging on the affordable. That's quite a thing from the luxury Danish audio brand.

At £199, the A1 is £100 cheaper than its big brother, the BeoPlay A2. It's still not what you'd call cheap, but it should at least give Bose something to think about.

B&O has made its new speaker considerably more compact than the popular A2, which launched towards the end of 2014. The A1 measures 133mm x 48mm, and is round rather than rectangular. It also weighs 600g, which is almost half the weight of the A2.

It's not lacking in oomph, though, with a 140W peak output and a 30W continuous output produced by its aluminium cone mid-woofer and silk dome tweeter. Naturally, you can pair two for a bigger stereo punch.

You'll get 24 hours out of a single charge of the A1's 2200mAh battery, and it takes just 2.5 hours for a complete charge over USB Type-C.

Related: Best portable speakers 2016

Another nifty feature makes the BeoPlay into the ideal portable conference call tool. The A1's hamburger-like shell is said to funnel sound to B&O's patented mic, so that it can pick up voices accurately from anywhere within three metres of the speaker.

All that and it comes with a stylish leather strap to lug it around by - though you should keep it away from pools and puddles. The A1 isn't waterproof.

The Beoplay A1 is available to buy now in green or silver.

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