The BeoPlay A2 is Bang & Olufsen's first Bluetooth speaker, launched under the B&O Play label. It's looking to force its way into a market that's already packed with plenty of options. 

We caught up with B&O prior to launch to get our hands on this speaker with a difference.

Coming in three colours - green, black and grey - there are touches of detail that you associate with B&O Play devices. There's the leather strap, which comes in different sizes for convenience, paired with the metal waistband that stands in traditional contrast with the polycarbonate-ABS polymer grille.

It's a fusion of design that results in a wonderfully contemporary final result, that says something for B&O's audio heritage, as well as appealing to those wanting a portable Bluetooth speaker.

In that vein, it's water resistant, so if you're caught in a shower during your summer picnic then you'll be fine.

In the hand it feels solid, it's every inch the premium product you expect it to be. That premium focus runs through to the sound quality and this being B&O, you'd expect nothing less.

We didn't have long to fully test the performance, but from the test tracks we heard streaming over Bluetooth from various devices, you're looking at great quality audio, with plenty of body. There's plenty of volume from the 180W speaker; it might be antisocially loud on the beach, but it will fill a room for ad hoc parties.

There's two drivers on each side of the BeoPlay A2, a 3-inch full-range driver and a ¾-inch tweeter. The result is that you'll get the same audio experience on all sides as it's been designed for 360-degree delivery. That means that you can plonk it in the middle of your gathering and everyone gets the benefit.

The Bluetooth audio is enhanced with aptX, and you can pair up to 8 devices. You can even have it connected to multiple devices at the same time, for example to let you stream music from one, but take calls on another.

B&O is promising 24-hours of music playback from the battery, which certainly sounds appealing. Unfortunately we didn't have the chance to put this to the test.

The BeoPlay A2 will be available from 3 November and will cost you £299.

If you're after a premium Bluetooth speaker, you're rather spoilt now, as we've just seen the launch of the Bowers & Wilkins T7, an excellent device in its own right and yes, it's the same price.

READ: Bowers & Wilkin T7 Bluetooth speaker review