Bang & Olufsen has revamped its Beosound A1 entry-level Bluetooth speaker with improved sound, battery life - plus native support for Amazon Alexa. That means you don't have to press a button to invoke the assistant; you can just say "Alexa" followed by your command in the same way you would with an Amazon Echo.
The £200/250 Euro speaker still has the same classic circular design with leather strap, but the second-generation unit has a slimmer and lighter design developed in cahoots with well-known Danish industrial designer Cecilie Manz.
The built-in Alexa works using three mics embedded in the device. This doesn't have a huge range - it'll work from up to 5 metres away, but it has a clever feature in that it'll remain responsive for up to three hours after you've turned the speaker off.
It will need to maintain the Bluetooth connection to your phone, to work though because it uses your device's data connection to talk to Amazon's servers.
The Beosound A1 is now fully dust and waterproof (IP67 rated, so it can be theoretically submerged in water up to a metre deep for up to 30 minutes) and has an increased battery life over the first generation. It's now capable of lasting the duration of any all-dayers with 18 hours of play time compared to four hours in the first model.
The interface has also received a bit of work, with repositioned buttons with clearer symbols to make it easier to use plus a more easily-seen LED indicator.
Inside, there are dual 30W class D amplifiers, while the drivers have also been re-thought for even better 360-degree sound - there's a 3.5-inch aluminium cone mid-woofer, a 3/4 inch dome tweeter and support for aptX and Bluetooth 5.1, too.