Bang & Olufsen goes back to the future for its new smart speaker

The new Beosound A5 combines gorgeous retro design with tech that'll last "a lifetime – and beyond"

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5
(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

Bang & Olufsen make some of the best smart speakers around, and the Beosound A1 is our pick of the best portable speakers. Now it's got a new bigger sibling, the Beosound A5, and if it sounds as good as it looks Bang & Olufsen have another winner on their hands.

It looks wonderfully retro thanks to its light oak handle, woven paper fibre front and choice of light and dark colours, Nordic Weave and Dark Oak respectively; it's very Scandinavian. But inside it's anything but retro: it's a smart speaker with 12 hours of battery life, a new software platform and clever design. It even has a built-in phone charger.

What's so great about the Beosound A5?

Bang & Olufsen say this is their most versatile speaker yet, and it's a powerful one too: the four-way drivers have four digital amps with a 280W combined power output. The drivers are a single 5.25-inch woofer, two two-inch midrange drivers and a 3/4-inch tweeter, and it's safe to take outside thanks to IP65 water and dust resistance.

The most interesting thing for me is that the Beosound A5 promises to delight you for "a lifetime – and longer". It's been built using a modular design for easy repairs and servicing, and Bang & Olufsen will continue to produce coloured covers so you can keep your speaker in tune with your home decor. And the software here is the firm's new Mozart platform, which promises to be regularly upgraded to keep you abreast of new features and formats. 

As you'd expect this speaker integrates tightly with Bang & Olufsen's existing audio and multiroom audio kit, and you can also pair two A5s together for full stereo. It also has Airplay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth 5.2.

The Beosound A5 is available today for £899 / $1,049 in its Nordic Weave design and £999 / $1,149 for the Dark Oak. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (