The ubiquitous Bluetooth speaker gets one of its sleekest ever iterations from the aesthetes at Bang & Olufsen thanks to their freshly revamped and updated Beosound A1. Lighter and more compact than the original, the second generation Beosound A1 also manages to bump up the battery life to around 18 hours of playback between charges (or up to two solid days’ worth if you like your music quiet). Not only that, it brings Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant integration for the first time.

The A1 was originally shaped by Danish designer Cecilie Manz, whose multi-disciplinary studio has undertaken work for Georg Jensen, Iittala and Fritz Hansen, as well as B&O. Manz and her team have swathed the tightly-packed core of electronics and speaker in a hockey puck-like form, with minimal detailing, tactile surfaces and functional clarity in the Bang & Olufsen tradition.

The top surface is formed from a curved grille pattern, paired with a matte base and finished off with a leather carry strap. The volume and play buttons are located around the base, although of course you can simply speak commands direct to the device. As its shape suggests, the A1 delivers an impressive 360-degree soundscape, whether indoors or out, with the added bonus of waterproofing, should it accidentally take a dip in the pool. Finally, you can also use the device as a speakerphone, should you so desire. §