Dutch companies both manufacture the Beosound Explore and the Beosound A1 by Bang and Olufsen. They specialize in audio technology, which includes portable Bluetooth speakers like the Beosound Explore, which looks like a sleek circular portable speaker that can be heard until 300 sq ft. The Beosound A1 is a circular speaker which can literally fit in the palm of your hand. We know that it can be difficult to choose one with so many Bluetooth speakers out there, so we compared the two best Bluetooth speakers for you!
In summary, if you want a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can use in any part of your home or indoor setting, you are better off with the A1 version as its design and build quality are much suited for the indoors. However, if you are looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can use in an outdoor setting – say, going camping or hiking, or at the beach then choose Beosound Explore because its waterproof and anti-rust materials are specifically designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Now let’s take a closer look at them.
Sound Quality and Performance
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
Room acoustics, particularly room dimensions and speaker positioning, will have an immense effect on sound quality.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is why I'd hiiiiiiighly recommend you to check out this simple, 2D, online speaker placement calculator. I've had an Acoustics & Audio PhD build this tool specifically for this purpose. It's also completely free and mobile compatible. It's GOOOOLLLDDDDD.
ASAP Science made a video on the loudest and quietest rooms in the world. A mind blowing example of the importance of acoustics (time adjusted video).
Other parameters such as the age/materials of the building, the furniture & carpets in place, ceiling height, etc can and will, of course, have an effect on room acoustics, too. But much less.
The Beosound A1 performs spectacularly when it comes to sound quality and performance. For something so tiny (it can literally fit on the palm of your hand!), it has a booming 2x 30W class D amplifier setting and a 55 - 20,000Hz frequency range – these specs are far more superior to its competitors when it comes to sound quality and performance.
The Beosound Explore, in contrast, also performs exceedingly well, which makes both these portable Bluetooth speakers neck-to-neck when it comes to sound quality and performance. Its build and design are made to last – and you can play it from any outdoor setting! May it be on top of a mountain or a sandy beach.
For the winner when it comes to sound quality and performance? Well, it’s a tie!
Design and Build
Both Bluetooth speakers are very small and have chic-looking designs. The materials used for the Beosound Explore, in particular, are made for it to last in harsher weather conditions because this speaker is meant to be outdoors.
The materials are both water-resistant and rust-proof. The Beosound A1, in contrast, is also made from high-caliber materials, which are built to last. But because Beosound Explore has better materials to withstand weather, we declare it a winner in design-build.
Before you buy, make sure checking out the comparison between Beosound Explore and Beosound A1.
Both Beosound Explore and A1 can be connected to Bluetooth. Note that the Beosound A1 does have limitations when it comes to Google assistant connections which makes it a wee bit painful, especially that this portable Bluetooth speaker is designed for indoor settings.
Beosound Explore has the same issue, but why would you need a Google assistant when hiking up a mountain? In this scenario, Beosound Explore wins this round.
As of writing these lines, the Beosound Explore is priced at $199, while the Beosound A1 costs $279.
Both the Beosound Explore and A1 are significantly priced higher in the Bluetooth speaker market, so it does not matter if one is slightly priced higher or not. What we can guarantee is that you do get value for your money with both speakers.
In choosing the perfect portable Bluetooth speaker for you, it boils down to your needs and preferences. If you want a Bluetooth speaker for the indoors, go with the A1 version. But if you want a portable Bluetooth speaker perfect for the great outdoors, then the Beosound Explore should be your choice.