Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen vs Dali Katch


 Today we are listening and discussing two portable Bluetooth speakers at once from reputable manufacturers from Denmark. In addition to the country of origin, they are united by the price range and high-quality sound, but in detail, they are two very different devices. We will talk in detail about all the differences to help doubters with a choice.

About Companies.

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) was founded by Peter Bang and Sven Olufsen back in 1925. The company specializes in the design and manufacture of premium audio and video systems. B&O is especially famous for the design of its devices, some of which have been exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) for decades. 

DALI is not associated with El Salvador and museums, this is an abbreviation, it stands for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries - literally Danish manufacturers of audiophile acoustics. The company is much younger than B&O (founded in 1983) and is not so widely known in the world, but it is highly valued by audio enthusiasts. 


Weighing                                Bang & Olufsen A1 2nd                 Dali Katch

Bluetooth version                                      5.1                                   4.0

NFC                                                         No                                      Yes

Codec support                    SBC, AAC, AptX Adaptive              SBC, AptX

Weight, g                                                  558g                                 1100g

Emitters                                         1 x 3.5 "tweeter                       2 x 21 mm tweeters

                                                         1 x 3.5" woofer                           2 x 3.5 "woofers

                                                                                                2 passive radiators: 73x52 mm

Power,                                            2 x 30                                           2 x 25

Frequency range                         55 - 20,000 Hz                           49 - 23,000 Hz

Sound pressure (SPL), dB        92 (@ 1m)62 (bass)                           up to 95

Playback time, hours                           18                                                24

Battery capacity, mAh                         3000                                     2600

Built-in microphone                            3                                                 -

Width, mm                                          133                                               268

Height, mm                                           46                                               138

Depth mm                                          133                                                47

Materials (edit)                    aluminum, polymer,              aluminum, PC / ABS ,                                                                             leather                          plastic, woven nylon,leather

Multipoint                                              2 devices                                  2 devices

Application                                         Yes                                              No

Battery indicator                                 Yes                                             Yes

Charging connector                        USB-c                                proprietary

AC adapter                                           No                                              Yes

Powerbank                                           No                                              Yes

AUX (3.5mm)                                           No                                              Yes

Protection standard                              IP67                                                 -

Connection of 2 speakers

 in a stereo pair                                   Yes                                        Yes

Manufacturer's warranty, month            24                                              12


Externally, the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen is indistinguishable from the first generation speaker - it's the same compact aluminum-polymer burger with a leather strap. Two 3.5 ”drivers are responsible for the sound - a woofer and a tweeter, each with a dedicated 30W amplifier. The speaker complies with the IP67 dust and moisture protection certificate - it is not afraid to get wet on the beach or in the bathroom. 

DALI Katch is 2 times larger in size and weight. The layout is vertical, not horizontal like the A1. The materials are roughly the same - a durable aluminum frame, composite panels (PC / ABS) interconnected using sealed inserts and EVA material, and a leather carrying strap is provided. 

The Katch is equipped with four speakers and two passive radiators. One 21 mm tweeter, 3.5 ”woofer, and a 73x52 mm passive radiator play on each side of the speaker. All this wealth is served by 2 25W class D digital amplifiers. There is no certification for dust and moisture protection, so you should be careful near the water with the Katch than with the A2. 


Released in 2020, the A1 Gen2 is expected to feature more modern standards and technology than the 2016 Katch.

Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX-Adaptive vs. Bluetooth 4.0 with regular aptX. However, do not forget that different versions of Bluetooth do not affect the sound, but only increase the stability of reception and optimize power consumption. So don't be intimidated by the “ancient” 4 versions of Bluetooth. Plus, the Katch has NFC support for easy touch pairing. 

If you want to keep the good old wired connection - then you need the Dali Katch, it has a 3.5mm AUX jack, in the case of the A1 - only Bluetooth is available.

The B&O A2 is charged via USB-C, has a 3000mAh battery, and promises up to 18 hours of playtime. 

The DALI Katch is charged using the included proprietary power supply unit. The battery capacity is lower - 2600 mAh, but the claimed battery life reaches 24 hours. There is a USB connector for using the speaker as a Power Bank to recharge a smartphone or tablet (the connector is also used to update the firmware). 

In fact, both speakers will last the specified time at low/normal volume, high volume discharges them much faster. When used as a kitchen speaker for a couple of hours a day, both models did not require recharging after a week of operation. When used as the main sound source at full volume, they were discharged during the day. By the way, DALI's user manual recommends using the Katch at maximum volume while plugged in for extra power. 

As for the controls, the speakers are very different from each other. 

The A1 2nd Gen has a number of physical buttons to control playback and microphones - unlike the Katch, the A1 can be used as a hands-free speakerphone. But I must admit, you need to get used to the location of the buttons. they are located along the lateral perimeter of the column and are not visible / the column has to be twisted in search of the desired key, at least for the first time. 

The B&O A1 is much more convenient to operate via the smartphone app, where you can also check the exact battery level or change the equalizer settings. But instead of the usual graphic equalizer, you will be greeted by a circle with two axes of coordinates (relaxed/energetic; warm/bright), the sound is changed by setting the point to a specific area of ​​the circle. Such solutions are probably intended to make life easier for “ordinary users”. The author does not know if they are coping with their task, but I am sure that they only complicate life for those who imagine what an equalizer is. 

There is no application for the DALI Katch, all the controls are lined up on the top panel: the power button, the Bluetooth button, the volume keys, and the button to switch between the two sound modes / DSP, which are here 2. We will talk more about their difference in the review section dedicated to the sound of the speakers.  

What other differences are there in the functionality of the models? The B&O A1, as we have already noted, has a microphone (or rather 3), as well as a built-in Alexa voice assistant from Amazon (requires the phone's Wi-Fi to work). 

The USB port for recharging Katch mobile devices allows you to connect the Google Chromecast Audio adapter to the speaker and connect the Katch to your home / multi-room network.

In common - both speakers support Multipoint (connection of 2 devices at the same time), and can also be combined into a stereo pair with similar speakers.


The B&O A1 typically lies flat and plays upward, offering True360 omnidirectional sound. The DALI Katch has front and rear speakers for Omnidirectional sound. The smaller A1 has a more powerful amplifier. But the Katch has more speakers, size, and weight. What does it mean?

Of course, to say that the bigger is the better is wrong. The size of the case and the number of emitters are important, but their implementation can be just as important. Thus, a small speaker can sound better than a large one. 

But in our case, both devices bear the stamp of the history of Danish Hi-Fi and are perfectly executed. Both speakers for their modest size play very impressively - loud and clear. When you need more sound, more volume, and more detail, the Katch outperforms the A1. And the higher you turn up the volume, the bigger the gap becomes. The Katch is louder and even at its maximum, it retains good control without messing up all the sounds. Nothing criminal happens to the A1 either, but this speaker is more comfortable to listen to at medium volume, at high volume, it overloads the sound, the bass becomes much less than the top.

At the same time, I don't want to scold Gang & Olufsen A1 2nd Gen for the sound. Apart from the Katch or in comparison with competitors from the same weight category (not by the price tag, but by the size), it performs well. The sound is smoother and more detailed than many more budget models of a similar format - they often have low frequencies or are absent, or, conversely, bloated and muddy. The A1 2nd Gen has a bass, tangible and pleasant for such a pancake. The equalizer in the application is, of course, strange, but you can add/subtract bass/treble in it without any problems.

DALI Katch plays in Clear mode by default - the purest and most even sound possible. The second mode is called Warm and, as you might have guessed, adds little low frequencies to the mix, the manual says so: “... intended for those cases when your music just needs a little extra bass; also works great when playing in large rooms. " Alternatively or additionally, positioning one of the sides close to the wall can make the Katch more bass. Tellingly, the speaker plays beautifully, no matter how you put it, but sometimes playing around with the location for the room/music/mood is easy and convenient.


Both models have proven themselves as befitting representatives of reputable Danish Hi-Fi brands. Whichever speaker you choose shouldn't disappoint. If you are looking for a speakerphone, more compact size, use on the beach or in the shower, check out the A1 2nd Gen.

For those for whom the Bluetooth version, the presence of a microphone or an application is not so important, but the maximum "exhaust" in sound is needed - the 2016 Dali Katch retains its relevance and remains one of the best portable speakers.

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