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Beosound 1 Gen 1 still relevant?

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megusto
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megusto posted on Wed, Feb 24 2021 10:55 PM

Hi folks,

Thanks to the reviews and discussions on this forum I've been able to educate myself and make more confident decisions about my previous B&O purchases. But for the first time I'm feeling indecisive, and therefore thought I'd ask the community for some advice.

I've managed to secure a sweet deal on a used, 2-year-old Beosound 1 (Gen 1) for 650 GBP. This is considerably cheaper than the price I would pay for a brand new, newer (Gen 2) model. From what I understand, thanks to recent firmware updates, the sound quality difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2 models is minimal.

However, with the recent release of the Besound Level, which sits in the same price range and shares a similar use case, I wonder if it's still worth to purchase a Beosound 1 (Gen 1), an almost 5-year-old speaker.

Should I go for the Beosound 1 Gen 2 instead, even if this means paying nearly twice as much? Or should I dismiss both and go for the Beosound Level as it uses newer technology and, although the lower price, sounds similar if not better?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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steve1977
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For half the price, i’d find the gen 1 a great deal and wouldn’t worry about gen 2. Unless gva is important for you, which the gen 1 doesn’t have.

Your question about the level is very important and something i’ve also asked myself a lot. The issue is that there are no info out what the new “mozart platform” will bring. Feature set so far is at par with the old system (besides b&o radio).
AdamS
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AdamS replied on Thu, Feb 25 2021 1:37 PM

Our Beosound 1 is a Gen.1 and lives in the kitchen.

As I still think it's one of the best looking wireless speakers B&O have made and I prefer to talk to people rather than inanimate objects, I have no intention of replacing it!

Austin
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Austin replied on Thu, Feb 25 2021 3:22 PM

At that price, I’d say for sure the BS1 Gen 1. Half off and it sounds fantastic. If you are in the price range of a new BS1 Gen 2, I would recommend the Level since it’s less expensive and apparently has a much bigger, weightier sound. That’s my only complaint with my BS1 Gen 2. It can’t really handle too much bass and loses it’s weightiness has higher volumes so I’m selective on which music is play on it.

avensis18
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Hi, I would recommend you the Level too.

Stan
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Stan replied on Thu, Feb 25 2021 4:50 PM

I'm struggling with a very similar decision between the Level and a BS1 GVA which I got on sale for ~850 GBP (actually 1200 USD from the US B&O website).  I've had the BS1 for about a week and the Level for a couple days.  Here are my current thoughts (writing this down should help me, too).

Sound Quality:

 

  • BS1 - Not quite as good as the Level.  Sometimes sounds a little dull.  Sounds way better at home then in the store (maybe some of this is gen1 vs gen2).
  • Level - Better, but it doesn't "blow away" the BS1.  You can get some stereo imaging, and it's rarely dull.  Missing some lower bass (similar to BL column speakers 6000, 8000, 1).
  • Conclusion - Small win for the Level, not nearly as big a win as I expected.  Both are perfectly adequate for the kitchen use case.

 

Placement / Style:

 

  • BS1 -  Works better in the kitchen.  It has the footprint of a wide wine bottle so it takes minimal counter space, the aluminum exterior should be easy to keep grease free, and less tippy (not that the Level is tippy, but the BS1 is very stable).
  • Level - Takes a little more counter space as I'd like to the area in front of it clear.  Maybe the fabric will capture grease so I'll keep it far away from the stove.
  • Conclusion - BS1 wins big.

 

Connectivity

 

  • BS1 - Supports Network Link.  This is very important to me as I've had a lot of problems with Chromecast.  However, the current version doesn't support Spotify Connect (don't recall about gen1) so there's no "touch to join" with Spotify music (one of my main use cases for NL).  I can listen to my Eclipse.  I can also listen to my favorite non-TuneIn station via GVA command.
  • Level - No NL.  I prefer B&O Radio to TuneIn because my favorite local radio station dropped TuneIn, but is still available from B&O Radio.  Only grouping currently available is via CC, but most of my devices don't currently work with CC (see the other thread about Chromecast not working - I haven't seen the gen1 BS1 mentioned, but it impacts my gen 1 BS2 and Essence Mk2s).
  • Conclusion - No clear winner. Neither has everything I want.  NL is supposed to be coming to the Level, but when and to what extent?  Hard to buy based on future capabilities that may never come.

 

Portability

 

  • BS1 - Can be moved, but be careful about touching the speaker.  Maybe I'll just awkwardly grab the slippery, heavy metal cone and get fingerprints all over it.  The whole thing has to be disassembled to replace the battery.
  • Level - Has an obvious handle and an easily replaceable battery.  Longer claimed battery life, too.
  • Conclusion - Big win for the Level, but, for my use case in the kitchen, it will be mostly stationary.

 

Longevity

 

  • BS1 - Sometime in the future, some streaming services will no longer work.  If this wasn't the case, then B&O would not have bothered to make the Level's streaming services hardware upgradeable.  I have already gone through this with Spotify on my BS5, and may be experiencing this with Chromecast on my BS2 and Essence Mk2s.  Ironically, Chromecast isn't that important to me unless I buy the Level. Will this be a problem in 3, 5 or 10 or more years?  No one knows and much of it is out of B&O's control.
  • Level - Designed to be upgradeable in the future, but there's always the risk that this plan will not work out, or it will be nearly as expensive to upgrade vs buy a new product. 
  • Conclusion - Win for the Level - at least it has been designed for hardware upgradeability and is a newer platform, but I'm not saying "big win" because no one really knows what the future holds (and I've seen other "upgradeable" designs tail - usually because a new product is similar in cost to the upgrade so why bother).

 

GVA

 

  • BS1 - Has a well hidden (on the bottom, by the other connectors) switch to turn off GVA
  • Level - Physical switch to turn off GVA when I have the revolutionaries over for dinner
  • Conclusion - Slight win for Level as the button is easier to access.  Then again, does the physical switch actually turn off the microphone or does it raise a red flag in Mountain View (or Langley) that "private" conversations are happening and to pay closer attention.  I guess I will just have to trust the Danes. 

 

My Overall Conclusion

I'm still on the fence.  If the Level had NL, it would be an easy win for the Level.  If the BS1 had Spotify Connect, it would be easy win for the BS1.  I'm leaning toward the Level because of the sound quality + newer platform + rumors of NL.  The BS1 will never have Spotify Connect, but there is the possibility that the Level may get NL.  Then again, I might buy neither and wait for the Level to actually support NL.  Then again, I might keep the BS1 because it's cheaper, fits the kitchen better and is good enough.  Decisions, decisions...

 

 

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