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YAMAHA WS-B1A Portable Bluetooth 5.0

The WS-B1A is Yamaha’s first portable Bluetooth speaker. It is minimalist, sometimes to the point of excess, and relies heavily on its acoustic performance.

Pros

  • Homogeneous and balanced sound
  • Water and dust resistant
  • Good battery life
  • Very good level of finish

Cons

  • Experience is highly dependent on the listening position

Overview

Introduced at IFA 2022, the WS-B1A is Yamaha’s first-ever portable Bluetooth speaker. The promise is to deliver Hi-Fi quality sound wherever you go thanks to an adventurous, water and dust-resistant design.

Yamaha WS-B1A: a portable speaker in its simplest form
With a minimum of features, the WS-B1A is quick, easy, and fun. Available in black, light grey or carbon grey, it was released in October 2022 for around £120.

Connectivity

Minimalism continues in the limited number of connection possibilities. There is no wired connection on this WS-B1A, as it has no auxiliary input, such as a mini-jack, while the USB-C port is solely dedicated to charging. The connection is, therefore, exclusively in Bluetooth 5.0 (compatible with the SBC codec only). In addition, the speaker has no multipoint function and can only be connected to one source at a time.

Battery life

The WS-B1A has exceeded its promise by offering a battery life of about 13 hours at half its maximum volume. The operating time then varies according to the volume. We achieved 9 hours at 60% volume (ideal for a nice 40m² room) and 18 hours at 40% volume (for use as a neighbourhood speaker). In addition, the WS-B1A takes about 3 hours to recharge fully.

Audio

With its experience in the speaker market, Yamaha makes a relatively clean copy for its first step in mobile Bluetooth speakers. However, it remains far from offering “Hi-Fi” quality sound, as promised by the Japanese brand, if that means anything.

The WS-B1A reproduces human voices surprisingly well, which naturally emerge from the rest of the instruments. However, they may have a slight nasal quality, but this is fine. Yamaha’s speaker is also capable of surprising power. However, you have to be careful not to push it too far because distortion problems arise, and the bass becomes too weak. Finally, the Clear Voice mode only lowers the bass level to bring out the midrange (and therefore the voices), but to the detriment of the overall sound.

CONCLUSION

For a first step into the world of nomadic Bluetooth speakers, Yamaha has produced a decent copy with this WS-B1A. It’s a tough, hardy and enduring performer and can be musical, provided you push it carefully and choose your listening position.

★★★★★

YAMAHA WS-B1A Portable Bluetooth 5.0 Case, IP67 Waterproof, 12H Autonomy, Wall Mount Possibility: Charging with USB-C or Wireless Cable with CC-T1A Base (sold separately) Black

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Highest Price £99.00 January 14, 2024
Lowest Price £99.00 January 14, 2024
Since January 14, 2024

Last price changes

£99.00 January 14, 2024
3.4/5 (30 Reviews)

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Richard Garrett

Richard Garrett

As an expert on the latest techy stuff, the primary focus is PCs and laptops. Much of his time is split between smartphones, tablets and audio, focusing on the latest devices.
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