• 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Completely unreliable

    • Written by from Milton

    The A5 Drops Airplay connection so much that it is basically un-usable. It becomes a part time hobby to keep resetting it. There is no firmware updates. Big waste of money.

    29 of 32 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    How very disappointing

    • Written by from Sidney

    I am so very disappointed in this product. I previously owned a Bose sound dock but, after hearing a friends B&W Zeplin Air I decided to purchase a B&W unit and bought the A7. Setup was difficult due to lack of detailed instructions. I eventually accomplished the setup and settled in to listen to the crystal clear sound from the speaker system. No disappointment here at all! It's a spectacular unit. However, after a day of working almost seamlessly, it now quits within ten minutes of starting. I have rebooted the speakers and checked the router without finding any problem. Both my iPhone and my wife's iPad experience the same problem and both of these devices are within 10 feet of the speaker system. I have scoured the internet for a solution and nothing comes up. The person who recently wrote that all these complaints are likely "user caused" has prompted me to submit this saga. It is one more example of the problem and is definitely NOT my fault. A perfect example of great speakers but poor wireless technology. I will be returning this speaker next week.

    36 of 53 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Setup failed

    • Written by from Zürich

    Setting up with with Mountain Lion on my MacBook Pro 13'' Retina failed. Easy setup turned out to be anything else than easy. The B&W setup App did not discover the device and any possible solutions provided by the step-by-step problem solving did not work either. There is no help line to call. Leaves me in a frustrated state, having spent a lot of money.

    39 of 59 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Very disappointing

    • Written by from Copenhagen

    The sound quality is excellent when it is working. But how often is that? it may work wirelessly for a few months (90% of the time) and then something happens to it and no matter how many times I re-install it works for 4 seconds and then cuts out. I have a very strong airport wireless network but this makes no difference.

    If only I had a dollar for every time i have re-set the system, and all to no avail. A very expensive disappointment!

    24 of 30 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    I gave up...

    • Written by from Fort Lee

    great when you can connect to it via wi-fi. Worked may be 2 hours out of the past 20 days. Luckily apple took it back.

    35 of 52 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Do Not Purchase

    • Written by from San Francisco

    I made the mistake of thinking that because this item was expensive and sold in an apple store, it would work well. All airplay devices are challenged, but being in a one bedroom apartment with 2 aiport speakers, an apple tv with speakers, and an airport express with bose speakers, all running through an airport extreme, i can tell you that this device is the worst of the bunch. And their customer support contact is very hidden, and barely helpful. I've spent hours trying to reconfigure my airport express to work. Buy and airport express and speakers, save money, and thank me later.

    22 of 27 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Complete POS

    • Written by from Sherman Oaks

    sorry, i don't care if all the other bluetooth speakers in the world have problems, they don't all cost several hundred dollars. and, yes, this thing sounds good when it plays (which is totally intermittent). whatever you do, do not start enjoying any music out of this speaker. this speaker leaves me wanting the days of sound docks and cable connections. i've even dedicated an airport express to this system in the hopes that wiring it would improve the connection like it improved every single other device (ps3, bose system, etc.) i've ever tried. NO LUCK. This is a total waste of money!!! I don't even care about throwing away a few hundred bucks, it's just the frustration of trying to listen to music that gets me.) No matter what anyone else says, if you want to listen to your music without a rash of annoying interruptions of all random durations, do not buy this device. B&W, shame on you.

    17 of 18 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    keeps disconnecting

    • Written by from New York

    Just awful. Buyer beware. Keeps disconnecting, no matter how strong your network. Do not buy.

    20 of 24 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Great sound, horrible software.

    • Written by from MINNEAPOLIS

    Setup process is terrible, and only supports 2.5ghz radio. Neither your network SSID NOR your password can have exotic characters, such as spaces, pound signs and the like. Once you manage to reconfigure your network to fit the broken software on this device, you will notice that the device is NOT available on the 5ghz version of your network, which is very, very lame. If you get that far, you'll also find its Airplay implementation tends to drop out quite a bit more often than it should (I've streamed to Airport extremes with no issues in the past, on the same network).

    Looks great, sounds great, but the software is just disgusting. Do not buy.

    15 of 17 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    does not perform as advertised

    • Written by from Newberg

    For Christmas '12 bought an A7 and an A5. The A7 works well, the A5 cannot hold a connection to the wireless. I have the latest Airport station. Add to frustration is sending an email to B&W and not getting any results from them. In order to send one email you have to enter so much information....various serial numbers, model numbers for the airport, what type of computer, software, etc. It is a bit maddening. There seems to be an acute issue with the software. I suggest you avoid this model, I am returning mine.

    21 of 29 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Useless brick

    • Written by from Kitchener

    As others have noted, flaky WiFi implementation and constant dropouts render this an expensive cinder block. Disappointed in Apple for selling it to be honest.

    14 of 16 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Wireless connectivity so bad as to be useless

    • Written by from Austin

    I'm a tech savvy electrical engineer with both pc's and mac's. However the flakiness of the A7 airplay connection renders it almost unusable. It constantly drops out, hangs, requires resets to reconnect etc. I spent considerable time and tried many approaches to solve or minimize the problem with no success. Running through setup procedure many times, Different wireless routers, dedicated Airport Time capsule placed nearby etc. Software/firmware updates etc etc. Nothing seems to give reliable connectivity. Also it's useless as a wireless speaker if you are watching video on your pc or laptop since the time delay leaves the audio out of sync with the video by seconds.

    The sound quality is excellent, but wireless connectivity is essentially unusable it's so bad. Only buy these if you plan on using an audio cable connection, and disregard the wireless features.

    15 of 19 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars


    • Written by from Santiago

    Just bought an A5 thinking of listening to my itunes collection. Since there are several ipads and iphones st home, I was looking for a system that everyone could share. It didn't work. Two or three minutes of streaming, and then silence. So, after trying four or five times, streaming from different devices, just took it back to the store, and returned with a Bose Soundtouch 30 that works perfectly fine. Buyer beware!

    12 of 14 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Terrible connectivity

    • Written by from Houston

    I keep waiting for a software update to fix this thing, no luck. Save your money and get something else. I had the Zeppelin and it worked flawlessly, great sound, but much pricier. This thing will not hold a connection - using an airport extreme, iPhone, iMac, iPad, you name the apple product. It just doesn't work.

    8 of 8 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Don't like the way this speaker manages volume setting

    • Written by from Dexter

    Pros: Strong amplifier. Beautiful design

    Cons: Depends on digital volume (i.e. the iTunes volume slider) to control volume.

    The speakers have volume buttons (+/-) but what these do is send a digital signal through AirPlay asking the controlling computer/phone to lower the volume. Press the + button and you'll see the volume slider on iTunes or your phone going up.

    This means that the amp is fixed at a given gain, and the speakers depend on the input coming at a lower level when the volume is down. Two problems I see from this:

    a) at lower volumes, you get less resolution. Digital music use numbers to represent the amplitude of the sound. If you have 8 bits, then there are 256 possible values. If you have more bits, the digital sound signal will be more accurate to the original analog signal. When you are forced to use the digital volume control to keep the sound to a reasonable volume (say 10%) you are using only 25/26 out of the 256 possible values. So your accuracy is equivalent to have only 5 bits, instead of 8. This is something similar to what happens on a digital camera when you have to use the digital zoom (less quality) vs. using a true lens zoom.

    b) drivers may get damaged when you accidentally switch from computer speakers or headphones to the A5. I personally use the iTunes volume at around 80% when using the speakers of my MB Air, and around 60% when using headphones. If you forget to lower the volume to 20% before switching to the A5, you'll jump out of your chair...

    9 of 10 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    I want to sell it

    • Written by from Saint-Petersburg

    I'm not satisfied how to work this system. As many users I have the serious problem. Sound keep dropping even when connected via Ethernet to the router.

    18 of 28 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Terrible connectivity

    • Written by from London

    Like loads of other reviews mentioned here, sound keeps dropping out. Can't rate as anything other than one star as it just doesn't work.

    7 of 7 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    WiFi Drop outs constantly

    • Written by from Blackheath

    I too have had constant flaky WiFi dropouts making me revert to using the A7 in the adjacent room. Waste of $599 !!

    8 of 9 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    not impressed overall

    • Written by from Frederick

    I liked the sheer volume at first. Then I realized I'd accumulated another tiny remote to keep track of -- no volume controls on the unit itself. I wasn't impressed with the quality of the audio either. Other than being loud, it really didn't have a lot going for it in terms of quality and surround. When it started giving crackling audio depending on what device I was using to Airplay audio to it, I put it back in the box and took it back to the Apple Store. I'm guessing there will eventually be a better option for Airplay speakers at this price point.

    13 of 19 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Me, too. Frustrating Beyond Belief

    • Written by from NEW YORK

    I am both heartened and discouraged by the other recent comments about losing connection, dropped playback, appearing and then disappearing from the AirPlay menu. It used to work pretty well but recently it started having these ridiculous problems. It's not that old and looks brand new so the thought of pitching it is too painful but it's now so unreliable that it's too frustrating to use. I am considering buying another AirPort Express and seeing if I can get a more reliable connection that way since I have the MM1s plugged into an AirPort Express and they work pretty well. I wonder if a software upgrade from the Bowers & Wilkins folks would fix the problem and whether the recent iOS upgrades are the cause. Seems likely, why would so many of use start having similar problems all at about the same time?

    Bottom line: Potential purchasers, I wouldn't rush to buy until these connection problems are solved. If they aren't, look elsewhere.

    6 of 6 people found this useful