• 5.0 out of 5 stars

    This Speaker is Great

    • Written by from Thornhill

    Picking out a speaker at the Apple Store is impossible due to ambient noise, however, I jumped for B&W due to previous experience and after hearing this in our bedroom I was so impressed with the sound I bought a second one for the living room that is already decked out with 10 speakers. Having the convenience of AirPlay mixed with the genuine warm, balanced sound from this speaker is really a pleasure. I was planning on springing for the A7 but for the size of rooms and subtler size I decided this is the better way to go. Setup is a synch with the B&W iOS app. If only Apple could make optimizing home networks for AirPlay as good as this speaker and Christmas really would have come early as getting the network optimized for AirPlay is not what I would call plug n'play.

    18 of 26 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    When connected - great

    • Written by from Surbiton

    I have a number of B&W products and I can't fault the sound quality on any of them.

    I have ongoing serious connectivity issues with this product, the help and troubleshooting options on the app, are mediocre at best.

    The sound is great and build quality too.

    11 of 13 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    I really wanted to like these Speakers

    • Written by from Orange

    Bought 2 of these speakers have them hooked up to 2 different networks. Both I'm having same problems, music skips/fades in out, or just QUITS playing.

    Using itunes on Mac Pro, as well as 2 different new ipod touch. Also using on PC laptops. All are having same issues.

    Bought these Speakers for wife and other female friend. They will not want to deal with aggravation so will be returning.

    And yes speakers sound okay but of no value if I can't play music when I want.

    24 of 39 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    B&W A5 from Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    • Written by from Pembroke Pines

    Im reading all frustration with the network issues, and so far I haven't experienced any. Im using AT&T UVerse in my home. works flawlessly so far (knock on wood). I used B&W control Version 1.0.3 (3339), setup on my mac laptop first then added apps to iphones, three different phones they all work great. Only drops happened when the phone was used for sms or other functions, occasionally. So far we are amazed at the sound quality. We tried different positions, we found that up high, at an angle, with a wall behind it, sounds best. It really fills a room up with quality sound. This is definitely the "party in a box" solution i was looking for. My daughter and her friends are planning an iPhone/A5 party. That will surely be the acid test.

    12 of 16 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

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    beware

    • Written by from Thousand Oaks

    Great sound .... horrible connectivity and control. No need to repeat all the complaints listed here. Maybe all the 5 starers work for b&w. Too bad really for what is a great unit otherwise.

    7 of 7 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    A5 Airplay Connection

    • Written by from SELKIRK

    Had a year of hit and miss with my A5 as it would not, reliably, connect to my BT HomeHub.I was about to sell it on but recently connected it via my airport Express and it has never failed to connect yet!
    A 5 star product once you get connected!

    7 of 7 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Hate it

    • Written by from Lisboa

    It has a nice sound indeed... BUT it's always loosing connection to the network i have to unplug and replug so the music may continue... the music stops all of the sudden. Arhhhggg!!!
    Gonna switch to Bluethoots speakers..

    7 of 7 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Experience over 1 year

    • Written by from london

    I have been using the A5 every day for over a year. Here is my assessment:
    -great build and looks (if you like the spaceship styling)
    -setup was easy
    -sound quality is good but obviously depending on the quality of your digital music / streams. I use it from IOS with Spotify mainly set to highest streaming quality and its awesome at 320KBS fills the large room fully and crisp
    -network connectivity is mainly stable but have had some problems connecting from a laptop, dropping out
    -using with apple TV is a mixed bag as initially airplay would not let me stream movie audio to A5, had to use a cable - now it kind of works wirelessly
    -switching sources is problematic e.g. when I switch from streaming from iPad to Apple TV the Apple TV does not remember the airplay connection and sometimes the speaker does not show up as an airplay connection at all and I have to reboot apple TV or router
    -the B&W IOS setup / control app is basic and there have not been any software updates in a year which is not a good sign from B&W

    7 of 7 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Speaker is fine. AirPlay, not so much.

    • Written by from Jackson Heights

    I'm not an audiophile so I won't get into the merits of the sound. To me it's great, and even 40% of its max volume is loud in my one-bedroom apartment.

    The problem is AirPlay. The technology isn't reliable. The speaker might stream for hours without issue, and suddenly the audio will drop. It will stay that way until it's ready to resume. Nothing you, dear user, can do will fix it, if indeed you can isolate the source of the problem at all. Sometimes iTunes can't connect to the speaker, even though the speaker's status light says it's available. Other times the audio drops, but iTunes shows the song is playing and the speaker's light says it's on. What exactly is going on then? Network interference?

    This speaker has both an aux audio port and an ethernet port, so there are wired options for backup. Those ports may be the only thing keeping the speaker from becoming a $500 brick on your bookshelf at some point.

    7 of 7 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

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Hope for an update on the wireless problems

    • Written by

    Unboxing: Great, just great. Quick delivery as well.

    Set up:
    1- not intuitive at all. B&W or apple (since they sell the product on their website) should make a step by step WRITTEN guide on how to set this monster up. The so-called "control B&W" app is really not that simple since you have to change temporarily the network in order to save the settings and the connection.

    2- I often had (like other customers) to fill the informations over again because, despite my several attempts, it seemed nothing had been saved. That is really frustrating. But I think it's a problem that might be solved thanks to an update of the app. At 500$ for the entry level speaker, that might be a reasonable expectation to have.


    SOUND EXPERIENCE: amazing. It gets better through the first 20 hours of listening. I played Mozart, Meldhau, The Fugees, The Beatles, Bach, B. Holliday, religious and folk songs... I heard sounds I had never heard before on the very same tunes! It's pretty impressive what they can produce even without a wire. Honestly, I live and grew amongst musicians and everybody was flabbergasted. Until the solo we were listening dropped for a second because of one of those connection problems.

    TRIED TO WATCH THE LEONARD COHEN IN LONDON' SHOW: I tried to watch a movie then a show. Although I have a high speed connection, there is a delay between the sound speed and the image. The sound doesn't get fast enough to the airplay output. It's really annoying if you are trying to watch a Woody Allen or a french movie with those never ending dialogues. Same thing if you want to watch a... music show (if you buy a B&W, you must be keen to stream some live musical performance...). Again, I fail to see why B&W wouldn't find a way to resolve this through an update or a form of compensation. For instance, why didn't they provide an AUX wire if the image-sound delay problem were to be so important? But again, what's the purpose of buying a WIRELESS speaker if it is to plug a wire every time you wanna watch something? Unless, they really want to fool everyone, they have to come out with something.

    5-Overall I would put 2 stars. THE THIRD ONE RESIDES IN MY FAITH THAT BW WILL FIX THE ISSUES THROUGH UPDATES OR ANY OTHER WAYS. If they do so, I will give them 5 stars HANDS DOWN and salute the attention they put in their customers' critics.

    9 of 11 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    A5 B&O

    • Written by from Markham

    Having previously purchased Bose systems in the past, I always wanted to try B&W
    First product is the A5 - Looks and Sounds Amazing. Very easy to setup using the B&W App available from app store for FREE
    True test of this system would come when i played (Edgar Winter Group-FRANKENSTEIN) Which exceeded my expectation, then second test (Phil Collins In the Air Tonight) felt like Phil's drum set was right beside me, awesome then tossed in a JOSH GROBAN and 3 out of 3 - this product is excellent! big sound from a small box and very clear sound at that...great product! for those audiophiles who might not want to spend $700+ on the A7 like me.

    17 of 27 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

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Unstable Airplay Implementation

    • Written by from Philadelphia

    I returned the A5 speaker system due to unstable Airplay implementation. Half the time I wanted to play music to the A5 speakers, I had to first power-cycle the speaker to make them appear in the list of available Airplay speakers.

    6 of 6 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Not fit for purpose

    • Written by from Paris

    On the rare occasions the connection works, sound is good. 90% of the time, the only sound you can hear are my screams of disappointment

    6 of 7 people found this useful