• 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Beautiful Clarity and Apple Like Quality

    • Written by from Collingwood

    Like other B & W products this speaker has beautiful clarity. Strings are fantastic. You hardly remember that this is only a $500 speaker. The build is quality and matches up nicely with apple products detailed finishes. It took me all of 2 minutes to set-up with the handy airplay set-up app. After set-up, my speaker initially cut out a few times but I simply recycled (pulled the plug and restarted) my time capsule (Wifi). Problem solved and after 6 hours of playing; no issues. It also works great with my Zeppelin on multiple speakers airplay mode. If you want a home full of beautiful sound, you can do it very inexpensively with a few of these units.

    I highly recommend this speaker. I can't wait to get my B & W A7 as well.

    72 of 93 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Very good for the size

    • Written by from Smyrna

    Bought this to use in a small room. The sound quality and available volume are very good for such a small device. It does, however, start distorting near full volume, but we would never use that volume for anything other than testing the speaker.

    B&W are noted for producing realistic sound. If you are looking for silly bass levels, look elsewhere. If you want true to life sound quality, B&W is your brand.

    The A5 is perfect for a small to medium sized room. For a bigger room the A7 may be more suitable, depending on how loud you play your music.

    Setup was very easy and worked first time. I downloaded the setup app before the speaker arrived, and had it playing within a couple of minutes of plugging it in. Have your WiFi password handy for installation.

    Price: It is B&W, so it will have a premium price. I believe the value is worth it.

    47 of 62 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent so far

    • Written by from Hilliard

    On the technical side, everything just worked. Very simple set up procedure—best AirPlay setup I've used so far, in fact. (I've set up 4 different AirPlay speakers.)

    On the audio side, I can't imagine much better sound coming out of a similar size package. I am especially glad there isn't an artificially inflated bass or other gimmicks that make it sound big on the showroom but not so good at home. Instead, this simply delivers crisp audio without distortion.

    As long as you aren't expecting a wide open stereo sound stage or to experience the kind of sound you'd get out of a larger system with dedicated speaker, receiver, and amp, you will be very pleased with this product.

    It's so good I'm thinking about getting the MM-1 computer speakers, which this is apparently similar too.

    43 of 57 people found this useful

  • 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

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great sound; awful wireless connectivity

    • Written by from Chicago

    This speaker was fairly easy to set up and the sound is perfect--when you get sound. Frequently, but erratically (it doesn't happen every time), when I pause my music or turn the speaker off for a time, it disconnects and cannot be reconnected via Airplay. B&W support suggested that I use a different Wi-Fi channel, but changing channels does not resolve the situation. Looks like a common problem among the reviewers here.

    28 of 34 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    poor setup and no wireless n

    • Written by from Markham

    I'm on my way to the store to return this product. I couldn't have been more disappointed with the setup - I worked at it for hours before I found the two key issues, 1) you can't have a special character in your password, 2) you have to have wireless g compatible network. So what do these things have in common, they aren't documented anywhere. You will be searching the web for hours like I did in order to find this stuff. The product is less than 6 months old and it doesn't have wireless n, how crazy is that. I live in an apartment with 30-40 wifi networks around me…there is too much competition on every channel for me to be using wireless g. So here is the suggestion that I got, get an airport express. I just paid $500 for this thing and now I should spend $100 to get it working and doesn't that go against the whole reason I purchased an airplay speaker?!?! So you might be wondering why I gave this two stars instead of one, well I thought it did have nice sound when I plugged it directly into my router…and besides who takes those guys seriously that post 1 or 5 stars. ;)

    39 of 57 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

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    i'm still gonna give it chance

    • Written by from North York

    Before I begin, i will explain my technology setup:

    i have a BRAND NEW wireless network (Netgear3800) that handles 300mbs sec, dual band, I've got a NAS 323 setup, and i live in a condo. The router is in the living room, as is the B&W A5 speaker, and my macbook air 13 inch 2012, all in the same room. I also have a brand new airport express in bedroom 2 to use airplay on the speaker there.

    So the speaker sounds AWESOME, and even without the sub, it's got a nice amount of lows and bass sound that doesn't take away from the clarity of the highs and mids sounds. I'm using lossless Apple Songs when playing and for some reason, any time i'm shopping or purchasing new songs online, while playing, it totally CUTS OUT. My wife can also be playing songs of her iPhone and even if we aren't doing anything at all on the network except playing music, it will still chop the songs up. I'm trying to figure out what else i can do to avoid this from happening, like running this on the 5ghz router band, but then some of the components wont be able to attach to the speakers.

    I also tried last week the pioneer A4, and have to say the bass was way too much and muffled the mids and highs, i really do like this A5 speaker, and want to keep it, but this chopping up songs is quite annoying cause it sounds REALLY good

    28 of 40 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    The Best AIrplay Compact System..Period!

    • Written by from Boston

    I've tried several systems (10+) that are sold in the apple store and I can tell you from my experience this is the best sounding airplay speaker you can buy. I wish I could afford the A7, but still very happy with the A5 and quality sound.
    Setup was a breeze, just download the APP and follow the instructions. There is also a MAC DMG version you can use to configure. Only a few times have I lost signal from an iOS device. I've never lost using my macbook pro. I've listened for hours and cannot express how great the sound is, clear and great bass. I plan on saving up to buy for another room in my house.
    If you buy it you will not be disappointed.

    25 of 35 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