• 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.

    21 of 27 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

    27 of 39 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.

    6 of 6 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.

    8 of 10 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.

    5 of 5 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Solved audio dropouts problem (apparently)

    • Written by from Barcelona

    As most opinions here I agree, loved the design and the sound quality is very good for the kind of compact device it is. The problem comes from connectivity, since I purchased it a few months ago I experienced constant dropouts in the sound when playing from my Mac, very annoying.

    I looked for some solution and found some advices at B&W support page (unfortunately this review page doesn't accept to copy links). I have just turned off the bluetooth and not a single dropout in the last hour… I hope it keeps this way… and this comment is useful for others… good luck!

    0 of 1 people found this useful