• 2.0 out of 5 stars

    The best letdown by AirPlay

    • Written by from Honley, Holmfirth

    The Bowers and Wilkins A7 is without doubt a 5 star product unsurpassed in terms of sound refinement and quality but its one great achilles heal is its reliance on AirPlay. Whether you choose wireless or ethernet connection makes no difference you will suffer the occasional dropout to a greater or lesser degree while ever AirPlay acts as the control. You may be able to live with that but I cannot. Apple's AirPlay is robust when coupled to its own AppleTV but it is anything but rock solid with the A7. The only guarantee that no dropout will ever occur would be to connect your Apple device with a Lightning to USB converter then USB to the A7 making a direct non wireless link - but that rather defeats the object of a wireless device. For those doubters out there having read all the reviews (like me) my wifi signal is very good and suffers no dropouts at all in any other situation, so after various patient scenarios in trying to get AirPlay to play ball without issues (dlan adaptor, even a new router) I reluctantly had to return the A7 even though it wasn't faulty. A shame. Maybe B&W are working on an alternative approach to reliable hq streaming without using AirPlay - I hope they are.

    1 of 1 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome sound, terrible wireless connectivity

    • Written by from Toronto

    The A7 sounds better than any sound system I've ever owned. Period. However the wireless connectivity is very unstable and is a real pain. To try and address the problem I even purchased an Apple AirPort Extreme, which is an amazing router, but the A7 still drops the wireless connection atleast once a week. So frustrating! Certainly you can hardwire it to an iPod, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having Airplay and multiple devices. I'd think twice about purchasing an A7 if you plan to use it wirelessly.

    6 of 6 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Needs Volume Control

    • Written by from Winnetka

    I recently purchased the A7 to use as my Airplay speakers for the AppleTV. Recently, the AppleTV added the ability to specify AirPlay speakers. The problem is it is not very easy to change volume. (It can only be done with the IR remote for AppleTV, and then only by pausing and adjusting. Very awkward.)

    Other AirPlay speaker manufactures--I won't mention names--have fixed this by adding this volume controls to their respective Apps.

    This seems like an essential feature for the A7. B&W should develop an App to replace their IR remote control, thereby providing a true network experience.

    As I purchased my A7 at the Apple Store, I have two weeks to decide to return the A7 and buy another AirPlay speaker. I really like the sound, but without volume control for AppleTV, it's not enough.

    I give five stars to the A7 sound quality, but 0 stars to the B&W App.

    4 of 7 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Take the streaming issues seriously

    • Written by from PORTLAND

    Please take the streaming issues seriously - this is the best sounding speaker period - but you will have to reboot it once a week - at parties, with friends, as you demo your awesome and expensive cool gadget. I am very tech aware and there are serious technical issues that prohibit consistent airplay connection. For the price someone should have done a proper Q&A test pass - I have an ipad1,2 and 3 iphone 3 - 5 and no device can reliably find this device when it goes "unaddressable"

    42 of 49 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Sadly Disappointed

    • Written by from Orange

    Obviously when choosing this unit, price wasn't an issue. I wanted the best wireless sound dock I could find. I intended on using the unit outside on our patio. I typically get good wirless signal out there with my Iphone. After several failed attenpts at connecting while outside, I decided to bring the unit inside and give it a try. After resetting it 5 seperate times and going through all the steps again, I finially was able to play music through the A7! Sounded great. Unplugged it and took it outside...This is when I learned that anytime i move the unit I would have to go through the long hassle of trying to get it to connect to my wireless network. Not worth the trouble! I boxed it up and exchanged for a Bose Sound Dock 10. Easy to sety-up and great sound quality.

    32 of 38 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Beautiful design; poor streaming quality :-/

    • Written by from SAINT LOUIS

    The A7 was a bit smaller than I had expected, but had pretty good sound for a single speaker as it was clear and had decent bass. The sound quality however was NOT phenomenal by any standard.

    Unfortunately the A7 has very poor streaming capabilities. If your phone or streaming device is merely one room away, nearly every song will skip, hiss, or lose connection. I've tried repositioning the unit, my wireless router and my phone/macbook (streaming device).

    Overall the unit is VERY beautiful, however the sound quality is not as good as I would have hoped, and the airplay streaming is below average to poor.

    If you are buying this unit and your plans are to plug in (wire) your phone to the speaker, you will likely be satisfied (minus the price). Otherwise I cannot imagine how people could give this unit such great reviews for $799. You can build an entire professional sound system and add airplay for that.

    I returned mine after 1 week.

    22 of 28 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Very disapointed!!

    • Written by from Stockport

    I bought an A7 and an A5 at christmas time in readiness for a big new years party we were having. They weren't easy to set up as the connection kept dropping out. The music stopped half way through the party and has worked intermittently ever since. I have hung on to them hoping that i may need to change a setting here or there in order to sort the problem out but after tens of hours sat at the computer changing settings to no avail i have decided to take them back. I am gutted because when they work they sound fantastic but I cant even listen to one song now without it dropping out.

    29 of 42 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Very disappointing!

    • Written by from Sidney

    I am about to leave home to return the B&W A7 and am quite sad about having to do so. The sound is brilliant! Period! However, in a classic example of doing some things to perfection and ignoring other aspects of a device, the streaming is terrible. I am using a dual band router with wifi G and N compatibility. It is new and serves our condo extremely well. My iPhone and iPad are within ten feet of the speakers but they quit after 10 - 15 minutes of play and require a reconnect! We had three iPads in the condo this weekend and each of them experienced the same problem. Worse, instructions for the device are sorely lacking and there is nothing on the internet to help out. Even getting the plastic out of the remote in order to activate the battery was difficult. Why not put a slot in the battery cover to allow twisting instead of making one twist it through friction? This is not a new idea! Setup was easy except that there are virtually no instructions and if things don't go as expected, it takes a bit of technical knowledge to get the speakers working.
    The first day we enjoyed endless music with hardly a "skip". However, the device will now quit entirely after 10 or so minutes of play and a manual reconnect is required.
    Here's another "novel" idea B&W. Why not write software that allows updating through the internet? The speakers already have an ethernet connection so it would be easy to do so. That way we owners can update our software as improvements come along in much the same fashion that so many other electronic devices work these days.
    Disappointed ... that's the word. I'll get something but it won't be a B&W speaker even though I believe they are one of the best. Their software is not up to the speaker standards and is very obviously their weakest point.

    33 of 52 people found this useful