• 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Sound Quality is Great, Airplay is Not

    • Written by from Brooklyn

    I have 3 of these throughout my home. I started off setting them up wirelessly, through Airplay. Sound quality is incredible for the size and the ability to place them freely. However, the overarching problem is that the wireless connection is unreliable. You'll see many complain that they cut out, lose their connection frequently, or have lags in the ability to control them. They are all true and you'll find yourself getting annoyed and the sound quality will matter less and less.

    The B & W machines probably don't have a great wi-fi antenna, but I don't know technically what they use. What I do know is that I set them up as passive speakers by plugging them in either via ethernet cable directly to my router or to Airport Expresses via optical mini, and this is MUCH more reliable. Basically use the Airports you have to manage the data portion and just use them for the amazing speakers they are. If you want a great speaker that is beautiful then these are for you. But be prepared to be disappointed with the wireless aspect and plan accordingly. Spending $800 bucks is a lot for a speaker; you may as well put up the extra $100 for the airport express and $8 for the cable so you aren't completely let down.

    11 of 12 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Wonderful

    • Written by from Toronto

    I purchased the A5 and A7 and played them side by side, the same song, to compare.

    The A7 did have a richer sound (quite reasonable as it is quite larger and heavier) – I returned the A5. Hey, I figured if I’m going to splurge on a great unit I may as well go all the way.

    The setup was relatively painless. The app didn’t seem to realize the setup was finished and froze, but once the purple light on the unit was no longer flashing, I shut off the crashed app and the A7 was setup and played.

    Luckily I have not had the serious connection problems that others have reported. It’s not perfect – some dropouts - but not enough to regret my purchase.

    The sound is beautiful. Songs that I know well reveal details lost on my previous speakers. The only thing missing is stereo separation, but of course it’s a single unit, not two speakers in opposite corners of my room.

    The generous amount of free music to download is an unexpected present from the trial membership to the Society of Sound.

    Purchasing the A7 was a fine decision.

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Finally a great speaker

    • Written by from New York

    I have not been lucky with B&W speakers. Last year I bought the Zeppelin Air. Sound is really great but the connectivity drops out way to often. Having that experience I still decided to buy an A7 for our library because I really like the good sound. A7 we bought was remarkebly easy to set up but the sound was terrible - the bass speaker indisde was not functioning. After exchanging it for a new A7 from the store I can truely say this one is great. Have not had a single connectivity issue and the sound is amazing.

    2 of 3 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Exceeded my expectations

    • Written by from Santa Monica

    Great system. Worth the price.
    + Handles deep bass from my hip hop without becoming muddy.
    + Articulates the bass from my classical selections
    + Clear highs
    + Full, warm sound.
    + No ear fatigue

    Don't expect the spatiality of separates.

    4 of 4 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Works well to provide ambient music

    • Written by from Pierrefonds

    I have my A7 in my living room (17' x 12'). It is not my principle device for sitting and listening to music. I use it to provide background music; sometimes quietly when I am in the room, sometimes louder when I am in another room. The sound quality is good enough for those purposes. The initial connection setup went okay, but there are occasional drop outs. I have been using it for six months. I needed to re-do the setup once in that time.

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    If you have the patience...

    • Written by from Round Top

    The A7 took two day out of my life to set up and configure!

    Having said that, now that it is working I am very pleased with the quality of the sound and all my music is streaming nicely from my iPlaid.

    Afterglow (Of Your Love) by the Small Faces has never sounded better!

    4 of 5 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great sound, Wifi Tricky

    • Written by from London

    OK. I loooove the sound of this thing. Plus, does it get any easier than Airplay for iOS and iTunes users? I think not. So here is the catch. As other have mentioned, the WiFi connection is a bit shaky. It runs on G so it's stuck at 2.4GHZ as I understand it. I use an Airport Extreme which runs both 2.4 and 5 GHZ at the same time. I changed my channel on the 2.4G to 11 - anything above 5 should work. Since then it's been solid. It sounds so good that I'm willing to tolerate the occasional signal drop. Another wicked feature is the mini TOSLINK optical input. I have my TV as my hub so I can run the optical out of it and into the A7. Presto, big sound on my HD Cable, DVD's and Apple TV, all with the smallest and arguably most stylish footprint going. I don't need/want a bit HT set-up in my living room so this is just perfect. Finally, as a last workaround for signal integrity, I can just Airplay to my Apple TV, and use the optical into the A7.

    9 of 10 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Added to a Sonos system - ideal

    • Written by from Santa Cruz

    My first generation Zeppelin died a loud and unpleasant death. Having been on for several days and getting a lot of play, I heard - grrrrrr, BANG! My Zeppelin self destructed. For a moment I thought it just didn't want to play any more Bob Dylan - that can't be true. It was five years old and had provided many hours of enjoyment. I loved it's deep, rich, full sound.

    Now it came time to select a replacement. Having had a previous occurrence with my Zeppelin of a bad power supply requiring me to send it to the service depot for repair, I was reluctant to buy another B&W product. I had a Sonos Connect allowing the Zeppelin to be part of my home listening system. So, I was looking for powered desktop/book shelf speakers to connect to the Sonos. I also have several Sonos powered speakers scattered around in various rooms, but I never thought the sound was any better than passable. I listened to several other offerings. None of them had the richness of my Zeppelin. I did not need a iPhone/iPod/iPad dock. I just needed a good powered speaker for my office. I had no way to listen to the A7 prior to purchase, but I was taken by B&W's claim that the A7 had their highest quality amps for best playback on their renowned speakers. Digital optical input to the amps should be ideal. So, I bought it.

    I thought that my Zeppelin was the hottest thing on the market for my purposes. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the A7 out performed the Zeppelin - to my ears. The sound is rich and dynamic. I generally don't like heavily accented bass. But the A7 has very clearly distinguished bass while not being overdone. The channel separation is as good as one can expect from a single desktop speaker. I like to use Bob Dylan's "Man in the long black coat" as a measure of my sound systems. The opening provides very clear channel separation and instrument isolation. The A7 is not my Mark Levinson/Thiel CS2.7 combination, but it's pretty darn good.

    Several reviewers have been disappointed with the WiFi, and I am too. It's the only reason I rated the A7 as four stars rather than a perfect five. Luckily, my Sonos Connect has an ethernet output that connects directly to the A7. This way when I want to use the A7 independently from the Sonos music system, the A7 can access the internet via the B&W app. WiFi problem solved.

    8 of 8 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Beautiful piece for the ears and eyes

    • Written by from Quebec

    I've tried the A5 and the A7 at a store and the A7 is way warmer and more powerfull (got a sub and more speakers), of course exactly as stated by the compagny. So if you want the total experience, skip the A5 and go with the A7.

    The construction is impeccable and its sound really great, simply a beautiful mix of form and fonction, I love it! A bit expensive but you get what you pay for.

    Its lost one-star simply because its was, in apparence, hard to setup. I tried to follow the simple step provided to make it join my WIFI network but its alway fail to connect and the A7 was getting stuck with a blinking purple light (NO WIFI connection in the manuel)

    I tried with the iphone app procedure and the mac app, no success. I didnt understand why my iphone, macbook air, apple tv, friends computer connected to my router but the A7 didnt want... I must say have general knowledge with WIFI and computer. I did remember that I had my router for quite a long time and after inquiring about it I found that I had a 802.11g/2.4 router (di-524) that was 10 years old and the A7 (A5 also) only work with a 802.11n router.

    It written on the web site and in the manuel but I'm not somebody who's changing is router because its not the latest gizmo so I didnt think about it at first.

    I did buy a 802.11n router and the A7 was joining my new network in 30 secondes...
    I just wish the WIFI requirement was stated more explicitly, I guess some people will miss this beautiful product and think it dont work because B&W dont front the WIFI instruction more clearly and not everybody is computer savant.

    Recap:

    - Need a 802.11n router
    - No ¨#$%#¨ only number and letter in the WIFI password

    If there is audio drop out, its because your WIFI router signal is not perfect to the location of your speaker, more your router or speaker or change for a more powerfull router and its will work, i guess ;)

    I hope it will help some people, this is an amazing product :)

    Cheers

    30 of 37 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Phenomenal Sound, tricky setup

    • Written by from Troy

    I had to modify my Wifi Password to get the A7 to connect. I am using Airport Extreme with all of the default settings, my problem was that I had special characters in the WPA2 password and initially had my SSID hidden. The resolution was to remove special characters (like # or !) and use letters (caps or not) and numbers and I made my SSID visible. Once I did these 2 steps, the A7 connected easily.

    11 of 15 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Bittersweet...

    • Written by from MISSISSAUGA

    This is an excellent speaker, probably the best in this class of speaker. The sound is rich and simply wonderful. I have B&W floor standing speakers, and these things come pretty close.

    That said, I'm sorely disappointed that B&W does NOT presently support the Wi-Fi Wireless N standard. So for those of you who play uncompressed audio because you want hi-fidelity, or those with big homes where the router is far from the speaker, you will see intermittent drops in audio.

    This actually applies to all their Wireless speaker systems (as of December 2012) – including the Zepplin, A7 and A5.

    I took the speaker back with a lot of sadness.

    19 of 21 people found this useful