• 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.

    34 of 54 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.

    30 of 47 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.

    30 of 47 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!

    17 of 22 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.

    16 of 21 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.

    18 of 25 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.

    13 of 16 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.

    17 of 27 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.

    11 of 17 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.

    5 of 6 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...

    4 of 4 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.

    6 of 9 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Drops connection and squeeky sound

    • Written by from Stavanger

    I bought the A5 for about 2 weeks ago, and also have problems with the connection, it stops. I cant even get all my devices to play on the A5. Looks like on my iPhone 5, which setup up the A5 work fine, but the other devices i have, iPad, iMac other iPhones it disconnects. This can probably fix by getting a better and more stable router.

    Thats ok, but when i play, most of the songs have a buzzy or squeeky sound when i play. Its so annoying that i don`t bother playing more songs. Im going back with this A5 and saying what problems accure, if some other customers have had the same problem which i have.

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    A5 Speakers

    • Written by from Findon

    The B&W sounded amazing in the store, I bought 2 at £400 each. It has been so frustrating as they will not join my brand new IMac. (Feb 2013.) I could only get one at a time initially to link up with airplay but now neither will link and I am left with no sound but the IMac internal speakers. I have been told to buy cables for another £100.00.
    Left feeling very disappointed.

    14 of 26 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Air Play only?

    • Written by from East Meadow

    I purchased these at the store's recommendation as external computer speakers. First disappointment is they are only air play and can't connect to the computers audio output. Second disappointment is they are too bassy with no adjustment available. Some albums like Celine Dion are almost unintelligible. I am taking them back. Further there are no manuals.

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Sound quality is fundamentally a joke

    • Written by from San Francisco

    I'm a classically trained musician, 20 years violin, 10 years acoustic guitar, I consider myself to have a very good ear.

    Bottom line, the a5 sound quality is so incredibly NOT worth $500, don't even bother. While it looks stunning, that's all you're going to get out of this box. I only had to listen to this in the store and go head to head, song for song, with the Bose Soundlink Air ($150 less) to declare the winner hands down. For all the B&W hoopla on their tweeter technology, the upper range of the A5 was just plain muffled, no articulation of treble tones. Base tones had absolutely no warmth or depth. I picked up on this even before i did the comparison, thinking maybe it was an in-store acoustic thing going on. But compare with the Bose and you get so much more with the latter.

    I worry that all these tech heads are evaluating speakers based on ease of setup and AirPlay reliability, but have they all had their eardrums blown from Dr Dre beats headphones? Start with sound quality first, ladies and gentlemen, and that's where you'll quickly end with this speaker.

    I brought home the Bose unit and could not be happier for the investment - great range and clarity for $350. If you have an obsession with black fabric and aluminum, buy the B&W. If you like to hear good music, turn to Bose - at least in this price range.

    20 of 52 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Ultimate Disappointment - junk from a great company

    • Written by from DALLAS

    As a happy owner of several other B&O products it was very disappointing to realize just how poorly designed the A5 speaker turned out to be.

    The sound quality is C- compared to other B&O offerings, but the real shortfall is in the streaming software/firmware. The A5 randomly selects audio output levels for the various sources (Mac, iPhone, iPad) a user might select. The output level for my macbook Air turns out to be turned all the way up. That just doesn't go over well when I'm trying to be relatively quiet and respectful of my sleeping 5 year old son upstairs.

    I have a one strike and your out rule when it comes to products being poorly designed and lacking a thorough thought process. B&O management - you need to get it together and implement firmware updates to solve this type of problem. There are many others who have complained here and elsewhere.

    12 of 58 people found this useful