• 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Outstanding

    • Written by from Damascus

    I recently upgraded from the Zeppelin Air to the new B&W A7. I wondered if the A7 would justify the extra money and within minutes of the first use, I was very happy with the upgrade. First, the set up took less than a minute using the B & W app. The same app didn't work as well on the Zeppelin even though they're both using AirPlay devices. It took me over an hour to set up the Zeppelin and it I was only able to do it with an old Gateway laptop. It wouldnt take to my MBA or any of my iOS devices. None the less, it eventually connected and it sounded great. The A7 delivers (IMO) crisper fuller tones. Our great room has 25ft ceilings and the A7 easily fills the room. I took it outside to do yard work and it still sounded great without having wall to bounce sound off of. Plus, it reconnects within seconds of plugging it back in. Again, the Zeppelin takes up to 10 minutes...I moved it one time, and at first thought I had to reconfigure it. Since the A7 reconnects so quickly, I take it with me to another room if I think I'm going to be in it for a while. It's also more compact and can fit into more narrow places, ie the toilet tank. I'm planning on getting at least one more. I want every room to have one. It's so convenient with the airplay. I've never had an interruption or dropped connection. Before I had the dedicated AirPlay speakers, I used apple tv to stream Pandora, but I have to either leave the system on or turn it on every time I want to listen. This stays on standby mode until you're ready.
    Lastly, the build quality is classy and conservative. It easily blends with any decor and doesn't compete for attention. I've become a little discriminating to electronics and feel like the music systems should be heard, not seen...that much.

    145 of 161 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome Sound & Quality

    • Written by from Wichita

    I bought this item to replace my bose soundlink to play music throughout the house. This unit fills the house with highs & lows. Very well balanced and clear sound, I don't think its even possible to distort the sound even at the highest volume. Set up was extremely easy using the set up app available for ipad or iphone. I was however expecting the range using airplay to be significantly greater than I experienced with my bluetooth bose but that has not been the case. It cuts out if I walk outside or move behind 2 closed doors. That said airplay does offer other advantages over bluetooth. This unit connects to any device easy once you are logged onto the same network. I would buy this speaker alone just for the sound it produces (and I will for a second one in the bedroom).

    115 of 124 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Simply, the best speaker I ever owned

    • Written by from 港区

    1. Unboxing
    Apple-like experience.
    2. Appearance/Form factor
    Extremely good build quality. Love the minimalistic finish. Fits perfectly in the bookshelf.
    2. Setup
    Connected to the power cord. Set it up with the App from iPhone. Just had to follow through the user-friendly wizard. It was up and running!
    3. Sound quality
    Simply magnificent, near sublime sound quality! Response to wide range of frequencies, from bass to tweet is well balanced. No distortions observed even at the maximum volume. (Disclaimer: I am not an audiophile)
    4. Extras
    B&W gives three months of gift subscription for the Society of Sound where you could obtain high-fidelity FLAC 24-bit albums, with which, the true potential of this system could be unleashed.

    Room for improvement:
    Although A7 DAC is capable of processing 96kHz 24 bits, currently Airplay (although I am not sure whether is it Apple of B&W to blame) supports only up to 44.1kHz 16 bits.

    Obscurity in tech specs:
    It is not clearly stated whether A7 supports Wireless N? (since I have a wireless router with a/b/g/n support, I have no way to verify)

    118 of 135 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Maybe I expected too much.

    • Written by from Chesterfield

    I will start by saying I'm certainly not an audiophile and don't have "golden" ears but I do know what I like. The A7 sounds like what it is, a small all in one shelf unit and possibly the best all in one shelf unit on the market. The only problem is in this segment you could probably find several speakers costing half as much that sound virtually the same to most ears.
    Airplay is another achilles heel with the A7 as others have noted. I have 2 airport extremes blanketing the house with wifi and you could be certain every 45 minutes to an hour the airplay would cut out with the A7 for a couple seconds or more. Have several Apple TV's that I havent had any trouble with using airplay so I cant help but blame the weak G wifi card in the A7. Overall probably better solutions out there for an airplay speaker.

    40 of 44 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Single best premium hi-fi solution to date.

    • Written by from Hong Kong

    I just got this system about two weeks ago from my girlfriend. I own a small 500sft flat in HK, so I need to optimize every inch. Most of the premium hi-fi solutions out there require at least two tower speakers which eat up at least 2 ft x 5 ft floor space. A7 takes up 1.18 x 0.52 ft, a fraction and many cables replaced by the power & optical audio from TV. Simple and sexy. Sound is PHENOMENALLY BETTER than 99% of tower speaker systems out there. Avoiding audiophile lingo here, but key points:

    • Vocals: crystal clear.
    • Bass: deep, resilient without muffle. No drowning.
    • Mids: rich and bountiful, timber heaven. (ex. Michael Buble)
    • Trebles sparkle,never wince (ex Sarah McLachlan’s live version of “good enough” or “Fear”) .
    • All true at EVERY volume level.
    • All are NOT mutually exclusive – T,M,B evenly balanced at every level.
    • You will WANT to pick up a new hobby in Jazz music.
    • Modern music and vocals sound better than classical music, because of narrow sound stage. Still sounds brilliant, but not as impressive as modern music. Not a deficiency, a plus for modern and a neutral for classical.
    • You will NEVER listen to these speakers past the 60% volume level, because they are just THAT powerful.
    • No dock (like the zeppelin) is NOT a deficiency, because docks are obsolete with Airplay. OBSOLETE! This is completely wireless.
    • Better than Bluetooth, because: 1) no signal degradation. 2) confusion about the different BT standards. Period.
    • Airplay does NOT require turning on Bluetooth on your iphone. This is huge. It’s not just one step you’re saving. Airplay is always on. Period.
    • Airplay can control multiple speakers from your computer; BOTH the A7 and on my computer speakers. Flexibility is a simple and powerful solution.
    • The 3.5 headphone jack = optical toslink receptor. Huge. Can connect it to the TV and use it for big movies in a small space.
    • A7 are expensive but worth every penny, and considering the quality of sound they represent comparatively to a larger system plus the smaller foot print, they are actually very good value for money.

    31 of 33 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Simply the Best AirPlay Speaker Available

    • Written by from Collingwood

    I also have the A5 and I rated it 5 stars. If I could rate the A7 higher I would. I also have a Zeppelin and I feel the A7 is a step above the Zeppelin in sound quality. B & W have discovered a niche and nobody else has elevated their product to this level. The A7 is a quality product evident by its materials, look, sound and ease of use. While I am not an audiophile, I do appreciate music that's feels like your in the middle of the real production and the A7 sounds like this especially in the high-end. If you like your music loud, you can crank it full open with no distortion. The setup is very easy and in a couple of minutes it was working. I have the A5, A7 and a Zeppillin playing on multi-speaker mode in different rooms in my house and they all work great together or individually. The average music listener will not hear much difference between the A5 and A7 but it delivers the best sound you can buy in an airplay speaker. I recommend it highly.

    32 of 35 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    B&W has another winner on their hands.

    • Written by from Toronto

    The A7 sounds bigger and more palpable than the Zeppelin Air. I purchased an A7 Yesterday and from the first song I played there was a noticeable difference in sound.
    I find that the A7 has a slightly wider soundstage with a little more depth into the music. During my comparison with the Zeppelin Air, I played several unplugged jazz songs. The Zeppelin Air managed to hold it's own in terms of dynamics and the delicate handling of vocals and upper mid range, but the A7 just seemed to do all of the above more accurately. It's surprising how B&W managed to take the same components and amplification of the Zeppelin Air and make it sound more lifelike. It bogles my mind how such big sound can come out of such a small box.

    I would say that the extra $200.00 is worth it.

    28 of 32 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Purchase

    • Written by from Lacombe

    I was on my way to the local electronics store to buy a wireless shelf speaker for my new condo. I did the research, and decided on a Bose SoundLink Air. But while in the store the salesman pointed to two empty spots awaiting their shipment of the A5 and A7. So I waited and waited, and they weren't coming for another month or two. I decided to purchase the A7 on the Apple online store, my first time doing so, and couldn't have been happier. The item shipped in 4 business days, and the speaker itself is fantastic. Feels like a quality piece of technology. Setup was easy, and the sound is great. Overall, I am happy with the ease and convenience of the online purchase, and the A7. The Bose was nice, but the A7 has the class and quality I was really looking for.

    24 of 29 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

  • 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

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Terrible connectivity over Wifi

    • Written by from Toronto

    Constant headache trying to reset it. Thought it was the unit and got a replacement for it, but the second one has the same connectivity issues. The unit looses connection to the local wifi network.
    At this price it should be flawless.
    Skip this one and save yourself the trouble!

    23 of 33 people found this useful

  • 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.

    10 of 10 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Sounds great, but finicky.

    • Written by from Edmonton

    WHEN it's connected to the wifi, this unit sounds great. Way better sound than the Zeppelin. But, it loses wifi connection way to often. There about 20 combinations of flashing, pulsing, and solid colours for the little led indicator on the front. Flashing red (fast as opposed to pulsing) means, literally, "invalid input - any". What in the world does THAT mean???
    There is nothing in the owners manual to tell you what to do. The Zeppelin manual says that this means the unit (Zeppelin) has entered protect mode and service is required.
    Well, I simply unplugged the A7 and plugged it back in, and presto! A solid purple ( actually visibly half blue and half red) light, and the thing started working again.
    The 7 needs to be foolproof and idiot proof. It is neither.
    But it does sound great....when it works.

    11 of 13 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic Airplay Speaker!

    • Written by from Richmond hill

    If you like your music and want the best Airplay speaker available...this is it!!! I have always liked the sound of Bowers and Wilkins speakers and actually have the 704's hooked up to my separates which sound unbelievable! I wanted something for my bedroom and auditioned several speaker docks. The A7 was by far the best sounding speaker I heard. I find Bose WAY overhyped and very tinny. The A7 won't replace floor standing speakers with a separate receiver but it does sound excellent for what it is and looks very elegant as well. It is a very balanced, neutral sounding speaker that can play any genre of music well...and LOUD! It's not cheap but in life...you do get what you pay for.

    12 of 15 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