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31 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply mindblowing
Do not be fooled by the size of this until. This will fill a large room with music. The sound quality is fantastic. It's very cool looking and will fit into any modern home. Setting up this device is simple with the app. It took me 2 minutes using my i pad. I own the Zeppelin air that is more time consuming to set up. The sound from the a5 seems to be louder than the...
Published 14 months ago by DEAN

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully built BUT...
This is a beautiful thing but it is also a REAL pain. We have a BT Internet account ( as do MILLIONS of other people) but I have been told by B&W themselves that this speaker "doesn't get on too well with BT routers", so what keeps happening is the speaker is frequently losing connection with our internet, not great for a wireless speaker. So instead of the ease...
Published 11 months ago by Mr white


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply mindblowing, 14 May 2013
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
Do not be fooled by the size of this until. This will fill a large room with music. The sound quality is fantastic. It's very cool looking and will fit into any modern home. Setting up this device is simple with the app. It took me 2 minutes using my i pad. I own the Zeppelin air that is more time consuming to set up. The sound from the a5 seems to be louder than the zeppelin if you play them together on the same volume setting. I would say you do need to have good wi fi. I have 100meg speed. So I have no problems at all. I can play both the zeppelin and the a5 together using mac book pro. A multi room system. The a5 and a7 are much more improved for wifi use than the zeppelin. I was surprised how good the a5 is if you plug in an I pod classic into the back. You can still use the a5 by doing this and get good results.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, with obvious reservations, 24 Jan 2013
By 
JAD "JAD" (East Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
Before I bought the A5 I had spent far too much time reviewing other products, on various sites, and had almost made up my mind to buy other products on a number of occasions.In the end, having argued with myself for long enough, I went for the A5. I bought this fully aware that it would probably be a pain to install, that it was very expensive, that it was not as good as it's bigger siblings the Zeppelin and the A7, that I really should be buying a good quality micro system and running it off an airport express and above all that I would forever regret not buying a Zeppelin because they are just so cool.
Having said that I am really pleased with this little bit of kit. It was simplicity itself to install, having first down loaded the B&W installation App from itunes onto my Mac Mini, i simply followed instructions on the App. They worked instantly and were incredibly easy to follow. I operate the A5 with an Iphone5 and a mac mini via a Netgear router through my home wifi network. I have to say air tunes is incredibly responsive and the A5 easily keeps up, a small volume change on either the mac mini or the iphone results in an instantaneous response from the A5.
My A5 sits on the counter top in my kitchen in between the kettle and the tea and coffee jars and invariably has to compete with the washing machine, dishwasher, extractor fan, fan oven/grill and general kitchen hub bub. It is so small ( its face is smaller than a sheet of A4 paper) it is most unobtrusive yet is capable of easily handling its own against any background noise.
The sound from the A5 is impressive, with its small size it has a surprisingly good soundstage and lovely bass. It copes well with really complex layers of sound (such as My Bloody Valentine or The Joy Formidable) and is a step up again at dealing with "acoustic" or less complicated music (such as Nick Drake or Agnes Obel). However it really shines when dealing with the more traditional sounding bands: The Stone Roses,The Smiths, The Rolling Stones etc. It is the eager way the unit deals with the punch and depth depth of these recordings whilst being abel to keep the sound of each instrument distinct from the others that made me fall in love with the A5.
It is not as cool as the Zeppelin, but the Zeppelin is much too big and even more expensive. It is not as good as an equivalently priced Micro system from Richer Sounds etc , but it is much smaller and much cooler and only has one cable (power) and the sound really is excellent. I am very glad I stopped arguing with myself and decided to have an A5.
Two notes of caution however: 1, it requires a really strong wifi signal, otherwise it drops out and 2, it requires a decent running in period to sound at its best. Like all top quality speakers its sound should not be judged until it has been played for a good 30 hours or so to bed in.
Also having heard the Bose kit, which is of similar price, the A5 is better as it retains its quality at really low volumes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Hit and Miss Network Device, 27 Jan 2014
By 
J Wood - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
If you get a version that works well with your network then the sound quality and convenience this speaker provides is great. If, however, you have the issues I have had then its utterly frustrating and useless. For example, the speaker can be named so that it can be identified in airplay. Ours would randomly re-set its name back to the default so that when you come to play something from
iTunes the next time it can no-longer find the speaker it was connected to. It can even rename itself while playing music (causing it to stop playing). It can just vanish from airplay when selected as a speaker while powered on and connected. It also fails to appear in airplay even after resetting the router and powering up from scratch.

Speaking to B&W tech support wasn't much help. His final analysis was that it was the location in the room that was the issue that was causing the speaker to not appear in the list of airplay devices, despite the fact that is has clearly connected to the network with no issue (as demonstrated by its LED being solid purple and it appearing in the list of connected devices on the router, and being only about 5 meters away from the router itself). While I could accept that it may be in conflict with something else on my network, this issue was never explored.

Needless to say this device is being returned as not fit for purpose!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully built BUT..., 20 July 2013
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
This is a beautiful thing but it is also a REAL pain. We have a BT Internet account ( as do MILLIONS of other people) but I have been told by B&W themselves that this speaker "doesn't get on too well with BT routers", so what keeps happening is the speaker is frequently losing connection with our internet, not great for a wireless speaker. So instead of the ease of just effortlessly flicking your music straight through your speaker you find yourself having to get up, switch your speaker off (via the button on it) to reset it and mess around until in works again.... Until the next time your router drops connection... Which with BT is quite frequently.

Yes I know you could argue that it's BT at fault but this speaker should be better sorted to deal with these potential issues, after all it is a WIRELESS speaker and LOADS of people use BT.

In fairness when it does work the sound quality is nice but that too is a bit dependant on where you are in relation to the speaker (as will all speakers I guess) and where you position it in our room. It seems to like being used next to walls or alcoves.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous!!!, 12 Dec 2012
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
I was recently in the market to update my Bose SoundDock. After doing some research on the net I read a lot about wireless speakers. As I am an Apple fan and have a variety of Apple products I often look on the Apple forums for advice and it was clear that the majority of people were recommending AirPlay products.

The AirPlay market is a minefield as there are dozens of speakers out there. I have a friend who has a B&W Zeppelin which sounds amazing so I decided to take a look and see what they had to offer.

The A5 seemed like a perfect match for me as I needed something small enough to be placed on a coffee table but I didn't want to compromise on sound quality. After seeing a lot of positive reviews on the A5 I decided to take a punt and purchase one.

The gamble paid off! I'm really impressed with this speaker. Setting the speaker up was a doddle. I downloaded the B&W AirPlay setup App on to my iPhone and followed the prompts on screen, I had the speaker setup wirelessly in a matter of minutes. Streaming is so easy, you simply press your music icon, select a track then hit the little AirPlay icon and away you go. The sound quality is the thing that impressed me the most. There is so much clarity and detail, far more than I ever got from my Bose. I can hear things in my music that I never knew existed in the past. The bass reproduction is also fantastic and not over exaggerated like a lot of systems I have listened to.

My dad has also recently just purchased his own A5 as he was so impressed with mine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 20 Jun 2013
By 
C. S. Redford (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
I was lucky enough to receive the A5 as a 40th Birthday gift. I had been umming and aahing for quite a long time as to which wireless speakers would best suit, to the point I stopped looking (hence the gift I guess!). The sound is amazing - I listen to a wide range of genres and all were flawless...... I wish I could do into a diatribe about bass/treble levels & vocal clarity, but thats not really how I listen to music. In very simple terms this is a great speaker, the sound is crisp, the set-up easy and there is never any connection issues..... Great piece of kit, worth the money - its up to you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great style, superb sound and easy setup., 23 Mar 2013
By 
A. Davis (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
I got this to replace my broken Bose Soundock and wanted something that supported AirPlay.

The A5 was a breeze to setup, and app on my iPad had it configured and ready to use in just a few minutes.
Connecting to it from an iPad, iPod or iPhone is simple and connections were made in a few seconds.
The sound is superb and has good detail, volume is more than I will need.
I have listened to a wide range of music and also used it to listen to TV and film, and I have always been pleased with the results.
After 2 months of use I am very pleased I chose this model.

I would definitely recommend this wireless speaker, it's not cheap but it is very good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply WOW, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
I have just bought the Bowers & Wilkins A5 speaker and it has blown my mind. I was about to by the Bose Sound Link Airplay but once I heard the A5 it was a simply decision, the sound difference was incredible. Added is the fact that the A5 is sleek and stylish compared to other products in the market. I have owned the speaker for a week and already my friends are planning to purchase their own after listening to mine.

I found the Airplay setup super easy once I downloaded the Bowers & Wilkins Setup app, took me 2 minutes to complete. The Airplay connection to my iPhone is very consistant and I am able to connect from anywhere within my 2 story house.

If you are in the market for an Airplay speaker then you have found the best for its size in the market, 5***** from me.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars B&W A5, 4 Nov 2012
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
I bought this as a compact system that would fit onto a bookshelf and still deliver high quality sound. In terms of audio quality, overall the B&W A5 is clear and punchy, with plenty of presence. It has a surprising amount of bass, crisp treble, and vocals are clear. Despite, as has been commented elsewhere, there not being much of a soundstage, it can produce sound that easily fills a medium size room. The processing of various types of audio files is excellent - with a Spotify premium account feeding it 320kbps files, the quality is probably better than many CD systems that I have heard. I was worried that getting the A5 instead of the A7 would be a big sonic compromise, but I think that for most people, this small unit is definitely adequate.
Build quality is excellent. It is reassuringly heavy, and feels built to last. A nice detailed touch is that the power plug is very compact, which allows discreet installation on a bookshelf - it is possible not to see any wires at all. The power cord is also longer than average, increasing its range of placement.
Why not 5 stars?
The initial set up was problematic. This is partly a fault with Airplay itself as opposed to system. Airplay can be flaky (just look at the Apple support forums) and it is necessary to have a good wireless signal to allow it to work smoothly. However, this is not helped by limitations in the product - it is only designed for the G standard of wifi, which means it cannot take advantage of the faster N speeds, which would be very helpful in streaming lossless audio. Also, I noticed that the wireless reception of the unit is at least one bar lower that the same reception by other devices in the same room. Connected to my old Buffalo Airstation G54 router, the B&W system dropped off the network frequently, requiring it to be reset and reinstalled each time. Luckily I was also upgrading the router at the same time, and now have an Asus RT N66U, which seems to have made it much more stable. Changing the network security settings also helped - having spent many hours trawling the forums, it turns out the IOS devices like iPhones and iPads don't like networks set up with WEP security keys - for the best performance, set the network with a WPA2 AES encryption. To guarantee stability, use Homeplugs or an ethernet connection (although this seems to defeat the point somewhat of buying a wireless system in the first place!). In short, it is possible to get a great performance from the B&W A5, but it really shouldn't have been necessary to have to learn a textbook of arcane networking tips just to achieve this - especially as it is marketed as being so easy to set up and use.
So overall, 5 stars for the sound, but whoever designed the technical aspects of the A5 needs to have a rethink about their setup instructions (and networking specifications), to ensure that this doesn't undermine the audio performance of the device.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool..., 28 Oct 2012
By 
Neil (Whitstable, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W (Electronics)
We were after a small but good quality dock for our living room, and the A5 has fitted perfectly. It took ages to wade through all the different docks/streaming systems on the market, and just as long to translate all the jargon into english, so for all you people who want to choose a stereo without having to take a degree in computer science first here's what I've learned.
This is a "streaming device" so there is no need to connect your computer or ipod to it directly, it has no dock - it turns out that docks are becoming old fashioned. This is not a bad thing - I can sit on the sofa with my ipod touch and stream music from it to the A5 without turning the computer on or fiddling about connecting the ipod to the dock. If you like you can use the "remote" app from iTunes to select music stored on iTunes on your computer and play that through the A5. This is good if you want to listen to high quality lossless files but don't have the space for these on your ipod. You can also listen to internet radio this way.
Setting it up was easy - I downloaded the Bowers & Wilkins airplay setup app onto my ipod & followed the prompts, it took 10 minutes, you just need your WEP key off your router to hand (skip the bit where it asks for IP addreses etc). We have a BT home hub 3 and it works fine, despite some reports of it causing problems when streaming.
It looks very cool, sits well on the coffee table & is not too massive or weird looking. It has one cable coming out of the back (power) and an audio input & a ethernet socket. There are 2 buttons - power & volume & a light on the front.
The sound is excellent, you can pick out each insrument and hear the vocals clearly. Cymbals sound like cymbals and not just a hissing sound. The bass is clear & tight, but won't shake you off your seat. The volume is good enough for regular listening, but won't fill the whole house. As the unit is only a foot long the stereo seperation is not wide, so if thats you thing look elsewhere. It can reproduce different genres of music well - I've tried classical, jazz, some Pantera, Anthrax, Emmylou Harris, Beth Hart, Joe Bonamassa and Emmliana Torrini- they all sounded good. I draw the line at dubstep - so don't know about that. Above all I can listen too it for a long time without my ears feeling like they have been assaulted as they do after listening to my sony dock & stereo.
Overall it's sounds fantastic, looks good, is unobtrusive & despite all the technology that has gone into it, is easy to use - I'm well pleased!
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Bowers & Wilkins A5 Wireless Music System B&W
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