B&W A7 Speaker with Apple AirPlay, Black
Brilliant. Far better than expected.
I started off looking at the Pure, Cambridge and Sonos ranges then became aware of Bowers & Wilkins. It's absolutely wonderful the sound quality that comes from such a small and discreet cabinet. I've always been a hi-fi buff and have a high quality traditional separates system, but I wasn't expecting this unit to be as good as it is. The in-store demo in a noisy section of John Lewis with terrible acoustics was pointless but I stuck with my instincts. (Unfortunately the AV demo room at the High Wycombe store is long gone.)
I am now re-ripping all my cd's to my iMac in lossless format and will then be able to put a lot of my cd's into storage in the loft.
If you can possibly rake up the money, buy one. You will not be disappointed.
16 December 2013
In a class of its own
Having researched and listened to a number of iPod speakers, I settled on the A7. The clarity and depth of sound is second to none whilst the design is simple and not over-stated.
It is true that the stereo separation is limited as the speakers are in a single unit, however, the musical quality more than compensates for this. I compared it to my old Denon hi-fi with Mission speakers and found the sound to be brighter and warmer. Many will say that to get real sound quality you need to purchase a hi-fi system with freestanding speakers. That may be true for an audiophile, but for someone that wants the convenience of an iPod speaker system, that's compact, good looking and still delivers, then the A7 sets the standard.
The Airplay setup app is easy to use and airplay works well. However, a common complaint is that unless the network signal strength is of a high quality at all times, the unit can intermittently stop playing. It has happened to me about 4 times in 2 months but has not spoiled my listening.
It does not have a dock, relying on AirPlay, which means no ugly bits hanging off the box and no need to worry about different types of connectors depending on which Apple device you have.
Superb sound quality
Good build quality
The price. Everywhere sells it at the same price so you cannot pick up a bargain, however, John Lewis gives a 2 year guarantee. If it is within your budget, you will not be disappointed.
It is designed primarily for use with Apple devices using AirPlay.
AirPlay relies on a good quality network signal (although it does have an Ethernet port and 3.5mm jack if AirPlay is a problem)
If you are looking for a high quality iPod speaker and can afford it, then in my opinion the A7 is the best you can buy.
22 February 2013
Great sound, but needs strong WiFi signal
The sounds quality is undoubtedly excellent.
I wanted to set up the speakers in a room where I thought I had a good WiFi signal. I can happily work with my laptop and/or iPad and get consistent good connections to the Internet. However, this signal strength does not appear to be good enough to reliably connect between the A7, my router and my iPad. When I connected the A7 it would work for a while and then the connection would break up. I would either have a break in the music for a second, or the iPad would revert to it's own speaker. This made the WiFi connection unacceptable.
Having tried to reposition the A7, upgrading the router, and adding WiFi boosters I eventually gave up on the WiFi and have put in an Ethernet connection. I now works perfectly but I don't have quite the flexibility to move the speakers around I had been expecting.
In the process I found out that the A7 uses 802.11g and not 802.11n and therefore can't use the 5GHz channels which are typically less congested than the 2.4 GHz ones.
So I would recommend one to a friend, but I would make sure they had a very strong WiFi signal where they are planning to put the speakers.
20 January 2013
an impressive product
expensive but worths the money. Good indepth sound and quite capable of handling various type of music from classical to modern.
Connexion is quite straight forward and simple (though there is a need to have wi-fi with a router at home)
04 December 2012
Hesitant to purchase, but definitely keeping.
I was hesitant to buy this product online without first trying it in store. I went into the Bluewater store today and received amazing help. Needless to say I went home with one knowing I could take it back for a full refund if I change my mind.
I am not going to need to take it back.
The sound is amazing, clarity and range is reproduced perfectly. A greater concentration of higher tones can be heard compared to similar products in this price range; alongside an amazing bass (worth getting the A7 over the A5 - tried both in store and the A7 is worth spending the extra on unless your tight on space).
Rather easy to set up, contrary to some reviews I have read on this product.
The instructions it comes with are rather simplistic - you just need to plug the thing in and go to B&W's website to download the set-up application. Easy, it just needs to be set up to access your home network. (i.e. your wireless password)
I was initially sceptical about paying such a high price; I believe it is worth it if you have an ear for detail.
19 November 2012
Fantastic Brand. Fantastic Product.
Ordered online and delivered next day for collection at my local Waitrose, excellent service. Well Done JL.
This is my second purchase of a Bowers and Wilkins product, I already have the Zepellin Air, the A7 is far better looking and more compact really easy to set up with the downloadable App. The sound is fantastic as I expected.
Really really pleased just need the A5 now to complete the family.
02 November 2012
so easy to set up takes about 2 mins app tells you exactly what to do
fantastic product ! the best of all air play speakers !!!! i have owned Bose ,B & O this outperforms all of them , i originally bought the a5 now i use that in the bedroom with the a7 in the living room ..
so easy to st up takes 2 minutes download the app and it does everything for you !
don't expect deep booming bass --this is perfect sound you can hear every little detail every string absolute perfection
Buy this you will not be disappointed
31 October 2012
The A7 is the top end speaker of the 'Airplay' Series from B&W. It does not disappoint it has a rich deep base and pick the detail from a variety of genres. The only criticism is the tricky set up of the A7 to the wireless network this took 3 hours of configuration on my router (changing channels and trial and error), but once linked is excellent, I would have given 5 stars except for the tiresome set-up.
27 October 2012