B&W A5 review

Can the B&W A5 make us fall in love with Airplay all over again?

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B&W A5 review
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B&W A5 review
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B&W A5 review
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B&W A5 review

For

  • Style and build
  • Superb sound
  • Effortless setup

Against

  • Lack of display
  • Wobbly bass
  • Premium price

Decidedly demure compared to the legendary Zeppelin, but the B&W A5 is one of the finest wireless speakers we've tested

The B&W Zeppelin Air revolutionised the speaker dock offering the holy trinity of elegant styling, solid build and brilliant sound. Following a design classic is never easy, but with the Bowers & Wilkins A5 (and its bigger brother the B&W A7) the brand has produced an impressive Airplay speaker.

But with fierce competition from the Philips AW9000 and the Denon Ceol Piccolo, can the A5 deliver?

B&W A5: Size and build

It's weighty too - often a good sign - and despite the bookshelf-friendly dimensions (180 x 300 x 120mm) it feels every inch a premium product.

The only slight niggle is the power connector. Once plugged in it sticks straight out making it awkward to position, not ideal for a bookshelf speaker. A simple L-Shaped design would solve the problem.

B&W: Connections

B&W A5: Features

B&W A5: Setup

Setting up an Airplay speaker can be a right pain in the router, but getting the A5 steaming from your iOS device couldn't be easier thanks to the AirPlay Setup app (Hi-fi designers please take note).

The simple step-by-step guide navigates the networks effortlessly, and we were streaming soft rock from our iPad 4

B&W A5: Sound quality

B&W A5: Value

B&O Beolit12 costs £200 more.

B&W A5: Verdict

B&W A5: Available now

Review by Chris Haslam

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