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50 Years in Business.  Est.: 1967

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B&W A5 & A7 wireless music systems ditch the dock!

B&W A7 wireless music system


The B&W Zeppelin Air iPod dock has provided the wow factor to many a home, delivering great sound through a very striking dock. The Zeppelin Air was one of the first products to feature AirPlay connectivity and, although plugging an iPod/iPhone into the dock has its benefits, the dock is a feature that's less used as people take more advantage of streaming music to the Air wirelessly. (Apple's recent changing of the iPhone dock doesn't help.)

With this in mind, B&W has enhanced its range of wireless music systems with two new dock-free products. The Zeppelin Air is now joined by the new A5 and A7 AirPlay speakers.

The B&W A5 and A7 are both compact units (the A5 is just 30cm wide) but deliver big-style when playing music sent to them from iOS devices, PCs or Macs (running iTunes).

As with the Air, each of the drive units (in the A5's case, two tweeters plus two woofers) is powered by its own amplifier. The drive units are the same as those used in the award-winning B&W M-1 satellites.

At the rear, the A5 has an Ethernet socket and (to play back music from non-wireless devices) an auxiliary 3.5mm input.

The B&W A7 has a slightly larger chassis than the A5 but makes efficient use of the extra space, having higher-powered amplifiers and, to deliver deeper bass, a built-in 50-watt subwoofer. Connection options are enhanced, too: a USB socket is present for streaming/updating and the 3.5mm jack doubles as an optical input.

Both speakers are supplied with a gorgeous, shiny black pebble of a remote control (although iPods, etc. effectively also act as remotes).

The set-up process is simple, thanks to B&W's AirPlay App.

SRPs are £399 for the A5 and £699 for the A7.

Multiple A5s, A7s or Zeppelin Airs can work together to form a multi-room wireless system. The first room you want to head to, though, is Hi-Fi Stereo's showroom to find out more about these great products!

Date of article:29/10/2012

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