Here you can say - well, connect your iPad to the cradle so that you can talk on the phone calmly. Well, but not all docks support the installation of tablets. Let's say you can stick it in Zeppelin, but not in Z2. In general, universal docking stations can be counted on the fingers, most often the manufacturer implies the use of only smartphones. I talk a lot on the phone during the day, and at any time of the day, except maybe quite late at night. And so AirPlay is the salvation in this case. If the conversation drags on, then you can take the iPad and quickly connect it to the system so that the music plays in the background. Such versatility pleases, and so far only AirPlay allows you to transfer streams with such convenience: the iPad is busy - okay, I’ll open iTunes on my laptop and output music from there.

In my opinion, such a preface is necessary before the story about the A7 - you should understand that the box of this system does not contain tens of thousands of marketing words about a variety of functions, backlights, retractable cradles and so on. This is a very practical and utilitarian speaker system, quite in the spirit of our time. Installed, connected, forgot, use as you like.

Design

On the official website, the design of the device is called inconspicuous, in fact, it is so - how inconspicuous a smartly made thing can be. The upper part is a table made of polished aluminum, for sure you will constantly put various trifles there, iPhone, remote control and other things, this is what happens at my house. The dimensions of the system are as follows: 360 x 220 x160 mm, weight - 5.70 kg, it seems light, in fact it is not quite so. The power supply is hidden in the case, all that remains is to connect it to the network and start the setup. The case is separated by an aluminum strip, at the ends there are volume control buttons, power on, in front there is a small light canoni curtain solutions indicator - a dot.

The remote control is familiar, it allows you to fully control playback. On the back there is a 3.5 mm jack, Ethernet for configuration, USB allows you to connect the A7 directly to a computer, only it will be difficult to find a similar cable. It is a pity that there is no audio cable or similar USB cable in the kit, all this costs a penny, why force the user to look for such things? But this seriously affects the functionality, in some cases it would be easier for me to connect the A7 to the MacBook Pro via cable so as not to download home Wi-Fi while the PS4 is running.

I love the design of the A7, the speaker is suitable for any room, whether it's a living room, a bedroom or an office in the office. The entire body is covered with fabric, after a couple of weeks of use I can say that dust is invisible here, although it all depends on the specific room, humidity and other factors.

By the way, the case is made of ABS polymer reinforced with fiberglass.

Settings

The easiest way to set up the A7 is to use the proprietary Control app, available from the AppStore (free of course, of course). There is a step-by-step instruction on how and what to do, just in case I will tell you here:

  1. Plug in the A7
  2. You need to wait until the indicator flashes yellow, and select this indicator in the program, everything is very clear and simple
  3. Then you need to go to the Wi-Fi settings on your smartphone or tablet and select A7 to configure
  4. Go to the program again, the last steps are left, the actual connection to the access point - select it from the list, enter the password
  5. After setting up, I recommend registering, this is necessary to receive updates, access the B&W music service, you can download music for free for a while. The catalog is small, but there are interesting things there, after the end of the free period, you can subscribe to a paid subscription
  6. That's it, in the iOS menu you need to select A7 from the list of AirPlay devices and start listening. Let me remind you that for the player this needs to be done in the Control Center menu, in some programs the icon appears when there are AirPlay devices nearby - for example, this is SoundCloud

I was faced with the fact that after setting up the iPhone 5S, I did not see any AirPlay devices around, I rebooted the A7 using the hidden button on the back. Re-installation did not help, rebooted the device, then everything worked. Therefore, if you suddenly encounter a similar problem, turn your iPhone/iPad/iPod on and off. I want to remind you that the A7 is a truly universal device that can work with any gadgets, there are also programs for Android that support AirPlay, you can read it here.

A completely different thing compared to the A5, especially when it comes to low frequencies, the A7 does much better with this. On the official website, they talk about the sound, as always, in detail: “The wireless audio in the A7 is resampled by an audiophile DAC to 96 kHz / 24 bits, reducing noise and expanding the dynamic range to get more detailed and natural sound from high-quality speakers.” And here's another: “Not all sounds are equally good. The A7 features tube-loaded tweeters pioneered in flagship Nautilus™ speakers. They absorb radiation from the back of the tweeter dome, guaranteeing clean high frequencies.” The traditional B&W notched port is called the Flowport, and both the A5 and the Z2 have one. More official information: “The most advanced A7 wireless system features a 6" Kevlar-reinforced cone subwoofer for rich and deep bass, as well as 4 speakers specially designed by Bowers & Wilkins. They provide excellent sound dispersion. Together with five dedicated audiophile class D amplifiers, the A7 delivers a truly impressive sound quality.”

I will immediately advise you to try different places to install the speaker after purchase, let them say on the official website that you can put it next to the wall, in fact it is better to have a margin of distance. The speaker is much louder than the A5, and, as I said, the difference in the reproduction of low frequencies is especially visible - well, and some musical genres in general, we are talking about electronic music and about rock. It doesn't make much sense to compare with Zeppelin, both are good in their own way, but compared to the A7, the Z2 seems like a teenager next to an adult man. Here are some more features:

  • 2x 25mm (1.0 in) aluminum tweeters with Nautilus tubes
  • 2x 75mm (3.0 in) midrange
  • 1x 150mm (6.0 in) subwoofer
  • Range often 36Hz - 42kHz, -6dB
  • Amplifier output power 2 x 25W (tweeter), 2 x 25W (mid), 1x 50W (subwoofer)

In fact, you have a very powerful wireless system at your fingertips, it is very difficult to find a competitor for it. The same Zeppelin is larger and more demanding in terms of installation, it is better to install it separately so that there are no walls around (ideally some large table and emptiness around). Bang & Olufsen systems are more expensive, although they can be more interesting in sound. Sonos has its own advantages - the same Play: 5 can be easily turned into an AirPlay system, but the sound of the A7 is more interesting, it's not only about low, but also about quality in general, there is something to listen to. And it turns out an interesting situation that the A7 remains in splendid isolation.If it’s more expensive to look for systems, then it’s better to select monitors and so on separately, cheaper systems are unlikely to please you so much in terms of sound - just go a little too far with the volume buttons on the remote control, and the A7 literally explodes, and you don’t want to stop it, really even long-familiar tracks sound painfully alive. A simple exercise, turn on No Surprises/Radiohead and hang for those same 3 minutes 49 seconds. Then repeat with other tracks. By the way, if you have a large house, then you can very simply solve the sound problem (if you don’t want to trouble): put several A7s, connect to the same network, name them according to the rooms where they are installed and transmit sound on the fly. Very comfortable, and the inconspicuous A7 will do the job just fine.

Conclusions

In retail, the column costs about 34,000 rubles, you can find it a little cheaper, you can find it a little more expensive. In my opinion, the device has no competitors, this small (relatively) box can surprise you very much, even if you have dealt with much more serious equipment. The pluses include versatility, ease of AirPlay setup, the ability to connect to a computer using a cable, the presence of a traditional AUX. The application is very visual, although some points should be explained separately. Beautiful appearance, although many will surely like the Zeppelin Air more - if you decide to buy, I recommend listening to both, even if the Zeppelin has more power, but in reproducing low frequencies, the A7 is quite capable of giving it a head start. And in general, the sound is a very personal matter, almost intimate, it's better to decide for yourself. In the end, my task is simple, the eternal search for things that could serve me for years - A7 is just one of them. As I said above, I installed it, connected it, forgot it, then all that remains is to enjoy the sound and sometimes blow dust off the aluminum “table”.

Bowers&Wilkins A7 audio device overview

Smaller than the Zeppelin, bigger than the Z2 and A5, expensive, looks inconspicuous - this inconspicuousness is even emphasized on the official website. One of those things that will serve you for a very, very long time. In addition to the story about the A5, there is also a little about AirPlay in general.

About AirPlay and more

I want to remind you that in the Bowers&Wilkins lineup there are two devices designed exclusively for AirPlay, these are A5 and A7, they differ in size and, accordingly, in sound. The test of the first device was published on the site quite a long time ago, everyone did not get their hands on the A7, and it seemed, why produce entities? Is it that big of a difference? And is it necessary to write about the A7 at the beginning of 2014, because it is clearly not a hot novelty?

It seems to me that a good thing never gets old. That is why, when buying a MacBook Pro, you can use it for many years and not think about replacing it. I constantly deal with the very best gadgets, but a working laptop remains unchanged for two or three years, until the capabilities of the processor cease to suit. So it was with the MBP 17, I used it to the last and gave up only after hours began to take to process the video. I do not want to change the camera, watch, smartphone, old MacBook Air for travel - it works, and okay. There is only one caveat: it’s good when you can immediately choose the right things that can serve you for a very long time. There is an intersection with another proverb, we are not rich enough to buy cheap things.

Here you can say - well, connect your iPad to the cradle so that you can talk on the phone calmly. Well, but not all docks support the installation of tablets. Let's say you can stick it in Zeppelin, but not in Z2. In general, universal docking stations can be counted on the fingers, most often the manufacturer implies the use of only smartphones. I talk a lot on the phone during the day, and at any time of the day, except maybe quite late at night. And so AirPlay is the salvation in this case. If the conversation drags on, then you can take the iPad and quickly connect it to the system so that the music plays in the background. Such versatility pleases, and so far only AirPlay allows you to transfer streams with such convenience: the iPad is busy - okay, I’ll open iTunes on my laptop and output music from there.

In my opinion, such a preface is necessary before the story about the A7 - you should understand that the box of this system does not contain tens of thousands of marketing words about a variety of functions, backlights, retractable cradles and so on. This is a very practical and utilitarian speaker system, quite in the spirit of our time. Installed, connected, forgot, use as you like.

Design

On the official website, the design of the device is called inconspicuous, in fact, it is so - how inconspicuous a smartly made thing can be. The upper part is a table made of polished aluminum, for sure you will constantly put various trifles there, iPhone, remote control and other things, this is what happens at my house. The dimensions of the system are as follows: 360 x 220 x160 mm, weight - 5.70 kg, it seems light, in fact it is not quite so. The power supply is hidden in the case, all that remains is to connect it to the network and start the setup. The case is separated by an aluminum strip, at the ends there are volume control buttons, power on, in front there is a small light canoni curtain solutions indicator - a dot.

The remote control is familiar, it allows you to fully control playback. On the back there is a 3.5 mm jack, Ethernet for configuration, USB allows you to connect the A7 directly to a computer, only it will be difficult to find a similar cable. It is a pity that there is no audio cable or similar USB cable in the kit, all this costs a penny, why force the user to look for such things? But this seriously affects the functionality, in some cases it would be easier for me to connect the A7 to the MacBook Pro via cable so as not to download home Wi-Fi while the PS4 is running.

I love the design of the A7, the speaker is suitable for any room, whether it's a living room, a bedroom or an office in the office. The entire body is covered with fabric, after a couple of weeks of use I can say that dust is invisible here, although it all depends on the specific room, humidity and other factors.

By the way, the case is made of ABS polymer reinforced with fiberglass.

Settings

The easiest way to set up the A7 is to use the proprietary Control app, available from the AppStore (free of course, of course). There is a step-by-step instruction on how and what to do, just in case I will tell you here:

  1. Plug in the A7
  2. You need to wait until the indicator flashes yellow, and select this indicator in the program, everything is very clear and simple
  3. Then you need to go to the Wi-Fi settings on your smartphone or tablet and select A7 to configure
  4. Go to the program again, the last steps are left, the actual connection to the access point - select it from the list, enter the password
  5. After setting up, I recommend registering, this is necessary to receive updates, access the B&W music service, you can download music for free for a while. The catalog is small, but there are interesting things there, after the end of the free period, you can subscribe to a paid subscription
  6. That's it, in the iOS menu you need to select A7 from the list of AirPlay devices and start listening. Let me remind you that for the player this needs to be done in the Control Center menu, in some programs the icon appears when there are AirPlay devices nearby - for example, this is SoundCloud

I was faced with the fact that after setting up the iPhone 5S, I did not see any AirPlay devices around, I rebooted the A7 using the hidden button on the back. Re-installation did not help, rebooted the device, then everything worked. Therefore, if you suddenly encounter a similar problem, turn your iPhone/iPad/iPod on and off. I want to remind you that the A7 is a truly universal device that can work with any gadgets, there are also programs for Android that support AirPlay, you can read it here.

It's a completely different matter compared to the A5, especially when it comes to low frequencies, the A7 does much better with this. On the official website, they talk about the sound, as always, in detail: “The wireless audio in the A7 is resampled by an audiophile DAC to 96 kHz / 24 bits, reducing noise and expanding the dynamic range to get more detailed and natural sound from high-quality speakers.” And here's another: “Not all sounds are equally good. The A7 features tube-loaded tweeters pioneered in flagship Nautilus™ speakers. They absorb radiation from the back of the tweeter dome, guaranteeing clean high frequencies.” The traditional B&W notched port is called the Flowport, and both the A5 and the Z2 have one. More official information: “The most advanced A7 wireless system features a 6" Kevlar-reinforced cone subwoofer for rich and deep bass, as well as 4 speakers specially designed by Bowers & Wilkins. They provide excellent sound dispersion. Together with five dedicated audiophile class D amplifiers, the A7 delivers a truly impressive sound quality.”

I will immediately advise you to try different places to install the speaker after purchase, let them say on the official website that you can put it next to the wall, in fact it is better to have a margin of distance. The speaker is much louder than the A5, and, as I said, the difference in the reproduction of low frequencies is especially visible - well, and some musical genres in general, we are talking about electronic music and about rock. It doesn't make much sense to compare with Zeppelin, both are good in their own way, but compared to the A7, the Z2 seems like a teenager next to an adult man. Here are some more features:

  • 2x 25mm (1.0 in) aluminum tweeters with Nautilus tubes
  • 2x 75mm (3.0 in) midrange
  • 1x 150mm (6.0 in) subwoofer
  • Range often 36Hz - 42kHz, -6dB
  • Amplifier output power 2 x 25W (tweeter), 2 x 25W (mid), 1x 50W (subwoofer)

In fact, you have a very powerful wireless system at your fingertips, it is very difficult to find a competitor for it. The same Zeppelin is larger and more demanding in terms of installation, it is better to install it separately so that there are no walls around (ideally some large table and emptiness around). Bang & Olufsen systems are more expensive, although they can be more interesting in sound. Sonos has its own advantages - the same Play: 5 can be easily turned into an AirPlay system, but the sound of the A7 is more interesting, it's not only about low, but also about quality in general, there is something to listen to. And it turns out an interesting situation that the A7 remains in splendid isolation.If it’s more expensive to look for systems, then it’s better to select monitors and so on separately, cheaper systems are unlikely to please you so much in terms of sound - just go a little too far with the volume buttons on the remote control, and the A7 literally explodes, and you don’t want to stop it, really even long-familiar tracks sound painfully alive. A simple exercise, turn on No Surprises/Radiohead and hang for those same 3 minutes 49 seconds. Then repeat with other tracks. By the way, if you have a large house, then you can very simply solve the sound problem (if you don’t want to trouble): put several A7s, connect to the same network, name them according to the rooms where they are installed and transmit sound on the fly. Very comfortable, and the inconspicuous A7 will do the job just fine.

Conclusions

In retail, the speaker costs about 34,000 rubles, you can find it a little cheaper, you can find it a little more expensive. In my opinion, the device has no competitors, this small (relatively) box can surprise you very much, even if you have dealt with much more serious equipment. The pluses include versatility, ease of AirPlay setup, the ability to connect to a computer using a cable, the presence of a traditional AUX. The application is very visual, although some points should be explained separately. Beautiful appearance, although many will surely like the Zeppelin Air more - if you decide to buy, I recommend listening to both, even if the Zeppelin has more power, but in reproducing low frequencies, the A7 is quite capable of giving it a head start. And in general, the sound is a very personal matter, almost intimate, it's better to decide for yourself. In the end, my task is simple, the eternal search for things that could serve me for years - A7 is just one of those. As I said above, I installed it, connected it, forgot it, then all that remains is to enjoy the sound and sometimes blow dust off the aluminum “table”.

Bowers&Wilkins A7 audio device overview

Smaller than the Zeppelin, bigger than the Z2 and A5, expensive, looks inconspicuous - this inconspicuousness is even emphasized on the official website. One of those things that will serve you for a very, very long time. In addition to the story about A5, there is also a little about AirPlay in general.

About AirPlay and more

I want to remind you that in the Bowers&Wilkins line there are two devices designed exclusively for AirPlay, these are A5 and A7, they differ in size and, accordingly, in sound. The test of the first device was published on the site quite a long time ago, everyone did not get their hands on the A7, and it seemed, why produce entities? Is it that big of a difference? And is it necessary to write about the A7 at the beginning of 2014, because it is clearly not a hot new thing?

It seems to me that a good thing never gets old. That is why, when buying a MacBook Pro, you can use it for many years and not think about replacing it. I constantly deal with the very best gadgets, but a working laptop remains unchanged for two or three years, until the processor's capabilities cease to suit. So it was with the MBP 17, I used it to the last and gave up only after hours began to take to process the video. I do not want to change the camera, watch, smartphone, old MacBook Air for travel - it works, and okay. There is only one caveat: it's good when you can immediately choose the right things that can serve you for a very long time. There is an intersection with another proverb, we are not rich enough to buy cheap things.

If we talk about Bowers & Wilkins, then in my household there are a lot of company devices that work not for a month or two, but sometimes for a year or two. There is always a B&W P3 in the bag, saving from noise in a cafe, P7 at home, in order to calmly listen to music and not disturb your family. And also Z2 and Zeppelin, still the first generation, with an old connector - by the way, I safely recommend buying if you don’t want to overpay for Lightning, everything works with an adapter. There are no questions about this technique, and it helps to listen to music in a variety of conditions and using a variety of devices.

It is clear that the A5 and A7 were needed by B&W at the moment when the transition from 30-pin to Lightning was taking place. We also solved another problem - to acquaint people with the capabilities of AirPlay, to show that such a system is universal and is not inferior in sound to traditional solutions with a cradle. Later, Z1 appeared, Zeppelin with a new connector, but the black rectangles also did not disappear and, as far as I know, they sell quite well. In Russia, they would have sold even better if the company had taken up active marketing on the network earlier - after all, this is where the target audience hangs out, armed with gadgets with iOS. It seems that years have passed since the advent of AirPlay, but many people still have the wrong impression about this function - to the point that people are frightened by the stories of sellers and choose any speaker, as long as there is a Lightning or 30-pin cradle. That is, to know for sure: I will insert a smartphone here and everything will work. I have no purpose to prove the opposite, everyone chooses for himself the most convenient solution. I like systems with a dock because the device charges while playing music. I don't like these systems because when a call comes in, you have to walk up, pull out your smartphone, answer the call, and then put it back in. With A7, of course, you don't have to do anything like that, the device is always with you.

Here you can say - well, connect your iPad to the cradle so that you can talk on the phone calmly. Well, not all docks support the installation of tablets. Let's say you can stick it in Zeppelin, but not in Z2. In general, universal docking stations can be counted on the fingers, most often the manufacturer implies the use of only smartphones. I talk a lot on the phone during the day, and at any time of the day, except maybe quite late at night. And so AirPlay is the salvation in this case. If the conversation drags on, then you can take the iPad and quickly connect it to the system so that the music plays in the background. Such versatility pleases, and so far only AirPlay allows you to transfer streams with such convenience: the iPad is busy - okay, I’ll open iTunes on my laptop and output music from there.

In my opinion, such a preface is necessary before the story about the A7 - you should understand that the box of this system does not contain tens of thousands of marketing words about a variety of functions, backlights, retractable cradles and so on. This is a very practical and utilitarian speaker system, quite in the spirit of our time. Installed, connected, forgot, use as you like.

Design

On the official website, the design of the device is called inconspicuous, in fact, it is so - how inconspicuous a smartly made thing can be. The upper part is a table made of polished aluminum, for sure you will constantly put various trifles there, iPhone, remote control and other things, this is what happens at my house. The dimensions of the system are as follows: 360 x 220 x160 mm, weight - 5.70 kg, it seems light, in fact it is not quite so. The power supply is hidden in the case, all that remains is to connect it to the network and start the setup. The case is separated by an aluminum strip, at the ends there are volume control buttons, power on, in front there is a small light canoni curtain solutions indicator - a dot.

The remote control is familiar, it allows you to fully control playback. On the back there is a 3.5 mm jack, Ethernet for configuration, USB allows you to connect the A7 directly to a computer, only it will be difficult to find a similar cable. It is a pity that there is no audio cable or similar USB cable in the kit, all this costs a penny, why force the user to look for such things? But this seriously affects the functionality, in some cases it would be easier for me to connect the A7 to the MacBook Pro via cable so as not to download home Wi-Fi while the PS4 is running.

  1. Plug in the A7
  2. You need to wait until the indicator flashes yellow, and select this indicator in the program, everything is very clear and simple
  3. Then you need to go to the Wi-Fi settings on your smartphone or tablet and select A7 to configure
  4. Go to the program again, the last steps are left, the actual connection to the access point - select it from the list, enter the password
  5. After setting up, I recommend registering, this is necessary to receive updates, access to the B&W music service, you can download music for free for a while. The catalog is small, but there are interesting things there, after the end of the free period, you can subscribe to a paid subscription
  6. That's it, in the iOS menu you need to select A7 from the list of AirPlay devices and start listening. Let me remind you that for the player this needs to be done in the Control Center menu, in some programs the icon appears when there are AirPlay devices nearby - for example, this is SoundCloud

I was faced with the fact that after setting up the iPhone 5S, I did not see any AirPlay devices around, I rebooted the A7 using the hidden button on the back. Re-installation did not help, rebooted the device, then everything worked. Therefore, if you suddenly encounter a similar problem, turn your iPhone/iPad/iPod on and off. I want to remind you that the A7 is a truly universal device that can work with any gadgets, there are also programs for Android that support AirPlay, you can read it here.

A completely different thing compared to the A5, especially when it comes to low frequencies, the A7 does much better with this. On the official website, they talk about the sound, as always, in detail: “The wireless audio in the A7 is resampled by an audiophile DAC to 96 kHz / 24 bits, reducing noise and expanding the dynamic range to get more detailed and natural sound from high-quality speakers.” And here's another: “Not all sounds are equally good. The A7 features tube-loaded tweeters pioneered in flagship Nautilus™ speakers. They absorb radiation from the back of the tweeter dome, guaranteeing clean high frequencies.” The traditional B&W notched port is called the Flowport, and both the A5 and the Z2 have one. More official information: “The most advanced A7 wireless system features a 6" Kevlar-reinforced cone subwoofer for rich and deep bass, as well as 4 speakers specially designed by Bowers & Wilkins. They provide excellent sound dispersion. Together with five dedicated audiophile class D amplifiers, the A7 delivers a truly impressive sound quality.”

I will immediately advise you to try different places to install the speaker after purchase, let them say on the official website that you can put it next to the wall, in fact it is better to have a margin of distance. The speaker is much louder than the A5, and, as I said, the difference in the reproduction of low frequencies is especially visible - well, and some musical genres in general, we are talking about electronic music and about rock. It doesn't make much sense to compare with Zeppelin, both are good in their own way, but compared to the A7, the Z2 seems like a teenager next to an adult man. Here are some more features:

  • 2x 25mm (1.0 in) aluminum tweeters with Nautilus tubes
  • 2x 75mm (3.0 in) midrange
  • 1x 150mm (6.0 in) subwoofer
  • Range often 36Hz - 42kHz, -6dB
  • Amplifier output power 2 x 25W (tweeter), 2 x 25W (mid), 1x 50W (subwoofer)

In fact, you have a very powerful wireless system at your fingertips, it is very difficult to find a competitor for it. The same Zeppelin is larger and more demanding in terms of installation, it is better to install it separately so that there are no walls around (ideally some large table and emptiness around). Bang & Olufsen systems are more expensive, although they can be more interesting in sound. Sonos has its own advantages - the same Play: 5 can be easily turned into an AirPlay system, but the sound of the A7 is more interesting, it's not only about low, but also about quality in general, there is something to listen to. And it turns out an interesting situation that the A7 remains in splendid isolation.If it’s more expensive to look for systems, then it’s better to select monitors and so on separately, cheaper systems are unlikely to please you so much in terms of sound - just go a little too far with the volume buttons on the remote control, and the A7 literally explodes, and you don’t want to stop it, really even long-familiar tracks sound painfully alive. A simple exercise, turn on No Surprises/Radiohead and hang for those same 3 minutes 49 seconds. Then repeat with other tracks. By the way, if you have a large house, then you can very simply solve the sound problem (if you don’t want to trouble): put several A7s, connect to the same network, name them according to the rooms where they are installed and transmit sound on the fly. Very comfortable, and the inconspicuous A7 will do the job just fine.

Conclusions

In retail, the column costs about 34,000 rubles, you can find it a little cheaper, you can find it a little more expensive. In my opinion, the device has no competitors, this small (relatively) box can surprise you very much, even if you have dealt with much more serious equipment. The pluses include versatility, ease of AirPlay setup, the ability to connect to a computer using a cable, the presence of a traditional AUX. The application is very visual, although some points should be explained separately. Beautiful appearance, although many will surely like the Zeppelin Air more - if you decide to buy, I recommend listening to both, even if the Zeppelin has more power, but in reproducing low frequencies, the A7 is quite capable of giving it a head start. And in general, the sound is a very personal matter, almost intimate, it's better to decide for yourself. In the end, my task is simple, the eternal search for things that could serve me for years - A7 is just one of them. As I said above, I installed it, connected it, forgot it, then all that remains is to enjoy the sound and sometimes blow dust off the aluminum “table”.

Bowers&Wilkins A7 audio device overview

Smaller than the Zeppelin, bigger than the Z2 and A5, expensive, looks inconspicuous - this inconspicuousness is even emphasized on the official website. One of those things that will serve you for a very, very long time. In addition to the story about the A5, there is also a little about AirPlay in general.

About AirPlay and more

I want to remind you that in the Bowers&Wilkins lineup there are two devices designed exclusively for AirPlay, these are A5 and A7, they differ in size and, accordingly, in sound. The test of the first device was published on the site quite a long time ago, everyone did not get their hands on the A7, and it seemed, why produce entities? Is it that big of a difference? And is it necessary to write about the A7 at the beginning of 2014, because it is clearly not a hot novelty?

It seems to me that a good thing never gets old. That is why, when buying a MacBook Pro, you can use it for many years and not think about replacing it. I constantly deal with the very best gadgets, but a working laptop remains unchanged for two or three years, until the capabilities of the processor cease to suit. So it was with the MBP 17, I used it to the last and gave up only after hours began to take to process the video. I do not want to change the camera, watch, smartphone, old MacBook Air for travel - it works, and okay. There is only one caveat: it’s good when you can immediately choose the right things that can serve you for a very long time. There is an intersection with another proverb, we are not rich enough to buy cheap things.

If we talk about Bowers & Wilkins, then in my household there are a lot of company devices that work not for a month or two, but sometimes for a year or two. There is always B&W P3 in the bag, saving from the noise in the cafe, P7 at home, so that you can listen to music calmly and not disturb your family. And also Z2 and Zeppelin, still the first generation, with an old connector - by the way, I safely recommend buying if you don’t want to overpay for Lightning, everything works with an adapter. There are no questions about this technique, and it helps to listen to music in a variety of conditions and using a variety of devices.

It's clear that the A5 and A7 were needed by B&W at a time when the transition from 30-pin to Lightning was taking place. We also solved another problem - to acquaint people with the capabilities of AirPlay, to show that such a system is universal and is not inferior in sound to traditional solutions with a cradle. Later, Z1 appeared, Zeppelin with a new connector, but the black rectangles also did not disappear and, as far as I know, they sell quite well. In Russia, they would have sold even better if the company had taken up active marketing on the network earlier - after all, this is where the target audience hangs out, armed with gadgets with iOS. It seems that years have passed since the advent of AirPlay, but many people still have the wrong impression about this function - to the point that people are frightened by the stories of sellers and choose any speaker, as long as there is a Lightning or 30-pin cradle. That is, to know for sure: I will insert a smartphone here and everything will work. I have no purpose to prove the opposite, everyone chooses for himself the most convenient solution. I like systems with a dock because the device charges while playing music. I don't like these systems because when a call comes in, you have to walk up, pull out your smartphone, answer the call, and then put it back in. With A7, of course, you don’t have to do anything like that, the device is always with you.

Here you can say - well, connect your iPad to the cradle so that you can talk on the phone calmly. Well, but not all docks support the installation of tablets. Let's say you can stick it in Zeppelin, but not in Z2. In general, universal docking stations can be counted on the fingers, most often the manufacturer implies the use of only smartphones. I talk a lot on the phone during the day, and at any time of the day, except maybe quite late at night. And so AirPlay is the salvation in this case. If the conversation drags on, then you can take the iPad and quickly connect it to the system so that the music plays in the background. Such versatility pleases, and so far only AirPlay allows you to transfer streams with such convenience: the iPad is busy - okay, I’ll open iTunes on my laptop and output music from there.

In my opinion, such a preface is necessary before the story about the A7 - you should understand that the box of this system does not contain tens of thousands of marketing words about a variety of functions, backlights, retractable cradles and so on. This is a very practical and utilitarian speaker system, quite in the spirit of our time. Installed, connected, forgot, use as you like.

Design

On the official website, the design of the device is called inconspicuous, in fact, it is so - how inconspicuous a smartly made thing can be. The upper part is a table made of polished aluminum, for sure you will constantly put various trifles there, iPhone, remote control and other things, this is what happens at my house. The dimensions of the system are as follows: 360 x 220 x160 mm, weight - 5.70 kg, it seems light, in fact it is not quite so. The power supply is hidden in the case, it remains only to connect to the network and start the setup. The body is separated by an aluminum strip, at the ends there are volume control buttons, power on, in front there is a small light canoni curtain solutions indicator - a dot.

On the official website, the design of the device is called inconspicuous, in fact, it is so - how inconspicuous a smartly made thing can be. The upper part is a table made of polished aluminum, for sure you will constantly put various trifles there, iPhone, remote control and other things, this is what happens at my house. The dimensions of the system are as follows: 360 x 220 x160 mm, weight - 5.70 kg, it seems light, in fact it is not quite so. The power supply is hidden in the case, it remains only to connect to the network and start the setup. The case is separated by an aluminum strip, at the ends there are volume control buttons, power on, in front there is a small light canoni curtain solutions canoni curtain solutions indicator - dot.

The remote control is familiar, it allows you to fully control playback. On the back there is a 3.5 mm jack, Ethernet for configuration, USB allows you to connect the A7 directly to a computer, only it will be difficult to find a similar cable. It is a pity that there is no audio cable or similar USB cable in the kit, all this costs a penny, why force the user to look for such things? But this seriously affects the functionality, in some cases it would be easier for me to connect the A7 to the MacBook Pro via cable so as not to download home Wi-Fi while the PS4 is running.

I love the design of the A7, the speaker is suitable for any room, whether it's a living room, a bedroom or an office in the office. The entire body is covered with fabric, after a couple of weeks of use I can say that dust is invisible here, although it all depends on the specific room, humidity and other factors.

By the way, the case is made of ABS polymer reinforced with fiberglass.

Settings

The easiest way to set up the A7 is to use the proprietary Control app, available from the AppStore (free of course, of course). There is a step-by-step instruction on how and what to do, just in case I will tell you here:

  1. Plug in the A7
  2. You need to wait until the indicator flashes yellow, and select this indicator in the program, everything is very clear and simple
  3. Then you need to go to the Wi-Fi settings on your smartphone or tablet and select A7 to configure
  4. Go to the program again, the last steps are left, the actual connection to the access point - select it from the list, enter the password
  5. After setting up, I recommend registering, this is necessary to receive updates, access to the B&W music service, you can download music for free for a while. The catalog is small, but there are interesting things there, after the end of the free period, you can subscribe to a paid subscription
  6. That's it, in the iOS menu you need to select A7 from the list of AirPlay devices and start listening. Let me remind you that for the player this needs to be done in the Control Center menu, in some programs the icon appears when there are AirPlay devices nearby - for example, this is SoundCloud

I was faced with the fact that after setting up the iPhone 5S, I did not see any AirPlay devices around, I rebooted the A7 using the hidden button on the back. Re-installation did not help, rebooted the device, then everything worked. Therefore, if you suddenly encounter a similar problem, turn your iPhone/iPad/iPod on and off. I want to remind you that the A7 is a truly universal device that can work with any gadgets, there are also programs for Android that support AirPlay, you can read it here.

A completely different thing compared to the A5, especially when it comes to low frequencies, the A7 does much better with this. On the official website, they talk about the sound, as always, in detail: “The wireless audio in the A7 is resampled by an audiophile DAC to 96 kHz / 24 bits, reducing noise and expanding the dynamic range to get more detailed and natural sound from high-quality speakers.” And here's another: “Not all sounds are equally good. The A7 features tube-loaded tweeters pioneered in flagship Nautilus™ speakers. They absorb radiation from the back of the tweeter dome, guaranteeing clean high frequencies.” The traditional B&W notched port is called the Flowport, and both the A5 and the Z2 have one. More official information: “The most advanced A7 wireless system features a 6" Kevlar-reinforced cone subwoofer for rich and deep bass, as well as 4 speakers specially designed by Bowers & Wilkins. They provide excellent sound dispersion. Together with five dedicated audiophile class D amplifiers, the A7 delivers a truly impressive sound quality.”

I will immediately advise you to try different places to install the speaker after purchase, let them say on the official website that you can put it next to the wall, in fact it is better to have a margin of distance. The speaker is much louder than the A5, and, as I said, the difference in the reproduction of low frequencies is especially visible - well, and some musical genres in general, we are talking about electronic music and about rock. It doesn't make much sense to compare with Zeppelin, both are good in their own way, but compared to the A7, the Z2 seems like a teenager next to an adult man. Here are some more features:

  • 2x 25mm (1.0 in) aluminum tweeters with Nautilus tubes
  • 2x 75mm (3.0 in) midrange
  • 1x 150mm (6.0 in) subwoofer
  • Range often 36Hz - 42kHz, -6dB
  • Amplifier output power 2 x 25W (tweeter), 2 x 25W (mid), 1x 50W (subwoofer)

In fact, you have a very powerful wireless system at your fingertips, it is very difficult to find a competitor for it. The same Zeppelin is larger and more demanding in terms of installation, it is better to install it separately so that there are no walls around (ideally some large table and emptiness around). Bang & Olufsen systems are more expensive, although they can be more interesting in sound. Sonos has its own advantages - the same Play: 5 can be easily turned into an AirPlay system, but the sound of the A7 is more interesting, it's not only about low, but also about quality in general, there is something to listen to. And it turns out an interesting situation that the A7 remains in splendid isolation.If it’s more expensive to look for systems, then it’s better to select monitors and so on separately, cheaper systems are unlikely to please you so much in terms of sound - just go a little too far with the volume buttons on the remote control, and the A7 literally explodes, and you don’t want to stop it, really even long-familiar tracks sound painfully alive. A simple exercise, turn on No Surprises/Radiohead and hang for those same 3 minutes 49 seconds. Then repeat with other tracks. By the way, if you have a large house, then you can very simply solve the sound problem (if you don’t want to trouble): put several A7s, connect to the same network, name them according to the rooms where they are installed and transmit sound on the fly. Very comfortable, and the inconspicuous A7 will do the job just fine.

Conclusions

In retail, the column costs about 34,000 rubles, you can find it a little cheaper, you can find it a little more expensive. In my opinion, the device has no competitors, this small (relatively) box can surprise you very much, even if you have dealt with much more serious equipment. The pluses include versatility, ease of AirPlay setup, the ability to connect to a computer using a cable, the presence of a traditional AUX. The application is very visual, although some points should be explained separately. Beautiful appearance, although many will surely like the Zeppelin Air more - if you decide to buy, I recommend listening to both, even if the Zeppelin has more power, but in reproducing low frequencies, the A7 is quite capable of giving it a head start. And in general, the sound is a very personal matter, almost intimate, it's better to decide for yourself. In the end, my task is simple, the eternal search for things that could serve me for years - A7 is just one of them. As I said above, I installed it, connected it, forgot it, then all that remains is to enjoy the sound and sometimes blow dust off the aluminum “table”.