Long ago we dismissed Airplay in favor of Sonos, a wireless speaker system that has gone unrivaled. That being said, Airplay is a more practical solution for those with a studio or one bedroom apartment, where as Sonos is geared more towards those with a multi room abode. Nevertheless, there is no disputing the underwhelming nature of many Airplay compatible speakers. Sure, they can playback music from any iOS or Mac device without wires, but we’re more interested in a quality speaker system that can perform this feat all at the same time.
Bower and Wilkins might just have the solution that we seek. It’s called the A5 and A7 (not to be confused with Audi). The A5 is the smaller of the two, and as a result sports less power, and less speakers. To be more specific, the A5 has a two 1-inch Nautilus tube aluminium tweeters and two 4-inch mid and low range drivers, each supported by a class D digital amplifier that delivers a total of 40 watts of power. The A7 on the other hands has two 1-inch Nautilus tube aluminium tweeters, two 3-inch midrange drivers, and 6-inch Subwoofer. It too is powered by a class D amplifier, yet it produces a total of 100w of power, 60 more than its smaller brother.
Inside both speakers are Bower and Wilkin’s Nautilus Tapering Tubes. They were first seen in their flagship Nautilus speakers, and according to B&W they’re designed in such a way that the rear reflections are absorbed “ensuring” pure high frequencies. Both speakers include support for WiFi b/g/n as well as a wired Ethernet option. While the A7 includes what the company calls an audiophile-quality 96kHz/24bit Digital-to-Analogue Convertor (DAC) for more natural and detailed sound, it’s not clear if the A5 will include that as well.
Nevertheless, the A5 and A7 aren’t cheap. But keep in mind you’re paying a bit for the brand name, as well as their beautiful design. Both release in October and cost $499.99 and $799.99 respectively.