The audiophiles at Bowers & Wilkins have announced two brand new speakers – the A5 and A7 – that are designed to work with Apple's wireless AirPlay technology. This allows them to achieve a cleaner look due to the lack of a dock or protruding auxiliary cables. It also means you can carry your iPhone or iPad around with you and keep the music playing, provided you are within Wi-Fi range of course.
Bowers & Wilkins recently revealed its Zeppelin Air, which is also AirPlay compatible. The difference between the two models is the lack of a docking cradle for iPhone. The Zeppelin is available for purchase now, and the new A5 and A7 models will hit shelves in October.
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The A7 is the highest model in this new line of AirPlay speakers. According to Bowers & Wilkins, is has "audiophile-grade electronics including Digital to Analog Converters capable of up-scaling audio to 24bit/96kHz."
Because the A7 is quite a bit larger than the A5, it leaves enough space for a dedicated six-inch bass driver. Obviously, this can add a lot to the music when compared to the A5. If space and money is not an issue, and your main focus is sound quality, the A7 seems like the way to go.
In terms of features, the A5 is not far behind the A7. It lacks the six-inch woofer, but it should still deliver fantastic sound quality. The main benefit it offers is its size. It is substantially smaller than the A7, so it will be able to fit in places that the A7 might not be able to go.
According to the company, the A5 "delivers a remarkably rich and detailed acoustic performance, with the kind of spacious, room-filling sound you’d expect from a much larger speaker."
Both the A5 and A7 can use the Bowers & Wilkins Setup App to get AirPlay up and running. Tech-savvy users can probably skip this step, but it could prove helpful for the audiophile who is not up with their mobile technology.
The Bowers & Wilkins A5 and A7 will hit the market next month. The A5 will retail for US$499.99 and the A7 will cost $799.99.
Source: Bowers & WilkinsView gallery - 8 images