I had the good fortune of being lent an A5 for a couple of days. Honestly, I did not want to give it back! That’s how impressed I was with the A5.
I’ve been looking for good iPhone and iPad speakers for my room. I wanted something that was easy to use, wireless and looked nice. I wanted one that would give me functionality but also provide aesthetics to my room. The A5 fit the criteria.
The A5 has a beautiful yet simple design. It’s basically a curved box. The beauty lies in the details though. A metal strip accents the glass filled ABS material used to create the enclosure of the A5 where the branding and controls are all located. The top part is also made of the same metal giving the A5 a very high end finish.
True to the products that it’s primarily designed for, the A5 is a testament to the philosophy “less is more”. Unlike some of the docks and speaker systems I’ve seen Bowers and Wilkins practiced restraint in designing the A5 as well as its bigger sibling the A7.
The A5 looks so good that it can act as a decorative piece for your room. You don’t even have to switch it on to add value to a room.
Measuring at 180mm (H) x 300mm (W) x 120mm(D) and weighing in at 3.6kg the A5 is not small but it’s not enormous either. It’s a good size for placing on shelves or on top of a desk. It’s substantial but not obtrusive.
All this talk about the A5 looking good is nothing if it can’t perform the way it was intended to. In that respect, the A5 is aces. It sounds amazing.
The A5 is powered by 2x 25mm (1.0in) Nautilus™ tube aluminium tweeter and
2x 100mm (4.0in) Mid and low range drive units that allows is to produce clear and crisp sound.
I tried playing various types of music, from classical to rock, instrumental to songs that have great vocal parts. The A5 rendered them all really well. It was able to fill my bedroom (about 12-15 sqm) without even trying.
I guess my only complaint is that I wanted it to have a little more bass. That’s not a deal breaker though.
The A5 is primarily an AirPlay speaker. It’s designed for iOS and OS X devices. There’s a wired input at the back for other devices but it’s mainly used for Apple products such as the iPhone, iPod, iPad and Macs. Windows computer can also use this provided they’re running iTunes 10.2.2 or later.
Setup isn’t that difficult. Download the free Bowers and Wilkins Setup App. It’s available for iOS, Mac and Windows. Follow the onscreen instructions and that’s it. I did encounter a slight glitch or bug using the app. At the end of the set up it didn’t give an indication it was done. At first I thought that it failed so I just quit the app. I discovered that the A5 was available through AirPlay already.
The Setup App also allows you to set up and manage multiple devices. So you can have several devices in your home and manage it all with the Setup App.
After setting up the A5, it was a breeze to use. On your iOS device just open up your Music App select the A5 on your AirPlay list of devices and you’re good to go. Simple and easy.
Beauty comes at a price and the A5 is no exception. Make no mistake this is a premium product and it comes at a price. The A5 has a local SRP of Php 25,990. Expensive by any standards but as they say “you get what you pay for”. In my opinion it’s worth every single peso.
When all is said and done, if you have the money to spend, the A5 is a worthy option for your hard earned money. It’s a great sounding speaker system from one of the leading audio companies. It’s got technology and heritage. If you’re particular with sound quality then this is for you. Perfect for bedrooms and small living rooms.
The Bowers and Wilkins A5 is available at Frequency Response Inc. 02 2158966 , 02 5020167 or 7214123.
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