Bowers & Wilkins A5 (Factory Refurbished)

Powered speaker system with Apple® AirPlay®

Item #: 749A5BR

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Was:$499.99

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Bowers & Wilikns A5

Save with this factory-refurbished A5

This factory-refurbished A5 speaker from Bowers & Wilkins has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it meets their strict quality standards for both sonic performance and mechanical integrity. The unit is repacked in special packaging, complete with all documentation. Best of all, it comes with a full 2-year factory warranty, so you can buy it with confidence.

A great way to go wireless

With the Bowers & Wilkins A5 wireless speaker system you can enjoy amazing sound from your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, or iTunes® on your computer. The system uses Apple AirPlay to let you wirelessly stream music from your compatible device with ease.

Advanced acoustics for exceptional sound

The system features quality electronics and  drivers to deliver spacious, detailed sound. Tube-loaded tweeters ensure the highs remain clean and clear, without sounding strident.

The mid-range drivers use glass fiber cone material to control resonances and improve off-axis response. The result is full, natural sound throughout your room. B & W's Flowport™ passively reinforces low frequencies. The dimpled surface of its opening reduces air turbulence, producing clearer sound. It's the same effect that helps golf balls fly farther. 

All four drivers are individually amplified to maximize accuracy. Bowers & Wilkins' proprietary Digital Signal Processing circuitry continually analyses and adjusts the audio signal. Even at maximum volume your music sounds balanced and clear.

The AirPlay advantage

From your computer you can easily make a wireless connection to the A5 system through iTunes®. You can wirelessly connect to multiple A5s (or other AirPlay-compatible systems like the Zeppelin Air) to simultaneously play your music in different locations throughout your home. And you can control the volume levels of each connected player individually or jointly through your computer's iTunes program.

Bowers & Wilkins A75Airplay

With AirPlay, you can use your iPad to control iTunes playback through multiple wireless speakers in your home.

With your Apple portable — iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch — you have even more options. Stream music wirelessly directly from your device to the A5. Or use your portable as a remote to control your computer's iTunes library. Through AirPlay you can select songs and playlists from your computer's iTunes library to play through the A5, and adjust the volume level of the system, as well.

Wired options

An Ethernet jack lets you make a wired connection to your home network. Play music from other portable devices through the system's stereo minijack input.

Product Highlights:

  • AirPlay lets you stream music wirelessly from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or computer
  • two 1" tweeters and two 4" mid/woofers
  • 20 watts x 2 for tweeters, 20 watts x 2 for mid/woofers
  • frequency response: 47-22,000 Hz (± 3dB)
  • high-performance Class-D amplifier
  • auxiliary stereo minijack input for other portable players
  • RJ-45 Ethernet port for connection to your home network
  • remote control
  • AC power cable
  • 11-13/16"W x 7-3/16"H x 6-1/16"D
  • weight: 7.9 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Refurbished AirPlay powered speaker
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • 39" AC power cord
  • Remote control (CR2032 3V battery)
  • A5 Brochure booklet
  • AirPlay Setup booklet
  • Safety Instructions/Warranty
  • Safety Information

Product Research

Features

B&W A5 Wireless Music System: The Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) A5 is a wireless powered speaker system that employs Apple's AirPlay technology. Apple's AirPlay technology offers high-quality wireless audio streaming from your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad; as well as your Windows or Mac computer with iTunes. The A5 uses audiophile-grade Bowers & Wilkins audio technology for a high-fidelity sounding music system that can handle the broadest range of frequencies. The Bowers & Wilkins A5 works great in "out-of-the-way" spaces where it won't be noticed, such as on bookshelves or against walls.

High Quality Audio Design: The Bowers & Wilkins A5 wireless music system is equipped with a Class-D amplifier and digital signal processing (DSP). The Class-D amplifier is rated at 20-watts x 4 channels. The B&W A5 features two 1" Nautilus tube aluminum tweeters and two 4.0" mid-bass drivers. The wireless music system's enclosure is made from glass-filled ABS and feature's Bowers & Wilkins proprietary Flowport technology. The Bowers & Wilkins Flowport technology dramatically improves the system's overall bass performance. The unit's rear-firing port is dimpled to improve air flow, reducing turbulence. The result is less chuffing noise and less compression at high levels; which means better bass no matter how loud you like your music.

Apple AirPlay Technology: Apple's AirPlay technology allows music, downloaded to iTunes, to be streamed (wired or wirelessly) from your Mac or PC to the B&W A5. You can even bypass the computer entirely, and stream high-quality audio directly from your Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (all without the need to dock the device). The A5 supports Apple Lossless and MP3 audio file transfer. The B&W A5 and your AirPlay audio source must be connected to the same wireless network via a WiFi (802.11g/n) router or hub.

  • iTunes Streaming: The B&W A5 is able to wirelessly play audio from your computer's iTunes account either wirelessly (WiFi) or via a wired (Ethernet) connection using AirPlay streaming technology. When connected to the same network as a computer running iTunes, the A5 can appear as an output option in the pop-up menu at the bottom of the iTunes window. You can then browse your iTunes collection on your computer and stream music to the A5. To use the AirPlay feature you need a Mac or Windows-based PC running iTunes (10.2.2 or later) connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network as the A5.
  • Apple Device Streaming: AirPlay also lets you wirelessly stream your iTunes music and a variety of music apps (such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, etc) stored on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to the A5. So there's no need to dock your Apple device. The Bowers & Wilkins A5's AirPlay feature works with iPod touch (2nd/3rd/4th/5th gen), iPhone (3GS/4/4S/5), iPad (1/2/3/4), and iPad mini with iOS 4.4.3 or later; connected to the same wireless network.

Simple Setup: In order to connect your Apple device to the B&W A5 wireless music system, you will need to download the Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay Setup App to your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (running iOS 4.4.3 or later). The Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay Setup App is also available to download for your Mac computer or Windows PC from the Bowers & Wilkins Support Site, allowing you to set up and manage the wireless music system from your computer.

Auxiliary Input: The rear-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input accepts an analog stereo signal from an external audio source, such as your portable MP3 player.

Remote Control: The supplied wireless IR remote offers Power, Volume Up/Down, and Playback controls. Playback controls include Play/Pause and Previous/Next Track. The remote is powered by a single CR2032 3V lithium battery (pre-installed).

AC Power: The Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) A5 operates off of standard household AC current, using the supplied AC power adapter. The A5 will automatically enter Sleep mode if left inactive for more than 30 minutes.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Bowers & Wilkins A5 (Factory Refurbished) Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Good on it's own, so-so compared to big brothers

Written By JoseC, Eagle Pass, TX on Sunday, August 24, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As an audio enthusiast, I currently own the wonderful A7 and used to own the iconic Zeppelin Air (30 pin). Based on B&W's audio expertise, I purchased this unit for my small dining room. If you haven't heard the big brothers (A7 or Zeppelin Air), you might consider that this unit sound amazing. Yes, the openness and warmth of B&W is present and it is a definite improvement over a Bose sound dock. However, as I previously mentioned, I'm an owner of an A7 and used to own the Zeppelin Air... This unit pales in comparison. There is simply a lack of bass that does not justify its full price. Compared to the refurbished Zeppelin air available here for the same price, the air is a much better option as both units stream audio perfectly. Furthermore, if you get the zeppelin, you get the awesome 24/96 dac that is not available on the A5. This dac will make your steaming much more better sounding as it upscales the audio signal, ideal for streaming services as spotify, pandora or beats.

Pros: Sleek design, open and warm sound. Airplay.

Cons: No subwoofer compared to its big brothers, no 24/96 up sampling dac, no toslink input.

No issues with mine

Written By RichardK, Naugatuck, CT on Friday, August 22, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have had no of the issues the others reported. Setup took less than 5 min to load the app into my Mac and run it found my network immidiately it was then visable to all my other devices. I was looking for a light airplay speaker I could easily take outside. The A5 seemed to fit the bill but even with the refurbished discout it was still costly and the reviews have been mixed for all A5's all reviewed the soud as very good to excelent but very mixed on ease of connectivity. I was originally worried about the lack of a woffer but the base is clean and mid to high tones crisp.Very happy!

Pros: Sound and ease of setup

Cons: Still pricey even with dicound but sound quality makes it worth it

Bowers & Wilkins A5

Written By Anonymous, Charlotte, NC on Monday, May 19, 2014

The product looks great but does not connect to AirPlay as it advertises. I tried multiple times and also tried with the tech support representative, and it did not work. Inaccurately advertised as AirPlay compatible.

Crutchfield response on Monday, June 02, 2014 We have confirmed that the Bowers & Wilkins A5 is AirPlay compatible. AirPlay speakers, like other network-connected devices, depend on your home Wi-Fi equipment, how that equipment is configured, and the wireless environment in your home. Malfunctions may be caused by the positioning of your network equipment relative to your AirPlay speaker or by interference from a device that operates on the same wireless frequency. For more information, see this tech bulletin from Bowers & Wilkins.

Can't recommend these speakers

Written By Juan, Michigan on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Unfortunately, the drivers on my unit came damaged. Even at low volumes, you'd hear a raspy sound. Crutchfield gladly offered to send right away a replacement unit, but I declined, because I believe depending on digital volume management (i.e. the iTunes volume slider) is a fundamental flaw of this product. The speakers have volume buttons (+/-) but what these do is send a digital signal through AirPlay asking the controlling computer/phone to lower the volume. Press the + button and the volume slider on iTunes will go up.

What this means is that the amp is fixed at a given gain, and the speakers depend on the input coming at a lower level when the volume is down. Two problems with this:

a) at lower volumes, you get less resolution. Digital music use numbers to represent the amplitude of the sound. More bits, higher quality. Using the digital volume control to keep the sound to a reasonable level (say 10%) means you are using only 25/26 out of the 256 possible values (i.e. 4/5 bits). This is something similar to what happens on a digital camera when you have to use the digital zoom (less quality) vs. using a true lens zoom.

b) drivers may get damaged when you accidentally switch from computer speakers or headphones to the A5. I personally use the iTunes volume at around 80% when using the speakers of my MB Air, and around 60% when using headphones. If you forget to lower the volume to 20% before switching to the A5s, you'll jump out of your chair

Pros: Strong amplifier. Beautiful design. Packaging is excellent. Setting up with AirPlay is very easy. Did I say beautiful design already?

Cons: Depends on digital volume management, which leads to the problems I described above

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