Bowers & Wilkins A7 (Factory Refurbished)

Powered speaker system with Apple® AirPlay® wireless streaming

Item #: 749A7BR

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12 Reviews | 2 questions - 7 answers

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Bowers & Wilikns A7

Factory-refurbished and repacked with care

Here's a chance to get a great deal on an extraordinary-sounding and highly versatile powered speaker system. This factory-refurbished A7 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.

High-performance wireless sound

The Bowers & Wilkins A7 wireless speaker system uses Apple AirPlay technology to let you stream music from your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, or computer. And it delivers that music with amazing clarity and accuracy, filling your room with full, natural sound.

Advanced acoustics for extraordinary sound

The system features audiophile-grade electronics and high-performace drivers to reproduce sound far better than what you might expect from such a compact system. A pair of tube-loaded tweeters— an innovation from Bowers & Wilkins' flagship Nautilus™ speaker — ensure the highs remain clean and clear, without sounding strident.

Bowers & Wilkins A7 Flowport detail

The dimples on the Flowport reduce air turbulance for smoother bass.

The two midrange drivers deliver full, natural detail, while the Kevlar™-reinforced  six-inch woofer raccurately eproduces low frequencies. The rear Flowport™ has dimpled holes to reduce air turbulance (much like those on a golf ball), further ensuring that the bass sounds musical, not harsh.

Each of the five drivers is powered by its own amplifier to maximize responsiveness and accuracy. Bowers & Wilkins' propietary Digital Signal Processing circuitry continually analyzes and adjusts the audio signal. This keeps your music balanced, clear and distortion-free at all volume levels — even when you crank it up to maximum volume.

The AirPlay advantage

You can easily play music from you computer wirelessly on the A7 system through iTunes®. You can even stream to multiple A7s (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 A7 Airplay

Stream music wirelessly from your computer.

With your Apple portable — iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch — you have even more options. Stream music wirelessly directly from your device to the A7. Or use your portable as a remote to control your computer's iTunes library. Through AirPlay you can select songs and playlists, and adjust the volume level of the system as well.

Making the most of other music sources

An Ethernet jack lets you make a wired connection to your home network. Or play music from other portable devices through the system's stereo minijack input. And there's an optical digital inputfor compatible components, such as a CD player. The A7 has a built-in audiophile-quality 24-bit/96kHz upsampling digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that helps this system deliver the best possible performance from wireless and wired digital music sources.

Product Highlights:

  • AirPlay lets you stream music wirelessly from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or computer
  • two 1" tweeters and two 3" midrange woofers
  • internal 6" subwoofer
  • 25 watts x 2 for tweeters, 25 watts x 2 for midranges, plus 50 watts for subwoofer
  • frequency response: 40-36,000 Hz
  • high-performance Class-D amplifiers
  • minijack auxiliary input accepts both analog and optical digital connections
  • USB port allows audio playback from your computer and enables firmware upgrades
  • Ethernet port for connection to your home network
  • built-in 24-bit/96kHz upsampling DAC handles wireless and wired digital audio sources
  • remote control
  • AC power cable
  • 14-3/16"W x 8-11/16"H x 8-1/16"D
  • weight: 12.5 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
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • Remote control (CR2032 3V battery)
  • A7 Brochure booklet
  • AirPlay Setup booklet
  • Safety Instructions/Warranty
  • Safety Information
  • Battery removal/remote control diagram

Product Research

Features

B&W A7 Wireless Music System: The Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) A7 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 A7 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 A7 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 A7 wireless music system is equipped with a Class-D amplifier and digital signal processing (DSP). The Class-D amplifier provides 25W x 4ch (tweeters/mids) + 50 x 1ch (subwoofer). The B&W A7 features two 1" Nautilus tube aluminum tweeters, two 3.0" midrange drivers, and one 6" subwoofer. 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 A7. 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 A7 supports Apple Lossless and MP3 audio file transfer. The B&W A7 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 A7 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 A7 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 A7. 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 A7.
  • 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 A7. So there's no need to dock your Apple device. The Bowers & Wilkins A7'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 A7 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 minijack cable or mini-Toslink digital cable from your external analog or digital audio device. The A7 is able to play stereo digital audio up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution (not compatible with surround-sound encoded 5.1 channel digital audio).

USB Audio Streaming: The A7's USB (type-B) port can be used to stream and playback music that is stored or being streamed on your Mac computer or Windows-based PC. It can also be used for firmware updates.

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) A7 operates off of standard household AC current, using the supplied 6.5' AC power cord. The A7 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 A7 (Factory Refurbished) Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Aggravating dropped connection

Written By dank, Northern Virginia on Friday, December 12, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great price, great sound, not so great Airplay connection. My A7, and others too evidently, frequently drops its connection. I suspect it isn't an Airplay issue as my A7 is about 20 feet from my Airport Extreme with nothing blocking the signal. Plan on returning this and buying a different brand Airplay speaker and hoping for better results. Too bad as I am very pleased with the sound...when it works.

Pros: sounds great, impressive volume, right sized.

Cons: too frequent connectivity problems

refurb-value!

Written By slowpaddler, Poconos, PA on Thursday, December 04, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

saw these refurbished A5 and A7s on the Crutchfield web site and took the plunge on a refurbished A7. always liked the idea of Apple's AirPlay over any Bluetooth speaker arrangement and, so far, have not been disappointed. As a long-time B&W customer, I was comfortable with their (and Crutchfield's) reputation and warranty for such a product (2 yr factory BTW) and was impressed with the like-new condition and factory-sealed packaging. These are certainly no 'open-box' returns....! Setup was easy and the A7 is easily found on my network along side my AppleTV. Sound is excellent as expected, with the added bass (of the A7) welcomed! Need a couple more!

Pros: quick shipping factory sealed condition excellent price 2 year warranty quality built good B&W sound quality AirPlay vs Bluetooth

Cons: finicky nature of wireless communication. would like AirPlay to stream to two devices simultaneously.

Great idea, okay execution

Written By RobertL, Florida on Friday, November 28, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought the refurbished model at the lower price, after reading all the reviews. Likely this was a return from someone - it appeared to be brand new, unused. As others have reported, the sound is quite good for a small box. Bass is a bit boomy but that is rectified by stuffing the bass port with a sock.

I have wired ethernet throughout my house so I have the device set up with an ethernet connection to my network, so there is no possibility of wireless dropout between the music source and the A7. The rest of my setup is as follows: streaming from a QNAP NAS 469 Pro, using the QAirplay service and using an iPhone 6 with QFIle as the remote control. On the plus side, this setup allows me to stream FLAC as well as MP3 files from my NAS to the A7. On the downside, as others have reported, the A7 seems to only reluctantly connect to the streaming source. It usually takes about 15 seconds into a track to get the A7 to respond to the remote signal, and a strong WiFi signal is required to be held by the iPhone, otherwise, play is interrupted. That being, said, I upgraded my wireless router to one with a stronger signal and I am pretty happy with the stability of the stream now, once I get it started. It sometimes takes a couple of tries to get things "flowing". There are a number of different software elements involved in my setup, so it may not be all the A7's fault, when it doesn't connect.

Would I buy it again? Yes, it's working well enough. Hope B&W upgrade firmware soon!

Pros: Quality sound and good looks from a small box

Cons: "Brittle" connection to music streaming source

B&W A7 on top

Written By FritzH, Zanesville, Ohio on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The B&W A7 wireless speakers are the best sounding wireless speakers I've heard. I have bought a number of B&W shelf speakers and these are on par with them. These speakers sound like one would expect from the high-end Bowers & Wilkins.

Pros: fantastic audiophile sound, well made

Cons: occasional drop of signal between the audio device and speakers, but this is due to weak wi-fi signals and can be fixed by moving the router.

Awesome sound, sketchy airplay connections

Written By OBG, Asheville, NC on Sunday, November 09, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This speaker was purchased for my wife's birthday and has provided a full deep sound that filled a small cafe for her party and easily fills our living room with beautiful sound. For the party I hooked it up with a USB cord and it worked flawlessly. After the party and bringing it home we set it up and used a computer, an ipad, and an iphone to stream music to it and it sounded great. The next day we found it hard to connect wirelessly and it would drop when we did. After much frustration, I moved the router/modem to directly under the speaker in the basement below. Ever since it has worked well with no dropping and connects easily to all our devices. The sound is beautiful but it is one speaker and so there is no separation of right and left channels. At some point I plan to install a full stereo surround system at which point I will move this into our bedroom.

Pros: Great sound, compact, easy controls, beautiful design

Cons: Connectivity can be an issue

This is the one!

Written By SteveG-VA, Charlottesville, VA on Friday, July 11, 2014

First off, I want to say what a pleasure it is to have the Crutchfield retail showroom nearby and to do business with them. As a recent arrival to the area, I had to purchase a few items for my new abode. The sales staff have all been most accommodating and knowledgeable. Yesterday I returned a Polk Audio Woodbourne wireless speaker system because the bass was overpowering and muffled in my living room. I hated to do that because it was such an attractive unit with so many features. Today I picked up this refurbished B&W A7 as a replacement that was sent over from the warehouse. Staff couldn't have been more gracious with the transactions.

So, I have been playing classical music over AirPlay all afternoon. Sound is rich, balanced, and the highs are crystal clear. For me, in my room, this unit has it all over the Woodbourne. As others have said, the refurbished unit appears brand new. Only the "Recertified" sticker on the outer box gives it away. Well, also the more affordable price, because the new unit is way beyond my price range. I have played from my iPad Air in the same room and from my iMac several rooms distant. The only interruption that I experienced was when pages loaded in Mail or Safari or other apps on the iPad. But, no dropouts from the iMac.

Pros: Crystal clear sound. Stable play over AirPlay. Remote works well from way across a big room. Nice freebie album downloads offered by B&W as part of the product registration. Ease of connecting to my WiFi with the B&W app. Extremely neat color coded pilot light. You have to see it to believe how much mileage B&W gets out of a tiny LED!

Cons: Sound dispersion not as great as with the much wider and curved front Polk Woodbourne, but still I much prefer this unit. Similarly, no Bluetooth that is built into the Woodbourne along with AirPlay. Cover to battery compartment on the remote is a huge challenge to remove. They should have put a coin slot in the circular cover over the button battery to make it easy to undo. I had to use the sticky undercoating of the film covering of the remote to get traction on the cover.

What else can you expect from B&W?

Written By Anonymous, Baltimore, MD on Saturday, March 08, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great price and great sound! Never had experience regarding wi-fi hi-fi, it is truly amazing. A7 is the latest airplay product from B&W. And what else would you expect from B&W for such a lower price? I know it is refurbished. But it looks brand new to me when I received it. Unless you really do care about the box appearance, get it! You won't regret it.

Mary Zubert

Written By A7, St. Louis Mo on Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The A7 is a powerful speaker that fills my entire first floor with clear sound. I'm very pleased with its capabilities. Plus it's a very smart looking speaker that goes well with any decor.

Pros: Power and aesthetic and easily portable.

Love My Bowers and Wilkens Refurbished A7

Written By Jay W, Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Wonderful Product. Sound is astonishingly good. Stylishly attractive. Great value for the money. Recommend wholeheartedly.

Pros: Sound quality. Value for the money. Easy to set up. Crutchfield team answered set up questions I had. Unequivocally pleased with product.

Cons: None.

Refurbished B&W A7

Written By jhrsn, Charlottesville, VA on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Excellent and relatively neutral sound, comparable to a decent component system (except for soundstage of course) for folk, jazz, classical in a space of about 400 sq ft, and the factory refurbished unit is indistinguishable from new. Airplay range is limited and will drop periodically if the unit is too far from the router (recommend not more than 20 feet and two walls). The sound is sensitive to room placement, so play around with the furniture and room/floor corners. Overall very satisfied.

Pros: Sound quality, good frequency response balance with decent bass.

Cons: Airplay can be tricky, particularly if you need to locate it more than one room away from the router (if not for this the unit gets 5 stars). Cost, though the availability of a refurbished unit helps a bit.

B&W A7

Written By AndyW, Chicago on Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nice unit with high quality components. Setup with Airplay was straightforward. Streaming works well 90%+ of the time. Sound is very good, better than $200 logitech portable that I have, but don't expect speaker quality sound from such a small / integrated unit.

Pros: Setup, B&W quality, form factor, design, sound.

Cons: A little pricey even for the refurbished unit. Sound from plug-in auxiliary port (e.g. from ipod playing radio) is not very good, likely due to low quality analog signal (need to validate this).

Great tone and natural sound

Written By Brian S, Madison, PA on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sounding and room filling speaker. Prefer it's acoustics over Sonos. I'm still not sure if they can be stereo paired like Sonos, btw drastically improves sound quality. Two play3 stereo paired totals 600, so this is a great option in one unit with richer and more natural sound.

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Questions & Answers Ask the community. Share your knowledge.

2 questions already asked

You can use analog stereo minijack cable or mini-Toslink digital cable to connect your Satellite receiver or your TV to it. Although the main benefit of this speaker is AirPlay. [ GEORGE  Mar 09, 2014 ]
I don't think so [ JEFF C  Mar 09, 2014 ]
Unless you have a audio out jack on your TV or Direct TV box, I highly doubt so. [ Sean  Mar 09, 2014 ]
this is very good product. I never seen a factory refurbished this high quality beside Apple before. I am very happy !. But make sure you compare with Zeppelin also. Most importantly! need a break-in time. good luck ! [ chayawan  Dec 16, 2013 ]
I just bought and the product arrived a week ago. There are no cosmetic damage and it looks like new. You probably won't realize that this is refurbished. It's working very well so far, sounding exactly what I read in peoples' comments. [ ayako  Dec 16, 2013 ]
My first unit I returned as it would keep dropping the airplay connection. However crutchfield was very quick and easy to deal with. They sent out a new (referbished) unit with a return label for the defective unit. That unit has worked great so far and am very please with it. I feel it is worth the savings even though the first unit did not work properly. [ SHAUN  Dec 16, 2013 ]
I just got my refurbished A7 last week and have been using it for the past two days. So far, it's been great, no complaints. My wife loves it too. It came in a box which said "refurbished" but it looked brand new as far as I could tell. I am not an audiophile, but I think it sounds awesome. So far only played mostly xmas music, still waiting for the family to be out of the house to crank up some heavier stuff. It's pretty loud even at half volume playing xmas tunes. One minor point, which hasn't been a problem, is that I think it only has 2.4GHz wireless networking capability. I have a dual band setup, so my iphone 5s is using 5GHz to talk to my wireless router while my router is talking 2.4GHz to the A7. If you have congestion on the 2.4GHz band, this might be a problem but I think it's unlikely. I can't comment on long term reliability, but with a 2 year factory warranty, I think the refurbished A7 is a pretty safe bet and saves you a nice chunk of money. [ Robert  Dec 16, 2013 ]