Bowers & Wilkins just announced a pair of wireless music systems that complement its award-winning Zeppelin Air dock. Unlike the Zeppelin, the A7 and A5 Wireless Music Systems eschew the physical iOS dock (which removes all of the brouhaha surrounding Apple’s recent docking port switcharoo as an issue), in favor of pure AirPlay connectivity.
In stark contrast to the curvilinear aesthetics of the Zeppelin, the A5 and A7 also borrow heavily from the design of the company’s MM-1 desktop speakers, bringing their styling together into a single unified chassis that positively drips with luxurious simplicity.
Both the A5 and A7 also feature the same drivers as the MM-1—glass fiber diaphragms designed with minimal resonance and improved off-axis mid- and high-frequency performance in mind. Both systems also include a number of design innovations from B&W’s beloved loudspeaker lines, including the same high frequency distortion Anti-Resonance Plug technology as is found in its high-end PM1, as well as Tapering Tubes borrowed from the Nautilus line to control rear reflections from the tweeters.
Both systems also employ Bowers & Wilkins’ Flowport technology to reduce air turbulence and improve bass clarity, as well as proprietary digital signal processing to tailor the sound for any room at any volume. Their integrated audiophile caliber DACs also upsample all incoming audio to 96kHz/24-bit.
Inside the glass re-enforced ABS enclosures, you’ll also find a power supply designed to deliver ultra-clean power, so the powerful little Class D amps operate to their full potential.
At first glance, the difference between the two models appears to be one of size alone. The extra volume of the A7, though, gave B&W room to include a bit of extra oomph in the form of a dedicated 6-inch woofer to complement the pair of 4-inch mid drivers. The Kevlar-reinforced paper pulp driver boasts superior stiffness and damping, and is supported by a progressive roll spider with low-loss suspension for excellent low frequency accuracy.
Both the A5 and the A7 will join the Zeppelin Air on shelves next month, with the former retailing for $499, and the latter for $799. For more information, tune the browser of your choice into www.bowers-wilkins.com.