Fri, 06 Jan 2012 Zeppelin Air review
Bowers and Wilkins’ Zeppelin now comes with the addition of AirPlay wireless connectivity alongside improved sound dynamics
- Manufacturer: Bowers & Wilkins
- Pros: Great-sounding dock; impressive stereo separation from single unit; addition of AirPlay streaming; quality build; British…
- Cons: Expensive; large footprint; cosmetic similarities to original Zeppelin may not convince owners to upgrade; video output disappointing; quirky remote
- Price: £499
- Star rating:
Bowers & Wilkins’ iconic Zeppelin one-piece iPod-compatible speaker system has been turning heads and opening ears for the last few years, earning high praise from reviewers and users.
A combination of solid build, quality sound and unique looks, the speaker has a solid fanbase. The Zeppelin Air takes off where the original Zeppelin landed: more of the same, plus added AirPlay compatibility and a fair bit of tweaking under the hood. How much tweaking is difficult to say, without comparing the two models side by side, but B&W lists an impressive array of improved audio components alongside software enhancements to tempt many original Zeppelin owners to buy again.
While design is a talking point, the Zeppelin Air is large, some might say bulky, and heavy enough to require two hands to move with care. It’s normally showcased in stores in isolation, and you’ll need a fair bit of spare desktop if you want the speaker close to hand – ideally a dedicated spot for use in a larger space. Build is excellent and appears finished to a high standard, with room for USB, ethernet and auxiliary connections, as well as composite video-out. The unit comes with a small, pebble-like remote, which, while tactile, might easily be lost behind the sofa.
The Zeppelin Air produces well-defined, well-balanced audio playback with excellent stereo separation from what is still a one-box solution.