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on 7 June 2013
I really like this speaker dock. It's sound quality is exactly what you would expect from B & W. It provides detail in spades, plenty of bass (when required) and a surprisingly good sound stage for this type of device. I love the fact that there are plenty of options for connectivity. Sound quality over AirPlay is perhaps the best I've heard yet (though not heard any of B & Ws other AirPlay offerings). The only minor niggle I have sound wise is that I'd love to be able to set an "initial volume", it always seems a little on the loud side as soon as you connect.

So why no fifth star? Quite simply because the WiFi connectivity of the device is well below par. After trying to get this on to my network for a while, a little digging around the B & W website revealed that it only supports WiFi passwords containing alpha-numeric characters, i.e. no special characters or punctuation. This was not an obvious thing. In addition to that, it does not support 802.11n networks, only 802.11g. While neither of these things is an absolute deal breaker, it did mean I had to change (and weaken) my WiFi password, put the new password in to every WiFi device in the house, and, without a dual-band router my network is reduced to 802.11g speeds across the board. In my opinion, for a device in this price range, that is as newly released as this, these limitations are simply inexcusable. As far as I've been able to ascertain, these are hardware limitations so cannot be solved by a firmware update. Though if that's not the case I'd welcome correction. These issues could be circumvented by using ethernet, but that's not always plausible.

In summary:

* Great Sound
* Great Styling
* Good choice of inputs - physical docking, 3.5mm jack or Airplay
* Docking via Lightning connector which pivots forward to avoid damage to the speaker dock or you devices
* Simple but effective remote
* WiFi (see limitations) or ethernet

* WiFi connectivity limited (see full review for more detail) for a device of this price and age
* Could do with a few customisation options such as volume for initial startup, possible some EQ options
* Would prefer it if it had a cover for the dock section, particularly as mine is being used in the kitchen
* If I were being (fairies and unicorns) picky, it would be nice if it also had a USB input for 30 pin dock connector, or non Apple devices.
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on 24 December 2013
I bought this to replace a Griffin Amplifi. The Griffin was good for the money, but this sounds so much better, despite it being smaller in size. It packs quite a punch for something so small. The big omission is not having Bluetooth. There seems to be many reviews complaining about dropout of the sound, so thought I would give a summary of my experiences so far. Playing music from my iPhone 4 is really a non starter. Even if I killed off all the Apps on the iPhone, the dropout was terrible. My iPad 2 faired a bit better, but was still not acceptable. However when I streamed music from my Mac, there was not this problem at all. The Mac is connected to my wireless router via an ethernet cable, so the only wireless connection is to the Z2. I have heard the odd dropout, but we are talking rare, rather then several times during a track. I disconnected the ethernet cable and connected the Mac to the router via wi-fi, to see if the 'sending' wi-fi link was causing the issue. My brief experiment of this found that wi-fi from the Mac was no worse than using ethernet. My conclusion is that you will get the odd wi-fi drop out, but in the main the dropouts I have encountered must be from my iPhone 4 and iPad 2. I can only assume that these being older devices are struggling at multi-tasking. I would assume that the latest iPhones and iPads would be less susceptible to dropping out, as they have faster processors. Having said that I have used my iPhone connected to a bluetooth speaker once, and that did not have a dropout problem. I really think B&W should have covered the bluetooth route also, hence 4 stars rather than 5.
*** 4 months down the line .... If the microwave oven is on you can forget airplay, as is really kills the wifi. I guess this will also be a problem if you are near to your neighbour's microwave ***
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on 8 September 2014
I already have a B&W Zeppelin and had been keeping an eye on the price of the Z2 for some time. I wanted a smaller good quality sound system for a different room and my preference was to stick with B&W if at all possible. The unit has a simple but attractive design, and the build quality is excellent. The sound quality as you would expect from B&W is excellent and really fills a room. As yet I have had no problems streaming music from my iPad via wifi using Airplay. My router is on a different floor in the house and I've had no drop outs yet. I have also downloaded the WHAALE airplay multiroom app from iTunes which allows me to use the Zeppelin and Z2 simultaneously, playing either the same or different music in different rooms at the same time, rather like a Sonos system. All in all I'm very happy with the Z2 especially at the lower price.
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on 15 February 2016
I bought this just over a year ago and although the sound quality is wonderful, the speaker itself is problematic at best. I will say first that it is the first time I have used airplay and the only device I have which supports it, but I have found it to be laggy and will simply cut off for various lengths of time mid play which is seriously frustrating! It died completely 6 months ago and had to be returned to B&W via John Lewis so I was without for 3 weeks. When I got it back, it wouldn't play through the dock at all, only via airplay. So if that wasn't working then it rendered the speaker completely useless. It has now died again (the slow blinking red light of death) and I am going to replace it now as enough is enough.
So, dear friends, I leave you to draw your own conclusions. As I said, this is my only experience with airplay. But it is worth mentioning that I bought the netgear network plugs in an effort to stabilise the network and make airplay more stable..... it worked to some degree, but not completely.
I may have been dreadfully unlucky and got a dodgy one... but I will not be buying another to prove or disprove that.
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on 8 October 2014
Excellent sound quality, let down by a lousy wireless interface.

The Z2 is a neat package: looks good, projects a full and rich sound which is quite surprising for its size.

The remote is a little tacky and isn't really in keeping with the Z2's quality appearance.

My only real grip is the wireless signal is interrupted every time I use either my iPhone, iPad or MacBook. The sound drops out, sometimes for minutes, which is really very frustrating. Apparently it's a common problem.

I've since upgraded my router but cannot tell you whether it's an improvement as it hasn't arrived yet.

On the whole I'm reasonably pleased, especially as I bought it for less that £170 new.
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on 9 March 2015
So after owning a Bowers and Wilkins A7 I was told that anything else on the market pales into complete insignificance! Good job I didn't listen and went with my 'gut-feeling.'

So I wanted something portable as the A7 although quite amazing is just too heavy and bulky to move around 'will-nilly.' At £169 I believe this unit to be an INCREDIBLE bargain! I'd considered Sonus and others but felt like being loyal as the A7 is some Mother of a speaker. Indeed I did and bought the Z2 through Amazon and really expected very little. BOY was I wrong!!!! Setting up took less than two minutes, and now is available for me to use through the Airbook or iMac but best of all is the iPod Touch 5G.

Sound? With so many EQ settings I'd be very surprised if you could not find one YOU liked. As I type I'm listening to many Beatles hits. No not at all decent quality so when you play something recent you'll go dippy-gaga when you hear it power out some music that just begs to be played on the Z2.

I'm still enjoying Redbone and others from Guardians of the Galaxy. Tried them through the Z2 and stood back in complete astonishment! Agreed most or what I have is converted to Apple Losless and does sound amazing, Even an MP3 works well but for quality a CD converted to AL is best in my humble.

In short then; quality of product is around 95%; sound ...the same ... aww hell it just rocks for £169.

DON'T believe AT ALL what you read on reviews about the signal dropping all the time. It is complete toddle-wash! I have a BT infinity 4 Router, which is parked two walls and sixty feet away. I move the Z2 all around my bungalow and I'm still waiting for the signal to drop off. Simply it does not if set up correctly with Airplay.

Had the Four Tops from the 1960's blasting out this afternoon and heck did it make me smile.

In a word? Stunning. Oh and I'm a grumpy old pensioner ... who still enjoys the Specials, The Jam, Madness and many many more waiting to fire up through this awesome wee Z2. :)
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on 18 September 2015
Have been looking at a few different speakers for our master bedroom so that we can listen to music while doing housework upstairs and needed something that would be reliable and hopefully be able to play very loud too, without distortion. So I settled on the B&W Z2 airplay speaker as I'm familiar with the brand and know they make quality products as have had a couple of different speakers from them over the years and never been disappointed.
Well to say this speaker blew me away was an understatement, this sounds incredible for such a small single speaker and can play a lot louder than I will ever need to and sounds amazing at all volumes as well. In my situation I have it set up by ethernet so I can't comment on if there is any drop outs or not if used wirelessly but would like to think that B&W would manage without any issues. The only thing I would say could be improved upon would be the instructions for setting up if doing it by ethernet from the outset like myself.....the app it suggests doesn't give you an option to choose wireless or ethernet at any point of set up....its like they assume most people will use wireless method? I will point out though, that it was a doddle to set up if that is how you'd prefer to connect the speaker to your in my case I just reset the speaker, connected the ethernet cable and re-done the set up process....still on the wireless method and when complete it showed my connection as being works, so will do for me.
I personally will never use the docking port but thankfully the design of the speaker its location in my room mean you can't even tell it has one unless close up to it.
So to sum this review up.....I love this speaker and am so tempted to get another one for our kitchen.
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on 17 September 2015
The item ceased to function within the aforementioned warranty period. I couldn't find my receipt , so Bowers & Wilkins wanted to charge me £165:00 for checking it out. Poor quality after service/ sale/ warranty in my opinion.
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on 9 September 2015
Sounds brilliant but let down badly by a poor finish. The back of the dock has a rubberized finish which has now turned sticky to the touch. Would not recommend it
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on 5 August 2015
I bought this item after Amazon recommended it by email. I already own a B&W A5 which has been brilliant - easy to set up using the iPad app and generally (apart from the occasional drop out) a pleasure to use. As the Z2 is less than half the price of the A5 I wasn't expecting quite the same from it in terms of quality but I was pleasantly surprised! The quality of the sound produced by the Z2 is outstanding for the price and it is a really good looking speaker for our kitchen.
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