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on 30 September 2017
Air play is shockingly poor. Don't buy.
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I bought my Zeppelin air a couple of weeks and I've not been as happy with a sound system as this, my last system was a Denon mini disc system and the Zeppelin beats it into a cocked hat, the only fly in the ointment was the setup but this was the fault on my iPad 2, long story too boring, anyway back on track, the Zeppelin's sound quality is flawless in every way, crystal clear across the sound spectrum with looks to match, before I decided to buy the Zeppelin air I shopped around looking at Bose and the Zeppelin won hands down no comparison in my opinion, money well spent so if your looking for new system buy one you won't be dissapointed
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on 14 November 2014
Keeps disconnecting and reconnecting when using air play. Even after the firmware update.
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on 20 July 2013
-Heard one demonstrated, sounded fastastic. Bought one.
-When it arrived neither my or my partner's ipod worked when connected to the docking station. For mine it said (on the ipod screen) this device is not supported, or something very similar; for my partner's, hers appeared to be playing fine (on the ipod screen) but no sound came through. Both ipods have the latest software update on them.
-Tried playing both ipods, and also my phone, via the 3.5mm jack lead on the back of the Zeppelin - this worked, and still sounded fantastic (nice balanced, full, lively delivery, and decent soundstage). Fine, but why wouldn't it work through the ipods...
-Searched online and reckoned it needed the firmware update; frustrating and a disappointing surprise, but hey...
-Tried to connect the Zeppelin to the network, following their instructions, to download it, but it failed. Failed time and time again. Apparently others have suffered the same.
-Really didn't have the time/will power to spend any more effort on this, so returned it; and didn't have the faith to just replace it and potentially go through the same experience again
-This obvioulsy hasn't happened to some happy customers, but I'd just say, at least, buy with caution...
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on 18 October 2011
The quality of sound from this speaker exceeds that of my B&W MM1's (designed as speakers for computers), just. And that's saying something. The Zeppelin Air (ZA) edges out the MM1s because ZA will fill a very large room with gorgeous, rich, warm music whereas the MM1s are designed to be heard at close quarters. As with the MM1s, there is a very effective sound-stage, giving each instrument its own space floating outside the speaker enclosure. It makes for mesmerising listening.

Treble is crisp and true; midranges are warm and open, bass is authoritative and tight.

The fact that the ZA uses its own high quality digital-to-analogue converter instead of the cheap one inside your computer/iPhone/iPad (even over AirPlay) raises the quality of the sound it produces way, way ahead of other speaker docks.

Result: it sounds gorgeous.

AirPlay adds another dimension. (Unlike some reviewers I had no problems setting it up - it took no more than five minutes and worked first time). I use it with my O2 wireless router to stream music from my Mac Book Pro, iPhone and iPad. The Mac Book and iPad give a rock-steady feed that never drops. The iPhone link is prone to drop-outs maybe once each hour - it might be because of the poor phone reception in my area and interference from the phone's constant attempts to pick up a carrier. I don't know.

One thing is for sure: this is the best-sounding set of speakers I have ever bought and I absolutely recommend the ZA to anyone wanting to hear their favourite music at its very best.

The only criticism I have is that the bass is slightly too over-pronounced even when adjusted to the -3 setting provided by the speaker's software. An ability to go to -4 would be appreciated.

If you love music, its a no-brainer. Get one!
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on 9 January 2012
I have been considering an iphone/ipod dock for about six months now and finally bit the bullet.
After reading numerous reviews online and listening to god knows how many, the straw on the camels back finally broke and I shelled out the cash for the B&W Zeppelin Air.
This speaker simply stood out from the rest, only the price has stopped me buying it earlier. The sound quality is simply superb from such a relatively compact product.
I was slightly concerned to read on numerous websites and reviews that the airplay feature could be temperamental, and that the iOS 5 update that I have recently installed on my iPhone may not like to "play ball" with the speaker.
I was please to find however, once opening the box and carefully following the instructions to get it set up, there was no issue whatsoever, and I am currently listening to Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon with a big grin on my face.
One other thing that has been mentioned in reviews is that it can be awkward to set up. I had it up and running in less than 15 mins and to be honest, found it harder to remove the battery cover from the remote!
The only thing that I can see being an issue is the size of the remote, which is quite small and will most likely spend a lot of time hiding in the sofa. (Oh and the complaints I will inadvertently receive from my Neighbors when the volume is cranked up!)

Pricey, but totally worth it.
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on 17 April 2014
Some explanation required as to why I am reviewing a product I don't yet own. I await delivery of a reconditioned (ie second-hand failure) Zeppelin Air which I was forced to purchase for £199 from B&W after my £399 Zeppelin gave up the ghost three weeks ago. It was a stylish, competent unit and I was pleased enough with it (but boy, am I amazed at how much better my old fashioned hi-fi which has been pressed into service in the interim really is!). I didn't use it very often, but it suddenly stopped working (flashing red light of death...check out the forums and you will see that this is a fault which eventually affects each and every Zeppelin because of a fundamental design/build fault).

Options? Pay £80 and they'll fix her up and give a 60 day warranty (they did apologise for my disappointment but failed utterly to explain why the thing is doomed to fail in the first place) or for £199 a reconditioned Air (better sonically, with Airplay function and a 2 year warranty) is now on its way to me. The surfeit of reconditioned Airs suggests that the fault prevails, so their business now involves simply recycling their own products.

Very efficient uplift and delivery process, which I'm afraid simply proves how good they have become at this turnaround.

Let us assume that the replacement does indeed sound better than the original, and looks just as good. How can I justify a one start review? Well, in my view the notion of selling high-end technology in this day and age which fails before the customer actually wants to upgrade or replace is a disgrace. It has now cost me £598 to become the proud owner of a second-hand, reconditioned product which I could buy today on Superfi for £299!!!

Three and a half stars for the product's performance (it really is more style than substance) but zero stars, I'm afraid, for the third-world approach to design, build and customer care.

I urge you not to buy this thing.

So, it has arrived and guess what...IT DOESN'T WORK WITH AIRPLAY! Firmware update required (no cable enclosed, and why would a firmware update be required for a newly refurbished product?).

THESE PEOPLE ARE CROOKS, OR POSSIBLY JUST INCOMPETENTS, DON'T SAY YOU HAVEN'T BEEN WARNED!
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on 27 December 2012
Brilliant sound system, very easy to setup and has brilliant sound quality. All items revived as expected and worked without issue.
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on 9 March 2013
I got this Zeppelin Air after looking for an airplay speaker system for my bedroom and I have to say on the whole I was very impressed.

Good points:

Excellent design, built quality and fit and finish. Straight away you are struck with how solid, classy and well made this is. The design is a bit unique but personally, I love it. Much prefer it to the bland boxes of Bose and the B&W A5/7.
The sound quality really is excellent - especially those tweeters! So clear and detailed without being too in-your-face. You really can feel high end audio design flowing down the line from B&W's more traditional wares to this. The mids are lovely and silky and the bass smooth and reassuring. It doesn't go down super deep as its only a 5" sub and the cabinet is fairly compact but at normal listening volumes its probably all you will need. The amount of bass is never in question, its the frequency response I'm talking about. This is more a limit of physics than anything wrong with the speaker or DSP though. The airplay works very well (once you have it set up)

Bad points:

There is no getting away from the fact that this is a one-box solution. It's probably the best one box solution there is but its still confined to the associated limitation of this design: lack of truly deep bass and more importantly, limit stereo imaging! B&W have tried to mitigate this as much as possible with this wide design and by placing the tweeters at the very edges but I'm sorry to say that unless your sitting less than 3 feet away from it, facing it you might as well be listening in mono. I'm sure this is even worse with the even closer packed A5 and A7. If this doesn't bother you then ignore, but after a while I really missed my 'stereo'.

The dock. It's lovely but now really it's outdated as my iPhone 5 and iPad mini use the new connector. You can remove the dock but you aren't supposed to and it voids the warranty so it just sits there, pointlessly. Obviously you can still use the airplay, but it just slightly annoys me that this dock is just staring me in the face reminding me that this is out of date.

The set-up. It was a faff and took a while to get it working on airplay - needing to update firmware and USB into a mac etc. Once it's working its pretty good but you do get dropout's and your sound playback stops if you so much as lose 1 bar of wifi.

The lack of deep bass. If you listen to something like Bob Marley and turn it up the bass isn't there. The DSP makes sure it doesn't try to play something it simply cant so tones the bass down in this scenario (where it was lush at lower volumes) don't get me wrong its pretty damn impressive for its size it really it but theres no getting away from the fact that if this is the sort of sound you want at higher listening volumes, you need something with a separate sub or simply bigger bass drivers/cabinet. I think for most people listening to normal music at normal to high volumes though there is ample bass here and more than most docks of this type.
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on 13 February 2013
Sits in front of the telly and is wireless to my iMac/iTunes. Just works seamlessly with the Bravia/iPlayer, iTunes and iPhone. No wires or fuss and a joy to listen too. However it was not straightforward to set up a year or so ago and I'm sure this could be easier. I found the 'alternative' method worked so much easier than the instruction that came in the box.

The little pebble remote could be improved, I put a small rubber self-adhesive foot on the remote so that I could easily work out which end to point at the Zeppelin. This works a treat and costs nothing it also stops the remote spinning!!

The other thing which would be a particular improvement for me would be a headphones socket. All my music etc is streamed to the Zeppelin but sometimes I want to use my wireless headphones when I'm outside or I'm competing with others in the house for 'air space' or they want to go to sleep.

Get one!
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