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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best single speaker airplay solution out there, 9 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air B&W Wireless Speaker with Airplay (Electronics)
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 It's lovely but now really it's outdated as my iPhone 5 and iPad mini use the new connector.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use the airplay, but it just slightly annoys me that this dock is just staring me in the face reminding me that this is out of date.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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