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Old Mar 19, 2013, 10:37 AM   #1
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Bowers & Wilkins Introduces Lightning-Equipped Zeppelin Air and Z2 Speaker Docks With AirPlay




TechCrunch notes that high-end audio firm Bowers & Wilkins has introduced its first two Lightning-equipped speaker docks for iPhone 5 owners, with both the Zeppelin Air and Z2 also supporting AirPlay wireless music streaming from iOS devices.

Zeppelin Air
The new Zeppelin Air is essentially a Lightning version of the company's original Zeppelin Air wireless speaker with 30-pin dock connector, which Apple has carried in its stores for some time. The new version with Lightning connector will begin shipping in May and be priced at $599.

Z2
The Z2 offers a more compact design intended for bedrooms, bathrooms, and other smaller spaces but supporting the same Lightning dock and AirPlay capabilities as the larger Zeppelin Air. The Z2 will be priced at $399 with a black version launching next month and a white version following in June.

Article Link: Bowers & Wilkins Introduces Lightning-Equipped Zeppelin Air and Z2 Speaker Docks With AirPlay
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 10:48 AM   #2
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Nice updates. I think the Z2 will get some consideration from me.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 10:53 AM   #3
bigcat318
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Is the sound quality in these units worth the cost? I am always skeptical of small speaker systems.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:01 AM   #4
mikecorp
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I do not understand why radio, clock, alarm is not build in? AirPlay speakers do not justify such a high price for nothing! I do not trust docking stations as they are supported for number of years! I purchased expensive Philips ! 4 -6 years ago, but it was not supported on iPod 4 g after 2.5 years well I would love to buy something, but if it would have some more features!
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:02 AM   #5
Hakone
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Originally Posted by bigcat318 View Post
Is the sound quality in these units worth the cost? I am always skeptical of small speaker systems.
The sound is above average but the consideration is squeezing every bit of 'performance' out of a small package.

I own a similar product made by Audessey and I was impressed. Owned it for over a year now and it sits in the bathroom Master BR sink. Definitely fills a 14 x 16 room even w/ adequate lows and good mids and highs.

You are paying for a smaller footprint if that's what you're looking for. I paid $300 for the Audessey and I feel it was worth it because it may eventually become my MacBook's speaker sometime in the future. Paying above $300 for this type of gadget would have to have some significant features than just Bluetooth streaming* IMO.

Last edited by Hakone; Mar 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:06 AM   #6
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I have long admired the products produced by B&W, and note the arrival of these two new products with great interest and no small anticipation. The Zeppelin has long been a work of art as well as a superb speaker, and the Z2 looks extremely interesting.

Actually, I own two of the B&W headphones (the P3 and the P5) and I have to say that they are the best headphones I have ever had - attractively designed, neat, great audio, and satisfyingly sturdy as well.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mikecorp View Post
I do not understand why radio, clock, alarm is not build in? AirPlay speakers do not justify such a high price for nothing! I do not trust docking stations as they are supported for number of years! I purchased expensive Philips ! 4 -6 years ago, but it was not supported on iPod 4 g after 2.5 years well I would love to buy something, but if it would have some more features!
Agree.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:17 AM   #8
8281
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These just seem way overpriced to me. My Onkyo 5.1 system was $190 refurbed from Amazon, and the Apple TV adds another $90 on top of the speakers.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:20 AM   #9
WillFisher
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The Z2 just seems like a Zeppelin mini with Airplay.

What I don't understand is, in the UK the Z2 is £329.
But the A5 is £399.
I'd rather the A5, although I haven't heard the Z2, the A5 is amazing.
If it was priced around £299 I would have been interested.

But thats just my $0.02
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:22 AM   #10
MN7119
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That ugly arm to attach the iPhone/iPod is totally unnecessary since with the AirPlay I see no reason to attach your device to the speaker. There were many complaints about the older Zeppelin model that the arm was not removable since it is ugly to have it in your room. Until that ugly arm can be removed it is a NO GO for me.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:24 AM   #11
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At first, I read it as a company released an iPhone controlled zeppelin like those remote controlled helicopters. However, those look like some pretty cool speakers.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:27 AM   #12
Brian Y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecorp View Post
I do not understand why radio, clock, alarm is not build in? AirPlay speakers do not justify such a high price for nothing! I do not trust docking stations as they are supported for number of years! I purchased expensive Philips ! 4 -6 years ago, but it was not supported on iPod 4 g after 2.5 years well I would love to buy something, but if it would have some more features!
Because these do one thing - they're speakers. They aren't your cheap "jack of all trades" iPod dock that you get elsewhere.

I don't have a B&W, but I do have a B&O speaker (the A8 - which is basically their equivalent of the Zeppelin Air). it is the same. It has no clock, no radio, no alarm. It's a speaker, and a damn good one at that.

----------

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Originally Posted by MN7119 View Post
That ugly arm to attach the iPhone/iPod is totally unnecessary since with the AirPlay I see no reason to attach your device to the speaker. There were many complaints about the older Zeppelin model that the arm was not removable since it is ugly to have it in your room. Until that ugly arm can be removed it is a NO GO for me.
I agree - B&O have come up with a removable dock which doesn't look like crap when not in use. Not sure why B&W can't do the same.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 11:43 AM   #13
MN7119
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But the B&W Zeppelin design is way nicer than the B&O lunch box design. I would never attach my iPhone to the Zeppelin since I would use it on AirPaly mode but as you said I don't want that arm looking like crap there as if I was missing something. If the Zeppeling was offered just as a plain speaker with no arm I would buy it.

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Originally Posted by Brian Y View Post
Because these do one thing - they're speakers. They aren't your cheap "jack of all trades" iPod dock that you get elsewhere.

I don't have a B&W, but I do have a B&O speaker (the A8 - which is basically their equivalent of the Zeppelin Air). it is the same. It has no clock, no radio, no alarm. It's a speaker, and a damn good one at that.

----------



I agree - B&O have come up with a removable dock which doesn't look like crap when not in use. Not sure why B&W can't do the same.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 12:51 PM   #14
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I have a B&W A5 and the sound reproduction is without the best I have heard. I previously owned a Sonos Play 5 and the A5 is much better, to the extent I have reripped all my CDs to a higher quality. The music fills a large space.

As they claim, the A2 is for smaller spaces and I'd imagine it will do it excellently.

You tend to get what you pay for.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 12:53 PM   #15
Brian Y
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Originally Posted by MN7119 View Post
But the B&W Zeppelin design is way nicer than the B&O lunch box design. I would never attach my iPhone to the Zeppelin since I would use it on AirPaly mode but as you said I don't want that arm looking like crap there as if I was missing something. If the Zeppeling was offered just as a plain speaker with no arm I would buy it.
Check the A8 for design
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 12:58 PM   #16
johnmacward
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Originally Posted by bigcat318 View Post
Is the sound quality in these units worth the cost? I am always skeptical of small speaker systems.
These systems NOT worth their money for their sound quality, the lack of split speakers is one reason.

There only advantage I've ever found is that as you turn up the volume on these units it's handled quite a bit better than on a $70 speaker system. Sound quality is not necessarily 6 or 7 times better for 6 or 7 times the price though.

If you're into magically good sound and love your music DO NOT be fooled into purchasing these systems for those ends. This is nothing more than a piece of aural furniture.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 01:10 PM   #17
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These systems NOT worth their money for their sound quality, the lack of split speakers is one reason.

There only advantage I've ever found is that as you turn up the volume on these units it's handled quite a bit better than on a $70 speaker system. Sound quality is not necessarily 6 or 7 times better for 6 or 7 times the price though.

If you're into magically good sound and love your music DO NOT be fooled into purchasing these systems for those ends. This is nothing more than a piece of aural furniture.
Without doubt, if you have the space and want to fill it with separated speakers and wires then I am sure you'd get better sound. That is not what these units are about. If you want a small factor that need only have one (power) cable then they are great.

Cheaper speakers, in my opinion, do not have the richness and tones of the better quality ones.

Everyone to their own.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 01:19 PM   #18
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I do not trust docking stations as they are supported for number of years! I purchased expensive Philips ! 4 -6 years ago, but it was not supported on iPod 4 g after 2.5 years well I would love to buy something, but if it would have some more features!
I have the MM1 computer speakers, which are great.

The firmware on them is updatable so I suspect that B&W can push updates to ensure compatibility with future iOS versions and devices if necessary. B&W have been around for a LONG time and with amazing products like these I'd say they're at no risk of insolvency.

Also, being a premium or "high-end" speaker company (even though these products are in their consumer range) I'd expect better ongoing support than you got from Phillips.

----------

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Originally Posted by Tulipone View Post
Without doubt, if you have the space and want to fill it with separated speakers and wires then I am sure you'd get better sound. That is not what these units are about. If you want a small factor that need only have one (power) cable then they are great.

Cheaper speakers, in my opinion, do not have the richness and tones of the better quality ones.

Everyone to their own.
I completely agree. B&W have seen and cater to a particular niche in the market, and they do it very well!

The full-sized Zeppelin is up there with the G4 Cube in being a classic design, except unlike the Cube the Zeppelin actually performs well and is reasonable value.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 03:07 AM   #19
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Good to see Lightning-equipped accessories creeping into the marketplace.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 11:44 AM   #20
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I have the zeppelin air and really like it. Expensive? Yes. But I know have one device that fills all my speaker needs without difficulty. I would examine your goals before you buy one; I needed one device for AirPlay and to act as a soundbar and the zeppelin does both well. The arm is also a place for guests non-lightning iPhones to charge, as all my 30 pin cables are away in a shelf.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 12:04 PM   #21
8ate8
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These just seem way overpriced to me. My Onkyo 5.1 system was $190 refurbed from Amazon, and the Apple TV adds another $90 on top of the speakers.
You just compared a used Chevy Cavalier to a new BMW 5-series. Don't call the BMW overpriced because you can't afford it.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 03:54 PM   #22
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You just compared a used Chevy Cavalier to a new BMW 5-series. Don't call the BMW overpriced because you can't afford it.
Haha, WOW, I'll just let the arrogance and judgement wash over me. You can still find fantastic speakers for less money and with more features than this thing, and for the record, my "Chevy Cavalier" system sounds great, thank you very much. You don't have to be such a dick...

Last edited by 8281; Mar 20, 2013 at 04:25 PM.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 12:32 PM   #23
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Yeah we don't have to be mean about these things but I have to say the zeppelin air is worth every penny. You can't fault people for paying more or a company for demanding more, for design as well as amazing sound.

it is put in your home after all and if you want to have something that sounds great and looks amazing then unfortunately we have to pay for it.

but really, whatever makes you happy.
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