B&W air zeppelin

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tim100, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. tim100, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: May 10, 2012

    tim100 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    anyone have air zeppelin?

    is it worth the cost? is it better than other airplay speakers?
     
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    Phoenix, AZ
    #2
    I've never listened to the Air Zeppelin, but I'm plenty familiar with the original Zeppelin from back when I still worked at a hi-fi store that sold B&W. At the time (this was 2008), the Zeppelin was among the best (if not THE best) sounding iPod docks. They filled up small to medium sized rooms very well.

    The new "Air" model seems to be very similar to the original, aside from the new AirPlay feature. So I imagine it sounds pretty darned good. The only problem is that they're nearly impossible to properly audition because you can only buy them at Apple retail stores, IIRC. And they simply just plop them down on a table next to several others.

    But FWIW, B&W is a high-end speaker manufacturer (they have floor standing speakers on their upper end that sell for well over $20k/pair) with a remarkable reputation for quality. You can't really go wrong with them. $600 does seem like a lot to pay for an iPod speaker, but if the original Zeppelin is any indication of how the new one sounds, you're basically buying a high-end loudspeaker.
     
  3. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Captain,
    how does the zeppelin compare to home stereo speakers built in to a wall or smaller i.e. bookshelf speakers?
     
  4. dasmb macrumors 6502

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    Jul 12, 2007
    #4
    Depending on the kind of speakers, their layout, what's driving them and about a dozen other variables, either better or worse.

    But here is why you buy any portable, enclosed sound system: it is portable, and enclosed. Have to work the weekend? Going to the mountains? Bring it with you.

    Now try bringing your wall.

    If you never intend to leave the one room, or want to maximize sound stage and are willing to spend time tuning and placing your speakers for this purpose, you will never beat a good set of free standees. For value and flexibility, and sound sources are changing about once every three years of late, you can't beat a decoupled system (amp + source + speakers).
     
  5. MiniMoke macrumors member

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    Nov 12, 2009
    #5
    The Zeppelin Air is definitely an extraordinary piece of equipment. I replaced my huge stereo speakers by a Zeppelin Air, use it as a TV/DVD sound system, stream music to it....

    Fills even good sized rooms with a very balanced (well, a tiny bit too much bass for my taste) sound. OK, stereo effect is quite weak, which is normal for a one-speaker-system, but it's still quite present.

    It's much too good to be used only as iPod dock. In my opinion the sound is better than the much more expensive Geneva docks/speakers.

    I sound like a B&W salesperson, but I never regretted buying it. It runs circles around virtually any other (cheaper) iPod dock or sound system solution!
     
  6. CaptainChunk, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

    CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #6
    It really depends on the specific speakers you're comparing it to. If you were comparing the Zeppelin to a set of B&W bookshelf speakers in the same price range (like the 685s), the bookshelves would likely have the edge; better stereo imaging and more control. But then again, you still need electronics to drive traditional speakers and the Zeppelin is a self-contained unit.

    But FWIW, the Zeppelin borrows driver technology from much more expensive B&W speakers and because of that, it will have many of the same sound characteristics. If you like the "B&W sound", chances are you'll like the Zeppelin.

    B&W speakers tend to be somewhat bass-heavy in general (a common British loudspeaker design trait), but they do for the most part keep it pretty controlled.

    iPod-style speakers in general will struggle with stereo imaging versus traditional speakers that can be properly positioned in a listening area. Nothing surprising there.
     
  7. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

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    #7
    I have the original Zeppelin with an Airport Express. So although not your Airplay version, it does the same thing. That is a consideration if you have an express handy as the original is about $100 less. Perhaps a bit more if you shop around.

    I do love the B&W Zeppelin. B&W make some great stuff. I have the B&W MT 30 as my HT 5.1. It is great.

    However, if you are looking at value for money high end audio I would recommend Vienna Acoustics.
     
  8. qbricc macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #8
    Well worth the money

    I've had the Zeppelin air for around 4 months now and it is a great iPod dock and general speaker system. The reason to buy it is based on the small size, great sound and low cost compared to a full HI-FI.

    You are paying for the amp and speakers and airplay and thats it. No extras so the money goes where its needed.

    The air has an improved DAC and different speaker set up than the older model as well as the airplay tech which is worth the extra money.

    If you spend a lot more you will find better, but for the price it is still the best in the market.
     
  9. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 25, 2009
    #9
    i have asked this question and got answers from sonos users, why pick air play (air zeppelin) sonos?
     
  10. jcoop macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2003
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    Indianapolis, IN
    #10
    I've had the Zeppelin Air for about two months, and I find it good, not great. Placed on a built-in bookshelf, it produces rather boomy sound. I can get decent balance by playing with EQ in iTunes or on my iPhone (my two most common streaming sources), but it requires more fiddling than I'd hoped. The sound is not as good as the system (Onkyo receiver, Boston Acoustics bookshelf speakers) it replaced. The convenience of AirPlay is great, though.
     
  11. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    i have built in speakers and use airport express with airplay. any reason to add zeppelin. i am a b&W fan.
     
  12. davidoloan Suspended

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  13. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Yes
     
  14. tim100, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: May 10, 2012

    tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    thanks good response
     
  15. tim100, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: May 10, 2012

    tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

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  16. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 25, 2009
    #16
    how many think the rumors of a different iPhone dock connector are true and if so how will that impact 3rd party devices? the air zepp is basically an expensive iPhone dock.
     
  17. PaulKemp macrumors 6502

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    I'm just going to post this since this thread appeared when googling and I'm already a registered user here...

    I hate the Zeppelin! My father has one, so every time I'm home I'm troubleshooting, factory resetting, testing wired vs wireless connection. It never ends! So many issues with AirPlay. There is not even a setting for a wired network connection? I hate it, would never buy.

    /rant over
     

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