Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air iPod dock

Zeppelin has retained the Zeppelin body shape from its predecessor and the front sits a beautifully designed dock. Here you can connect almost any iPhone or iPod model you want, apart from the little Shuffle. The on-screen, we see not, and in knappväg is nothing more than a power button and volume control. The rear holds, among other things, a USB connector that lets you sync podcasts with iTunes when it stands in the dock, and a composite output to pull up the pictures and video on a TV.

Like its predecessor, offers Zeppelin Air a large, warm and dynamic sound that beats most of the competitors on their fingers. It may be worthwhile to tinker a bit with the placement for optimal bass response, but it pays well. The bass is surprisingly deep with substantial pressure, and the sound is remarkably clean and detail over the whole range. Add to that the speaker plays horribly loud without distortion so Zeppelin Air a great party speaker.

The big news with the Zeppelin Air is the built-in support for Apple's Airplay, which makes it possible to stream music wirelessly from a PC, Ipod Touch or Iphone. It requires of course that you connected the airship to a wireless network first, and this is where we find the one small shortcoming of the speaker. Since it has no screen, you can not connect to the network directly to the speaker, instead it must first be connected to a computer by means of cable.

On the other hand, it is certainly worth the effort to mess around with network settings. Then you can play your entire iTunes library in the speaker over the net, and if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you can also use the Remote app to control the whole hog with the phone. It is also possible to stream Spotify in this way.

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