Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin – Review

On January 18, 2010

There are many ways to enjoy the music on your iPhone. You can listen to it privately with earbuds or headphones and you can play it through your car’s audio system. But, the best way to enjoy all the great music on your iPhone is at home using a high quality speaker dock.

There are many docks and systems from which you can choose. They can be as simple as a table clock model or as exotic as one of the many higher end models. Most of them sound good but for my listening pleasure, I chose a slightly different route – the Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin. B&W is known for high-end home audio speakers and their studio monitors are used in some of the best recording studios in the world. B&W has taken their knowledge of home audio and transformed the iPhone into a high-end music device. When docked in the Zeppelin’s handsome chrome cradle, the iPhone becomes a part of the Zeppelin’s artful look and creates sonic bliss.

Having been involved with home and car audio for years professionally, it takes a lot for me to talk about a specific product. The iPhone is very capable of high-end sound when given the right material. There have been many reviews on the Zeppelin since its introduction in 2008, so I won’t rehash the specs in detail here (check out the B&W website for all the information). Instead, I’ll focus on the sound quality.

I purchased the B&W Zeppelin for Christmas (as a gift to myself) and have been enjoying it every day since. It plays at room-filling sound or background dinner music levels without missing a beat. The detail of the sound is amazing. Several guests not used to high-end sound, remarked that it seemed like the musicians were right in the room. The base response was very good and blended well with the midrange and highs. You can also hook up other sources to the Zeppelin such as TVs (you can use it as a great center channel for a home theater system) and computers.

The remote is intuitive and fits great in the palm of your hand.  All the basic functions are available on it and it matches perfectly in design with the Zeppelin.

The Zeppelin is priced at $599 which is not inexpensive but certainly not the most expensive dock system that is available today. Also, it is a stunning piece of musical art to look at even when it’s not playing. On a side note, B&W has come out with a smaller version called the mini for $399 – .great sound and looks in a smaller design. In closing, being an iPhone enthusiast and a music lover it’s great to see home audio companies raising the bar for excellent sound.

If you are in the market, this is absolutely one of the top iPhone docs to consider.