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Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

Powered speaker system with Apple® AirPlay® and iPhone 5® dock

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  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

    (iPhone 5 not included)

  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

    (iPhone 5 not included)

  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

    (iPhone 5 not included)

  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

    (iPhone 5 not included)

  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

    Connect wirelessly through AirPlay (iPad not included)

  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

    Front view

  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

 

Our take on the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector

by Ralph Graves
Bowers & Wilkins
bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Air

Enjoy outstanding sound from your iPhone 5

This version of the popular Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Air features a built-in Lightning connector, so you can dock your iPhone 5 for easy charging and music playback. Thanks to its advanced design, this compact system delivers rich, detailed, and surprisingly full sound. And you can even use it with your older 30-pin connector Apple portables: built-in Apple AirPlay technology means it can wirelessly stream music from any iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® — even your computer.

Read more

The AirPlay advantage

AirPlay uses your Wi-Fi® network to connect the Zeppelin Air wirelessly to your iTunes® library on your computer. You can send music to multiple Zeppelin Air speakers (or other AirPlay-compatible systems like the Bowers and Wilkins Z2) to simultaneously play your music in different locations throughout your home. And you can control the volume levels of each connected player individually or jointly through your computer's iTunes® program.

With your Apple portable — iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch — you have even more options. Stream music wirelessly directly from your device to the Zeppelin Air. Or use your portable as a remote to control your computer's iTunes library — download Apple's Remote app, and then you can select songs and playlists or adjust the volume level of the system on the fly.

Audiophile sound quality from a single powered speaker

Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Air Flowport

The rear-firing ports feature a dimpled surface to reduce air turbulence for tight, accurate bass.

The unique and unmistakable shape of the Zeppelin Air isn't just for looks — it actually helps improve sound dispersion. The system consists of two aluminum dome tweeters, two midrange speakers and a woofer for the low tones. Each of these five speakers is powered by its own amplifier, ensuring accurate and responsive performance.

Two rear ports reinforce the bass frequencies. Their dimpled contours minimize air turbulence, resulting in cleaner bass without distortion — even at maximum volume.

The system's audiophile-quality digital-to-analog converter (DAC) delivers every detail in your music with stunning accuracy. Advanced digital processing optimizes the incoming signal, giving you clear, realistic sound.

Multiple connections for versatility

In addition to docking your iPhone 5 or wirelessly streaming through AirPlay, the Zepplin Air offers other connection options. Use the system's video output to connect the Zeppelin Air to a TV and enjoy videos and photos from your docked player as well.

An Ethernet jack lets you make a wired connection to your home network. Play music from other portable devices through the system's stereo minijack input. An optical digital input lets you connect a high-end CD player or other component. There's also a USB port for software updates and syncing your player.

Highlights:

  • Lightning connector dock works with iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch, 7th generation iPod nano and later
  • AirPlay lets you stream music via Wi-Fi® from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or computer
  • two 1" tweeters and two 3" midrange woofers
  • internal 5" subwoofer with rear-firing Flowport™ ports
  • 25 watts x 2 for tweeters, 25 watts x 2 for midranges, plus 50 watts for subwoofer
  • gloss black and polished stainless steel construction
  • minijack auxiliary input accepts both analog and optical digital connections
  • composite output for connection to a TV
  • USB port (for firmware and syncing)
  • RJ-45 Ethernet port
  • remote control
  • AC power cable
  • weight: 13.5 lbs.
  • 25-1/4"W x 6-13/16"H x 8-1/4"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Powered speaker system for iPod/iPhone
  • Wireless remote control
  • CR2032 Lithium battery (installed in remote)
  • 6.5' AC cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Connection/Control diagram
  • Safety Instructions/Warranty
  • Zeppelin Air brochure

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Audio Section
Variety of Sources

Audio Section

Improved Sound Dispersion: The original Zeppelin's unique shape was designed to help sound dispersion. Zeppelin Air retains that shape, but now features smaller mid-range drive units to help the sound dispersion even further. This produces a more open, natural sound. Combined with the same tweeters as the award-winning B&W MM-1 computer speakers, Zeppelin Air delivers an incredibly detailed, wide, room filling performance.

Digital Signal Processing (DSP): Zeppelin Air's proprietary Bowers & Wilkins Digital Signal Processing (DSP) using double-precision processing and in-house algorithms optimizes speaker control. Simply put, this means Zeppelin Air performs like a considerably larger loudspeaker and produces room filling, controlled bass no matter how loud you like your music.

Audiophile DAC: In the digital world, the Digital to Analog Converters (DAC) are vital for getting the best from high-quality speakers. On Zeppelin Air all inputs are up-sampled through the audiophile-quality 96kHz/24bit DAC, including wireless music using AirPlay. This has the effect of lowering distortion, creating a smoother sound.

2.1 Speaker Design: Its fully active 2.1 design means that all five speakers are individually driven by dedicated audiophile class D amplifiers, which were specially designed for Bowers & Wilkins.

  • Tweeters: The high frequencies are handled by a pair of 1" aluminum dome tweeters. The sound is enhanced by an adapted version of B&W's trademark Nautilus tweeter tube.
  • Midranges: The unit features two 3" cone midranges, made from highly-optimized glass fiber.
  • Woofer: The single 5" woofer features an oversized magnet, a 4-layer voice coil, and a Kevlar-reinforced cone. The woofer is mounted in the center--the deepest part of the Zeppelin Air's sleek enclosure--with rear-firing ports on each side.

Discrete Digital Amplifiers: Powering the speakers are five high-quality digital amplifiers with a total of 150 watts. The single woofer is driven by a dedicated 50 watt amplifier, while each tweeter and midrange is driven by a dedicated 25 watt amplifier.

Flowport Technology: The Bowers & Wilkins Flowport technology dramatically improves the system's overall bass performance. The unit's dual rear-firing ports are dimpled to improve air flow, reducing turbulence. The result is less chuffing noise and less compression at high levels; which means better bass no matter how loud you like your music.

Bass Enhancement: When you place the Zeppelin Air with its back against the wall, the bass level is boosted, and more so if it is in a corner. The unit's "Speakers" setting has a tone control option which allows you to adjust the bass output. The default setting (Bass 0) should be used when the Zeppelin Air is on an open table. The Bass -1 setting should be used when the Zeppelin Air is against a single wall, and Bass -2 when placed in a corner to compensate for the added bass boost from the speaker's positioning. Personal preference settings (Bass +1 and Bass -3) are also provided.

Note: It is recommended that you turn off your iPod or iPhone's built-in equalizer.

Variety of Sources

AirPlay: Apple's AirPlay technology allows music, downloaded to iTunes, to be streamed (wired or wirelessly) from your Mac or PC to the Zeppelin Air. You can even bypass the computer entirely, and stream high-quality audio directly from your Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (all without the need to dock the device). The Zeppelin Air even supports Apple Lossless audio file transfer. The Zeppelin Air and your AirPlay audio source must be connected to the same wireless network via a WiFi (802.11g/n) router or hub.

  • iTunes Streaming: The B&W Zeppelin Air is able to play audio from your computer's iTunes account either wirelessly (WiFi) or via a wired (Ethernet) connection using AirPlay streaming technology. When connected to the same network as a computer running iTunes, the Zeppelin Air can appear as an output option in the pop-up menu at the bottom of the iTunes window. You can then browse your iTunes collection on your computer and stream music to the Zeppelin Air. To use the Zeppelin Air AirPlay feature you need a Mac or Windows-based PC running iTunes (10.1 or later) connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network.
  • Apple Device Streaming: AirPlay also lets you wirelessly stream music and music apps stored on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to the Zeppelin Air. So there's no need to dock your Apple device, unless you want to charge it. By downloading Apple's free "Remote" application onto your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad you don't even need to be in the same room as the components or your computer to play, pause, skip, and stop the songs in your iTunes music library. The Zeppelin Air AirPlay feature works with iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad with iOS 4.3.3 or later - connected to the same wireless network.

Note: If you have more than one Zeppelin Air, you can use them in an multi-room system. You can play the same music soundtrack from your computer's iTunes account on every Zeppelin Air in your home or select which Zeppelin Air you want to listen to from your computer. A maximum of three Zeppelin Air units are recommended. Multi-room streaming is not supported via your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad.

B&W Control App: In order to connect your Apple device to the B&W Zeppelin Air wireless music system, you will need to download the Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay Control App onto your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (running iOS 4.4.3 or later). The Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay Control App is also available to download for your Mac computer or Windows PC from the Bowers & Wilkins Support Site, allowing you to set up and manage the wireless music system from your computer.

iPod/iPhone Lightning Dock Connector: The Zeppelin Air is equipped with the new iPod/iPhone Lightning dock connector which complements the Apple device's user interface, allowing you to grasp the iPod/iPhone as if it were in your hand.  Zeppelin Air's dock connector works with the latest iPod/iPhone devices; including the iPad 4, iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th gen), and iPod nano (7th gen).

  • Controls: The Zeppelin Air offers power and volume control on the top of the unit, but no track playback controls. When docked, the iPod/iPhone is positioned at an angle that makes it easy to select tracks or change settings, as if the iPod/iPhone was in your hand. The supplied wireless remote offers power and volume controls, as well as play/pause, next track, previous track, and select. When playing back a device using the auxiliary input jack, the remote's play/pause button acts as a mute button.
  • Charging: The Zeppelin Air will charge your compatible Apple device while docked.

iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Zeppelin Air has been certified "Made for iPod" and "Works with iPhone", compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model functions (as of 9/24/2013):

Apple Device Generation Tested Version Connection Type Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Lightning Connector AirPlay Audio Video Remote iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
iPad 1 5.1.1 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
2 7.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
3 7.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
4 7.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
mini 7.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 N N N N N N N N N
3G 4.2.1 N N N N N N N N N
3GS 5.1.1 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
4 7.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
4S 7.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
5 7.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
5C 7.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
5S 7.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 N N N N N N N N N
2nd 4.2.1 N N N N N N N N N
3rd 5.1.1 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
4th 6.1.3 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
5th 7.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
nano 1st 1.3.1 N N N N N N N N N
2nd 1.1.3 N N N N N N N N N
3rd 1.1.3 N N N N N N N N N
4th 1.0.4 N N N N N N N N N
5th 1.0.2 N N N N N N N N N
6th 1.2 PC N N N N N N N N N
7th 1.02 PC Y N Y N Y Y N N Y

Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the device and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

USB Connectivity: The USB (type-B) input enables you to connect the Zeppelin Air to a Mac/PC in order to play stored or streamed audio, or to synchronize data held on your Mac/PC with your iPod or iPhone.

  • USB Audio Streaming: The Zeppelin Air's USB (type-B) port can be used to stream and playback music that is stored or being streamed on your Mac computer or Windows-based PC.
  • iPod/iPhone Sync: There's no need to undock your iPod or iPhone if you want to sync it with iTunes or add more playlists - you can do it all through Zeppelin Air (via its USB type-B port). Simply connect the Zeppelin Air to your computer via USB and your iPod/iPhone will be linked directly to iTunes. Syncing contacts, apps, bookmarks, calendars and playlists couldn't be easier.

Auxiliary Input: The rear-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input allows you to listen to an external analog audio device.

 
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Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning™ Connector Reviews

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4 out of 5

Perfect for college, attention getter

Written By Bmack, Doylestown on Monday, August 25, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this for my son to use at college. He loves it, it's pretty heavy so no one is going to steal it hopefully, as I'm sure it will be the favorite to listen to there. Superb sound quality from almost all angles, rich sound. My son played a song where the beat dropped... Sounded awesome. Good to fill a room 20 feet by 20 feet up to dance levels. I had him turn it down in back yard, too loud. Time will tell if he blows out the system, but so far so good. Crutchfield warranty gives confidence too. I'd give it 5 stars, but would like to see a tracker installed in case of theft (.. The unit is priced under my insurance deductible but would be a heavy hit to the wallet if stolen) . So 4 stars for now, but I can say this unit is really nice, gets attention, and is loud but crisp at all frequencies.
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5 out of 5

zeppelin soars

Written By RickyR, LA on Thursday, February 13, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Exceeded my expectations. Great sound for a small space, like an apatrment, where your acoustics are already favorable. noticed that small incrementss of volume will enhance fidelity. Portable but slightly unwieldy in that it requires both hands to move it to another location. (The chrome center "stalk" on which the iPhone is placed cannot be used for transport--it's not sturdy enough.) Easily enhances the sound of your tv without a lot of bulky equipment or wiring.
Pros:
Great sound. Straightforward set-up.
Cons:
Too bad the iPhone "stalk" is not sturdy enough to carry the unit like a suitcase. Cost is high. Accepts iPhone 5 not 4 without adapter (sold separately.)
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Zeppelin

Written By Frank, Brooklyn on Friday, February 07, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Fantastic sound
Pros:
Hi fi high fidelity
Cons:
Nothing
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Simply Awesome

Written By AdamR, Santa Ana, CA on Thursday, November 14, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was skeptical at first, however when i finally got the speakers i was blown away! Im hearing sounds in albums I've been listening to for nearly a year. The airplay feature is what really finally sold me on it. All in all it is an excellent investment.
Pros:
Outstanding bass, Very easy to setup with the control app, gorgeous design, extremely reliable with a decent network.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent Sound

Written By edmcc, Boston, Ma. on Monday, November 11, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Arrived very quickly, setup was pretty quick, excellent sound, small foot print.
Pros:
Really good sound, deep bass, clear high notes,
Cons:
Has a habit of falling off wireless, could be my network though.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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