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Bowers & Wilkins Z2

Powered speaker system with Apple® AirPlay® and Lightning™ connector dock (Black)

27 Reviews | 4 questions - 26 answers

Item # 749Z2B

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Overview

Our take on the Bowers & Wilkins Z2

The Bowers and Wilkins Z2 high-performance audio system has a built-in Lightning connector so you can dock your compatible iPhone®, iPod touch®, or iPod nano® for easy charging and music playback. The Z2 is compatible with Apple AirPlay, so you can wirelessly stream music from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch — even your computer through iTunes®.


Bowers & Wilkins Z2

The Bowers and Wilkins Z2 high-performance audio system has a built-in Lightning connector so you can dock your compatible iPhone®, iPod touch®, or iPod nano® for easy charging and music playback. The Z2 is compatible with Apple AirPlay, so you can wirelessly stream music from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch — even your computer through iTunes®.

Advanced audio design

The Z2 features high-quality electronics and drivers to deliver spacious, detailed sound. Its two full-range drivers are framed by baskets designed to minimize rear sound reflection and coloration. Each driver has its own individual amplifier to ensure greater accuracy and reduce cross-interference.

The system's rear-firing Flowport™ passively reinforces low frequencies. The dimpled surface of its opening reduces air turbulence for tight, accurate bass. (It's the same effect that helps golf balls fly farther.)

Bowers & Wilkins' proprietary Digital Signal Processing circuitry continually analyzes and adjusts the audio signal. Even at maximum volume, your music sounds balanced and clear. The AC adapter has been designed specifically for low noise levels, letting the Z2's electronics operate more efficiently and produce cleaner sound.

The AirPlay advantage

AirPlay uses your Wi-Fi® network to connect the Z2 speaker system wirelessly to your iTunes® library on your computer.You can send music to multiple Z2s (or other AirPlay-compatible systems like the Zeppelin Air) 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 Z2. 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.

From our Bowers & Wilkins Z2 AirPlay speaker review:

I was impressed with the Z2's quality and quantity of sound right out of the box. Bass output was hefty without being overbearing, mids sounded quite natural, and the high-frequencies were detailed and crisp.

— David Brown, Crutchfield A/V Writer

Fairly easy to set up once I found the little button that changed the idiot light from puce to blue. Then the sound came from the speaker! It's a great addition to my kitchen, where I have NO radio reception at all. I'm pleased with the sound quality. Lots of volume, too!

Lu, California

What's in the Box:

  • Lightning-connector iPod dock speaker (w/ AirPlay)
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • 39" AC power cord
  • Remote control (CR2032 3V battery)
  • Bowers & Wilkins Brochure
  • AirPlay Setup Booklet
  • Safety Instructions/Warranty
  • Online Product Registration card

Product Highlights:

  • dock compatible with most iPhone and iPod® models with a Lightning connector
  • AirPlay lets you stream music via Wi-Fi® from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or computer
  • automatically charges player while docked
  • two full-range drivers
  • frequency response: 50-20,000 Hz
  • Flowport bass port reinforces low frequencies
  • stereo minijack input for portable devices
  • Ethernet port for a wired connection to a home network
  • AC power adapter
  • remote control
  • 12-5/8"W x 7-1/8"H x 5-1/16"D
  • weight: 5.5 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

Bowers & Wilkins Z2 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(27 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

High Quality Audio Design: The Bowers & Wilkins Z2 music system is equipped with a Class-D amplifier and digital signal processing (DSP). The Class-D amplifier is rated at 20-watts x 2 channels. The B&W Z2 features two 3.5" full-range drivers for quality sound. The music system's enclosure is made from glass-filled ABS and feature's Bowers & Wilkins proprietary Flowport technology. The Bowers & Wilkins Flowport technology dramatically improves the system's overall bass performance. The unit's rear-firing port is 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.

Lightning Connector Dock: The Bowers & Wilkins Z2 is equipped with a Lightning connector dock which supports Apple's new portable devices with Lightning connector; such as the iPod nano (7th gen), iPod touch (5th gen), iPhone 5/5C/5S, and iPhone 6. The iPhone 6+, iPad 4 and iPad mini are too large to fit into the dock opening. The Z2 supports audio playback, remote control (basic playback functions only), and charging of your docked compatible Apple device.

AirPlay Technology: Apple's AirPlay technology allows music, downloaded to iTunes, to be streamed wirelessly from your Mac or PC to the B&W Z2. 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 Z2 supports Apple Lossless and MP3 audio file transfer. The B&W Z2 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 Z2 is able to wirelessly play audio from your computer's iTunes account via WiFi or Ethernet connection using AirPlay streaming technology. When connected to the same network as a computer running iTunes, the Z2 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 Z2. To use the AirPlay feature you need a Mac or Windows-based PC running iTunes (10.2.2 or later) connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network as the Z2.
  • Apple Device Streaming: AirPlay also lets you wirelessly stream your iTunes music and a variety of music apps (such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, etc) stored on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to the Z2. So there's no need to dock your Apple device. The Bowers & Wilkins Z2's AirPlay feature works with iPod touch (3rd/4th/5th gen), iPhone (3GS/4/4S/5), iPad (1/2/3/4), and iPad mini with iOS 4.3.3 or later; connected to the same wireless network.

Apple Device Compatibility Chart: The Z2 has been certified "Made for iPod" and "Works with iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model functions (as of 5/24/2013):

Apple Device Generation Tested Version Connection Type Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Lightning Connector AirPlay Audio Video Remote iPod/iPhone Artist/Song Text Track Info
iPhone
3GS 5.1.1 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
4/4S 8.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
5/5C/5S 8.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
6 8.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
6+ 8.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
touch
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 8.0 Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
nano
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
iPad 1 5.1.1 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
2/3 8.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
4/Air/Mini 8.0 N Y Y N Y Y N N N
Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

Simple Setup: In order to connect your Apple device to the B&W Z2 music system, you will need to download the Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay Setup App to your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (running iOS 4.3.3 or later). The Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay Setup 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.

Auxiliary Input: The rear-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input accepts an analog stereo signal from any portable audio device with a headphone jack output.

Remote Control: The supplied wireless IR remote offers Power, Volume Up/Down, and Playback controls. Playback controls include Play/Pause and Previous/Next Track. The remote is powered by a single CR2032 3V lithium battery (pre-installed).

AC Power: The Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) Z2 operates off of standard household AC current, using the supplied AC power adapter. The Z2 will automatically enter Sleep mode if left inactive for more than 30 minutes.

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Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

seemed good value and wanted iphone dock [ tina  Dec 07, 2015 ]

4 questions already asked

That is correct. Airplay allows you to stream high-quality audio directly from your Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (all without the need to dock the device). The Z2 supports Apple Lossless and MP3 audio file transfer. The B&W Z2 and your AirPlay audio source must be connected to the same wireless network via a WiFi (802.11g/n) router or hub. When docked AirPlay will not be used by the device. [ Jeff  Dec 06, 2015 ]  Staff
I don't think you could dock it directly for charging, but you should be able to stream music via Apple AirPlay [ KURT  Dec 01, 2014 ]
This unit has the Lightning connector common on newer Apple devices. You'd simply need to use an adapter to handle an older 30 pin interface. There are many models available. I'd use one with a little length to make it easier to use your phone. You will be very happy with this set-up. This is a great sounding box. [ Dean  Nov 29, 2014 ]
The dock itself has the newer type Apple lightning connector, but you can use Apple Airplay to stream music to this dock and it works great. I had an iPhone 4S until recently and it worked perfectly fine on Airplay. If for some reason Airplay isn't a possibility in your situation then you can also use the auxiliary input. [ STEVEN C  Nov 29, 2014 ]
No, the dock has a lightning connector. [ Jim  Nov 29, 2014 ]
Yes it can via WiFi from the iPhone using AirDrop [ Robert  Nov 29, 2014 ]
Only if it can dock on a thunderbolt plug. [ Robert  Nov 29, 2014 ]
It will play through the speaker via Airplay but you cannot dock it as it uses the lightning connector [ ROB  Nov 29, 2014 ]
I do not know. I use an iPod touch which works great. Cheers, Mark [ Mark  Nov 29, 2014 ]
Yes! [ kevin  Aug 25, 2014 ]
Yes. It should charge an iPhone with the new Lightning connector. However it will probably not work without removing your case if it's very thick. [ Ron A.  Aug 05, 2014 ]
It will charge an iPhone 5, but you might need an adapter if you have a phone case. [ Kevin  Aug 05, 2014 ]
Yes. When you place your iphone5 on the dock it charges (regardless if system is playing music or not). [ ERROLL  Aug 04, 2014 ]
Yes it does, but you may have to remove it from it's case to make it fit. [ Bob  Aug 04, 2014 ]
Yes it does. [ Jim  Aug 04, 2014 ]
Yes, it will charge your phone while it's docked [ CADE  Aug 04, 2014 ]
Yep. It's pretty good. I'd recommend it. [ JASON  Aug 04, 2014 ]
Indeed it does, in style! [ BOBBY  Aug 04, 2014 ]
Yes. I bought this for my daughter this last Christmas because she had just gotten an iPhone 5. She really love it and uses it as her main sound system in her condo. [ ALLEN  Aug 04, 2014 ]
It definitely charges your iPhone 5. I have one and it works seamlessly. [ MATTHEW  Aug 04, 2014 ]
Sure, airplay supports it. [ SERGIO DA  Nov 11, 2014 ]
Sorry--I have no idea. [ JUDITH S  Nov 10, 2014 ]
Yes [ ALLEN  Nov 09, 2014 ]
Walman, Sorry but I purchased this as a gift for someone and do not know. Regards, Ron [ Ronald  Nov 09, 2014 ]
Yes, an as an aside; I love this little speaker, and the cost is now HALF of what I paid... So just letting you know this is an amazing price for a speaker like this! [ CADE  Nov 09, 2014 ]
Yes [ KEVIN T.  Nov 09, 2014 ]
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