"Another stellar review"5.0 starson by DowningB
Pros: Great sound for a one-piece iPod speaker system. Beautifully designed, first-class engineering.
Cons: The remote seems like an afterthought. Too small, the buttons are tiny, and the flattened egg shape design means the "pointer" end isn't readily apparent. Luckily the Zeppelin's so user friendly that I rarely use the remote anyway.
Summary: I bought my Zeppelin about three weeks ago and absolutely love it. The sound is fantastic, especially given the inherent limitations of a one-piece speaker system. I have a Bose SoundDock Portable, and the Zeppelin not surprisingly blows it away.
I should mention, though, that the Zeppelin is most definitely not a portable player. It's too heavy, at 16.5 pounds, to be carried easily and doesn't run on batteries. If you're looking for a portable device, check out the Bose SDP. At a little over 5 pounds and with a built in handle, it's far easier to carry around plus it comes with a rechargable battery. The Zeppelin is meant to stay put.
The early Zeppelin models came with a two-piece rubber mat for its base. B&W caught a fair amount of flak for this as the pieces were difficult to line up and didn't work very well to stabilize the unit. B&W must have paid attention to the critics because the base is now a single piece permanently attached to the bottom of the Zeppelin and is very stable. Problem solved.
B&W has updated the Zeppelin's software so that it's now "Works with iPhone" certified, meaning the "airport mode" window no longer pops up when you dock your iPhone. If someone calls while the iPhone is docked, the music simply fades away and your ringtone will sound. You can then answer the phone as you normally would without removing it from the dock and talk by pressing the speaker button on the iPhone screen.
My understanding is that you can confirm the Zeppelin's iPhone compatibility by checking the serial number for a Z2XXXX. Even easier, just check the box for the "Works with iPhone" logo and you'll know you're good to go.
Although the Zeppelin's form factor is not for everyone, it has won numerous design and acoustic awards as you can see on the B&W website.
My only knock on the Zeppelin is not with the unit itself but with the included remote. It's shaped like a flattened egg so it's not readily apparent which end is to be pointed at the unit. Worse, the remote's so small that the buttons on it are tiny. B&W really should go back to the drawing board and come up with something more user friendly. The Zeppelin is so well-designed and engineered that it makes the remote seem like an afterthought by comparison. I certainly treat it that way as I rarely use it.
Before I bought the Zeppelin, I spent a fair amount of time comparing the sound to that of the Bose SoundDock 10 by driving back and forth between my two local dealers and listening closely to both units. In the end, although I thought it was close the Zeppelin won out. I would have preferred to have been able to do a side by side comparison with both units at home. Given that the Zeppelin and SD 10 both go after the same market, I'd love to see CNET put both of them in the same room and do a head to head review.
If you're looking for a high-end relatively compact speaker system for your iPod/iPhone, the Zeppelin will serve you well.