Get the most from a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin

Get the most from a Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin

If you have a Zeppelin, we hope that you are already enjoying the fantastic sound that it offers. But as is always the way with hi-fi, if you put a bit of thought into placement the resulting performance will improve. Small things can make a big difference in audio.

For starters, the more solid a platform you can sit your Zeppelin on the better. We’re not saying it has to be on a dedicated hi-fi rack, necessarily, but as solid a base as you can manage is a good idea. It will pay dividends with the sound.

Also, think about space. As is the case with most hi-fi speakers, a little bit of breathing room does wonders for the sound. In the case of Zeppelin the subwoofer and flowport technology perform better with a little bit of space to ‘breath’. But, as always with hi-fi, a little experimentation will allow you to get the best possible sound for your own taste and the room in which you have the system.

Also, while Zeppelin has what can comfortably be described as a ‘room filling sound’, traditional hi-fi values can help when it comes to where you place the Zeppelin for listening. If you want a high-quality stereo image – where all the musicians appear in the areas of the soundstage where the producer intended them to be, then try placing the Zeppelin directly in front of your favourite listening position – this will work especially well if you decide to use you Zeppelin to boost the sound of your television as well as an iPod speaker.

There’s also an optional Zeppelin wall-bracket. This allows you to free up some valuable shelf space, and also makes it easy to position your Zeppelin below a wall-mounted flatscreen television.

Further adjustments can also be made by using the menu system that pops up on your iPod screen when attached to Zeppelin. A new menu option called ‘speakers’ appears, and from here you can adjust the bass output of Zeppelin to suit your taste. Try it, and see what works for you.

And if you have any more Zeppelin set up tips, please feel free to post them here via a comment, so that others can learn from your experiences.


  • Bowers and Wilkins says:

    Dear Kim,

    We do not recommend docking a device of the size and weight of an iPad onto the Zeppelin Air’s docking arm, as doing so may potentially cause damage to the Zeppelin Air that would undoubtedly not be covered under it’s warranty. The docking arm is designed for devices such as compatible iPhone and iPod models.

    It is however possible to connect an iPad to the Zeppelin Air for audio playback. The most convenient way of doing this would be by wirelessly streaming audio via AirPlay directly from the iPad to the Zeppelin Air (no direct physical connection required). As well as this, you could connect the iPad to the Zeppelin Air’s Aux socket at the rear of the speaker using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm headphone jack cable.

    Kind Regards

  • Diane says:

    I can’t seem to find the User’s Manual for the Zeppelin anymore. Are you able to send me a link? Every link I go to is for the Zeppelin mini.

  • David says:

    Just wondered if there were any firmware updates within the last six months for the Zeppelin Air? I did the first firmware update the day I bought my Zep. Air, but have no clue if there were any more recent ones.


  • Susanna Grant says:

    Hi Diane,
    The user’s manual for the Zeppelin is here:

    Kind regards
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • jim says:


  • Doug says:

    Can’t get any sound from my Sony bravia tv. Any ideas here please?

  • richard says:

    I have a B&W Zepplin and I’m very happy with it.
    I’m thinking of pulling out my vinyl collection and wondered if you have any experience of connecting a turntable through a Zepplin.

  • Michael Kelch says:

    I purchased two Zeppelins, 1 in 2008 and another in 2009. The first one developed the dreaded flashing red LED problem and had to be sent away for repair, which was done prompptly and effectively by BW. Now the second unit has developed the same issue so we will see how things go. I am sure the unit is out of warranty yet the problem appears to be well-documented.

  • David Jenkins says:

    Michael, the dreaded red flashing light is because B&W decided to build their stuff in China, and from a B&W’s tech’s mouth in Boston, the Chinese factory decided, on their own, to install a cheaper, non-spec. power supply in the Zeppelin (not the Zep. AIr), instead of the one B&W specified. This issue is also with the Zeppelin Mini. You will know your Zeppelin Mini has the bad power supply as you will hear crackling noises during play. The price B&W paid for having their products made in China. Imagine the $$$ B&W has had to spend on warranty repairs, and damage to their good name because of this! Should have made them in another Far-East Country, like Malaysia or the UK!

  • David Jenkins says:

    Just to let you know, I am TOTALLY positive B&W will take care of you if the second Zeppelin of yours goes bad. The issue has been known for a very long time. I just feel bad for B&W as it was not their doing, but someone in the Chinese factory deciding to use the inferior/non-spec. power supply. On the other hand, I think B&W should have more closely watched what goes on in their Chinese factory. I was not happy at all to buy and return three Zeppelin Minis from a store here in Georgia. I finally gave up as all three of the Zeppelin Minis had bad power supplies, and bought another Zeppelin Air. I LOVE my: Zeppelin Airs, my P-5 headphones, and my new P-1 speakers!!! But I really wanted a Zeppelin Mini, but after three defective ones, as I said, I gave up. Still am a huge B&W and Rotel fan. I wish I could afford the 805-D speakers! But the P-1′s are STUNNING! AMAZING SOUND!!

  • Steve says:

    Simon and Ignacio search for the recovery software on this site, it will fix that dead zepplin after error 65531 issue for you. I also downloaded the Airplay setup app for my iphone and ipad and ran that and everything is working fine.

  • Rob Hawkins says:

    Just received my Zeppelin Air, wow.. amazing, thank B&W.. i’m all mac’d and ipaded up and its awesome.

  • john tucker says:

    hi all. was wondering if anyone has found a travel case for a zeppelin? strange shape and fragility mean if i want to take it with me i need some protection. ideas?

  • Rich Baillon says:

    Received my Zeppelin Air 4 days ago and I am becoming more and more impressed the more I listen.

    Set up was easy to my Wi-Fi network as was installing the latest firmware update. My grand daughter was most impressed with the iPod dock and was playing music immediately with no hope or instructions from the old folks.

    Highly recommended.

  • Mark says:

    Are B&W considering making a dockless zeppelin – similar to Sonos Play: 5, Bose Soundlink, Libratone Lounge?

    With airplay and optical in (e.g. for linking to Airport Express, TV etc) and I’m buying!

  • parekhd says:

    Will B&W be issuing a firmware update for the zeppelin to support Apple’s new Airplay Direct?

  • Boris says:

    Dear all,
    I have a Zeppelin and am very pleased with it. To listen to music from my Macbook, I use a mini-toslink to mini-toslink cable and am pleased with the result, but wanted to ask if some has tried to compare this setup with a USB connection. Which gives better soundquality: toslink or USB?

  • Allen Hutcheson says:

    Advice for anyone with a Zeppelin Air suffering intermittent drop outs when streaming from an airplay device. Changing the channel on your wireless network should resolve this issue. Channels range from 1 to 13 and you may need to experiment to find the one that works best. For example, my wireless network was configured to channel 6 and I discovered I was able to reproduce the drop outs by simply opening an external door in the room. This also affected my Macbook in that it lost access to the wireless network. I changed the channel to 2 and the drop outs stopped.

  • Lito says:

    Does anybody tried to DOCK an iPod Touch 5th Gen. (Latest Model) in a Zep Air? can it be be distinguished by the Zep. using Lightning to a 30-pin adaptor?

  • Marcus Osborne says:

    I’ve got a first generation Zeppelin and Zeppelin mini. The mini doesn’t give me any problems but the Zeppelin has been a mixed experience. The other day their wasn’t any power to the Zeppelin so I took it to my local Zep rep (I live in Malaysia) and he has quoted me 70 quid to troubleshoot the problem. He says I need to replace the power supply board because quote “it’s a high possibility that it is faulty on the unit.” He wants another 60 quid for the power board unit which also seems on the high side.

    Reading David Jenkins comments above, I’m wondering if the Zep should be repaired for free. Can anyone help?

    Thanks in advance

  • Simon says:

    I have the same problem as Marcus Osborne and was also quoted exhorbitant prices for troubleshooting/repair because the Zeppelin is out of warranty. I did a few searches on the web and the general view is that it’s capacitor failure on the PSU board. I’m going to have a go at replacing these myself unless (as Marcus is asking), B&W will replace these know faulty PSU batches free (the distributor in Singapore wants the equivalent of 280 quid to troubleshoot/replace!!).

  • Gabriele says:

    Good Morning to everyone. I need to know if exist a blootooth adaptor to streaming music from my mac to the ZEPPELIN MINI. I bought already few adapter 30pin but no one works.

    Thank you

  • CP says:


    I just purchased the new Zeppelin air with lighting connector, and I was wondering if the product should come with ethernet and USB cords since it does not. I know the older models come with them but am not sure if this was a packing mistake or that it was never intended to come with it.


  • nitin says:

    hi… i am looking to convert my zeppelin to wireless by purchasing a adaptor….has anyone purchased an adaptor which works well and it tried and tested…..a wifi adaptor would be best but even a bluetooth adaptor would suffice.

    pls advise.


  • Deanna says:

    I’m with Nitin and also looking for a way to convert my Zeppelin to wireless with an adapter. Anyone have any luck?

  • Mark says:

    I’ve got a Layen i-dock bluetooth adaptor and it works great with the zep. Just make sure your zep has the latest firmware update installed.

  • Emma Heyworth says:

    Hi, I’ve got this Zeppelin and had it for a while however the standby button has never changed colour. I’ve utlised it to it’s full potenial other than a docking station, i’m keen to plug it into my TV can you anyone advise? Thanks Emma

  • Gloria says:

    I have the mini zeppelin and would like to find a Bluetooth or wifi adaptor for my iPhone 5, how do I update the latest firmware in my mini zeppelin?

    Thank you.

  • Bill Bula says:

    Love the product, great sound. One problem I have is, once I connect to my home wifi, it works for a couple of days, then I cannot find the airplay icon on any of my devices, the only way to get connection is do a factory reset, then it works fine for a few days then a reset is needed again. I have questioned support a few times but really no help. I suspect I have to revise the settings on my wireless router, I have read that changing channel select to a number between 1-11 from auto may help. Also some routers have a time out function which may be the reason for the constant factory resets. Here is my question, do you think the problem lies in my router, and if so, do you have recommended settings for my router to ensure trouble free operation?

  • Neil says:

    My Zeppelin Air works flawlessly with my iPhone docked or on Airplay, but when I dock my iPod classic (5th gen) a message on the iPod screen says it does not support the connected device. All the literature I’ve read says it should support it – what am I doing wrong, what can I try to fix the problem ?

  • Vincent says:


    I can read that there are a lot of problems with the zeppelins from the older generations. I have 2 zeppelins. One zeppelin mini (2009) that shuts down every once and a while and that I need to disconnect in the night, because of the hellish peeping sound coming out of the power cables and then one regular zeppelin (2009) that I already had to replace 2 years after I bought him, because there was a red light popping and then this week, the red light was blinking and eventually became a white light and so on and so on and now it doesn’t even start. I also want to say that I use this zeppelin maybe 30 times a year (not often), so it is almost untouched.

    SO my question to you Bowers and Wilkens:
    Both of the machines are under no warrant, as they are more then 2 years old, what do I do ?
    It is clearly a manufacturing problem, so will you guys replace it or have I spend 900 euros on machines that are going to break after 2 years ? What I have to call a very bad investment…?

  • Bérubé Andrée says:

    Comment je fais pour me connecter à
    J’ai une page blanche.

  • Malcolm says:

    I find that the sound from my Zeppelin does not travel well throughout the house. So, for example, if I want to hear it upstairs, I need to increase the volume to extraordinary levels to do so. So, I can then hear it upstairs but the volume downstairs is WAY too loud for anyone down there. I was wondering if there are additional speakers I can purchase so that I can hear the same sound no matter where I’m located in the house? Thanks. Malcolm.

  • Fabio says:

    I get this kind of message…

    Coproc startup error: 0×5
    execute_flash_coproc_from_init failed.

    Anyone can help???

  • Lottie says:

    Hi, I have the Zeppelin Air with the iPhone 5 docking station, but the black box with the Bowers and Wilkins logo just under it is starting to come off on one side. I believe I knocked it once and has come away. How do I put it back as I’ve tried to push it but it doesn’t stay?

  • Zoe Bowen says:

    Where can I send mine off for repair please? I can no longer dock my Iphone. So therefore it does not charge or play music

  • Jill says:

    I bought my Zeppelin four months before the air play version came out. Cannot afford to replace it with the AirPlay model but would like to know if there is device I can connect to enable AirPlay via my iPad etc.

  • Eloise says:

    Jill… If you add a Apple AirPort Express or Apple TV via the 3.5mm optical input this will give you AirPlay.

  • Steve Spear says:

    I have a zeppelin and apple TV what do i need to connect to do so i can connect vai blue tooth

  • Eloise Speight says:

    For the AppleTV you need a TOSLink to Mini-TOSLink cable. You can get cables with full size TOSLink on both ends and use an adaptor but for reliability I would recommend the dedicated mini-TOSLink design. Should cost from a few quid off Amazon or visit your Bowers and Wilkins dealer.

    To use a AirPort Express you need a cable with Mini-TOSLink on both ends.

Older comments

Add a comment

We welcome debate within Society of Sound, but please keep it friendly, respectful and relevant. We have a few house rules which we ask you to abide by to keep the debate intelligent. Read more.
Product enquiry or support issue? Please click here.

Related posts

Bowers & Wilkins Speakers thumbnail

How Many Speakers?

After listening to the podcast discussion about surround sound in the Lab it got us wondering just how many speakers is enough for … Read more

Bowers & Wilkins pop-up shop opens

Watch the Air your tunes pop-up shop video

The Bowers & Wilkins Air your tunes pop-up shop opened for one week in London to promote the benefit of Zeppelin Air and AirPlay.… Read more

Bowers & Wilkins A5 wirelss system

What the A7 has in common with Nautilus

For those wanting a one-box solution for listening to music using Apple AirPlay®, the A5 and A7 are exciting additions to our product … Read more