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.

350 Comments

  • Gary Pancio says:

    David,
    I believe you need…..”remote”….look for that in the app store

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi Tomasz,

    Thank you for your comment!

    The original Zeppelin is fully compatible with the Apple iPhone 4.

    You may experience an incompatibility message when docked, but this is no need to worry and occurs on other iPod docks other than the Zeppelin. It is a consequence of Apple’s iOS software and they are aware of the issue. Despite the message you should receive full functionality as intended.

    I trust that this answers your question. If you have any further enquiries at all then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Technical Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I believe that you are referring to the Remote app from the iTunes store. There is no AirPlay app per se, as this is a feature of iTunes and its associated software. The Remote app is free of charge, and can be used to pair with your iTunes library, (using a 4 digit code) enabling your entire library stored on your computer to be seen on your iOS device (via your router) and select all transport options (play/pause, stop/rewind etc), including volume.

    With respect to AirPlay, this will automatically be visible on your iPhone/iPad, if the device has joined your network and is seen as a network attached speaker. The functionality that you mention regarding adjusting the volume and tracks etc using your iPhone or iPad can be done without purchasing a third party app, as this can all be done directly from the iPod or Music Apps that come as standard with iOS software.

    I hope this goes some way to demystifying AirPlay and its associated Remote app.

    If I have misunderstood your comment I apologise, but if you require further clarification please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Technical Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi Joey,

    I’m sorry to hear about your iPad being stolen and that you are now experiencing problems connecting using your Macbook Air.

    The Macbook Air does not have an Ethernet port which will be the answer as to why the Ethernet cable does not fit. But as you have already been able to stream to the Zeppelin Air from your iPad, it would be safe to assume that you have already set up the Zeppelin Air correctly for AirPlay, so there is no need to reset the Zeppelin Air and go through the setup process again.

    The setup process is only required to be done once if done correctly, and you should be able to stream to it using any compatible AIrPlay device/software regardless of what you used to set it up with originally.

    Please ensure that your iTunes is running the most up to date version of its software by downloading the latest version from the link below:

    http://www.apple.com/uk/itunes/download/

    Once running the most up to date version of iTunes you should then see the AirPlay logo in the bottom right hand corner of iTunes, provided that your Mac/PC is connected to the same network that your Zeppelin Air has been setup for.

    I hope that the suggestion above helps resolve your issue, but if you are still encountering issues or have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • Bruce says:

    Hi I’ve just got started with Airplay streaming Itunes to the Zeppelin Air. As I don’t use an Ipod/IPhone, is there some way to adjust the bass from Itunes or somewhere else on the PC (Windows Vista)? Cheers

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi Bruce

    Thank you for your comment.

    I regret to inform you that there is no way of adjusting the bass management in the Zeppelin Air without an iOS device docked.

    However you may like to know that it is possible to adjust the EQ settings within iTunes itself by selecting Window > Equaliser and adjusting to your liking.

    I trust that this answers your question. If you have any further enquiries then please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Technical Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • David Jenkins says:

    Thanks for the help! Found the free “remote” app.

  • Simon says:

    I was unable to set up the wireless features of my brand new Zeppelin Air. The website suggested a firmware update. When trying to update the firmware, I received the following error messages:

    Windows Error:
    Coproc not responding, error:0×2 execute_flash_coproc_from_init failed.

    Firmware Updater Error:
    Update failed with error code -65531.

    Now my Zeppelin Air won’t work at all, and the LED is constantly White when power is connected. Trying to update the firmware again gives the same errors.

    Any pointers? Or is it dead?

  • David Jenkins says:

    Re: adjusting the sound with iTunes EQ’s. I have found that they do more harm than good, and best to not use the iTunes EQ settings, if you care about music quality. Just my two quid. The bass adjustment that B&W allows in the “speaker” setting on your iPod is great, as it is a B&W setting adjustment internal in the Zeppelin, but Apple’s iTune’s EQ settings: bloody awful, the lot.

  • Katharina says:

    Hi,

    Finally we managed to buy the Zeppelin Air, and love the sound, the quality and design. But now, only after 3 months its nok working. Its not playing from ether of our Ipods (Nano and Itouch). The light is normal (red, yellow and blue) and its still charching the Ipods. But it cant play any music from any Ipods?! What can I do to fix it? Nothing happend to it, it just didn´t wanted to play one morning…

    We got it in Denmark, but now live as “expats” in Poland, and they are unfortunatety not famous for the customer service. It´s simply not their problem..Really hope you can help us,

    Thx!

  • David Jenkins says:

    Dear Kathariana,
    What a lovely name! Where did you buy your Zep. Air? At an Apple Store, or somewhere else? If at an Apple Store, just go to the Apple St ore Manager and explain the situation and get a replacement. Worst case is send it to B&W, and they will fix it. Look on this site and find the contact info, and email them at the UK email address. You might have to send it to them, and they will fix or replace it for you, and send it back. You do have a very good warranty, and B&W are great at customer service. I have bought $thousands of dollars of their products, and they have always been VERY helpful. Email them in the UK with your problem.
    Here in the States, on the blogs, there have not been reports of failures of the Zeppelin Air, so your issue is very rare. But they will make it right, I promise. Email them in the UK first. (I don’t work for B&W, just love their products).
    By the way, did you do the firmware update for the Zeppelin Air after you bought it? If not, do it and see if it fixes your problem. It is under “Support” for the Zeppelin Air, at the Bowers and Wilkins web site, under Zeppelin Air, then look for Support, and download the firmware update, and connect your Zeppelin to your computer with a USB cable, and download the update, the instructions are in the PDF Owners Manual (follow INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY!), also found under Support, under Zeppelin Air at the Bowers and Wilkins web site. EVERY ZEPPELIN AIR OWNER NEEDS TO DO THE FIRMWARE UPDATE.

    Cheers,
    David

  • collette says:

    Hi all,

    just bought my new product the Zeppelin Air, was very worried setting it up as i am not computer friendly, just know how to do what i need on it and nothing more- it was in fact very straight forward and sooooo loving the sound. my only difficult task was where to place it on my front room?!?!?
    amazing produt and well worth the money spent.

  • David Jenkins says:

    WHAT A FANTASTIC PRODUCT!!!!!!! I LOVE my new Zeppelin Air!!!!! It is so awesome! I just finished listening to John Coltrane, and it was like he and his band were in my room! I am SO happy!!! Thank you Bowers and Wilkins for building the ABSOLUTE BEST iPod/iPad Dock ever!!!!! Fantastic sound, and I would have paid more! A bargain at $600.00! An absolute bargain!!!!! Thank you Bowers and Wilkins! And I LOVE my P-5 headphones as well! Again, an awesome product! When will you build a B&W iPod?? It would sell! An audiophile ipod player, built by B&W, that would be fantastic! Please think about it.

    Cheers,
    David

  • Dev says:

    For those of your with older Zeppelin’s (including the mini) who want Airplay, I can highly recommend Airfoil. Essentially the program allows you to broadcast lossless audio wirelessly from a Mac/PC to an ipod touch/iphone/ipad. If you dock your iOS device to your zeppelin, you basically have added airplay to your zeppelin as you will be able to broadcast music to it from anywhere in your house :)

  • mark says:

    Ijust bought the new zepplin air had a small problem with it at first it would run for about a min and the red light would flash constantly i did the firmware update as suggested online now its playing perfectly (you do have to tell the air installer where the drivers are located once that is done it will update its self ) and work like a charm

  • André Welles says:

    My connection failed. So i ll tryed to reset the zeppelin air with a paperclip for about 20 seconds but it won t will get red.
    So i don t get any connection with the imac (wired)
    i followed the instructions.

    WHat can i do more please help.

  • David Jenkins says:

    I have a question, can someone explain exactly what up-sampling the music to 24/96 Khz. means?? I haven’t a clue. The Zeppelin Air does this, and it’s supposed to make the sound better, but what is it? I don’t get, or understand the 24/96Khz. part.

    Thanks,
    David

  • Kevin says:

    I bought the Zeppelin Air yesterday. A couple of points may help when installing/connecting the Zeppelin Air:

    1) Use an ethernet cable connected to the computer (NOT THE HUB/SUPERHUB/MODEM) to get to the initial settings. Select your Network and Make the Zeppelin Air name something useful, like Zeppelin…maybe

    2) Make sure you have Bonjour installed and running with Itunes

    3) When you connect the Zeppelin Air with a USB cable, after it initially installs as per bottom right hand corner of Windows, I needed to update the driver, so if you do, you will need to go to your Device Manager (best through Right-click My Computer, click Manage, and then click Device Manager). At this stage just keep this Device Manager screen in view.

    3) Make sure USB connected, then take power plug out, then press the on button and hold down whilst putting power lead in, to get the white light. Then let go.

    4) You should then see Zeppelin Air as a device with a yellow ! (exclamation mark) next to it. Right click this and select UPDATE DRIVER, and BROWSE the folder C:/ > Program Files > Bowers & Wilkins > Zeppelin Air Programmer when given the option.

    5) This installs the latest driver allowing the Zeppelin Air to be recognised when you go to update the Firmware.

    Some other useful tips…. The installation process is painless….if you get to understand the colour combinations…
    Green light means USB connected and working
    Solid Blue means Iphone/Ipod connected and working
    Flashing purple – trying to connect to wireless
    Solid purple – connected to wireless

    You can run through these colour combinations by pressing the power button (depending on what cable/wifi is connected/connecting.

    Anything else – Kieron at B&W is very helpful and very quick on an email response…

    It’s a very good product. B&W are a top company and make great speakers. I won’t buy anything else having tried quite a few different types. They give a very good aftercare support, so if you get any problems, email them, they will sort it.

    Kev

  • joepete says:

    In using my ipad with my Zeppelin Air the remote works great when I am playing Pandora but when I play the ipod from ipad the remote works but it does things like raising the volumn way up when I push the down key. Anyone dealing with this problem.

  • ernieb1983 says:

    i have a Zepplin(not air), i have a iphone in the dock station, is there any way i stream music straight from itunes to play out of the speakers?
    thanks

  • David Jenkins says:

    Nobody has answered my question yet. What exactly does it mean to up-sample the music to 24/96 Khz??? Can you explain the benefits to me? I know it’s got to be better, but how is it better?? I don’t understand up-sampeling, or what it does to the music.

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi ernieb1983,

    Thank you for your comment.

    You can connect the Zeppelin up to an Apple Airport Express via the Aux socket located at the rear of the unit using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm headphone jack cable.

    Then in iTunes, you can stream audio wirelessly to the Airport Express via AirPlay, and provided that the Zeppelin has been put into its Aux input mode (with green LED), that audio being streamed to the Airport Express will be heard through the Zeppelin.

    If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask and we will be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Technical Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the Zeppelin Air and upsampling.

    Analogue signals are converted to a digital format by taking a sample of the amplitude of the signal at thousands of times a second (for example at 44.1kHz for CD) and processing the result as a digital signal. Up-sampling digital audio signals is the process by which the signal is converted from one sampling frequency to another.

    Part of the reason for doing so is to theoretically increase the resolution of the recovered audio signal and to be able to use filters after the process which do not themselves introduce audible problems. The scheme is not confined to audio signals – similar techniques are used to improve digital images. For audio however, the way that such a scheme is implemented is key to the improvement in sonic performance.

    I hope that this helps clear things up for you, it is quite a complex subject.

    Please note that in the future you can contact us via the email contact form as linked to below, our response times to emails sent this way will tend to be quicker than responses posted on the blog as they are checked more frequently.

    http://www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk/contact_us/contact_us.html

    If you have any further questions at all then please do not hesitate to ask and we’ll be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Technical Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • Paul Litten says:

    Hi, does anyone have any experience of connecting two full size zepplins together? I am having a garden party in a week or so, inside a marquee and its been suggested by a friend that both mine and their zepplins could be connected to provide even greater sound?

    I have yet to try this, but any experience or views would be much appreciated.

    Regards Paul Litten

  • David Jenkins says:

    Just wanted everyone to know, I was NOT a believer in hi-end cables, and they producing better sound, but I have to tell you, I went to Music Direct, and bought an AUDIOQUEST AC power cable to replace the stock power cable that came with my Zeppelin Air, and I gotta tell you, I CAN hear a difference! The silent passages in the music are more silent, and the cymbals, more real sounding, along with piano playing. The music just sounds better! And yes, I tried the original cable back to see if my ears were fooling me, and they aren’t, it’s the power cable! Try it yourself, if you buy their cables on Amazon, and don’t like them, you can return them for a full refund including shipping! Buy the cheapest model power cable they sell, don’t go crazy. Just thought you all should know what I discovered. And if anyone else has discovered a tweak that makes our Zeppelins SOUND better, let us all know. I am all for spending a little, to get better sound. This is such a fun hobby! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY ZEPPELIN AIR!!!!!!

  • David Jenkins says:

    By the way, I DO NOT work for a cable Company, I am a real estate agent. Did not want to give the idea I was doing sneaky advertising. I really am pleased with the improvement in sound from switching out the stock AC power cable with an aftermarket one, and wanted to share my discovery with you all.

  • calvhobbs says:

    I had big problems with the setup. Airplay symbol in iDevices went away or didn’t show up at all, even after restart of router, Air and iPad. The Air obviously had trouble with communication with the router, although it was placed directly in front of it. I guess this is because the router is 5yrs old. Now I connected the Air to the router with a network cable and everything is working perfectly. I guess a new state of the art router would solve the problem as well.

    B&W should point out this potential problem much clearer in all the documentation. Would have spared me hours of trying to setup, configure all devices, including a firmware update. I guess many many customers have a problem with this.

  • Lee webster says:

    Hi all. Would just like to say a big thanks for bowers taking my open comments off this forum during march. I stipulated in my honest opinion that I wasn’t happy with this new zep air and that I thought the old one sounded better. Mysteriously my comments have disappeared which just goes to show how this company operates. Don’t worry my comments still remain on YouTube to if you really want to know the truth about this inferior product please watch the viids on YouTube. I don’t like how you operate bowers and your customer service is rather disappointing and full of air like your zep air. Maybe it’s going the same way as the original zep air that took to the skies (up in smoke)

  • Ignacio says:

    Hi I have exactly the same problem Simon posted at Monday, 25 April 2011.while using Updater program in Windows.
    My zeppelin behaves the same ” the LED is constantly White when power is connected”
    Simon did you solve the problem?
    Thanks

  • Courtney Marsh says:

    Hi. I’ve heard you can play tunes from your iPhone throughthe Zeppelin air without docking it? I’m currently using mine as a remote control for my iTunes but this means I have to have my PC turned on. Am I right that you can play music straight from your iPhone? If so what do I need to do?
    Cheers

  • Steve says:

    Is there a cable available to connect an IPhone4? Otherwise I need to remove the case to connect it to the Zeppelin. I’ve already broken 2 cases doing so.

  • Obimick says:

    My Zeppelin air won’t work when my iPhone is docked? Very strange air works ok but sometimes goes missing? But it’s the docking that bothers me ? Any help? The light it’s on but just won’t work?

  • Andy says:

    Hi, just set up my zeppelinair to play wirelessly. It works! I am playing from itunes from the laptop.
    My question is about playing music from my iphone 4, does the airplay allow me to play from the iphone, or ipad or ipod through the speakers without putting it in the dock?
    Thanks v much for any help.

  • Yiming says:

    Hi, I just got my zeppeling air yesterday, quite excited. However it seems that every 2 mins the sound pause and chock once. It is really annoying and definitely break the joy of listening musics. Is this a common problem and what should I do? Please help. btw, thanks for this open comment section, it is awesome! Sincerely

  • henna says:

    i have some difficulties connecting my iphone 4 to my zeppelin air. I managed to connect the pc wirelessly and that is working very well, wonder what I can do to get the same fuctionality from my iphone. I’m connected to the internett by my Iphone but it seems not to find the songs in the phone…

  • Brian says:

    Hi

    Have recently got a zeppelin air and would like to boost my television using the zeppelin speakers as described above – Does anybody know how / what you need to do this ?

    Thanks

    Brian

  • New Media Product Support says:

    Hi there Brian,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the Zeppelin Air and connectivity to your TV.

    In order to connect the Zeppelin Air to your TV to boost its sound you can use one of the following connection methods:

    1. Using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm headphone jack cable, one end connected to the AUX socket at the rear of the Zeppelin Air and the other end connected to the headphone out socket on your TV.
    2. Using a 3.5mm to RCA cable that connects from the AUX socket in the Zeppelin to the relevant output on your TV.
    3. If your TV has a digital audio output, you can use a TOSlink to mini-optical cable; one end in the AUX socket of the Zeppelin Air and the other in the digital output on your TV.

    It has been observed that utilising the digital output on a TV by connecting using a TOSlink to mini-optical cable will offer the best quality of audio out of the three options above, however the difference in quality is extremely minimal and may not be perceived at all by some.

    If you have any further questions at all then please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Product Support says:

    Hi Courtney,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air and streaming audio wirelessly via AirPlay from an iPhone.

    I can confirm that yes, it is possible to stream directly from an AirPlay compatible iOS device such as the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS to the Zeppelin Air via AirPlay, without the need to use the Remote app and to have a PC turned on at the same time.

    Provided that the iPhone is either an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 3GS, the software on your iPhone is up to date with the latest version, and that your iPhone is connected to the same wireless network that the Zeppelin Air has been setup for; the AirPlay icon should appear in the bottom right hand corner of the Now Playing screen when playing audio via the iPod app on your iPhone.

    If you are unable to see the icon, please try turning the iPhone completely off and then on again to see if this helps resolve the issue.

    I trust that this answers your question. If you have any further questions at all then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there Steve,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin and connectivity to an iPhone 4.

    If you have a case around the iPhone 4, I would suggest removing the case prior to docking it onto the docking arm; due to the variance in shapes and sizes of cases for the iPhone 4, we cannot guarantee that the case you are using provides sufficient space around the phone’s multi-pin terminal, to authenticate accordingly with the dock of the Zeppelin.

    If you are reluctant to remove the case around your phone, you can alternatively connect the iPhone to the Aux socket located at the rear of the Zeppelin using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm headphone jack cable.

    I trust that this answers your question. If you have any further enquiries at all then please do not hesitate to ask and we will be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • Ash says:

    Just picked up my Zeppelin Air on Saturday after umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether to spend £500 on an iPod dock… I have to say, this thing is very special indeed and it is so much more than an a dock. I use the ‘Remote” app on my iPhone to select which track to listen to – very cool.

    I am now a Bowers and Wilkins convert for life!

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