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

  • New Media Support says:

    Good afternoon Obimick,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air and issues when docking an iPhone.

    Firstly, please ensure that the Zeppelin Air is put into the correct input mode for playing a docked device, rather than being in its AirPlay input mode. To change the input to docking mode make sure the LED is blue in colour, by either pressing the input select button at the bottom of the Pebble Remote, or by pressing the power button on the Zeppelin Air itself.

    If this doesn’t help resolve, please make sure there is no case around the iPhone, and also try turning the iPhone completely off and then back on again. As well as this, it would also be worth making sure the iPhone is running the latest version of its iOS software, by connecting it to iTunes and downloading and installing the most up to date version.

    I hope that the above suggestions help resolve the problem for you. If however 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 Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Good afternoon Andy,

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

    I can confirm that yes it is possible to stream directly from AirPlay compatible iOS devices (such as the iPhone 4 and 3GS, the iPad and iPad 2 and the iPod Touch (2nd-4th gens)).

    Provided that the device is connected to the same wireless network that the Zeppelin Air has been setup for, and the iOS software on the device is up to date with the most recent version, you should see the AirPlay icon in the Now Playing screen of the device just above the volume slider. As well as this, you will need to ensure that the Zeppelin Air is put into its AirPlay input mode and that the LED on the front of the Zeppelin AIr is solid purple.

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

    Kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there Yiming,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air and receiving audio drop-outs streaming wirelessly via AirPlay.

    If streaming audio via AirPlay wirelessly to the Zeppelin Air you receive moments where the music stops for a while and then starts playing again, it is most often than not some sort of wireless issue or interference with your router causing this to occur.

    In order to determine for definite if this is the case; try hardwiring the Zeppelin Air directly to your router using an Ethernet cable to see if this improves things. To do this, remove the Zeppelin Air’s power cable and connect it directly to your router using an Ethernet cable. Then if you re-insert its power cable and press the power button on the top of the unit the Zeppelin Air should change from flashing purple to solid purple and you should be able to stream to it via AirPlay as before, but this time hopefully with no audio-dropouts being experienced.

    If the above does improve things then it would be safe to assume the issue is being caused by some sort of wireless interference, and if this is the case then we can provide you with some suggestions in order to try and help optimise your wireless network so that you are able to stream wirelessly without any issues.

    Please let us know how you get on, and if you have any further questions at all then please do not hesitate to ask.

    With kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there Henna,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air and streaming wirelessly via AirPlay from an iPhone 4.

    It is possible to stream via AirPlay wirelessly to the Zeppelin Air from an iPhone 4 in much the same way that you do when streaming from your PC.

    Firstly you need to ensure that the iPhone is connected to the same wi-fi network that the Zeppelin Air has been setup for so that they are connected wirelessly to the same router. As well as this, you will need to make sure that the software on the iPhone is up to date with the latest version and this can be done by connecting it to your Mac/PC that runs iTunes and downloading and installing the latest version.

    If the above doesn’t help you get the AirPlay icon to appear on your iPhone, try turning the iPhone completely off and then on again, and also removing the Zeppelin Air’s power cable and then re-insert it.

    I hope the above information helps! If you are still encountering problems or have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask and we will be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • David yang says:

    We have Zeppelin air today, but we can not play any song from iPhone or itune: it will automatically stop 5 min after playing. Additionally, our online setting is also failed. We followed the guideline strictly, however, we can not one the browser on step 5. Therefore, now the zeppelin is totally not work at all. Would you please to help me to solve this big problem? We only bought this Zeppelin for 1 day, and is just setting up!!. Thanks a billion!

    David yang

  • sean johnston says:

    had my zeppelin air for a week now. i can’t believe how amazing this thing is. had a technical issue to begin with and i found the helpline fantastic. customer service second to none. thank you very much.

  • John says:

    Hi,

    I am planning to buy a Zeppelin. But I do not need the airplay feature.
    Do you plan to update the classic Zeppelin Dock that I will sound as great as the zeppelin air?

    Kind regards
    John

  • Ian Gallagher says:

    Just purchased Zeppelin AirPlay this weekend. Had some real issues trying to connect to my network using the suggested instructions (ethernet cable supplied) Also tried setting up on a friends network using the same instructions also without success ( and he works in IT!)

    Decided to try setting up using the zeppelin built in temp wireless facility and my IPhone 4…….connected first time! Really happy with the product now but I was concerned I’d wasted £500.00 of my hard earned cash.

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there David,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air and issues with playback and setting up for AirPlay.

    In order to try and help resolve the problem you are experiencing, please try updating the Zeppelin Air’s firmware to the most recent version (1.1.3) via the Zeppelin Air support page on our website. When trying to update the firmware, if you are using a Windows PC please ensure to follow the firmware installation instructions that are part of the firmware download package as this will help guide you through the process step by step. Please note you will require a USB A to USB B cable (also known as a printer cable) to connect the Zeppelin Air to your Mac/PC.

    Once the firmware is up to date, if you then try resetting the Zeppelin Air and going through the setup process again, you should hopefully be able to get things setup and working as intended. To reset; ensure the Zeppelin Air has been powered on and flashing purple for longer than 30 seconds, and then using a paperclip press and hold the reset button located at the rear of the unit and the LED should change to flashing red and then revert to a dim red state.

    Updating the firmware should hopefully resolve the problems you are experiencing when docking a device on the docking arm and also setting the unit up for AirPlay.

    If however you are still encountering problems or have any further questions at all then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    Kieran
    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there John,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the possibility of updating the Zeppelin’s sound quality to match that of a Zeppelin Air.

    Unfortunately due to hardware limitations and how the internal mechanics of the Zeppelin differ compared to the Zeppelin Air, it will not be possible for us to update the classic Zeppelin to match the sound provided by the newer “Air” model.

    The Zeppelin Air has internally been completely redesigned and built from the ground up, which has resulted in punchier bass, improved dynamics and a more open and lifelike sound. This is all down to new internal features that can unfortunately not be implemented to the original Zeppelin.

    I trust that this answers your question. If you have any further enquiries please feel free to ask and we will be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    Kieran
    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there Ian,

    Thank you for your comment and your feedback regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air and setting it up for AirPlay.

    I’m happy to hear that you managed to get everything up and running eventually using the iPhone 4 and setting up wirelessly. Usually the setup process should take about 5 minutes all in all so I apologise for the fact that it did take longer for you and for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.

    It has been observed that there are a few factors that can potentially prevent the Zeppelin Air connecting sufficiently to a Mac/PC for setup, such as firewall settings, wireless network interference, and potential software issues such as the web browser being used for setup. These are all issues that if they do happen to arise can be bypassed by setting up wirelessly using one of the alternative setup methods on the Zeppelin Air support page.

    Rest assured that any issues that we are able to control and have been made aware of are being worked on as we speak in order to help streamline and improve the setup process further.

    I trust that now you have everything setup and connected that you will continue to enjoy your purchase!

    If you ever encounter any problems at all or have any questions please do not hesitate to ask and we’ll be happy to help!

    Kind regards

    Kieran
    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • Richard says:

    Hi

    I have a Zeppelin Air and think it’s great. Recently I was given Apple TV and was curious if it’s possible to play a video off my iPad and have the sound coming through the Zeppelin and the picture going through the TV?

    Thanks,

    Richard

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there Richard,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air, Apple TV, and streaming simultaneously via AirPlay from an iPad.

    Due to the fact that on an iPad, Apple’s iOS software limits AirPlay playback to one speaker, it is not possible to simultaneously stream wirelessly to both the Zeppelin Air and Apple TV at the same time using the iPad as its not possible to playback to multiple AirPlay devices.

    It is possible however to connect the Zeppelin Air directly to the Apple TV using an optical cable and the Zeppelin’s Aux socket, so that the Apple TV’s sound is heard through the Zeppelin Air’s speakers. This will help in as such that it will not put too much strain on your network. You will need to ensure that the Zeppelin Air is put into its Aux input mode (with orange LED) to use it this way.

    I hope this helps! If however you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask and we’ll be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • David Jenkins says:

    Hello! You have outdone yourself with this amazing product! It is the best!! Truly happy with it’s wonderful sound, and the bass is waaay better controlled than the first Zeppelin. I have two questions:
    1) Where did the weight go? This is easily almost 5 pounds lighter, and with the extra amps, I truly don’t get it. Also, the reason my B&W 805D speakers are so heavy is the internal bracing, so it worries me that this Zeppelin is lighter than the first one.
    2) I just bought a brand new 6′th. generation iPod 160 gig. Classic, the newest model, and am hoping you can reassure me that the cheap DAC in the Classic is being bypassed by the Zeppelin Air, and is using the Zeppelin’s high quality internal DAC while being directly connected to the Zeppelin Air’s arm, (not using Airplay). Is this correct?

    Cheers,
    David

  • Rod Olson says:

    No sound but Zeppelin remote will stop and start iTunes. Has anyone had this problem, about 2 days ago, my Zeppelin stopped playing audio. Yet when I use the Zeppelin remote, to fast forward, play, etc. it functions and controls iTunes. I’ve hard reset it by unplugging, etc. iTunes also finds the speakers, it says it’s connected, my iPhone Remote App has the speakers on it too but no sound.

    Any suggestions?

  • rosalind says:

    i have a question actually about the B&W mini. Will it work with a 80gb classic ipod?

  • Bowers and Wilkins says:

    Dear Rosalind,
    As long as it is the designated iPod Classic and not the iPod 5th Generation video, then yes it is compatible.
    Kind Regards
    Amy
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • Stephen Fraser says:

    I have just purchase a Zeppelin Air but only really want to use it by docking my iPod nano. When I dock the iPod and play, it only runs through about a minute or two of song before the iPod pauses and a red flashing light appears.
    Has anyone had this problem and what can be done about it?

  • David Jenkins says:

    I am wondering why my questions have not been answered. I posted 9 days ago. Just curious.

    B&W fan,
    David Jenkins

  • richard b says:

    bonsoir juste une question a l’etape 7 il faut taper un mot de passe apres avoir choisi la boxe et la “parametre incorrecte !!” donc quel est ce mot de pass j ai essayé cle wep wpa etc mais rien ne pass .
    merci pour vos réponse et votre aide
    richard b

  • Gustavo says:

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

  • New Media Product Support says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the B&W Zeppelin Air, the reduction in weight, and utilising it’s DAC.

    Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, if you do require a quicker response to your queries it may be better to email us directly via the Contact Bowers & Wilkins link in the footer of this page rather than posting directly onto this blog, as the emails we receive will be checked on a more frequent basis.

    Please see below for some answers to your questions:

    1) The weight of the Zeppelin Air was significantly reduced compared to the Classic Zeppelin, and this is mainly down to the fact that the Classic Zeppelin had a Steel back plate, and this weighs significantly more than the new black back plate that is made of a composite material on the Zeppelin Air.

    2) I can confirm that yes, if you dock an iPod Classic onto the docking arm, the Zeppelin Air’s internal DAC will be utilised and therefore the internal DAC of the iPod Classic will be bypassed. Infact, the only way that the Zeppelin Air’s DAC will not be used, would be if you connected a device to its Aux socket at the rear using an analogue cable.

    I hope this information helps. If you have any further questions at all then please do not hesitate to contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

    With kind regards

    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • Lloyd says:

    Hello, I can not find the “Speakers” setting on my iPhone 4 when docked and playing music to adjust the bass settings. Can someone be more specific on the location of this setting?

  • Susanna Grant says:

    Hi Lloyd,
    When your iPhone 4 docked, click on settings and scroll down. You should find it under speakers.

    I hope this helps,
    Kind regards
    New Media Support

  • David Jenkins says:

    Thank you so much for your response! I absolutely LOVE my Zeppelin Air!!! I am VERY picky when it comes to sound quality, and I am just shocked at how good the Zeppelin Air is. I only connect my new 160 gig. iPod Classic to the arm, and do not use Air Play, (just my preference), and am so happy at the sound quality!!! I only wish it had more stereo separation, but that’s okay. Just love it! And my 805-D’s, and P-5 head phones as well!!

    Cheers,
    David

  • Bhaskar Mitra says:

    I have the original Zeppelin. It was recently repaired and refurbished by B & W free of charge even though the guarantee had run out. I am very impressed. I have no intention of upgrading to Zeppelin air partly because I am more than pleased by the original and also because as a long term user of professional cameras I know from experience that a more ‘all singing, all dancing’ upgrade does not necessarily create a better product. I have also noticed that the build quality of the original Zeppelin (with its stainless steel back) is superior to the new version (Plastic back). Therefore, it may well last longer. However, I am struggling to achieve something. How do I connect my Ipad 2 to the Zeppelin via a cable to the ipod dock of the Zeppelin so that I can play my ipad 2 songs on it ? Does anyone know of a manufacturer who make such a cable?

  • David Jenkins says:

    Dear Bhaskar Mitra,
    I don’t work for B&W but thought I’d tell you a few things that might change your mind about the Zep. Air. First, yes the stainless steel back I sorely miss, SOOO CLASSY! But the reason it had to go was for “Air” reception, or, that was what I was told. But the BIG news items are: the Zeppelin Air BYPASSES the cheap DAC in your i-product (iPhone, iPod, iPad) and uses B&W’s DAC inside the Zep. Air instead. Also, the Zep. Air UP-SAMPLES all the music files to 24/96 Khz. which means your music is being taken directly from the memory of your Apple Product, up-sampled, and turned into an analog signal using B&W’s DAC. THIS IS HUGE!!! And the first Zeppelin that you have does none of these things, it uses the analog signal from your Apple product using the Apple product’s cheap DAC (I was told the iPod DAC cost Apple $.85 cents each, less than a candy bar!. Also, your Zep. has three amps, the new Zep. Air has five class D amps and 150 watts, your Zep has 100 watts. I personally own both Zeppelins and agree the first Zeppelin sounds awesome! And has the TOTALLY CLASSY polished stainless steel back (which I GREATLY MISS!!!), but the Zeppelin Air sounds better, and as I said in my post, I am VERY picky about sound quality. I hope I introduced you to some features of the new Zeppelin you were not aware of.

    Cheers,
    David

  • MARK says:

    HI IWAS THINKING OFF GETTING THIS DOCK OR DR DRE MONSTER BEATS the zepplin looks loads more classy and i have always had b&w speakers beofre i was just wondering if any one had used it with there tv with the 3.5m jack as my samsung d8000 sounds rubbish and would like to use the zepplin for the tv sound as well as music any one done this chhers mark

  • David Jenkins says:

    Mark,
    I have, (hooked it up to my TV) and it really sounds great! But be sure to get a good quality 3.5 mm cable. Monster makes a good one sold at Best Buy for I think around $14.00. AudioQuest also makes one, but you might have to order it. Amazon sells AudioQuest cables, as do Audio Advisors, a wonderful Company with awesome customer service! Trust me, the cable will cost you under $20.00, and is SO worth it, if you are concerned about sound. I also found that switching the primary power cable to my Zeppelin Air to an AudioQuest one made a noticeable difference, and it makes sense as the Zeppelin Air is drawing 100 watts of power thru a basically lamp cord gauge power cable when it is playing. I switched to a 100% oxygen free copper 14 gauge AudioQuest power cable, and have switched the cables back and forth playing the same song at the same volume, and there IS a difference! The cable was under $100.00.

  • mike says:

    Hi,

    Trying to find what firmware version I have on the Zeppelin Air ? can I assume the firmware is updated automatically when I set up yesterday ?

    Thanks

  • New Media Support says:

    Hi there Mike,

    Thank you for your comment regarding the firmware version on the Zeppelin Air.

    The Zeppelin Air’s firmware is not part of the same AirPlay setup process that you have already been through, so if you haven’t been through a firmware update then the Zeppelin Air will still be running the same firmware version as it came with in the box.

    The latest version is 1.1.3, and the version that your Zeppelin Air is currently running can be checked by docking a compatible iPod or iPhone onto the docking arm, making sure the LED light is blue in colour, and then on the iPod or iPhone navigate to Settings > General > About > Zeppelin Air. From here the firmware version will be displayed.

    I hope this helps. If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask and we’ll be happy to help.

    Kind regards

    Kieran
    New Media Product Support
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • mike says:

    Hi Kieran

    Thanks for the prompt reply ..

    As instructed I docked my iphone but it doesn’t have information about the Zeppelin Air .. any suggestion ?

    Thanks

  • Peter says:

    Recently bought Zep Air and it’s great. I’m trying the Society of Sound trial subscription to see what the new high quality recordings sound like and have downloaded a couple of albums but can’t play them. It says I need a FLAC player, can you recommend suitable software and a reliable site to download it from please?
    Many thanks
    Peter

  • Paul says:

    Hi Guys, and Gals.
    Im really trying to find out if there is any way of channeling a turntable, / record player through my zepplin! Can anyone enlighten me here please.
    Also can I run a CD player?

    Thanks

    Paul

  • Bowers and Wilkins says:

    Hi Peter,

    You can find more about FLAC and different players on our lossless sound page:
    http://www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk/Society_of_Sound/Society_of_Sound/Music/lossless-sound.html
    and our ‘How do you play your 24-bit FLAC files post:
    http://blog.bowers-wilkins.com/music/discussing-formats/how-do-you-play-24-bit-flac-files/

    I hope this helps,

    Kind regards
    Susanna
    Society of Sound

  • mike says:

    Hi,

    Following on from my post re: finding current version on the Zep Air, no luck whatsoever.. surely B&W can make it easier for people to find what version it is on. I’ve tried docking and undocking the iphone 4 as suggested…

    I am not sure if everyone is having this problem – music tend to pause and come back again after 5 seconds. I’m curious to find out if the firmware update fixes the problem.

  • Andrew says:

    Hi,

    The air zeppelin works pretty well with airplay and with my iPhone docked to it. However, I have a macbook air – very often connected to a thunderbolt display – and I’d like to use the zeppelin when watching movies on quicktime or VLC. Tried connecting the air zeppelin to the macbook air using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm headphone jack cable, no sound…

    Any idea on how I could make this work??

  • H.A. says:

    Hello,

    Does the Zeppelin Air recognize 5GHz signals from wireless routers?

  • Bowers and Wilkins says:

    Hi,
    The Zeppelin Air does not recognise 5GHz signals, it only works with a 2.4Ghz signal from a wireless router.
    I hope this helps,
    Kind Regards
    Amy

  • Kim says:

    Hi there,

    I’m wondering if the Zeppelin Air supports docking for the iPad? It fits nicely on the dock but I’m not sure if it is 100% supported?

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