Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Air
The B&W Zeppelin Air has garnered plenty of plaudits since its release last year. But to my ears it’s too heavy on the bass. And those low frequencies are a little muddy, too. There’s plenty of warmth in the overall output, but it’s not what you would call subtle – something you could deduce from the way it looks. Set-up was tiresome. This was the only unit on test which called for the speaker to be connected by Ethernet cable to the router in order to pass it an IP address. It looks stunning, but there are better-sounding AirPlay speakers here.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Bowers and Wilkins
JBL On Air
Even at a shade over £200, I wouldn’t buy the On Air for its audio fidelity. It’s not bad, just not as good as say, the Philips or Audyssey. That said, it has plenty of other goodies to offer. There’s an iPhone/ iPod dock, an FM radio and alarm, and an LCD which displays album artwork and track names. That display and the buttons beside it also make the On Air very east to set up. This is definitely one for the bedroom or kitchen, but at this price it has plenty to commend it.
Reg Rating 70%
More info JBL
Next page: Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air
But if you want a proper airplay solution, surely a nice set of small Monitor Audio speakers, even a basic Cambridge Audio amp and an Airport Express as the Airplay device would sound 1000% better than any of these one box solutions on test, and potentially cost around the same?
Re: Looks nice
That's what I did, sort off.
I got some fag packet sized D-class amps (Sure electronics, 15w) from fleabay for 35 quid and my old Tannoy 607 and 603 speakers and some Linn ceiling speakers for the bathroom. These and some airports, either N's or G's (turned the wireless off on the G's) and Bobs your aunty.
They sound great to me and plenty loud enough which is probably all that most people would want/need. Indeed, when I needed some more amps I had to order another 6 for other people.
Not as cool as the ones in article but massive geek satisfaction value.
These all see rather overpriced .....
The Teac *does* sound abysmal. We tested it against a similair styled Sony and the Sony sounded a million times better.
But why no Denon Ceol / Marantz 603(?) / Sony G2 series? Have auditioned these all recently for myself and ended up with the G2BNIP (ie DAB and AirPlay/Wifi) as the Marantz and Denon both took the best part of a week to start playing from an iPhone once it was plugged in.
Please be objective
There are some excellent objective and measurable criteria when evaluating a speaker:
It all comes down to parameters that can be measured and quantified in a frequency-response curce, rather than fuzzy adjectives like 'warmth' and 'ambience'.
If you insist on testing analogue peripherals, such as speakers and displays, please set up a lab with proper equipment to actually measure the results!