Bowers and Wilkins ZEPPELINMINI With Zeppelin Mini, you get everything you love about Zeppelin – advanced acoustic technology, intelligent design, elegant connectivity – in a streamlined, compact sound dock package that’s perfect for desktops and bedside tables. Because even when your space is limited, it doesn’t mean your sound has to be.
What's included in the box
Rotating docking arm
In the middle is a new docking arm, capable of rotating ninety degrees. This allows you to watch video content stored on an iPod Touch or iPhone in landscape format and also enables you to use Cover Flow to scroll through your music collection.
The iPod is held securely by one of four supplied cradles that slip onto the docking arm.
The Mini may be half the width of its bigger brother, but don't think this it's any less of a system. In some ways this model is a step up, in fact, especially where features are concerned. For starters, the Mini allows you to sync your iPod with iTunes whilst in standby - something impossible on the larger model.
You can also play your iTunes music collection through the speaker dock via its USB input, and even control iTunes' through the supplied remote control. Sleek alternative to desktop PC speakers, anyone?
Digital sound processing
But the biggest difference is that unlike its bigger brother, the Mini bypasses the analogue output of your iPod, and extracts music files in their digital form. This allows the speaker dock to do its own conversion and sound processing, which B&W claims gives the best possible sound quality.
Of course, this smaller chassis means that the Mini only has enough room for two drive units (as opposed to the five found inside the big Zeppelin). And unsurprisingly, the Mini can't quite summon the same levels of bass weight or deliver the same sense of scale as its bigger brother.
But what the Mini can do is fill smaller rooms with quality across the frequency range. The two, 18W speakers still kick out a fine amount of bass weight and, more importantly, every note sounds taut, precise and punchy.
Instruments and vocals are allowed to enjoy an open and spacious soundstage that's extremely revealing and detailed for a compact speaker dock.
Syncs automatically with iTunes
It is worth bearing in mind that the Mini isn't compatible with any iPods that predate the Classic, nor will it work with the first generation iPod nano, just in case you were planning to use them.
Also, when in standby and connected to a computer, the Mini currently syncs your iPod with iTunes automatically, so any iPods that don't share the same library could lose their content. However, B&W assures us that a software fix is in the pipeline and will be made available as a download from the company's website in the coming weeks.
To its credit, B&W has managed to take the essence of the Zeppelin and inject it into a smaller unit without making any major sonic sacrifices. It has even managed to throw in a couple of tasty new features too.
For small to medium-sized rooms, the Mini is a superb iPod speaker dock and a great addition to the Zeppelin range.
Technical features :
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
Switch mode power supply
Rotating Arm for cover flow operation
USB streaming from PC/Mac
iPod/ iTunes sync
Description : Speaker system for iPod/iPhoneTM
Drive units : 2x f75mm (3.0 in) full range
Frequency range : -6dB at 38Hz and 20kHz
Amplifier power output : 2x18W
Power input voltage : 100V - 240V ac 50/60Hz on external power supply 16V DC on product
Rated power consumption : 15W
Standby power consumption : <0.8W
30-pin iPod connector
3.5mm mini jack analogue
USB 2.0 for PC connection: Streaming, synchronization & software upgrades
Height : 200mm (6.8 in) free standing
Width : 320mm (12.6 in)
Depth : 100mm (4 in) free standing
Net weight : 2.5kg
Grilles: Black cloth