Following up on the success it had with the P5 headphones (March/11, 5 stars) and the Zeppelin Air iPod dock (June/11, 4.5 stars), Bowers & Wilkins is bringing its considerable audio experience to bear on the iPhone. The C5 headset is a killer set of earbuds that do double duty making phone calls, too.
iPod docks are a dime a dozen—or in the case of the new Zeppelin Air, 5,999 dimes and a nickel. But while most run-of-the-mill docks will elicit something in the range of “meh” to “that sounds OK” from your friends, the first thing we said when we fired up the Zeppelin Air was “holy &*@#!” Yep, it’s that good.
Bowers & Wilkins’ first step into the world of portable audio is less like a step and more like an orbital leap. B&W has always been applauded for rich sound and contemporary design, but its first headphones to hit the market, the P5s, are so far ahead of the times that they feel avant-garde.
There was a time when listening to music meant sitting in front of a stereo and popping in your favorite CD--or maybe even an actual vinyl record. But these days, we do most of our listening via iPods or from our Mac at our desk. Which is fine, except for the fact that most computer speakers suck. But these speakers from Bowers & Wilkins are so good, you should just stop reading this review now and start earning some of the 500 bucks you’ll need to pay for them.
The Zeppelin Mini from Bowers & Wilkins is certainly a sight to
behold. This elliptical iPod speaker dock slickly incorporates a pair
of three-inch drivers with a swiveling dock connector that allows you
to rotate your device 90 degrees, which makes it easy to take advantage
of Cover Flow navigation. It’s beautiful and well designed, and though
the sound performs equally well, the bass on this $400 dock is a bit