The original Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin changed the face of iPod speaker docks, proving that you could squeeze hi-fi quality sound out of an iPod. So good was the Zeppelin in fact, that it grabbed the Product of the Year award in 2008, beating off some stiff competition in the process. Not only did the Zeppelin sound fantastic, but it also looked wonderfully stylish too, making it ideal for anyone whose home looks like the shop floor at Heal’s.
All that said, the one thing that most people don’t realise about the original Zeppelin is just how big it is – you really do have to dedicate a decent amount of space to it in your home. So, if you’ve been hankering after that Zeppelin style and sound quality, but didn’t have space for one, Bowers and Wilkins has answered your prayer with this – the Zeppelin Mini.
The first you notice when you lay eyes on the Zeppelin Mini is that unlike its big brother, it doesn’t look like a Zeppelin. So, if the most important thing to you about an iPod dock is that it looks like an airship, you may be slightly underwhelmed by the Zeppelin Mini. However, if you can get past that disappointment you’ll realise that the Mini is still a very good looking device, and definitely one of the most stylish iPod speaker docks on the market.
The Zeppelin Mini has a kind of tubular ellipsoid shape, with a concave mirrored top surface behind the iPod mount. The rest of the device is finished in black, with silver accenting around the edges. The iPod dock sits at the centre of the mirrored section and is similar in form to the example on the original Zeppelin. The docking arm supports the iPod along its length, which means that it’s easy to operate the iPod without putting strain on the connector.
As with the original Zeppelin, the docking arm on the Zeppelin Mini doesn’t require different adapters to accommodate the different flavours of iPods. Well, that’s not entirely true, since this Zeppelin does ship with an array of adapters, because the docking arm is designed to twist through 90 degrees. The aforementioned adapters support your iPod when it’s in a landscape orientation, taking the strain off the docking connector.
Switching the iPod into a landscape orientation allows you to make use of Apple’s CoverFlow technology, which is ideal for anyone that enjoys taking four times as long to find the music they’d like to play! A more useful application for the landscape orientation of your iPod, is that you can watch movies on it, while enjoying the sound through the Zeppelin Min, but even so, I can’t imagine myself wanting to do that too often.
The Zeppelin Mini is iPhone compatible, which means that the speakers are shielded from the mobile phone signal, and consequently your iPhone won't try to go into flight mode whenever you dock it. That said, Anything older than a 5th generation iPod is not supported, while the iPod mini and 1st generation nano are also off the menu.