Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Mini review: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Mini

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The Good Loud; compact form factor; on-board digital-to-analogue converter.

The Bad Expensive; doesn't look or sound as good as the original Zeppelin.

The Bottom Line The Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Mini is a decent system, but we don't think it justifies its high asking price in the way that its larger sibling does. If you've got the space, we'd recommend you go for the original Zeppelin instead

7.5 Overall

Bowers & Wilkins' original Zeppelin is pricey, but it's also arguably the most attractive and best-sounding iPod speaker dock on the market. Its rather bulbous dimensions mean not everyone has the space to accommodate it, though. That's where the Zeppelin Mini comes in. Its more compact design means it'll fit on pretty much any shelf around the home. But, at around £300, it's not massively cheaper than the £400 original.

Style shortage
After the majestic beauty of the original Zeppelin, the Mini's styling is rather a letdown. B&W has tried to tie in the Mini's design with the older model via the curved front and oblong mirrored finish that sits beneath the docking mechanism, but it just isn't as visually appealing.

The Mini comes with a range of dock adaptors that you slip your iPod or iPhone into before sliding them onto the Mini's docking bay. Once in place, you'll find you can rotate the dock through 90 degrees, so you can flip through your tracks using the Cover Flow interface, which is a neat touch. It's worth noting as well, that, unlike its older brother, this version fully supports the iPhone and is shielded against mobile-phone interference.

Internally, the Mini's handling of audio has also been upgraded. Whereas the original Zeppelin relies on the analogue audio feed from the iPod's dock connector, the Mini grabs the raw digital audio and then runs it through its own higher-quality digital-to-audio converter to make sure the signal is as clean as possible.