Summary: The attractively designed $400 Bowers & Wilkins Z2 wireless speaker sounds pretty good and has a built-in Lightning dock, but it doesn't quite stand out enough in a crowded market.
Pros: The, is a compact AirPlay speaker with an integrated Lightning dock that's attractively designed, sounds good for its size, and is lightweight enough to easily move from room to room (though it does have to be powered by an AC adapter).
Cons: Expensive; could sound a little better for the price; no built-in rechargeable battery for mobile use.
Summary: Bowers & Wilkins Z2 is leading the pack in the crowded compact iPhone 5 / iOS device speaker market. It offers a warm and inviting listening experience, and while the sonics are balanced, the bass is very impressive for such a small speaker too.
Pros: Sounds and looks amazing. Balanced and rich with a warm bass pulls all of the sonics together. Audio is able to get loud without audio getting distorted. Design aesthetic flows throughout the system down to the included remote.
Cons: Top side attracts dust easily. No Airplay set-up instructions in the box.
Excerpt: They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but for Bowers and Wilkins, the hits keep coming. Following in the footsteps of the Zeppelin Air and the A2 and A7, B&W’s latest Airplay speaker dock follows with a sleek, minimal design, and big sound for its small size.
Excerpt: Most of us who write about technology tend to become the go-to guy when friends and family seek gear recommendations. Last Christmas, my 16 year old niece wanted to know about speakers to use with her iPod Touch.
Conclusion: At $400, the Z2 is still a bit of an investment for such a compact wireless speaker/dock, but we think it’s a worthwhile one. Though we wished for a bit more warmth and fullness in the Z2’s tone at times, it consistently displayed its prowess for brilliant clarity and immaculate detail throughout...
Pros: Stunning upper register, Smooth low end and mids, Flawless wireless performance, Elegant, minimalist design
Cons: Tone can be a tad bright, Bass slightly inconsistent, Fairly pricey
Conclusion: The elegantly designed, yet relatively affordable, Bowers & Wilkins Z2 speaker system raises the bar for audio quality, and offers wireless AirPlay connectivity along with a Lightning connector to dock your iPhone or iPod touch.
Pros: Sleek, unobtrusive design. Cleverly designed Lightning Connector dock. Warm, rich, transparent sound. Bass response has real weight. Crisp, clear wireless audio over AirPlay. Easy to set up using free app.
Cons: Awkward, egg-shaped remote. Chops off a couple of seconds of each track in wireless mode.
Summary: The baby of B&W's AirPlay range is a little belter, and it adds a proper Lightning dock to Apple's wireless tech. It'll easily fill a small to medium-sized room with chunky bass, punchy beats and lovely, clear vocals. You'll buy it for the look, but love it for the sound.
B&W's Z2 is an impressive AirPlay speaker and iPhone dock
26 April 2013
Excerpt: Bowers & Wilkins's $400 Z2 is the apparent successor to the company's Zeppelin Mini, but instead of a 30-pin dock connector, the Z2 features a Lightning-connector dock and AirPlay wireless streaming.