Summary: While sound quality is superb and the design sleek, connectivity is bothersome. Only the newest Apple models work with this device, and although you can connect other devices, no additional cables are included in the box. Overall, this AirPlay-enabled speaker has great sound quality, but it lacks ease of use.
Pros: With an efficient build and polished design, this AirPlay speaker is small and attractive.
Cons: Only the iPhone 5 can dock and charge, and setting up the speakers requires some patience.
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. Furthermore, its slim and black design doesn’t impose on a room, but it actually enhances it, while the small footprint keeps it out of sight. The Z2 is a small treasure hiding in the shadows.
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.
Summary: 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. While the A7 comes in at $800, the Z2 features a much smaller $400 price tag.
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 our listening sessions.
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. Read the full Bowers & Wilkins Z2 review on whathifi.com .
Excerpt: First published 16.04.13 Review updated 03.09.13 The B&W Z2 has been a long time coming. It's the successor to the Zeppelin Mini , and we were given a sneak peek midway through last year, before the brakes were firmly applied thanks to the announcement of the iPhone 5 and Apple’s new Lightning connector. Taking it back to the drawing board, B&W redesigned the dock section to feature the new connector, threw in AirPlay connectivity and produced the rather striking Z2.
Pros: Good detail and snappy timing, Decent bass weight for its size, Beautiful build
Cons: No streaming for non-Apple products, Can sound small and closed in, Awkward remote
Excerpt: When it comes to the art of doing premium – and stylish - home Hi-Fi, Bowers and Wilkins is proudly at the top of its game. The Zeppelin, with its killer design and sonic kick, was a neat approach to home audio when it took to the skies - with the Zeppelin Mini following in tow.
Pros: Rich, full sound, Apple Airplay, Compact design
Cons: Quite pricey, Metal grille might be off-putting for some, No iPhone? No love