Zeppelin Air User Experience

Were you one of the first to get your hands on the beautiful Zeppelin Air? One of our readers, Mark C. was and he was kind enough to email us his experience and thoughts. I have posted them below.

The ZeppelinAir arrived today.

Got home and syncing with the wireless (all Apple: Airport Extreme, MacBook) at the house) took a good 40 minutes. Had to reset several times. Clearly not an Apple product from that point of view (i.e., ease of operations). And to be honest, I still don’t know how it eventually synced it just showed up in the iTunes menu.

Anyways, streaming music currently via AirPlay, both from the laptop and the iPhone. B&W remote also works and can access into the music source (i.e., advance song).

As far as the sound, as I am not an audiophile, just a guy who likes music and listens to a lot of it. The sound is very deep and crisp. I am playing in a room with 10′ ceiling and 27′ by 19′ dimensions, the sound fills the space without a high sound level. The definition in hearing the music is there and amazing. Clearly, I am hearing more of the music than I ever did with earbuds, Bose (headphones and dock) and Sennheiser headphones.

Played Dr. Dre (w/ Emimen) “I Need a Doctor,” then Frank Sinatra with “That’s Life” and moved to Dave Brubeck (jazz) and Diana Krall. Amazing sounds. I have listen on the various systems. None of them is even close to what I am currently hearing (of course the price is not even close either).

Minor update, when streaming from my iPhone, I got a text amd the audio alert plays over the song through the ZA. As I played the ZA it clearly fills the entire house. I was in another part of the house and the sound and clarity was as good as if I was standing next to te ZA.

PS thanks for your efforts on the site. It was a great resource.

– Mark C.


If you have a Zeppelin Air and care to share your thoughts on the device we would love to hear them. You can add them in the comment section below.






94 responses to “Zeppelin Air User Experience”

  1. doug Avatar

    Packaging is beautiful. And the hardware design is stunning. Very solid and it looks great in any room. Obviously, it is very easy to get going. Plug it in the wall, hook up an iPod, and you’re off.

    HOWEVER, getting it on the network was a bitch. I kept ending up with a red flashing light. I reset, reset, reset to no avail. I started getting pissed. Finally, I just began turning it on and off and it eventually showed up in iTunes. No idea how or why and I can’t recall the steps so it can be reproduced. Just glad I got it going. Works fine now from my iPhone and MacBook Pro.

    Initial feeling is that the sound is great but needs some breaking in to get to max enjoyment.

    1. joscejrod Avatar

      doug what do you mean with the last sentence? enjoyment is not max becouse the sound is not perfect or becouse problems with the airplay settings?thanks. i hope perfect sound in this product. i will receive mine in 2 days

      1. doug Avatar

        Simply met that the speakers seem a little “tight” and need some working out to “loosen” them up.

        Listening to Kind of Blue right now and the stand-up bass sounds amazing. Very clear.

    2. Greg landesman Avatar

      How long before she starts to sing ive nhad mine for one day I have never heard a little all in one stereo sound like this this is amazing I have in my home theater 805 diamonds for front and rears and the top of the line diamond center with a rel stentor 3 sub best sound that I have ever heard at my house they took about 100 hours before they opened up.

  2. Dan Avatar

    I am in the USA and received it today. I ordered from the USA Apple Store on Friday morning 2-25-2011 and received it today….very fast!

    The packing is top notch as well as the build quality. It is VERY solid and has a nice heft and weight to it, which makes it sit solidly in place.

    One design flaw IMHO is the dock on the front. The very fact that they made this “Airplay” means that the doc will rarely be used, yet it is permanently attached. I doubt that i will EVER dock something in it. It doesn’t even have any sort of a cover or anyway to hide it. It sticks out like some sort of odd growth.
    I have read a few comments that it can be removed, but then not sure where the panel with the flashing LED’s would then reside. B+W could have put some more design work and some creative engineering to come up with a removable dock or some way to hide it.

    The network setup for me was flawless. I disconnected my laptop from my home network, booted the Zep up with only the power cord. This put it in the mode where it broadcast a wireless network for setup purposes. After about 90 seconds it showed as an available network on my laptop. I connected to it and went to the browser address The configuration page came up, I entered my home network info and hit apply. I reconnected my laptop to my home network and the solid purple light glowed on the Zep about 90 seconds later. It then appeared in iTunes.

    The key to the network setup is to disconnect your laptop or desktop from your existing network and connect to the Zep’s default network so you can enter your network info.

    One bugaboo is that the remote is identical to the remote for the B+W computer speakers, not just physically but also the same IR channel or frequency. This means that you have to watch how you aim, or you also set the volume for the computer speakers if in the same vicinity. I’ll have to contact B+W to see if there is a way to set a different channel for the Zep.

    The sound is fantastic and should only get better and a few hours of break in. It has a very solid rich sound. I have found the bass to be adequate as well as the volume. I don’t think I will ever get to max volume, even though at max volume the quality is still intact and full.

    A great piece that will just get better once I figure out how to surgically remove the appendage on the front! 🙂

    1. BJ Avatar


      I totally agree with you regarding the dock! I have an Apple Ipod speaker and AE, and I never use the dock (other than charging now and then). What is the idea with a dock when having Airplay?

      I think b&w should have a model without a dock. That is currently keeping me from getting one of those Zep’s.

      Off topic – anyone knowing if one can stream video only to AppleTv and simultaniously the sound to another AirPlay unit? If I get an Airplay speaker, I am not planning to have an optical cable to it from the AppleTv.

    2. Farouq38 Avatar

      I was just wondering if you considered the LED indicator before you “surgically remove” this odd growth?!

    3. Rob Avatar

      Hey. I too found the set up easy and the sound is amazing! However, to-date (4 weeks) I haven’t been able to stream without the sound breaking. Lots of emails to B&W who are convinced my BT Homehub2 router will work perfectly, but not yet!
      Did you have any problems streaming music?

  3. Dan Avatar

    One thing I forgot. I would LOVE to find a way to stream to this from my PC outside of iTunes. Pandora for example. I imagine that I will use my ipad heavily, but also see the need to stream from Windows. Is there currently anyway to do this?

    1. red Avatar

      A USB (A-B) cable will transmit all audio to the ZA. Other than that, Airfoil will transfer other audio sources through airplay. I have not used it personally.

      1. Ethan Avatar

        Airfoil works great. I use it to send streaming Rhapsody music from Firefox to my Airport Express via Airplay. The only downside is there is a delay on the audio, so if you’re just playing music it’s great, but I wouldn’t use it for streaming video, as the sound would be out of sync.

        However, Airfoil does come with a built-in video player that delays the video so it syncs up with the audio that’s being sent to Airplay. But it only plays locally stored Quicktime movies and the like, so it doesn’t work with YouTube or other streaming video. I think it can also play DVD’s but I haven’t tried yet.

  4. Dan Avatar

    Here is an update after day one:

    I was having a few anomalies with a couple of things. The volume adjustments was a little wonky, it would seem to jump at times, particularly when adjusted in iTunes.

    I also had some network issues where the Zep would lose connectivity for 30 seconds to a minute. I got into my wireless router and found the IP address that the Zep had been assigned. I then opened a command Prompt and pinged it continuously “ping” -t (substituting your IP address) This showed erratic results and some timeouts. The times should be fairly consistent, from 1ms to maybe 50ms or so (depending on the speed of your wireless network)

    So I checked the B+W site and decided to look up the firmware. I used my iPhone to check the firmware version. My Zep shipped with 1.0.0 – so virgin firmware!
    The latest was 1.1.3. I downloaded it and updated it using a USB cable. The update went well and everything seems to be more stable now. The network issues are gone and the volume adjustment seems to be better.

    Still scheming to find a way to pull the dang arm off!

    1. Mike Avatar

      How do you check the firmware using your iphone. When i connect my iphone (verizon) to the zepplin, I dont see anything about the firmware listed. Everything seems to be working though, But have only had it 2 days.

      1. rudyo Avatar

        To check the firmware, put your iphone on the Zep dock and go to: Settings -> General -> About -> Zeppelin Air and it will show the firmware. It is probably 1.0.0 as shipped from the factory. Update it using the instructions and the firmware on the B+W website under support.

        Also i still had some random network issues. It seemed like it was taking a long time to grab an IP via DHCP. So I went in and assigned it a static IP. This shouldn’t really be necessary, but seems to have eliminated the slowness in connecting.

        1. doug Avatar

          I plugged in my iPhone4 and went to settings>general>about and I do not see a “Zeppelin Air”. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

          1. WF Avatar

            To Doug and anyone else who may be experiencing the same issue:

            The menu only shows up when in docked mode meaning that you have to ensure the Zeppelin Air is in Blue LED source mode for the ‘Speakers’ and the ‘Zeppelin Air’ menus to appear.

            These menus do not appear when any other source is selected (Airplay, Aux In, USB etc), even if the iDevice is docked.

            If iPhone is docked and Zeppelin Air is in Blue LED state and the menus do not appear, try removing the iPhone and re-docking it.

            Also note that the menus do not appear on some older versions of iPod and iPhone e.g. iPod Touch 1st generation.

            Hope this helps.

  5. AC Avatar

    Got one last week and shipped it back. 🙁
    Great concept and great looking product. System did not work under any scenario. Updated firmware, rebooted, etc. Actually, the wifi connection was relatively painfree to set up. Its just that the speakers did not actually make music! No response from customer service via email and voice support is done via 24 hour call-back so if you miss the call-back you are out of luck and back in the queue!
    The firmware upgrade is a must as it synchs volume control across the devices. This actually worked quite well whether I connected over the iPhone 4, IPad or Imac. Alas, again despite the connections and nice interface, a sound system that does not actually make noise is not any good!

  6. Matt Avatar

    Bought and set up on Sunday no probs. Using it on Airplay and through the TV all was fine. Came home tue and tried to wake the thing from my iphone4 and nothing happened. Manually switched to wifi (purple led) and could see te seplin on my phone but it wouldn’t make any noise. The aux from the tv still worked, very odd. Tried selecting the zeppelin as an external speaker in iTunes on both mac and pc and it won’t select. Nothing will airplay! Have reset it with a paperclip, upgraded the firmware, re set up the wifi, checked wireless signal strength etc NOTHING! (well the dock works and the aux but apart from that nothing) I have an email in with B&W but given it only worked for 2.5 days should I just return it to the apple store?

    Any bright ideas? I think I have just about reset and re setup everything in my house so far!

  7. Mero Avatar

    I just bought the AZ.
    I did the setup-reset several times but there’s no way to make it work.
    Sometimes when I play a song (same on mac and iphone) the device begin to play music for less than a second (just a loud sound).
    I would like to try the setup while not connected to my home network as DAN suggested but maybe I think the device is broken.
    Is litteraly a pain in the …..

    can anyone help me and tell me what is wrong?

    even in itunes the icon of airplay sometimes disappear (even in the iphone)
    and I don’t get how to upgrade the firmware…I live in Italy and there’s no way to find out to let’s this device begin to work!

  8. Archibald Avatar

    It is absolutely necessary to update to firmware version 1.1.3 Unfortunately the first shipments all have version 1.0.0 which has several shortcomings. Especially the response of the LED during installation is different than described in the manual with firmware 1.0.0
    After the update the Zep Air is working stable und reliable.

  9. red Avatar

    Just bought mine 2 days ago. First of all, the apple online store has a 3-5 week ship time, but its available in store. I am not an audiophile, but I am picky.

    I updated the firmware before installing. Getting it on the wireless network is easy if you follow the instructions. Its definitely not plug and play…but about 10 minutes of setup.

    I am using it as a USB audio device through my Mac Display, then airplay from my phone and laptop, and eventually as a sound bar for my TV.

    review: At first, I was unimpressed. No big sound stage. No big difference. It is sitting on my bookshelf about 4 feet to my left, and it definitely is coming from my left…where is this “roomfilling sound”? My expectations were clearly too high from all the online hype.

    After a day of using it…I take most of it back. The sound is clear. I love listening to my music from it. When sitting in front of it, I do NOT mistake it for a surround sound or wide 2.1. But its still damn good. Airplay sounds great. I have stopped really noticing/caring that it is not in the right place for work at my desk. And a note on roomfilling sound: at low, comfortable volume in my living room…I can somehow clearly hear it in the adjacent bedroom well. This is really cool.

    Cons: It uses a USB A and mini optical. This led me to buying the wrong cables. Although it is my own fault, its a little annoying when it is touted everywhere that it has USB and optical (eg TOSlink) inputs when its really USB-A and mini-TOS link. Also, the remote is really easy to use and looks silly when mixed with other remotes.

    One concern I had was input switching. There is one button, and the Air has to use TV, USB, and Airplay inputs, as well as sync. Here is a summary. The “mode” is the LED color

    1. Airplay overrides everything except green mode with an active audio stream
    2. Green mode will play from USB or docked ipod
    3. Purple mode is for airplay.
    4. Sleep the Air, then hold power to turn the LED yellow. Now it can sync your ipod.

    It would be nice if the Air would automatically switch to the audio stream that was most recently activated. This is my biggest request and would totally remove the need for “modes”. This is also my biggest complaint. I can usually get the Air working right…but sometimes it give little “in use” messages and then I have to turn everything off and put it in the mode it needs to go in. I think a few buttons or dial would not have ruined the design and made it much easier to use.

    Is it worth 600 bucks? I wouldn’t call it a bargain. The sound is really good, but the fact that it acts as an ipod dock, computer speakers, airplay speaker, and soundbar clinch it for me.

    1. red Avatar

      I would like to add three things, since I am a poor writer.
      -The remote is easy to use, but I meant to type “easy to lose”
      -I have not had any dropouts over airplay
      -On the zeppelin, the power button is the mode button. On the remote, there is a separate mode button. This is nonsensical to me.
      -I have tested Airplay. It can stream Pandora to the ZA and is easy to use.
      -I do not have a well in my bedroom. I meant to say “I can hear it well in my bedroom.”

  10. red Avatar

    apparently I am bad at math as well.

  11. Rod Avatar

    I got the Zeppelin Air two weeks ago and still I can’t use AirPlay with it… I tried many, many times to set up the WiFi. Now, the purple light just keeps blinking and now it won’t reset anymore! If I click the reset button nothing happens anymore, it’s not broken because it clicks fine. I’m stuck using it with a docked iPod which defeats the purpose… I updated the firmware to 1.1.3 and it didn’t help. I love the sound quality but I want airplay… help!

  12. Big Kev Avatar
    Big Kev

    I spent 3 hours trying to get AirPlay working on my new ZepAir by following the instructions in the box using a wired connection. I upgraded the firmware to 1.1.3 (quite easy). I gave up and went to bed.
    Next morning I used the wireless set-up instructions from the B&W Website (Step 5.2):
    This worked BUT I also changed my wireless network password to something a little simpler – I took out an ampersand (&) that was in the password.
    Once I made those two changes, AirPlay is working fine now.
    Now I can get on with listening to this amazing piece of kit.

  13. Buddablu Avatar

    bought (in italia) two weeks ago, the first one replaced for casual problems of connection with airplay (it interrupted him and then it took back), the perfect second. Made updating 1.1.3. I now use him/it with big sonorous satisfaction with Audirvana (for MAC free) + Airfoil (exceptional to payment). I believe that in terms of sound is very better that Itunes + airplay. Besides so I can feel in peace without converting in apple lossless the whole liquid music that I have in FLAC formed perfect for Audirvana that according to me it is to equal or straight better of foorbar 2000. Good listening to everybody!!

  14. Buddablu Avatar

    I have a theory on the possible problem of airplay however or that it needs to have a modem / router that supports big quantities of data. When I have changed the Zeppelin I have replaced the modem buying a Netgear 2200 with WI-FI type N 300 mbits.

  15. Mano Avatar

    My two cents:
    I also had quite a difficult time getting the ZA to play music through Air Play mode. What worked in the for me was switching the airport off! Although not in the instructions, this proved to be key. The Zeppelin Air website where you configure the device is accessible of line so switching the airport off is not an issue. Hope this helps for the rest of you.

  16. Paul Avatar

    Okay, bought the ZA… love at first sight… ‘could not get it to join my wireless network… I fought and fought… i must have tried a hundred times… I was using a separate network for streaming music to different rooms in the house using airTunes connected to receivers in each room and wanted the ZA to join this network. When I tried to get the ZA to join the house main wireless network it joined immediately on the first try! I then reconfigured the airport base stations to stream off the one network and success! All of it shows up in iTunes… I can stream music throughout the house… and the ZA in my dinning room sounds fantastic!

  17. MERT PAKSOYLU Avatar

    This is the best speaker system i had , it is better than my expensive headphones 🙂 I am using Bang Olufsen Beosound speaker system with airport express in my bedrrom but this Zeppelin Air is more powerfull , i can hear every detail of the song i can imagine.
    Only problem is i can install firmware update file to my Mac Os X 10.6.7 system its keeps giving me errors . Why this is happening ? Should i connect zeppelin while installing software to my mac ? Thanks

  18. Eagles Avatar

    I have the exact same problem as Rod: LED flashes purple continuously, no more connectivity to the ZA with the Ethernet Cable, no reaction to the reset hardkey. Just stuck it this mode after the firmware update to 1.1.3.

    Any idea? Anybody?

    The only thing which works is the LED in low red after startup and bright red after 30 min flashing purple (probably timeout), and the white LED to start flashing the firmware.

    1. Eagles Avatar

      Reply from B&W Support: If it will not reset then it sounds like it may be defective.

      In that case I would have to recommend taking the unit back to Apple for a warranty exchange. Normally I would have you go directly through us, but our North American service center is completely out of Zeppelin Airs and the next few shipments are going to be shipped directly to Apple.

      Sorry I could not be of more assistance.

      >> So I did, the new unit works.

      1. PeterCohrs Avatar

        How nice!
        It just happened to me. Purple blink and no reset possibilities.
        Will call Apple now…

        1. Wilson Avatar

          I wasn’t able to factory reset my Zeppelin Air either. Ended up going back to the Apple Store to get an exchange. There’s definitely screwy going on with the reset.

    2. Eagles Avatar

      Very important: the new ZA only worked via Airplay (and connected to the Wifi Network) after renaming the network name to not contain any characters like “&” and ” ‘ “!! Crazy and needs to be fixed by B&W asap with a firmware update.

  19. martinez93 Avatar

    set up via my macbook just like set-up guide instructed and was listening to tunes in 5 min. Unfortunately, I can’t get it connected to my iphone?? Do i need to set-up the iphone independently? If so, how do i get the zepair to flash yellow (it goes to Airplay immediately) so my iphone can find it?

  20. Eric Anderson Avatar

    Me too. Success, but after a bit of a long while. Here are three hints, useful for newbies like me. Mac-heavy.

    1) For initial setup I did the direct-cable thing. Grab a laptop, turn off your external network (ie turn off your Airport), plug in the ZA, (each time after the first!) press and hold the reset button with a ballpoint pen, then turn the ZA power on. With any luck, on your laptop browser will connect to the ZA configuration page. (Other posts here suggest you can configure the ZA without a cable. That would be easier, since you’re inevitably going to need to check the internet for more instructions.)

    2) Pick a network that has a router with an admin page. Being limited in diagnostics to the ZA’s single light means you can’t tell from the ZA whether you’re connected to something useful. In my case my home network is built around a Time Capsule. Instead I connected to my Verizon MiFi, which uses as an admin page. (Other routers are similar, except the Time Capsule.) On the router’s admin page you can see what’s connected to your network. The MAC address for the ZA is underneath the blimp.

    3) The ‘devices list’ on iTunes is a tiny little rectangular box on the lower right corner of the window. I can’t tell you how long it took me to figure this out. Similarly, the ‘speakers’ menu in Remote (the iPad app for remote control) is accessed by clicking the speaker icon, somewhere in the middle of the top icon bar. (Not in ‘settings’, that is.)

    4) As mentioned elsewhere, AirPlay is limited to iTunes unless you add in a third-party app such as Airfoil. In particular, you’re not going to see the ZA appear in the System Preferences ‘Sound’ menu. You do need to set three checkboxes dealing with remote operation in iTunes / Preferences / Devices.

    — Eric

    1. martinez93 Avatar

      Eric, thanks for the reply. As mentioned, i did the initial setup on my macbook which you describe in #1. This worked without a hitch. I can’t figure out how to wirelessly connect via my iphone. I’ve synced and rebooted my phone, but there is no option to connect to a remote speaker?
      The instructions describe how to connect via the phone, but that appears to be connecting for the first time. Is that what i need to do?

      1. Eric Anderson Avatar

        I’m guessing here. (I don’t have an iPhone, just an iPad.) But I think the Way This Works is (i) your iPod/iPad/iPhone controls iTunes on your Mac, through an app such as Remote and (ii) iTunes on your Mac decides to push output through the Airplay speakers, via that little lower-right-corner box with the speaker options. (Fwiw, Remote v 2.0 supports remote speakers, or so they say; which means you can cause iTunes to choose the Airplay speaker by making that choice on your iPad instead of via that little box.]

        So as long as the ZA is connected to the same network your Mac and iPhone are, and as long as you can run an app like Remote on your iPhone, then you should be able to hear iTunes output through your ZA.

        But it sounds like what you might be trying to do is play tunes from your iPhone directly on the ZA. For that I dunno (though you could just plug the iPhone physically into the ZA, and skip the Airplay stuff entirely).

        Is this even remotely helpful? (Sorry, I didn’t really mean that the way it sounds.)

        1. martinez93 Avatar

          apparently you can’t connect both at the same time (according to the company). I installed the remote app on my phone and that works pretty well. I was hoping to stream directly to the ZA. The current set-up is a pretty close second.

          1. olsen Avatar

            You get the AirPlay icon to the right of the fast forward icon in the ipad app. You need at least iOS v4.2 on your unit for this to work.

  21. Eddgreen Avatar

    Reading the comments i would love a Zepperlin air not being a tech person im troubled to set it up I may get s sonos for piece of mind ii do prefer a air

  22. olsen Avatar

    That should read “the iPod app”.

  23. shawn Avatar

    I recently purchased the Zeppelin Air. I sounds great, however, I can not get it to work with my time capsule. Has anyone figured out how to make it work with a time capsule? I have tried numerous resets, done the firmware update, and written to the company for help. No response. I love the sound of this thing, however, being tied to the unit and taking my iphone out of the case constantly really ruins the experience. I really would appreciate any help.

  24. Sam Avatar

    Anyone have trouble setting air play refer to Big Kev post. I did what He did and it worked.
    Don’t follow the stupid Instructions that came in the box because it doesn’t work.
    The guy that write the Instructions probably never lay a finger on za. hahaha.

  25. Ron Avatar

    I bought the ZA a couple of days ago. Setup took me an hour before all worked the way it should. Sound is great and Airplay really is comfy. Looks are super stylish as well. I use it with an iPod Touch 4g.

    I have one problem though: After an evening of quality sound via Airplay from my iPod, I swich off the iPod and turn ZA into standby (dim red LED). Next morning I swich everything on. ZA finds my wifi network (continued purple LED) and so does my iPod. However, my iPod cant seem to find the ZA (no Airplay icon in the playback pane). Only after I power off and on my wifi router, both ZA and iPod can function with Airplay. What should I do?

    1. Bastiaan Avatar

      Hey Ron,

      I have exactly the same problem, I think B&W needs to fix this with a firmware update. It seems the zeppelin loses connection after a while. Sometimes this happens earlier than other times, it is not a DHCP time issue…

      1. Ron Avatar

        Hey Bastiaan,

        I have a Linksys WAG160N router. As an experiment I stretched the encryption renewal period from 3600 to 99999 seconds in the wireless settings of my router (WPA2-Personal)…guess what: now it takes considerably longer for the ZA to loose the connection upon switching on from standby.

        So this leads to my conclusion that my/your problem has something to do with the ZA not being able to cope with the encryption key renewal.

        I already spoke to B&W support but they told me they couldnt do anything since I’m already runing on firmware 1.1.3.

        I will try to do some more tests but i have a feeling the ultimate solution would be to get another router. Alternative solution would be to get a remote on/off switch to turn power off/on the router as reset means (in which case leads to ZA being able find connection again, in my case).

        Will keep you all posted. I hope B&W is working on firmware version which solves this issue!

  26. chris Avatar

    Totally crazy. I ve been struggling for 2 days now and will return the Zeppelin.
    Sooner or later it always looses the airplay connection. E.g. when no song was played for a minute or so, the airplay symbol on ipad/ipod-app disappears. and won’t come back. Only if you restart the rooter, unplug the Zeppelin, restart the ipad, then…. maybe….
    When everything works, it is a wonderful device, but there is a very big problem with connectivity (yes, I installed the firmware update).

    1. Antonio Avatar

      i have recently purchased a zeppelin air, and i live in Hong Kong, the thing is, i
      have also purchased a new router, its a TPlink Nrouter, before i changed it it
      was completely fine, i was using a linksys router, thou after i have changed the router, after going through all that reset and connect to new network processes
      i got it to work! at first i was really happy got a new router and stronger connection between the devices, i WISH, the ZA kept disconnecting after a while, and i have tried many things to set through the router, like turning the firewall off from the router,or changing the name of my network, no luck,
      once it switch off the ZA it works again, i can see the airplay icon on iTunes, however after a while when i use my remote to change to volume control, it still works but,, the iTunes volume control doesn’t move at all, then i realize there’s a problem, and after a while it disconnects.
      so i had to restart my zA and reconnect my devices to the network to get it work again for a short period of time….. GOD

  27. Ian Avatar

    One very serious question – why can’t Apple, B&W, BridgeCo, et al FIX THIS?
    More to the point why can’t they tell us that they acknowledge that there is a problem and that they are working on a fix?

    I just installed 5 Zeppelins in one house – and all you get is what everyone above is experiencing – flaky software/firmware that works one minute and not the next. VERY unhappy customer – who of course blames my ‘competence’. It’s really not fair.

    Maybe Samsung and the rest of the PC brigade do have a “better” product in adopting DNLA?

  28. Florianinside Avatar

    Hello Folks, same problem in germany. I had to return the first ZA because it did not connect anything. The second one ist actually stealing my life time. At this moment, i connecte the Zeppelin AIR <– via Ethernet, because it is not stable on my sophisticated WLAN-Router from AVM. The whole network ist just one room, so there is no chance for a range- or signal- problem. Yes, FIrmware 1.1.3. The big joke on the thing is, that my ZA is still with ethernet not working properly! On the one day its working perfect, on the other day the music is scatting every two seconds. Sometimes it also does not find the DHCP, purple flashing, i have to unplug the power and reconnect it.

    Hello B&W: I´m buying the Mercedes under the iPod-Docks and all i get is a Midnight-Black-Painted Hyundai??

    Please bring out a new Firmware which is using some more Memory of your Atmel inside the Zeppelin Air for buffering the music.I´ve seen while flashing the first ZA to 1.1.3 that there is an Atmel Microcontroller inside the ZA. If you, dear B&W are going to find some 500kb of Memory, than please reallocate them for preloading the music!

    Please someone, help me not to kill my 599€-Friend.

  29. Jim Avatar

    I can only report my experience, which unfortunately is all too common.

    Great sound. Flaky software.

    I’ve got the latest firmware and succesfully input router information. but the AirPlay connection fails regularly. It works for a while and then fails. My router and the Zeppelin are maybe 15 feet apart from each other, so its not a range problem.

    I’ve gone through the B&W website for additional information and help. No luck.

    What a shame… the sound is so nice… but the AirPlay functionality is just not stable.

  30. Edd Green Avatar
    Edd Green

    I’ve been on the fence for some time to take the plunge to buy a Zepperlin air
    When I read this forum that the AirPlay may work sometimes
    I’m not spending £499 for something that works sometimes
    It’s the AirPlay part of the air that you buy this for
    To buy a AirPlay speaker now it’s a risk
    There has been good reviews but it seems the AirPlay isn’t stable

  31. bas Avatar

    my experience, which unfortunately is dramatic.

    No sound. No software. The only thing I got after 4 hours trying to configure it
    is an ever continueing flashing purple led. It even won’t reset and I’ve been using
    any type of paperclip :-(.

    this amazing sound machine will be returned to the shop tomorrow !

    its’s not working at all !!

  32. Kamilla Avatar

    I have a problem I hope some of you can help me with. I have mac book pro, and did set up the Zeppelin airplayer to my mac, which means I’m now listening to music from itunes on the Zeppelin airplayer. But what’s not working is to play songs from youtube? What do I need to do? I made this work on my ipad, so I’m listening to music from my youtube on the speakers.. So, can anyone help me? How can I play music from youtube from my mac to the Zeppelin? Hope someone can explain it to me in an understandable way.. 😀 Thank you!!

    1. SimoneGianni Avatar

      You need to use AirFoil. From a Mac it’s actually only possible to stream on AirPlay from iTunes, not from any other application. With AirFoil, instead, you can stream from each application, or even stream the “default audio output” to one or more AirPlay devices, even at the same time. AirFoil is really a great app to have, even if I was expecting OSX to have such a functionality built in in recent updates, and I think it will in the future.

      Moreover, AirPlay introduces a lot of “lag”, which means that the sound will take a couple of seconds to “travel” from your computer to the actual speaker (in reality, it is a buffer). This means that, even using AirFoil, when streaming YouTube or any application that requires video-audio synchronization (like a game, or any video player etc..) you’ll get video out of sync, with audio delayed a couple of seconds. AirFoil includes its own video player that delays the video a couple of seconds so that it’s in sync, but it will not play YouTube videos.

      On iOS devices, like iPhone, iPad etc… you can instead stream on AirPlay from any application that uses the built-in sound system. That includes not only iTunes, but also YouTube, and ON IOS ONLY the YouTube application actually provide perfect sync when playing audio over AirPlay.

      I also discovered that, at least on iPad, you can stream to AirPlay even from other applications. Juist start iTunes, start playing a song, select your AirPlay device, then switch to another application, start some sound there, iTunes will fade away and the second application will usually still stream via AirPlay, but in that case with the usual “lag”.

      Since AirPlay is already very well supported in iOS, i’d expect apple to support it the same way on MacOS soon, and i’d also expect more and more programs to support AirPlay audio with proper sync, but right now these are the limitations.

      1. AirPlayJ Avatar

        Thanks for your post Simone!

  33. snuffeltje Avatar

    What a night mare to set up… I got this first delivered at work, so i did the whole thing with a windows laptop and i got it to work, i could stream and use airplay on my iPod to turn it louder or change channels.
    First there seems to be a huge delay while changing the volume on my IPod and after streaming some iTunes radio music it just went dead after about 20 min. So i had to set it all up from start to scratch, and while it worked for some time, it happened again and again. I was already blaming windows for it and was looking forward to my “mac set up” at home, the whole lot with time capsule, mba, iMac, all that worked.
    But oh boy, what a damm bloody night mare! While doing the same thing as before after punching in my wifi password and disconnecting the cable i got no respond or what so ever.
    I reset the thing, tried and tried, then i thought about the firmware upgrade, but damm, no luck because i did not have included the USB cable included and i did not own one.
    So after almost 60 minutes, i grabbed my iPod after playing with the iTunes settings ( that looked very different to the manual) suddenly it worked.
    Only problem now is i can change the volume in ITunes on my mac with the mouse, but it wont work from my keyboard, in other words, i have to use my slowish iPod to turn the music up and down.
    What is the point of this? I am an old wired user, and the sound is amazing for more then 7 or 8 years that does all the sound from one button, and believe, while using Lion with all the that swiping, i want to use my fast button on the keyboard.
    Another annoying thing is that ALL my music from the pc is not being streamed to the speaker, like you tube, Skype etc
    this speaker is gong straight back to the apple store … pff

  34. Joe Avatar


  35. Mike Harding Avatar
    Mike Harding

    Set up after quite a few failures.All works but the music is dropped every now and again .
    I believe it is dropping from the internet or airway.
    If i do firm upgrade will this sort out this problem.

  36. Mathew Avatar

    Have had the Zeppelin air for 2 weeks and all was going well. I only use it to play ipod, and has stopped working. When i start playing music after 1/2 song stops and red flashing light on front. Why is this

  37. Mark Avatar

    What ever happened to plug and play? Trying to set up the airplay and what a nightmare! Tried the wired method a couple of times and once the ethernet cable was removed it could nor find the network, repeated the process a few times to no avail. Now it wont even connect to the PC via the ethernet, I just get purple flashing light for a couple of minutes and then the red flashing light of death! Same issue when playing music via the Aux in or dock, OK for a couple of minutes and the the red flashing light? Can anyone help me before I find out if the thing can actually fly!!!

    1. Jamie Avatar

      I have exactly the same problem, anyone got any ideas?

  38. Chris Avatar

    I’m on my second ZA. First one wouldn’t reset, flashing purple forever. Exchanged for another. Created network without the “fancy” stuff. Updated firmware. Have set up many different ways and lights now do what they’re supposed to do but not airplay speaker button shows in itunes. B&W support is three day email. Apple has washed their hands. Any ideas before I box number two back up??

  39. Sash Avatar

    Tried configuring Airplay but no luck .Followed all instructions to the T.It does not connect to my home network.And keeps blinking purple forever.Tried reset numerous times which doesnt work.Following is the settings report .Please help.

    Device Name:

    Mac Address:


    Current IBSS State:

    Current SSID:
    not available

    Current Encryption State:
    not available

    Current IP Address:

    Current Netmask:

    Current Default Gateway:

    Current DNS1:

    Current DNS2:

    Current DHCP State:

    Autoconfig an IP address

    AirPlay Firmware:

    Host Firmware:


    1. Patrick Avatar

      Sash – did you ever get it working? Am having exactly the same issue..

  40. jason Avatar

    I followed advice and downloaded the firmware software update but when it was updating an error box appeared and the update stopped. I went through the process again and same thing happened. Now i’m left with just a solid white light. I’ve tried to reset back to factory settings but its not having it and i’m still stuck with a white light and yes, i’ve tried turning it on and off. Can someone please help!!!!!!

    1. ana Avatar

      have Exact same problem did you resolve it?

  41. Wim Avatar

    I have not been able to get thing working with a Timecapsule. I had a spare router (Sitecom) that I plugged in my Timecapsule. Than there was no single problem left and I ‘saw’ the ZA for the first time in iTunes. The network that I use is from the Sitecom router.
    Whenever somebody knows how to reset the Timecapsule, please let us know.


  42. Ollie Avatar

    If setting up ZA wifi is troublsomee: Try use iPhone (wifi) + safari to configure the ZA. It works!

  43. Thomas Avatar

    had it for less than a week, and now it’s blinking red, no matter what I do. What a let-down. Before I bang my head against the B&W wall, has anyone recieved reply regarding this matter?

    1. Thomas L Avatar
      Thomas L

      This product is an absloute nightmare. Done the firmware upgrade. Tried 50times + to connect it via the BW instructions. Turned off the firewall, turned off the anti virus and stil nothing !

      Apple tv works and i can connect all my apple devices together. But not this Zeppelin.

      I am sick and tired of trying and I am returning it to the shop I bought it from for refund.

      Don’t even care listnening how it sounds ! This is how upset I am.

  44. Jay Avatar

    Live in Thailand, bought mind 2days ago, and had to return since could not reset the unit. So got my second one, was working fine until it’s frequently got lost in pairing with AirPlay. I had to unplugged and plugged it back in all the times. Had also upgraded to updated firmware. What should I do, the dealer in Thailand advised me to wait for improved firmware. Or I should use wire connection between rougher and za

    1. aque Avatar

      i am having just the same problem………..have u found a way out?

  45. huey Avatar

    I tried to find current version of the firmware following the instruction from this previous post but it hasn’t worked. Can anyone help ?

    “WF 10. Mar, 2011 at 7:27 am #
    To Doug and anyone else who may be experiencing the same issue:

    The menu only shows up when in docked mode meaning that you have to ensure the Zeppelin Air is in Blue LED source mode for the ‘Speakers’ and the ‘Zeppelin Air’ menus to appear.

    These menus do not appear when any other source is selected (Airplay, Aux In, USB etc), even if the iDevice is docked.

    If iPhone is docked and Zeppelin Air is in Blue LED state and the menus do not appear, try removing the iPhone and re-docking it.

    Also note that the menus do not appear on some older versions of iPod and iPhone e.g. iPod Touch 1st generation.

    Hope this helps.

  46. Michael Avatar

    I just purchased and set up the ZA. The Airplay works fine with my Mac, however, when I use it with my iPhone 4 (with iOS 5), it will play for a few seconds and then quit. Play again and quit. Is there a secret to getting the iPhone to work with the ZA?

    The light should be purple right?
    Should I change an iPhone setting?
    How far away can the iPhone be from the ZA? I was about 7 to 10 feet away when this occured.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    1. Jindo Fox Avatar
      Jindo Fox

      Michael — your iPhone needs to be in range of your wireless router, not the Zeppelin. It doesn’t stream directly to the zep.

  47. Peter Avatar

    A few hints in the struggle of getting Zeppelin Air wifi working:

    – Router must run in 802.11g mode
    – Router security should be either WPA- or WPA2-encryption (not WEP)
    – Router security password length must be between 8 and 63 characters
    – Router security password must be alpha-numeric 0-9, Aa-Zz (i.e. no %, !, /, + etc)
    – Your wifi SSID name should (most likely) be all alphabetic Aa-Zz

    These hints are based on a combination of instructions from a Swedish retailer ( and my own findings. I also had to fight a while using the wired connection to perform the setup until I found this instruction video, which was the only place so far where the 802.11g issue was mentioned (

    The SSID issue I just discovered today, when trying to reconnect the Zeppelin to a newly bought wifi extender, with an SSID similar to e.g. “MYWIFI_EXT”, without succeeding. However, after renaming the SSID to e.g. “MYWIFIEXT” (removing the special “_” character), the Zeppelin connected more or less instantly.

    I hope you guys out there get the Zeppelin setup so you wirelessly can enjoy the good sound from this little device 🙂

    1. Chris Avatar

      Peter, you’re absolutely right on this. However I could not reset my ZA, still can’t but managed to go down to g network and take out the special characters.. Notbsmart from B&W to indicate this in their manual and website.

  48. Arthur Lau Avatar
    Arthur Lau

    The main instruction that B&W didn’t include in the first steps: To make sure your laptop/ computer is not connected to your wifi network. Follow the first few steps, enter the 169 address on the booklet, LET THE ZEPPLIN AIR SEARCH FOR YOUR WIFI NETWORK, NOT YOUR LAPTOP/ COMPUTER

  49. walter Avatar

    hi, the problem came over before in this topic, but with no answer.
    I’ve got the air for one day now and haven’t been able to use it yet. After half of a song it just stops playing and starts a fast red blinking. What can I do to fix it? I’ve tried updates, resets, another ipod, but I just cannot get it working.

    Is my Zeppeling faulty?? Please respond if you’ve got any information whatsoever. Thank you!

  50. aque Avatar

    “Got home and syncing with the wireless (all Apple: Airport Extreme, MacBook) at the house) took a good 40 minutes. Had to reset several times. Clearly not an Apple product from that point of view (i.e., ease of operations).”

    can’t agree more…i got upset so many times after resetting the zeppelin air…it can only worked well for 40mins on airplay , then it just cut off and had to be resetted firmware is 1.1.3..i don’t know what to do now= =……

  51. Roger Avatar

    Got my Zep air. When first connecting it went smooth, but then had problems(wouldnt connect to the network)..
    Reset it tried again…then from flashing purple to flashing red…tried several times…have the new firmware already installed. Turned off wireless on the laptop…no avail….plugged directly to router…no avail…all red lights after the purple flashing.
    Docked iphone 4S…1/2 a song plays, then flashing red lights….Plugged computer to Zep with Aux….flashing red lights..never been so frustrated with any product before.

  52. ana Avatar

    stuck in firmware update mode after trying to update

  53. Stephen Banks Avatar
    Stephen Banks

    I had problems with my first set of speakers but after blogging here then I was very helpfully contacted by B&W Support in the UK,

    I was able to get a new set of speakers and now have them working. Some things that I have learned:

    1. If the setup does not work and you want to try again you need to re-install the firmware again. It is advisable that you do this anyway and once the software is on your PC it is very easy to do. If you don’t do this then you will get the flashing red light.

    2. On the new set of speakers the setup worked until the very last stage when the purple light kept flashing and would not go solid, indicating that it had not connected with the network.

    3. I saw that it was possible to install the network from the iPod Touch and this worked within minutes. To do this follow these instructions:

    a. If the network failed before then re-install the firmware. You can find instructions for this on the website.

    b. Turn on the speakers with ONLY the power chord connected and press the Standby button

    c. After a minute the light should flash yellow

    d. Connect the iPod Touch (I think it also works for iPhone)

    e. In Settings go to Wi-Fi

    f. There should be a connection for Zeppelin Air. Select this

    g. Go to Safari browser and run the ususal set up (

    h. Go back to Wi-Fi and select the normal network

    h. The system should appear in iTunes

    I hope that this helps.

    Thanks to B&W UK for their support too.

  54. Guy C Avatar
    Guy C

    The Zeppelin Air comes with an 802.11 (g) card. Does anyone know the effect of this on an 802.11 (n) wireless network? I have heard that it causes all of the other devices on the network to go to the lower (g) speeds. I want to still transfer data between computers on my network at (n) speeds.

    I also wonder If the slow down only occurs when the Zep Air is being used or does it “sleep” and not affect the network?

    Thanks in advance for replies.

  55. Chris Avatar

    Indeed the speed restriction may be true. I have about 15 clients but since the ZA is included speeds sink a bit….

  56. zeristor Avatar

    I have tried to connect the TosLink to my Bluray player. Can’t get the LED to flash orange for Auxillary In. Set the Bluray to PCM, is there anything else?

    Thought about the 802.11 g mucking up the network too, this is annoying, or can the airport extreme have a g channel and and n one?

    Sound cuts out after about 20 minutes. Next track is silent even though AirTunes is playing on my MacBook.

    These are quibbles though, I am loving it. I now have proper sound at home, not trying to feel music through in the ear headphones anymore.

  57. Macc Avatar


    I have just returned my zeppelin to the store. The Dealer was not suprised at all because most of the zeppelins are returned after a few days bacause they just don’t work. I wishes he would have told me before but… Fact is I tryed for 4 days (and nights) to make this f****** thing work, read every thred on the web and the complete B&W “support” area just to learn that the zeppelin just disconnects from time to time…. nothing to do about that… well there are stops im the stram from time to time but, well it is a wireless connection after all, so don’t expect to mutch….

    ARE THESE B&W GUYS INSANE??????????????????

    €600 (not $) for something that dosn’t work??????????? And they dismiss the fact with the argument that “it is a wireless connection afterall” so what is to be expectet?

    Let me tell you something:



    There ist hope:

    I just got the Libratone Live Airplay-Soundsystem, wireless connection too, and it works perfect, even with my firewall intact (B&W tec. support told me to just kill the firewall and all anti-spyware so everything could work), after just 3 minutes. Costs nearly the same and sounds MUTCH better!

    Best Macc

  58. Roman Toporkov Avatar
    Roman Toporkov

    When I bought the Zep Air, it wouldn’t reset (common problem as it appeared), therefore unable to setup the WiFi connection. I have decided to use it as regular iPod/iPhone dock (despite the fact I could have just.. bought a regular dock. much cheaper).

    3 months later, B&W releases an utility called “Zeppelin recovery” (available on their website), which has fixed the Reset issue! Hooray!! At last! 3 months after the purchase I am finally able to join the Wi-Fi and enjoy the awesomeness of Air Play…


    Air Play on The Zeppelin Air doesn’t’ work. It loses connection, it won’t reconnect, it sucks.

    I won’t return my “Zep-shit-Air” to the store. I hope that in 10-15 years it will cost fortune as “the only Zeppelin that’s not been returned and destroyed”. Who will need Air Play in 2027 anyway.

  59. Thomas Jankovich Avatar
    Thomas Jankovich

    HATE IT.
    I have had a Zeppeling for 2 months and it has not been a fun time.
    1st device could not connect to wifi (seems a known problem). So had it replaced within 24hours
    2nd device synced perfectly until sound started going. I never played it loud, but the left speaker and sound board had to be replaced (2week repair)
    3rd issue (after repairing the system) was that it would not synch again……so is back at the dealership.

    Net result is that it is a beautiful and amazing device. I just don’t get to use it as it keeps needing a repair

  60. Alisdair Avatar

    OK, had many problems, and in the process of trying to resolve them – for those not able to perform factory re-set (constant purple flashing light) search for ‘Zeppelin Recovery’ on the web and run it.

    I had to upgrade my router to get Airplay to work reliably (bought NETGEAR N300 – now works fine), before Airplay only intermittently worked, latterly not at all.

    Now all working, hurray!

  61. Frank Avatar

    Hello guys

    I have also had a lot of issue with the zeppelin air, but i have found some way to get it to work.

    Before i talk about the zeppelin, i would mention something about router.

    It is important to have a good router of newer generation, cause i had some issue with mine old (about 3 years old), and couldnt find the airplay unit. (also i couldnt find the marantz airplay.)
    What i found out, is that old routers works fine with airplay, if connection between pc/ipad/iphone – and the airplay reciever (zeppelin/marantz etc), is in range of eternet->eternet , or wireless->wireless.
    Connection between Eternet->wireless is not working. (so router cannot switch this connection properly)

    If you cannot connect your pc with itunes to an airplay reciever, then try to connect your pc to eternet, and see if find airplay icon in itunes.

    When this is ok, in both way, and your router is ok, then we can look at the zeppelin.

    My issue was that it disconnect at night.
    What i did, was to upgrade to latest firmware, wich you can find on b&w support site.
    -Important to not connect your USB cable to zeppelin, before the B&W firmware software promt you to do it.
    -Important when you connect the usb cable, to wait until the driver is installed before you click next in the firmware software. (you can see driver being installed in buttom right on the taskline)

    So, after firmware upgrade, i connected my b&w to internet again , using the eternet cable directly to pc.

    And all worked, and it was just to wait until next morning, and see if it was still online.
    Next morning i couldn find it, and the zeppelin was in standby mode (bright red)
    I turned it on, and couldnt find it either.

    So here is the trick.
    1. If you go to bed, and the zeppelin goes to standby (bright red), then:
    Push the ON button for about 4 sec, to turn off the zeppeling (dim red)
    Then click on ON button once, and the zeppeling will flash purple for about 1 min,
    When Led is solid purple, it means that it have connected to network again.
    Then it works.

    I think the firmware i used was 1.03.06 or so, and i can live with this, as long as i know how to really connect the zeppeling in a concequent way.

    Only thing is that i cannot connect to the zeppelin in the morning without raising from bed first:)

    Hope this helps:)

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