B&W Z2 wireless music system
2 Year Bowers & Wilkins Warranty
Bowers & Wilkins Z2 offers versatility and convenience without compromising performance. This is down to attention to detail in the science of acoustics, as well smart implementation of audiophile-grade electronics. This manifests itself in a combination of sensible implementation of core Bowers & Wilkins technologies, many of which were originally designed for our high-end loudspeaker ranges, and bespoke Z2 developments.
Foremost among the new technological developments are B&W Z2’s drive units. Our extensive research and development has allowed us to use a single full range drive unit without resorting to additional tweeters. Reproducing such a wide frequency range with a single drive unit presents challenges. Most problematic is that resonances are emitted by the speaker diaphragm and voice coil at high frequencies. Z2 uses the same glass fibre cone material as found on our M-1 speaker. This stiff and light cone material controls diaphragm resonances to improve off-axis high frequency beaming, creating a spatial and natural sound anywhere in the room.
Additionally, in order to control the resonances emitted from the voice coil and the associated high frequency distortion Anti-Resonance Plug technology (as found on the high-end PM1) has also been implemented. The single drive unit delivers pure and clean highs.
Sound radiates from the rear of a drive unit as well as the front. For most applications this is undesirable as the rear sound adds colouration when it reflects off of the speaker basket. By using a speaker basket with increased open area, rear sound reflections are minimized. Additionally, the air pressure behind the diaphragm is distributed more evenly, which prevents rocking of the diagram and voice coil components. The result of fewer rear sound reflections and uniform speaker movement is that associated coloration is dramatically reduced.
Z2 also incorporates Bowers & Wilkins Flowport™ technology. The dimpled holes around the port reduce air turbulence in the same way as a golf ball. The ports are ultra silent so the bass is clean at all listening levels.
Z2’s versatile size is disproportional to performance; critical to this are the carefully selected amplifiers. The latest class D amplifiers with minimal output filters address intermodulation distortion in the electronics domain. Audio artifacts normally associated with the use of output filters are pushed higher
in frequency, way out of the hearing band. To the listener the result is smooth and clean high frequencies.
Digital Signal Processing
For many docking speakers, when played at high volume levels, the sound become unlistenable and incoherent. Z2 takes a clever approach by applying propriety Digital Signal Processing. Z2 monitors and analyses the audio signal at every sample and intelligently optimises the system to ensure controlled bass output and room filling sound at all listening levels. The direct digital signal from the source passes through our audiophile digital to analogue convertors ensuring that the sound is kept intact and as accurate as possible.
Great sounding audio electronics, especially amplifiers, rely on a great power source; this has not been over-looked for Z2. The power supply has been designed to deliver maximum stability. Clean, low-noise power ensures that all electronic components including the amplifiers can unleash their full potential.
Z2’s audio electronics and acoustic components are capable of generating a lot of sound output. To ensure that the enclosure does not rattle or buzz great attention and thought has been applied to the design. Not only has the enclosure been made from glass re-enforced ABS, extra strengthening ribs have been included to limit and control undesirable resonances. The end result is a versatile AirPlay speaker, capable of producing room-filling, high-quality sound both wirelessly and when your iPhone is docked.
|Description||Wireless Music System|
|Technical Features||Apple® AirPlay® technology
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
High Quality Class-D amplifier
Switch mode power supply
|Drive Units||2 x 87.5mm in full range|
|Frequency Response||50Hz - 20kHz +3dB on reference axis|
|Frequency Range||-6dB at 42Hz and 22kHz|
|Amplifier Power Output||2 x 20w|
|Input Voltage||100V - 240V ~ 50/60Hz|
|Rated Power Consumption||36W|
|Inputs||Network (RJ45 Ethernet or Wi-Fi)
Auxiliary - analogue (3.5mm mini jack)
|Dimensions in mm (Height x Weight x Depth)||180 x 320 x 100|
|AirPlay Compatibility||iPhone, iPod touch, iPad (iOS 4.3.3 later),
Mac with OS X Mountain Lion
or Mac/PC with iTunes 10.2.2 or later
|Dock Compatibility||iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th generation)
and iPod nano (7th generation).
- This machine was a phenomenal unit at £329; compact, versatile and complete with impeccable Bowers & Wilkins signature sound. At the newly adjusted price of £169 however, this unit is an absolute blinding purchase. Review by HifiGear's Stephen Goode
Price Value Quality
Review by Stephen Goode of Hifi Gear
When Jamie (Hifi Gear Manager ) asked me to review the B&W Z2, I was more than delighted; having been a Zep fan for quite some time and have been itching to get my hands on the Z2.
The Z2 is similar in design to its original iPod 30-pin connected cousin, the Zeppelin Mini. However, sonically it takes the B&W docking station range to an entirely new level. In the few ways the Zeppelin Mini slacked, the Z2 has made up for it.
I first decided to assess the Z2 using Ben Howard’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ cover for Radio 1 Live Lounge, I wanted to see how the system handled songs with a more ‘human’ feel, as the majority of the instruments used for this performance were traditional (guitar, cello, drum kit, etc). As soon as the introductory cello began to play, the atmosphere of the demo room where I was listening changed instantly. The Z2 filled the room with a big and ambient low-end bass sound that almost seems impossible to achieve from such a small machine. The Z2 brings a bright and delicate amount of high-end to Ben’s voice, and handles the blend between the low frequency cello/bass sounds. At one point during the performance, the artist lets out a sly chuckle; this, along with the sound of moisture on his lips at harsh sounding letters, and the breaths between these points is brought across almost flawlessly by the B&W Z2. I briefly forgot I was listening to a live recording (albeit a very well recorded live recording).
Next in my playlist is a slightly more up-beat song by Paloma Faith, titled “Stone Cold Sober”. Again, the Z2’s delicate and bright vocal response is evident, almost giving the illusion that you’re actually in the vocal booth with her. The kick drum is thick and punchy, and (in my opinion) is a carrying element for the entire song. The Z2 clearly agrees with me on this and brings it forward with just the right amount of low end for it to be audible, but not excessive/too loud. The remaining instruments (including harmonised vocal) are easily audible too, right down to the tambourine in the background of the chorus, which I had not noticed until writing this review! The Z2 takes this energetic and excited song, and gives it a shot of pure metaphorical caffeine.
To truly test it’s abilities, the next song to be played from the Z2 is an electronic dance track titled ‘Bytesize’, produced and created by U.K. EDM artist; ‘Akio’. This track possesses a variety of different extremes, ranging from thick and deep, sub-wrenching bass, to pretty and fragile sounding synthesiser riffs. The Z2 doesn't handle the bass quite as well as an up-market subwoofer would, but it still manages to comfortably juggle these elements with the higher elements without any recognisable noise/distortion. Again, each element of the track is clear and detailed; the video-game samples used in the song are clearly understandable, despite the momentous amount of thick instrumentation below them. The song also features a number of volume dips, in certain elements (namely the crunchy bass/synth riff), these sections of the song show the Z2’s impressive volume range and how easily it handles quick changes in volume and compression.
To end the assessment, I played one of my favourite Kids In Glass Houses songs; ‘Artbreaker I’. The song begins with an instrumental introduction, being played through a high-pass filter/EQ, which through some systems can sound distorted/’walkie-talkie-like’ beyond the desired amount. The Z2 is not one of these systems. It handles the effect competently (although, not quite as well as the Zeppelin Air), and aids to create the strong and ‘hyped-up’ drop the band set out to create. During the main parts of the song, instrumentation is again handled well against each other. The song is upbeat and heavy, so a lot of things are going on at once. The Z2 allows you to audibly detect these ‘things’ alongside each other, whether it be the meaty bassline riffs against the shiny and quick electric guitar riffs, or the crisp—clear snares and high hats against the astonishing group vocals.
In conclusion, the Z2 is an extremely competent and musically intellectual piece of kit, and is able to deliver everything you would want from a docking station/airplay device. It does however, marginally lack a proficient sound-stage/stereo-field (especially when compared with the Zeppelin), although considering its neat and compact size – this is both understandable and forgiveable. (Posted on 01/08/2014)
Providing your item is in stock, the order is usually dispatched within 24 hours. Please remember that postage and packing is completely free for orders over £50*. Out of stock items will be dispatched as soon as they become available, out of stock items can take between 4 to 21 days for dispatch. For information on delivery costs, please refer to the table below or click this link for more information.
|Shipping Costs||Mainland UK (Next-Day)||Offshore/Out-of-reach (2-day)Nothern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Scottish Islands, Scilly Islands||Republic of Ireland (2-day)|
|Under £50 Orders||£7.50||£12.50||£15.00|
|Over £50 Orders||FREE||£19.99||£29.99|
|Saturday by 12||£35.00||N/A||N/A|
*We ship free of charge to mainland UK addresses, excluding the Scottish Highlands or 'Out-Of-Reach' Scottish locations. Please consult the list of post-codes located here to see if your location falls within this category. If you are still unsure, please contact us on 01432 354921. We also ship to Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Scilly Isls, Scottish Isles and Scottish Highlands, however delivery to these locations will incur a charge and can only be sent via a 2-day service.