The B&W Zeppelin Mini is a slimmed down version of the frankly enormous original B&W Zeppelin iPod dock.

While similar in looks, the Zeppelin Mini is about one third the size of its big brother and it's similarly lacking in audio power as a result.

Its dual 18W speakers pack a small punch compared to the combined 100W in the original.

However, the Zeppelin Mini does feature a swivel docking station for flipping your iPod into landscape mode if that's how you roll.

And more excitingly, if you leave the dock plugged into your PC or Mac via USB, you can sync your iPod or iPhone with iTunes simply by placing it in the dock. You can't do that with the original Zeppelin.

The good bits

As a little iPod speaker dock, then, the Zeppelin Mini is about as good as they come. It's great looking, and the pebble-like remote control makes it very easy to operate.

B w zeppelin mini back rear

The main attraction over the original Zeppelin is simply the size. The Zeppelin measures 640mm across – who has that amount of space on a desktop?

The Mini measures exactly half that, which is much more sensible in our book. And considering the size, it doesn't sound half bad either.

However, there are a number of serious drawbacks.

The bad bits

Firstly, while it sounds great for a product of this size, it's certainly not something an audiophile would enjoy, despite the B&W badge. And if you ask us, the £300 price tag is simply ludicrous.

The simple fact of the matter is that there are any number of cheaper audio systems out there that kick the Zeppelin Mini's ass on sound quality.

And the thing is, it doesn't really matter who built it. Whether it was put together by an elite squad of tinkering B&W audiophile engineers, or a community of deaf West Country peasants – a 36W iPod dock is never going to sound great even up against a low-end 2.1 speaker system that cost a sixth of the price.

Essentially, you're paying for the B&W badge here. Which is fine when you're buying a pair of £5,000 speakers – because B&W is a brilliant hi-fi company. However, we just can't recommend spending this much on a 36W iPod dock – it's just crazy.