Photo: Bower & Wilkins
UK-based audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins first released its Zeppelin speaker as an iPod dock in 2007. Following a couple of other iterations over the years — the most recent one released six years ago — the airship-shaped powerhouse is back, and refitted for the streaming age.
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In its 2021 resurrection, the new Zeppelin takes a simpler name than its most recent predecessors, the “Zeppelin Air” in 2011 and the “Zeppelin Wireless” in 2015. Having come a long way since it was an iPod dock, the new Zeppelin is made for today’s streamers. It’s the “smartest and most flexible Zeppelin” so far, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) said.
Zeppelin: Made for wireless streaming
The new Zeppelin favors wireless over wired connectivity, though the speaker features a USB-C port for updates. It’s compatible with AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth. AptX is a relatively new hi-res codec that B&W’s newest headphones also support.
The Bowers & Wilkins Music App enables access to music streaming services like Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, Soundcloud and TuneIn. Alexa voice control is built in, as well.
To build on the AirPlay 2 connectivity, B&W said it will add multi-room support for the Zeppelin and other products in its Formation range in 2022.
A powerful wireless speaker
B&W implemented driver technologies from its stereo speakers into the Zeppelin, designed to be used alone.
It features two decoupled double-dome tweeters from B&W’s 600 Anniversary Series. It also has 90mm midrange drivers incorporating proprietary Fixed Suspension Transducer (FSTTM) technology found in the company’s high-end loudspeakers. And B&W mounted a 150mm subwoofer at the center of the speaker’s structure and optimized it to reduce vibration.
A whopping 240 watts of amplification feeds all those drivers — quite powerful for a wireless speaker.
The speaker also features dimmable ambient lighting on its metal pedestal stand.
You can pick up the Zeppelin wireless speaker in midnight gray or pearl gray colors for $799.
Where to buy: Amazon