Relaunched Zeppelin premium wireless speaker takes flight
Bowers & Wilkins caused quite a stir among music lovers back in 2007 with the release of the Zeppelin premium iPod speaker. It wasn't just pleasing to the eyes, looking like nothing else on the market at the time, but it sounded superb too. Now the Zeppelin has been relaunched for the streaming age.
Like its predecessors, the 2021 Zeppelin is designed with a premium look all its own and a premium sound to match – rocking a 240-W amplifier that drives a dedicated left and right speaker assembly mounted in an "ultra-rigid, FEA-optimized enclosure that is carefully sculpted to ensure the best possible acoustic performance."
That speaker array comprises two decoupled 1-inch double dome tweeters from the company's 600 Anniversary Series speakers, two 3.5-inch midrange drive units using B&W's proprietary Fixed Suspension Transducer technology (found in all of the company's premium floor-standers, including the 800 Series Diamond) and one 6-inch subwoofer.
Listeners can pair with a music source over Bluetooth 5.0 with support for aptX Adaptive and AAC codecs, and there's a B&W Music App available that includes support for Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal streaming services, among others. Support for more services are being constantly added. Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2 are cooked in too, and Alexa is on tap for voice assist.
For those who prefer more conventional control, physical buttons to the top rear can be used. B&W has included a dimmable lighting effect for the metal stand to add a certain ambience during playback, which can be switched off if that's not your sort of thing. And the 210 x 650 x 194-mm (8.2 x 25.6 x 7.6-in), 6.5-kg (14.3-lb) Zeppelin's "digital brain" will receive periodic updates to keep the system up to date with the latest trends and technologies, with multi-room capabilities being added early next year.
"Every generation of Zeppelin has been the best-sounding system of its era," said B&W. "The new Zeppelin, by combining proven drive unit technology with its new high-resolution streaming platform, is simply the best yet. The overall result is an exceptional musical performance whether from a wirelessly connected source or via a streaming service."
The 2021 Zeppelin is available in light or dark gray and is on sale from today for a premium price tag of US$799.
Product page: Zeppelin