Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) has brought back its iconic Zeppelin, and it’s loaded with new features that make it a thoroughly modern wireless speaker. Priced at $799, the new Zeppelin is available starting October 13 in Midnight Gray (black) and Pearl Gray (gray).
The Zeppelin is one of the most enduring designs of the new millennium. The original, which was released in 2006, was a beautiful but extravagantly priced iPod speaker dock. It was followed by the 2011 Zeppelin Air, the Zeppelin Mini, and most recently, the 2015 Zeppelin Wireless. And while the new Zeppelin holds onto that unique ellipsoid shape, it goes much further than its predecessors both inside and out.
On the outside, the new Zeppelin is tiny bit taller and tiny bit narrower than the Zeppelin Wireless, and it now features a switchable and dimmable LED light that casts a “halo” on the speaker’s built-in aluminum stand. You’ll find the same top-mounted controls, but now — in addition to the familiar play/pause and volume buttons — there’s also a multifunction button and a dedicated Amazon Alexa button. Yep, the new Zeppelin has been given voice assistant smarts, so you’ll be able to control the speaker’s functions (and anything else
As with the Zeppelin Wireless, there’s an available wall-mount bracket in case you’d prefer to see your Zeppelin float instead of stand.
The changes aren’t all additions — B&W has removed both the Ethernet and auxiliary-in ports that used to sit at the base of the Zeppelin Wireless.
Inside, B&W has used the same number and style of drivers — two tweeters, two midranges, and one subwoofer — but it has upped the amplification power considerably. The Wireless model had a total of 100 watts of power, but the new Zeppelin packs 240 watts. It should also produce more low-end oomph thanks to a deeper frequency response of 35Hz to 24kHz (the previous model could only go down to 44Hz).
Technically, a speaker or set of
From a connectivity point of view, the new Zeppelin has Apple’s AirPlay 2, which means the speaker can be added to Apple’s HomeKit smart home platform. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0, along with SBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive codecs, giving Android users a wireless audio connection that is almost as good as
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