bowers & wilkins zeppelin: iconic ipod dock gets 2021 makeover

© Expert Reviews Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin: Iconic iPod dock gets 2021 makeover Smart speakers

British audio manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled its new and improved B&W Zeppelin wireless smart speaker.

The original Zeppelin launched in 2007 and took the form of an iPod dock attached to a strikingly shaped speaker. In 2011, the Zeppelin Air added AirPlay support to the package before the Zeppelin Wireless dropped the iPod dock entirely in 2015.

This fourth-generation iteration remains mains-powered but is doubling down on wireless functionality by removing the 3.5mm auxiliary port and bringing its streaming standards into line with similarly priced competitors.

Buy now from Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (2021): Key specs

Price: £699 Weight: 6.5kg Dimensions: 650 x 210 x 194mm (WHD) Power output: 240W Smart assistant: Amazon Alexa Streaming support: Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect Bluetooth: Version 5.0 (AAC, SBC, aptX Adaptive)

bowers & wilkins zeppelin: iconic ipod dock gets 2021 makeover

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Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (2021): Streaming and smart functionality

The Zeppelin now supports streaming via Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, while Bluetooth codec support extends to aptX Adaptive in addition to AAC and SBC.

The 2021 model is the first entry in the series to offer smart functionality and has Amazon Alexa built-in, meaning users can easily control it with their voice. There are physical controls, too, though there’s no remote control included as there was with previous Zeppelins.

The Zeppelin is compatible with the Bowers & Wilkins Music app, which supports music streaming services including Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal and should make accessing your favourite playlists a breeze.

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (2021): Design

The shape of the 2021 Zeppelin will look very familiar to anyone that’s seen the previous generation speakers. There are two models available – a darker Midnight Grey and a lighter Pearl Grey – both of which are inspired by the cigar-shaped airship from which the speaker takes its name.

The form is not simply for show, however. The Zeppelin’s enclosure is designed to enhance the dispersion of sound and create immersive, room-filling audio.

The speaker itself measures 650 x 210 x 194mm (WHD), weighs a hefty 6.5kg and sits on a metal pedestal stand. Dimmable ambient lighting on the underside of the Zeppelin creates what Bowers describes as a “halo effect” on the stand, which sounds rather nice for late-night listening.

Buy now from Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (2021): Audio

In terms of internal components, the Zeppelin features the kind of driver arrangement you’d expect of an esteemed audiophile brand.

High frequencies are handled by the company’s patented 25mm “decoupled double-dome” tweeters, which are mounted at either edge of the speaker enclosure to deliver as wide and expansive a soundstage as possible.

bowers & wilkins zeppelin: iconic ipod dock gets 2021 makeover

© Provided by Expert Reviews

Two 90mm FST (fixed system transducers) look after the mid-range and a 150mm subwoofer takes care of low-end frequency reproduction. The arrangement is driven by 240W of amplification, which should ensure the Zeppelin is able to deliver a mighty punch in even the largest of living spaces.

The Midnight Grey variant of the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin is available to buy now from the company’s website, with the Pearl Grey model coming in mid-November.

We hope to be getting our hands on a review sample soon, so keep your eyes peeled for a full review in the coming weeks.

Internet Explorer Channel Network


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