Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) have brought back their iconic Zeppelin, and it’s packed with new features that make it a decidedly 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 durable models of the new millennium. The original, released in 2006, was a gorgeous iPod docking station but at an extravagant price. It was followed by the 2011 Zeppelin Air, the Zeppelin Mini, and more recently the 2015 Zeppelin Wireless. And while the new Zeppelin retains this unique ellipsoid shape, it goes much further than its predecessors inside and out. ‘outside.
On the outside, the new Zeppelin is a bit taller and a bit narrower than the Zeppelin Wireless, and it now features a switchable and adjustable LED light that projects a “halo” onto the built-in aluminum mount. pregnant. You’ll find the same top-mounted controls, but now – in addition to the familiar play / pause and volume buttons – there’s also a multi-function button and a dedicated Amazon Alexa button. Yes, the new Zeppelin has received voice assistant intelligence, so you’ll be able to control speaker functions (and whatever Alexa can do) with just your voice.
As with the Zeppelin Wireless, a wall mount is available in case you prefer to see your Zeppelin floating instead of standing.
Not all changes are additions – B&W has removed both the Ethernet and auxiliary ports that were at the base of the Zeppelin Wireless.
Inside, B&W used the same number and style of speakers – two tweeters, two midrange, and a subwoofer – but it dramatically increased the amplification power. The wireless model had a total power of 100 watts, but the new Zeppelin packs 240 watts. It should also produce more punch in the low end thanks to a deeper frequency response of 35Hz to 24kHz (the previous model could only go down to 44Hz).
Technically, a speaker or headset would have to be able to reproduce frequencies from 20Hz to 40kHz to be considered fully compatible with high resolution, but in our experience overall sound quality matters more than pure numbers. What’s more important from a high-resolution perspective is that the new Zeppelin can be controlled through the Bowers & Wilkins Music app, which includes access to streaming services like Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal, all of which have subscription levels with high resolution audio tracks. Soundcloud, Last.fm, and TuneIn are also included, and B&W says more services are added on a regular basis.
From a connectivity standpoint, the new Zeppelin features Apple’s AirPlay 2, which means the speaker can be added to Apple’s HomeKit smart home platform. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0, as well as SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive codecs, giving Android users a wireless audio connection almost as good as AirPlay 2. Spotify Connect is also available for direct control from the Spotify application. B&W is also working on a firmware update that will allow the new Zeppelin to function as part of a whole-home wireless audio platform, which could include other Zeppelin speakers, as well as products from the B&W Formation wireless speaker family.
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