and removes your wired connection completely
Bowers & Wilkins has announced a new Zeppelin speaker that updates the sleek design with modern connectivity and smarts. The new speaker supports wireless standards like Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive and Apple’s AirPlay 2 and also has Alexa built-in for voice control of your music. The new Zeppelin is available to order starting today in light or dark gray and costs $799 / £699 / €799.
The original Zeppelin was one of the most iconic iPod docks when it launched in 2007, and it has been updated several times over the years as the way we listen to music has changed. The 2011 Zeppelin Air added support for Apple’s AirPlay standard with its existing 30-pin dock, while the 2015 Zeppelin Wireless replaced the dock entirely to focus on wireless connectivity using standards such as aptX Bluetooth or Spotify Connect. (though it kept the 3.5mm input as a wired option).
With the new 2021 Zeppelin, however, B&W has gone completely wireless. The rear has a socket for power and a USB-C port, but the latter is only for servicing rather than connecting a music source. Instead, the Zeppelin supports the full suite of wireless standards, including AAC, SBC, and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs (but no aptX Lossless), AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and B&W’s own Music app, which supports Deezer-like streaming. Provides support for the Services. Kobuz, and the tide. There’s no Chromecast support built-in, nor is Google Assistant available with Alexa.
If you want to use the Zeppelin as part of a multi-room setup, B&W says it plans to add support early next year. When it’s released, the feature will let users connect multiple Zeppelins together with B&W’s existing line of Connected Formation speakers. Alternatively, if you’re on iOS, you should be able to get a similar setup thanks to Zeppelin’s support for AirPlay 2. Just don’t expect to be able to pair two Zeppelins together as a stereo pair; B&W says the multi-room functionality is designed for each Zeppelin to provide its own stereo sound.
Internally, the new Zeppelin features a one-inch tweeter, two 3.5-inch mid-range drivers, and a six-inch subwoofer powered by a total of 240W of amplification. Although there’s no remote like on previous Zeppelins, there is a set of physical playback controls on the back of the speaker (but no physical off switch for Alexa).
In the era of the iPod dock, the Zeppelin was one of the most desirable all-in-one speakers on the market. But in the years since, Bowers & Wilkins seems to have lost ground to the likes of Sonos and Amazon as multi-room audio and smart speakers took over, respectively. With the new Zeppelin, I’m sure the company is hoping to reverse that trend.