The Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin is one of the most recognizable wireless speakers on the planet. Starting life as an iPod dock (those were the days), the speaker has had no less than three different iterations — and now it’s been upgraded once again for 2021.
The new Zeppelin looks very similar to its predecessors, with that unmistakable oval shape that looks like a floating airship. However, there are some changes in the design; Available in dark and light grey, the speaker now includes ambient light around its base to create a halo-like effect on its metal pedestal stand.
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While most audiophiles would agree that two speakers are better than one, Zeppelin offers a complete stereo system in one package, with dedicated left and right speakers assembled around a central 150mm subwoofer.
Those speakers are housed in an “ultra-rigid” enclosure that’s designed for the best audio dispersion—in other words, you should know that the Zeppelin is more than capable of filling your living room with sound.
There are also two decoupled double-dome tweeters on the far sides of the enclosure. These tweeters — which were originally featured in the company’s 600 anniversary series — set them apart from other larger drive units, which Bowers & Wilkins say allows for “wide, spacious and highly accurate sound.”
The tweeters are paired with 90mm midrange drivers that use the company’s fixed suspension transducer technology – the same technology found inside the 800 Series Diamond (the monitor speaker used in Abbey Road studios of all places).
a speaker for the ages
The new Zeppelin has been updated with Alexa built-in, so you can ask the voice assistant to play a song of your choice, or control your smart home device – though the top of the speaker’s enclosure But there are physical buttons if you wish.
You’ve also got AirPlay 2 and aptX adaptive Bluetooth compatibility, so you’ll be able to stream high-quality music from your iPhone or your Android device. Spotify Connect is for Spotify users, while the Bowers & Wilkins Music app gives you access to much more music streaming services, such as Deezer, Tidal, and Cubase.
The most interesting aspect of the new Zeppelin is that it is designed to last. Its “digital brain” can be upgraded over time, with multi-room support being added in early 2022. That means you’ll be able to fill your home with sound by pairing the new Zeppelin with other speakers in the Bowers & Wilkins Formation range. – and that also means the speaker should last you a long time. And when you find out how much it costs, you’ll be glad.
The new Zeppelin is available to buy now for $799 / £699 – we await confirmation on global pricing, but it works out to around AU$1,000.
That’s no small amount to spend on a wireless speaker, but if it sounds anything like its predecessors, you can expect clear, natural-sounding audio that will fill a room with ease — and An eye-catching design piece to boot.
- Check out the competition: Read our Sonos One review