Although it looks nearly identical to its predecessor (photo below), the $799 all-in-one speaker is hailed smarter and more flexible with wireless streaming via Apple’s AirPlay 2 and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth. The system has a row of control buttons on the top of its rear panel but it can also be controlled through the Bowers & Wilkins Music App or by summoning Amazon’s (built-in) Alexa voice assistant.
The app supports 24/96 hi-res streaming and currently provides access to Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, Soundcloud, Deezer, Last.fm, and TuneIn; B&W says it plans to add more streaming services on a regular basis.
Behind the football-shaped grille, left and right speaker complements — each comprising a 1-inch double-dome tweeter and 3.5-inch midrange driver — flank a newly designed 6-inch woofer. The system is rated down to 35 Hz and powered by 240 watts of onboard power.
The tweeters, borrowed from B&W’s 600 Anniversary Series speakers, are isolated from vibration and situated at the far edges of the enclosure to produce spacious, “room filling stereo sound.” The enclosure itself is described as rigid and shaped to produce “outstanding sound dispersion.” The midrange drivers feature the same proprietary fixed suspension transducer (FST) technology used in the flagship 800 Series Diamond speaker.
Other highlights of the new, improved Zeppelin include a digital “brain” that can be upgraded over time — multiroom capability is planned for early 2022 — dimmable ambient lighting that creates a ‘halo’ effect around its pedestal stand, and a bracket for wall mounting. With the forthcoming multiroom upgrade, it will be possible to network multiple Zeppelins and the speaker will be compatible with B&W’s Formation series of wireless speakers.
The Zeppelin is offered in a dark Midnight Grey (shown in opening photo) or light Pearl Grey. For more information, visit bowerswilkins.com.
Rob Sabin’s 2011 review of the Zeppelin
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