Bowers & Wilkins, maker of the iconic Zeppelin speaker and its AirPlay sequel Zeppelin Air, today announced an upgraded model with even more horsepower and features: Zeppelin Wireless ($700). The original $600 Zeppelin redefined “high-end iPod speakers” at a time when Bose and Klipsch had established a $300 to $400 price ceiling, successfully upping the ante in both sound quality and industrial design.
Zeppelin Wireless retains B&W’s classic elongated football shape and five-speaker concept, but now relies entirely on wireless streaming for audio, boasting Bluetooth aptX, AirPlay, and Spotify Connect support. Backed by 150 Watts of amplifier power, a new twice-as-powerful digital signal processor upsamples all inputs to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, promising to deliver greater accuracy, lower noise, and enhanced dynamic range through an audiophile-quality DAC. The speakers and enclosure have been upgraded, as well…
On the speaker side, Zeppelin Wireless now features an upgraded 6.5″ subwoofer similar to the company’s high-end model A7, but with “an ultra long-throw voice coil” and reduced vibration to deliver deep, accurate bass even at high volume levels. B&W also includes two 25mm double-dome tweeters and fixed suspension transducer (FST) midrange drivers, all housed within a newly reinforced, vibration-free cabinet made with fiberglass ribs and a 50% thicker front fascia than the earlier Zeppelins.
Removed from this model is the Zeppelin’s and Zeppelin Air’s iPod/iPhone dock, leaving Zeppelin Wireless with a purely black fabric front apart from a small B&W logo on the plastic base. Controls have been simplified, and now consist of three buttons nestled on the top surface.
Zeppelin Wireless is available online today, and will hit retail stores on October 15. The AirPlay and dock-based Zeppelin Air is available as a factory-recertified model for $400, while the boxier A7 still sells for $800.