updated 03:20 pm EST, Wed January 5, 2011
Makes several upgrades over original Zeppelin
Audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins has announced the Zeppelin Air, a new luxury speaker system aimed at iPhone, iPod and iPad users. While equipped with a dock, the Air's main feature is support for AirPlay, Apple's recently-introduced wireless streaming technology. Any AirPlay-compatible device can stream audio to the speaker, including computers running iTunes.
Several separate upgrades have been made over the original Zeppelin. Improved drivers are also backed by individually dedicated amps, including two new ones, helping to produce 4x25W output matched by a 50W subwoofer. Digital signal processing and the digital-to-analog converter have likewise been upgraded, the latter supporting quality up to 24-bit 96kHz.
B&W cautions that the dock is only meant to hold iPhones and iPods, meaning that iPad users are effectively dependent on AirPlay. The Zeppelin Air ships in March at a cost of $600. Using AirPlay requires iOS 4.2 on a handheld, or iTunes 10.1 on a computer.