Bowers & Wilkins climbed on the Apple AirPlay wagon in 2011 with their wild and wonderful Zeppelin Air speaker (with dock connector). The following year, when Apple replaced the 30-pin connector with their proprietary Lightning connector, I thought B&W would go totally wireless with the next Zeppelin, as they had with the newer – but conservatively designed – A5 and A7 speakers. Well, I was wrong – twice. B&W has just released two speakers with Lightning docks: the newest Zeppelin Air (left) and a redesigned replacement for the Mini-Zeppelin, called Z2 (right).
Even though there is a resemblance to the original Mini Zep, the Z2 is all-new with upgraded speakers and components. It has the latest in digital amplifier technology with custom Digital Signal Processing. The dock is cleverly hidden from view unless seen from directly overhead. It’s available in white and black. Except for the Lightning dock, the new Zeppelin Air is identical to its 30-pin cousin. In fact, B&W will continue to make and sell the original Zeppelin Air along with this new one.
The Z2 sells for $399.99; the black model is available now, with the white coming in June. The Lightning Zeppelin Air will debut in June for $599.95.