Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Speakers Review

Got tired of perpetual cables tangles? You aren’t the only one. But luck is on your side. Today’s market offers plenty of wireless products, and speaker systems aren’t an exception. If you want your desktop to be clean and neat, if you hate crammed space then we highly recommend you to look for wireless speakers.

The range of wireless speakers is plentiful. They vary in size, technical features and of course price. The point is that very often our sub-consciousness whispers us that the pricier the product is, the better performance it can show. Well, Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless costs about $700. But is it really as good as it seems to be?

Bowers Wilkins Zeppelin

Image Credit: Bowers & Wilkins

Design and build quality

If Audioengine A5+ and Logitech Z623 have a classic design, this Bowers & Wilkins model has an unusual form and looks like a miniature of a real zeppelin. Thus, it can serve not only as a speaker but also as an element of your interior.

B&W Zeppelin Wireless has a reinforced body that weighs 14lb (6.5 kg). The size of this speaker isn’t small: it is 7.4inch (18.8cm) high, 2.6inch (6.6cm) deep and 7.2inch (18.3cm) wide. So, if you want something more compact then this speaker isn’t for you. The cabinet itself is durable and it serves as a reliable base for all speaker components.

The front fascia has glass fiber ribs to dampen vibrations as well as tuned vents for relieving of internal pressure – this will provide much better drive unit movement. What is more there is also optimized bracing to minimize cabinet resonances. If the front of Zeppelin Wireless is a smooth elliptical fabric face its back side includes power, Ethernet, auxiliary and service ports.

We can’t but mention the fact that in Zeppelin Wireless some things have been definitely sacrificed to beauty. For example, a point echoed by Bluetooth button on the front near the brand label is not so much noticeable as it could and should be. Thus, there is a chance that if you don’t read a start-up guide, you won’t probably even notice it.

Comparing with the first Zeppelin speaker, this wireless version has got a range of changes and improvements. For instance, every element of updated Zeppelin model was redesigned using FAE (i.e. Finite Element Analysis), that presupposes a computer algorithm used to learn more about applied stresses and their influence upon the speaker. By the by, FAE often helps to make a final decision on speaker design.

Technical features

This one-piece audio system is equipped with all new drive units. There are two 25-watt double dome tweeters, each of 1inch (2.54cm) size and made of decoupled aluminium, and two mid-range drivers with FST (Fixed Suspension Transducer) technology. Note that FST technology, based on Bowers & Wilkins CM Series of Hi-Fi loudspeakers, enhances Kevlar effect – it improves cone response as well as integrity of sound transmission.

Besides, for mid-range Zeppelin Wireless has got a pair of 3.5inch (8.9cm) and 25-watt speakers based on the technology developed for Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond model. These speakers have an anti-resonance dust cap placed on the voice coil bobbin.

There is also a 6.5inch (16.5cm) subwoofer that provides deep bass even at high volume. This 15-watt subwoofer has an ultra long-throw voice coil. According to Bowers & Wilkins such suspension was created namely for total linearity. Furthermore, the resonance of motor system was raised up to 500Hz in order to eliminate the audio band ringing. Note that all 5 drivers include class D amplifiers.

Zeppelin Wireless has bespoke audio technology as well as advanced digital signal processing (DSP) that guarantees delivering of immersive and natural sound. Bowers & Wilkins claims that it’s twice better than its predecessor as all its signal inputs have 24 bit/192 kHz resolution. All these characteristics provide clarity at high volume. Such result is gained through the analysis of audio signals at all samples and balancing of the bass output.

As to Bluetooth connection, Zeppelin Wireless will play your favorite music within 100ft (30m). The connection itself is great, there isn’t any skipping, or at least it’s a rare phenomenon. Reconnection is done automatically, so you don’t need to repeat the connection process over and over again.

Compatibility

This wireless speaker supports almost all devices to play your audiophiles from. There is an option of AirPlay, so you can stream music from iOS devices, PC running iTunes and Mac. AirPlay is compatible with iPhones, iPad and iPod touch with iOS 4.3.3 and later. Mac must have OS X Mountain Lion and later. As to PCs, they must have iTunes 10.2.2 and later.

By the way, Zeppelin Wireless can get a direct connection with the Internet due to Spotify Connect option. This will provide you with maximum sound quality.

Performance

Even just looking at Zeppelin Wireless you can already predict that it must be a powerful speaker with hefty performance. In fact, such predictions turned into reality when we started testing this B&W product. This speaker is loud indeed and unlike Audioengine a2+ or most of the small Bluetooth speakers is more suitable for large rooms.

Zeppelin Wireless has great bass and it was a pleasant surprise for us that it remained well-balanced even at top volume. Moreover, we haven’t noticed any serious audio distortions and defects at high volume as well.

On the whole, we are more than just satisfied with Zeppelin Wireless performance. The sound is clear and vivid, and you can easily enjoy the unique tunes of each musical instrument.

Summary

Stylish, powerful and expensive – these are the best words to describe B&W Zeppelin Wireless. This one-piece audio system is equipped with plenty of unique and updated technologies to let you enjoy the diversity of music world.

Zeppelin Wireless has an easy setup and is compatible with a range of popular devices. The only minus is that this speaker doesn’t have Android app.

Pros:

  • stylish
  • durable build
  • unique FST technology
  • advanced DSP
  • clear sound
  • easy setup
  • AirPlay
  • Spotify Connect
Cons:

  • high price
  • big
  • no multi-room option

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