Video: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air


Greg Williams from Bowers & Wilkins came to Crutchfield to talk about their Zeppelin Air, a powered speaker system with Apple AirPlay®.

Greg Williams from Bowers and Wilkins visited us here at Crutchfield today to tell us about the Zeppelin Air.

Greg: The big aspect of it I believe is the AirPlay, because the AirPlay allows you to be able to stream music throughout your house from either iTunes or from your iPhone, iPod, iPad — any of those devices. So it allows us to be able to effortlessly have our music in our pocket and play it in the room that we're in.

So what we have in Zeppelin, it has sort of a funny shape as you can see, but the reason why it's shaped this way is very much from a sonic as opposed to just an aesthetic reason. There are tweeters, little tweeters, on both ends and pushed up next to the tweeters are mid-bass drivers so you get a nice stereo separation in the room and then the center of the speaker is really a 5-½ inch subwoofer. So those drive units are all brand new, and we made the woofer so that it made deeper bass and a lot more bass than the prior Zeppelin. The mid-bass driver we have now re-engineered it so it has much wider dispersion and of course the tweeter's redesigned to compliment the mid-bass driver to give you that great dispersion-a little extra sizzle on the cymbals.

When you operate your iPod you know you mostly are sitting there and you've got it in one hand and you're operating it with your thumb. So we didn't think it would be fair to the consumer to have to then to go to their dock and stab at their iPod. So we made the arm so you can get your hand behind it and operate your iPod, just like you would if you were walking along. We've also added a new digital-to-analog converter so it's got a new 24-bit 96K d-to-a converter built into it so we can really take advantage of high resolution as we send the signal through the now audiophile grade digital signal processing.

Other things to notice about the Zeppelin — I'm gonna turn it around here so you can see — but the Zeppelin has some special features on the back as well. We have a technology that we call, we have trademarked Flowport, and we have dimples in our port and we have these two small ports which help to enhance the bass and extend the bass frequencies. We included Ethernet cable in the box so that people can easily set up their Zeppelin and all they do is they plug their computer into the Zeppelin and Zeppelin then serves up a web page which asks three questions. What do you want to name it? I'd like mine to be bedroom speaker. What network do we want to have it attach to? Greg's house. And what's the network password? And once you answer those three questions you hit the "join" button and within a few seconds you're able to get on your phone, log onto the Zeppelin, and then play music. The last port is a composite video out and if I've downloaded a movie to my iPhone or whatever and I've watched half of it on the plane I can come home, dock my IOS device, and watch the rest of the movie through my big screen TV.

And if you have any questions about the Zeppelin Air give us a call.

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