B&W Zeppelin: a legendary speaker


The biggest names in hi-fi have all made their mark on their era and shaped the market with signature speakers. With the Zeppelin speaker, Bowers & Wilkins is one of those companies that has broken the mould and created an innovative design. It’s always a bold and risky gamble to step outside the box, but sometimes it pays off. In 2008, the first B&W Zeppelin caused a stir by being the first true high-fidelity speaker for iPhone and iPod at a time when Apple music players were the predominant audio sources.

“As soon as we unpacked the device, we were impressed. The design is a real success. Whether you look at it from the front, back or side, the Zeppelin is in itself a little work of art.” O1Net

The first truly hi-fi iPod/iPhone speaker

The first generation Zeppelin immediately caught the eye and left no one indifferent. Once the first sense was awakened, the speaker had the difficult task of seducing the ears. It was a success, and this high-end monobloc speaker pioneer was a treat for both the eyes and the ears. What was most appealing was its very accomplished audio design. Three amplifiers (50 watts for bass and 2×25 watts for mids/highs) to power five drivers, including a 5″ woofer, two midrange drivers and two tweeters. The sound was well spatialized with a noticeable stereo effect, detailed and sufficiently impactful in the lows for this type of all-in-one speaker.

“It offers such musicality that other manufacturers may spend sleepless nights trying to figure out how B&W achieved such great results.” What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision

“Superbly designed and wonderfully well thought out, the B&W Zeppelin benefits from the technical heritage of one of the world’s most renowned speaker brands.” EISA

Bowers & Wilkins managed to make a strong impact in a market dominated by Logitech and JBL speakers, which were not very attractive and were aimed at PC owners. The B&W Zeppelin also came to conquer the lands of traditional stereo hi-fi by offering a solution that was more compact, more stylish and easier to integrate than the two traditional speakers placed on either side of the room and connected to the indispensable amplifier.

The first B&W soundbar

In addition to being a beautiful speaker to place in the living room, the Zeppelin was also an effective solution to improve the sound of a television thanks to its optical digital input and its video output. This speaker could therefore stream the sound of the first flat screens, but also send images stored on the iPod or the iPhone towards the TV.

Several generations of an iconic speaker

The B&W Zeppelin speaker of 2008 dedicated to Apple products was revamped three years later, producing a version equipped with WiFi and AirPlay: the B&W Zeppelin Air. This first wireless connected speaker could therefore wirelessly stream music stored on an iPhone or any other Apple device. As the dock became a bit more incidental in this configuration, the charm of the speaker with its dedicated stand was less effective and lost some of its splendor…

The B&W Zeppelin speaker has been perfected over the generations since the first model in 2007.

In 2013 there was a new generation with a lightning connector, then in 2015 the dock disappeared permanently with the B&W Zeppelin Wireless model.

Launched in 2013, the B&W Zeppelin Wireless speaker did away with the Apple dock in favor of streaming, with AirPlay and Bluetooth connectivity.

2021 B&W Zeppelin

The latest generation of the B&W Zeppelin seems to be the worthy heir of its predecessors and continues to strengthen the range. In fact, despite its unchanged size, it now has a larger woofer (6″ instead of 5″) and an amplification increased to 240 watts (instead of 100W). Spotify Connect, Qobuz, Tidal, Deezer, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth aptX: the Zeppelin speaker has been updated and now offers maximum connectivity, but without any physical connectors. So what?

The new B&W Zeppelin speaker offers even more powerful sound, features support for Amazon Alexa, as well as access to Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz and Tidal online music services.

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DJ à mes heures, grand fan de musiques Soul, Funk, Disco j’aime aussi le rock, le hip-hop, le reggae et la musique latine. The Temptations, Millie Jackson, Cerrone, Donald Byrd ou Hamilton Bohannon... Cinéphile à mes heures, je voue une passion aux westerns (Le bon, la brute et le truand, Jango unchained...), aux films de sciences fictions (Interstellar, District 9...) et films de guerre (La ligne rouge, 1917, Le soldat Ryan...). J’ai hérité de la chaîne hifi de mes parents que j’ai progressivement remplacée dès 2000 lors de mes débuts chez Son-Vidéo.com. Aujourd’hui je suis équipé avec un ensemble Elipson Planet alimenté par un ampli Yamaha en 5.1. Pas de TV mais un projecteur Epson et un écran Lumene motorisé. Deux platines Technics SL1200 avec table de mixage Ecler, platine cassette TEAC et Blu-ray Onkyo complètent mon système audio.

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