When Bowers & Wilkins unveiled its original Zeppelin iPod dock in 2008, one look told us it was going to be special. Now B&W have gone and done it all over again with the Zeppelin Air.
Esquire has had a sneak preview of the system, and even though the look remains much the same from the outside (thankfully B&W has not tried to fix what patently wasn't broken), it's the internal changes that make all the difference. The dock is still there, but now, with wireless playback using Apple's AirPlay, linking your iPhone, computer or iPad to stream music through the speakers is, ahem, a breeze. Set up a multi-room system and adjust volume in different locations, playing the same or different playlists on separate machines while using your iPhone to control one or more Zeppelin Airs throughout your house (the systems have a wireless range of about 30m).
Naturally, the sound quality has been overhauled as well, with B&W's trademarked Flowport tech plus the four 25W and single 50W improved drive units delivering crystal clarity, even at bone-shaking volumes. But it's the new Digital Signal Processing ability that shines for us. It neatly alters frequencies when necessary (notching up the bass at very low volume, for example, to stop audio going tinny), making sure your always get the best playback whether your trashing fuel prices over dinner or throwing tequila-fuelled shapes in the small hours.
www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk, £500 (available in March)