Bowers and Wilkins or B&W is a posh British audio company best known for creating seriously smooth hi-fi equipment. The company produced the speakers that sit inside the Abbey Road studios, so it's fair to say that they're rather good at the old tweeter-and-woofer jive. Now B&W has made a grand, sweeping entrance into the lucrative iPod accessory market with the Zeppelin, a lovingly crafted speaker that retails for a slightly shocking AU$999.95.
Dirigible, elongated football, a tipped-over eye of Sauron — the Zeppelin is sort of like a Rorschach inkblot test in that the way you describe its ovoid shape reflects your own psychology. The designers at B&W were obviously inspired by German airships when drawing up the blueprints, though the decision to align a top-of-the-line audio device with a dirigible fated for disaster is bold to say the least.
Regardless of how you interpret the Zeppelin's form factor, it's a look that will draw attention in any lounge room. The black-clad speaker is sleek and imposing, its heft and lack of buttons adding up to one fine-lookin' piece of audio.
The design of the dock connection is quite nifty; instead of being a rigid dock that traps your iPod between the speakers, the Zeppelin has a spring-loaded arm that allows you to hold the player when it's plugged in.