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First Look: The Z2: B&W's new $400 Lightning-equipped AirPlay speaker

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First Look: The Z2: B&W's new $400 Lightning-equipped AirPlay speaker

1:59 /

Bowers & Wilkins' compact and wireless Z2 replaces the Zepellin Mini.

I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm here with the Bowers & Wilkins Z2 AirPlay Speaker. That's right. This is the successor to the Zeppelin Mini. I don't know if you remember that unit but it wasn't a wireless speaker. It has a dock for your iPhone or iPod. This one has one too but it is a lightning dock. When you look directly to speaker, you can't see that dock. Bowers & Wilkins has kind of hidden it but when you look at the top, you can see it. I do like the way the company's implemented the dock. This definitely has a better design than the Zeppelin Mini, which had kind of a mirrored face that says a kind of textured finish on its front, which is nice. It will also come in white, as well as the black unit you see here. It has a couple of ports around back, it has an Ethernet jack as well as an audio input. It does not have Bluetooth however and it doesn't have a USB connection. So, you can charge other devices from it. It's really designed to be kind of a night stand unit, maybe a kitchen unit in white. It does have some heft to it. It's a fairly heavy unit and isn't portable, it doesn't have a battery option and it does deliver big sound for its small size. Good amount of bass, good clarity, does have its limitations, all the small speakers can only do so much but definitely very good sound for its size. It does cost $400, so it's designed to compete with stuff like the Bose SoundLink Wireless that also comes in AirPlay version now. And like the other units, this does come with a signature egg shaped glossy remote, definitely is cool looking and unique. Aside from the fact that Bowers & Wilkins had decided to do a smaller AirPlay unit, the other side of story is that the dock is still included, that Lightning dock will come in handy for charging. A lot of people think the dock is on the way out but not according to Bowers & Wilkins. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Bowers & Wilkins Z2 AirPlay Speaker. Thanks for watching.

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