Bowers & Wilkins' newest Zeppelin speaker gets Alexa upgrade

The iconic wireless speaker sheds its iPod origins by coming out streaming for $799.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
Sound United

The 20th anniversary of the iPod is upon us, and one of the most iconic iPod speakers -- the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin -- has now been rebuilt with streaming in mind.

The biggest change over the most recent Zeppelin is that the speaker now has Amazon's Alexa voice assistant on board, meaning it can act as part of a smart home . The new wireless Zeppelin is still a stereo speaker, though, and includes two Decoupled Double-Dome tweeters from the 600 Anniversary Series, two midrange drivers and a central 150mm bass driver.

The Zeppelin offers a number of connection options, including Wi-Fi (AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Amazon Multi-Room Music coming in 2022) and aptX Bluetooth. It's compatible with the existing Formation series and uses the Bowers & Wilkins Music App for streaming services such as Qobuz, SoundCloud, Tidal and TuneIn. If you're a Roon user, sadly, the company says the speaker will not be made Roon Ready, but the B&W can still connect via AirPlay.

Sound United

The Zeppelin is available in two finishes, midnight gray and pearl gray, and it includes a switchable lighting effect on its metal pedestal stand. The speaker is also wall-mountable.

At $799 the Zeppelin is more expensive than most Bluetooth speakers , but as a fan of previous versions I expect it will likely sound very good for the money. It's just a shame there's no analog input for connecting a turntable or other device.