Bowers & Wilkins is introducing a new version of its hugely successful Zeppelin Air iPhone and AirPlay speaker dock. The new Zeppelin Air comes with a Lightning connector for iPhone 5, the current-gen iPod touch or nano devices. It will even work with iPad mini, Pocket-lint understands, but not officially as it won't charge the device, just play music.
As with the 30-pin connector version of the high-end dock, you can use any Apple device, PC or Mac with it wirelessly, through AirPlay, either on iOS or via iTunes. You don't necessarily need the dock connector, but it helps to have something that works directly with Apple's latest handset and beyond.
The original Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin was one of, if not the first, high-end iPod docks. It's audiophile talents combined with iconic design nigh-on created the market for quality speaker solutions to go with MP3 players and subsequently smartphones.
Now the Zeppelin Air, with its proprietary digital signal processing, playback through the on-board 96kHz/24bit DAC and AirPlay compatibility, is the top of the range. And Bowers & Wilkins claims that its companion application - the AirPlay Setup app - makes the whole process of connecting to the device from an iPhone, PC or Mac a doddle.
Housed inside the oval system are two 25W tweeters, two 25W mid-range drivers and a beefy 50W subwoofer, which is further enhanced using the company's proprietary Flowport technology. Pocket-lint called the 30-pin version a "very fine speaker indeed" and with only connectivity changing this time around, iPhone 5 owners can now find out why.
The Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air with Lightning dock will be available from May for £499 - the same price as the former version. If you don't have an iPhone 5 yet, the company has no intention of taking the original Zeppelin Air off the market any time soon.