Bowers & Wilkins announces Zeppelin Mini

Mini Zeppelin

 

Bowers & Wilkins’ iconic Zeppelin redefined what could be expected from an iPod speaker system. Digital music needn’t be harsh, brash, or unpalatable – it can be delivered in glorious high-fidelity. Plus, the device that provided this amazing sound could be a thing of beauty. Two years and an unprecedented collection of glowing reviews and prestigious awards later, Zeppelin is joined by Zeppelin Mini.

Zeppelin Mini attains the same high standards in sound quality and design set by Zeppelin, but in a more compact form. It is reduced in size, not in sound, and has amazing volume levels for such a diminutive package.  It’s ideal for lounges just like its larger sibling, but it can easily be slotted into a bedroom, kitchen, or student digs.

Key differentiating features include an updated docking arm. On the original this innovative solution worked incredibly well, allowing hassle-free mounting of any iPod, and easy access to Apple’s user-friendly interface. These qualities remain, but the addition of USB connectivity allows Zeppelin Mini to bypass the analogue output stage of any iPod, providing access to the very best digital sound an iPod has to offer.

From this beneficial acoustic starting point Bowers & Wilkins’ decades of experience producing the very best speakers for demanding customers such as Abbey Road Studios, and advanced Digital Signal Processing combine to create a sonic experience that belies the compact stature of Zeppelin Mini.

The recent work Bowers & Wilkins has undertaken in the area of DSP-intensive projects such as the in-car system for the new Jaguar XJ have provided knowledge and advances found in Zeppelin Mini, in the same way the legendary NautilusTM informs all Bowers & Wilkins current speakers. For example, a key Bowers & Wilkins technology such as FlowportTM combines with digital advances such as Digital EQ to provide a clean, room filling sound, with base levels that have to be heard to be believed.

But Zeppelin is about more than amazing sound – it has been hailed by many as a design classic – and the iconic design of the original is reflected in the Zeppelin Mini’s subtle curves. Add to this the attention to detail in terms of materials and construction that Bowers & Wilkins is justifiably famous for and it’s a worthy addition to the Zeppelin family.

There are major design advances, too, including an updated version of the docking arm. On Zeppelin Mini it rotates 90 degrees, allowing you even easier access to your music through the Cover Flow menu system. You can also watch videos and enhanced podcasts in this manner.

 

The Zeppelin Mini also adds the ability to stream music direct from your PC or Mac via a dedicated USB socket. This allows you even more flexibility in terms of how you play your music, and any computer system will benefit from the improved sound quality and digital processing that Zeppelin Mini’s advanced Digital Signal Processing and drive unit technology offer. This USB connection also has the advantage of letting you synchronise your iPod or iPhone with your computer.

As Bowers & Wilkins has proved with Zeppelin, constant attention to iPod developments and customer demands through the medium of freely available firmware upgrades allows Zeppelin users to keep pace with new technology. This level of support will again be key to the continued success of Zeppelin Mini.

Zeppelin Mini boasts all the quality of the original Zeppelin, but in a more compact package perfect for smaller spaces.

You can watch the introductory video below

64 Comments

  • Settimio Perlini says:

    Ad Ottobre arriverà Zeppelin Mini di B&W e sarà un’altra rivoluzione

    Del fratello maggiore conserva l’”ispirazione ellittica” ma chi vuole il suono B&W abbinato al proprio iPhone investendo una cifra inferiore e occupando uno spazio più piccolo avrà alcuni interessanti vantaggi come l’orientabilità del supporto e il collegamento USB al Mac. Ecco tutte le novità del sistema audio Zeppelini mini.

    http://www.macitynet.it/iphonia/aA39767

  • Jeff says:

    Question about this excerpt from the blog post:

    “These qualities remain, but the addition of USB connectivity allows Zeppelin Mini to bypass the analogue output stage of any iPod, providing access to the very best digital sound an iPod has to offer.”

    It would be expected that the USB connection allows for a digital connection between the Zeppelin Mini and a computer. In this way, the Zeppelin Mini’s internal DAC would do the conversion work for music file playback. However, the statement above suggests that a digital connection between an iPod and the Zeppelin Mini is possible. If an iPod is docked directly onto the Zeppelin Mini’s docking arm, does the iPod’s internal DAC get bypassed? In other words, do users get the benefit of using the Zeppelin Mini’s internal DAC instead of the iPod’s DAC in this usage sceanrio? Thank you.

  • jsw says:

    I am been waiting for this new stuff from B&W almost everday !

    My question is, will they be reivsing the
    Zeppelin (seems they have a new one)?

    With less power, no sub or sep. twetters on the mini… Either way I am certain to buy this one, but B&W please announce
    the new ‘Zeppelin’ if their is one!

  • Susanna says:

    Hi Jeff,
    in answer to your question, yes, the iPod’s internal DAC does get bypassed.

    I hope this helps,
    Susanna

  • EcranLounge says:

    Avis aux amateurs de docks iPod en France ! Le Mini Zeppelin sera disponible en exclusivité début octobre 2009 sur EcranLounge.com ! Inscrivez-vous à notre newsletter ou bien rendez-vous ici : http://www.ecranlounge.com/materiel-39197-b,w,systeme,enceintes,pour,ipod,zeppelin,mini.htm

    La team EcranLounge

  • Elwyn says:

    I’m just hoping that somebody from B&W is reading these. I have tried all sorts of ways of changing my email etc. Although I get the odd thing and they have accepted my NEW email address I am still NOT informed on my new email address of the latest releases etc. THIS IS VERY FRUSTRATING AS I WANT TO GET RID OF MY OLD EMAIL BUT CAN’T UNTIL B&W SORT THEMSELVES OUT!

  • Dan: B&W says:

    Jeff

    That is the case, the iPod / iPhone’s DAC’s are by-passed and the data is “streamed” from the device.

    There’s a slight ambiguity in the wording of our post, as older iPods are not supported (but iPod Classic onwards, Nano (from Gen 2) and Touch and iPhone are.

    Despite its small size, it really does sound very clear and musical and our engineers have done a stirling job at using DSP subtly so bass is gently lifted at lower volumes and sound remains warm and balanced. Best, Dan

  • Dan: B&W says:

    JSW

    There isn’t a newer Zeppelin coming. We’ve made some incremental changes to the product around full iPhone compatibility though. From a performance perspective, the Zeppelin is much better sounding for the reasons you’ve noted.

    We’ve yet to hear a better dock!

    Dan

  • jaime kaamino says:

    does the zeppelin mini have a rechargeable battery?

  • Susanna says:

    Hi Jaime,
    The Zeppelin Mini only runs off the mains.
    Susanna

  • Susanna says:

    Hi Elwyn,
    I’m sorry you have had trouble changing your email address. I’ve emailed you directly and we’ll sort this out for you.

    Kind regards,
    Susanna

  • Jamie says:

    Hiya just wondering if there is any date for the release in the uk???

  • Rick Aylward says:

    If my understanding is correct, the Mini uses the digital output from the i-Pod, then does the D/A conversion internally, while the Zeppelin uses the i-Pod’s D/A conversion and runs off of the i-Pod’s analogue output. Is that correct? If so, I would think the Mini would have a decided advantage in sound quality – true?

  • david says:

    The Zeppelin Mini should be available mid October in almost all markets, though it’s worth checking with your local dealer or reseller for more details. Or simply come back soon for more news about it on our blog.

    thanks

    B&W Team

  • Joel says:

    As poster rick asked:
    Does the orIginal ‘Zeppelin’ has any sonic disadvantages over the new Mini interms of bypassing the ipod
    DAC, with its USP connectivity?

    jsw

  • Diego Flores says:

    Is this a portable sound dock? with rechargeable battery?
    Also what is the price of this sound dock and when is it going to be in Mexico for sale?

  • Michel says:

    Hi, I don’t see in the specs of the Zeppelin Mini of what material are the drive units made. How can it be that the mini goes lower to 38hz vs 47hz in the orginal Zeppelin. Why the zeppelin doesn’t have the flow port???

  • Susanna says:

    Hi Diego,
    The Zeppelin Mini is mains operated and doesn’t use batteries. We don’t have a confirmed price for Mexico yet. Try contacting AmpliAudio: mizrahi@ampliaudio.com.mx as they may well be able to help you.

    Kind regards,
    Susanna

  • SusannaGrant says:

    Hi Michel,
    In answer to your questions:
    The cone material is glass fibre.
    The Zeppelin Mini goes lower due to the Dynamic EQ, that dependent of the sound level always EQ the Zep mini to go as low as possible.
    Zeppelin does not have flow port as the “golf ball dimples” required are not possible to press in the stainless steel back.
    I hope this helps,
    Susanna

  • David Lee says:

    Regarding sound quality, how does it compare to the original? I would think that the original Zeppelin would be far superior but it says above that there are no compromises made in sound even though the price is considerably lower. Can anyone clarify this? Thank you.

  • Jason says:

    Hello I am very interested in purchasing the Zeppelin Mini. Any word on pricing in Japan yet? On the Japanese B&W page it reads 299 pounds which is very reasonable considering products usually get marked up much higher for example the Zeppelin in Japan runs more than $800 USD.

  • Downing says:

    “There isn’t a newer Zeppelin coming. We’ve made some incremental changes to the product around full iPhone compatibility though.”

    I’m hoping you can answer this question. If I purchase a Zeppelin, how can I be certain that it has the “incremental changes” referenced above? I’m concerned that it could be a unit manufactured before the changes. If that were to be the case, is this a software issue that could be addressed via an upgrade?

    Any info you could provide will be much appreciated by both myself and my iPhone 3G. :)

    And sorry to stray off the topic of the new Mini, which I find very exciting. I’m planning on doing a side by side comparison of the two models before deciding which one to purchase.

    Can’t wait!

  • Damianz says:

    hello

    2 quick questions:
    when is Mini Zep it available in the italian mkt ? Will it will be fully compatible with Iphone 3G ?

  • John Mejia says:

    what DAC use zeppelin mini

  • Jason says:

    Does anybody check the question on this blog? It is October 1st and we know this is coming this month but when? I will post my original question again:

    Hello I am very interested in purchasing the Zeppelin Mini. Any word on pricing in Japan yet? On the Japanese B&W page it reads 299 pounds which is very reasonable considering products usually get marked up much higher for example the Zeppelin in Japan runs more than $800 USD.

  • Shaun: B&W says:

    Hello Daminaz, sorry about the late reply. The Zeppelin Mini will hopefully be available in Italy by the end of October, very early November at the outside.

    And yes, it is fully compatible with the iPhone 3G.

    Many thanks

    Shaun

  • Shaun: B&W says:

    Hello Jason, sorry about the delay responding. I’ve sent the question out to our far eastern arm to get a firm price from them. Obviously with the time difference they may not get back to me until tomorrow, but I’ll post the answer up here as soon as they do.

    Many thanks

    Shaun

  • Downing says:

    Shaun,

    What about my questions?

  • Susanna says:

    Dear Downing,
    Shaun is off to the What Hi-Fi Awards tonight and won’t be able to answer this but I shall get him to answer it tomorrow.

    Thanks,
    Susanna

  • Michael says:

    When will the mini be available in Germany?! My dealer told me it will not be available in Germany bevor mid of november (earliest)??? Why then making an announcement on the German website that it will be available in October? Furthermore there is still a technical issue with the original zeppelin (volume control with the IR remote goes to opposite direction with ipod touch 1st gen and SW 3.0 and certain zeppelins). German support is not able to give an indication when this bug will be fixed by b&w……….
    Regards
    Michael

  • Downing says:

    Hi Susanna,

    That’s ok. I went ahead and purchased a Zeppelin this afternoon. On the box was stamped “Works with iPhone” as well as “Made for iPod,” so I assumed there wouldn’t be any issues.

    And there aren’t, I’m pleased to report.

    Fantastic sound–especially when I play my Society of Sound music! :)

    Thanks,

    Downing

  • SusannaGrant says:

    Hi Downing,
    That’s excellent news and really pleased you’re happy with your Zeppelin,
    Susanna

  • Stephen Allen says:

    Hi am really interested in the Zepplin now with the USB syncing/playback. Is this feature likely to come to the original Zepplin in an update as I would rather have that than the mini. Please.

  • peter says:

    When will the zeppelin mini be available in Belgium? I phoned my distributer but he could not put a date on it.

  • Jason says:

    Any news yet when and at what price this will be available in Japan? The announcement was “October” but when? it is the 7th and no released date yet.

  • Ana says:

    Me gustaría saber cuando se pone a la venta en España el Zeppelin mini . Estoy dudando entre comprar el cásico o esperar. Aparte del precio me podríais decir que diferencias existen, en particular en el sonido
    Gracias

  • Karen Watts says:

    Hi Everyone

    Thanks for all your comments on and interest in Zeppelin Mini. It is going to be widely available by the end of October and you can already pre-order it in some countries on sites such as Amazon.

    Karen Watts
    UK Marketing Manager

  • sharon says:

    When will the mini be available in Australia?

  • Michael says:

    Hi Karen,

    i still got the info from my dealer that the mini will not be available in Germany before mid of november. Why is B&W making an announcement for an availability date (october) that is not realistic? Furthermore i would like to konow if the problems regarding the volume control of the zeppelin with certain iPOD touch models (moving to the opposite direction when using the IR Volume control – also described on your website)is solved within the mini. If so – when will the problem be finally fixed with the original zeppelin??
    Regards
    Michael

  • Michael says:

    No Answers anymore to the questions?

    I expected more from B&W……..

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