B&W Readies AirPlay-Enabled Speaker Dock

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Las Vegas - High-end home-speaker supplier Bowers & Wilkins is coming to CES to launch its latest model in its Zeppelin series of iPod-docking speaker systems.

 The $599-suggested Zeppelin Air, which ships in March at a suggested $599.99, offers upgraded performance and is the first Zeppelin to offer Apple's AirPlay technology.

AirPlay enables home audio products to select and stream protected and unprotected songs via Wi-Fi or Ethernet directly from a PC's iTunes application. AirPlay-enabled home audio products also stream music directly from iPads, iPods, and iPhones via Wi-Fi.

With multiple Zeppelin Airs, consumers can create a multiroom audio system that uses a PC's or Mac's iTunes application as its source, the company noted.

Although the DSP-equipped 2.1-channel device retains its predecessor's zeppelin-like shape, the new model adds such upgrades as individual amplifiers for each of five drivers and higher power output at 4x25 watts plus 1x50 watts.  DACs have been upgraded to 24-bit/96kHz, and an upgraded port delivers enhanced bass performance.

AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later and the iOS4.2 on Apple's mobile devices.

Denon and Marantz have already shipped home audio components with AirPlay, and iHome is at CES with its own AirPlay-enabled $299-suggested iPod/iPhone-docking iW1, due sometime in early 2011.


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