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B&W Readies AirPlay-Enabled Speaker Dock

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 4×25 watts plus 1×50 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