Bowers & Wilkins are really embracing new technology these days, merging their legendary status as audio manufacturer with the growing armada of Apple gadget owners out there. Their latest addition to is the brand new B&W Z2 AirPlay speaker with a nicely integrated Lightning enabled dock.
Their Apple adventure started with the Zeppelin speaker dock and was followed by the Zeppelin Mini, from which it looks like the new Z2 has taken its design inspiration. Compact, stylish, and with quality build, the Z2 will look great in most settings, on a bookshelf, a desk, table, or wherever you may choose to place yours. Unlike the Zeppelin Mini, the Z2 has plastic style top that feels a bit more durable than its predecessor, without taking away any of its high-end feel. That is also where the clever integration of the Lightning dock has taken place, allowing it to appear invisible depending on the angle you view it from. It will be available in black or white finish (white coming later this year).
On the inside the B&W Z2 features the quality you expect from the company. Custom dual 3.5-inch fullrange drivers are supported by a high quality Class D amp offering up 2x20W of power output. The dimpled Flowport is there to ensure a clean and rich bass response, and it is all set in a glass-reinforced ABS enclosure that is said to deliver a more detailed sound picture at all volume levels.
While the Lightning dock is a great extra feature, supporting docking of the latest iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5, and iPod Nano 7, the Z2 is mostly about AirPlay wireless streaming. With an expected price tag around the £330 mark when it is released around April time, the Z2 is facing some though competition, but with a strong brand name, style, and hopefully quality sound, it should become a popular option in the mid-range Airplay speaker market.