Speaker docks outfitted with Apple's Lightning dock connector seem like kind of waste these days. Wireless music is the future, homie! But does this new beauty from Bowers & Wilkins look like a dock? Where's the port? It's hidden by clever design.
The Bowers & Wilkins Z2 is an evolution of the almost-amazing Zeppelin Mini iPod dock that didn't quite win our battlemodo a couple of years ago. Gone is the clunky 30-pin mount, and stretchy fabric coat that feels like it might rip as you carry it from the living room to the kitchen. The Z2 sports a revamped plastic build better suited to a semi-portable speaker than the bookshelf speaker design of the Zepp-Mini before it. It also adds AirPlay connectivity and a larger set of 3.5-inch drivers.
But even if speaker docks are on their way out, we can't help but admire how elegantly B&W concealed the lightning connector on the Z2. You get the convenience without the eyesore.
And while we're on it, those volume keys are the first capacitive touch-buttons we've ever loved. The texture of the raised plus and minus moldings in the plastic is just right.
We listened to the speaker for a short while, and no surprise, it's a B&W product so it sounds great. And it gets LOUD. We should have a review unit shortly. We'll let you know if it's worth the 400 clams B&W is asking, but the price is competitive with other high-quality wireless speakers out there. [Bowers & Wilkins]