Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) is bringing the studio-grade performance of its 800 Series Diamond loudspeaker range to the mid-market with its new 700 Series. The range features three standmounts/bookshelf speakers, three floorstanding speakers, two center speakers and a subwoofer.
The 700 Series is an entirely new range of speakers that in essence replaces the company's outgoing CM Series (which stood for Compact Monitor). B&W says compared with the CM Series, every transducer has been improved. To do this, B&W borrowed some of the most advanced technologies from its flagship 800 Series Diamond, adapting them to suit a more attainable price point. The company has also introduced a few entirely new technologies designed specifically for this range.
“Our intention is to bring high-end technology down to a lower price point,” says Richard Campbell, chief revenue officer, B&W. “The amount of new technology put into this, like the solid body tweeter, Continuum cone and Aerofoil Profile, deserves a new badge. It's not the CM Series; it's the 700.”
The 705 and 702 speakers employ solid body tweeters, a high-performance design feature found previously only on the 800 Series Diamond. Its acoustically optimized form is milled from a solid block of aluminum, forming a structure designed to be very resistant to resonances.
First introduced with the 800 Series, the Continuum cone represents B&W's biggest step-change in midrange performance since Kevlar. The company says its woven coated material provides highly controlled breakup, resulting in a more open, neutral midrange.
The Carbon Dome tweeter is a new technology built especially for the 700 Series. B&W says it's a dramatic improvement on the aluminum Double-dome tweeter, raising the breakup threshold to 47kHz.
The three floorstanding speakers in the range employ a new FEA-optimized aluminum chassis for the midrange drivers. The company says this new design is stiffer than the zinc chassis of the CM Series, for improved control and cleaner midrange presentation.
The midrange drivers in the floorstanding speakers also feature a decoupled design, adapted from a similar system in the 800 Series Diamond. Decoupling is intended to reduce cabinet coloration and improve midrange clarity.
Lastly, the new Aerofoil Profile bass cone has the same variable thinkness design as the bass cones in the 800 Series. B&W explains it was developed using computer modeling, it provides stiffness and rigidity where it's needed most, for deep and dynamic bass.
The 700 Series' flagship floorstanding speaker features a 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter in a solid-body housing, 150mm decoupled Continuum FST midrange and three 165mm Aerofoil Profile bass drivers. The speaker is designed to relay textural details with incredibly accuracy to make even large-scale recordings sound lifelike. ($4,500)
The 703 S2 is a three-way floorstander built to fill even large rooms with full-blooded sound, thanks to the speaker's two 165mm Aerofoil Profile bass drivers, 150mm decoupled Continuum FST midrange and 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter. ($3,500)
B&W designed the 704 to be a slim, elegant floorstanding speaker to blend unobtrusively into home environments, while providing the presence and performance of a much larger speaker. It features two 130mm Aerofoil Profile bass drivers, 130mm decoupled Continuum FST midrange and 25mm carbon dome tweeter. ($2,500)
The two-way 705 S2 features a tweeter-on-top design borrowed from the 800 Series Diamond to reveal subtle nuances and challenging instruments like the piano with realism and transparency. It carries a 165mm Continuum bass/midrange and 25mm carbon dome tweeter. ($2,500)
The 706 is a bookshelf/standmount speaker with a large midrange/bass drive unit to satisfy the demands of bigger rooms, thanks to its 165mm Continuum bass/midrange and 25mm carbon dome tweeter. ($1,800)
B&W's tagline for its 707 S2 is “small speaker, big sound.” Ideal for smaller rooms and designed for use on a bookshelf or stand, the 707 features a two-way design and advanced drive units. This one has a 130mm Continuum bass/midrange and 25mm carbon dome tweeter. ($1,250)
The first of two center-channel speakers, the HTM71, is a large three-way speaker designed to be paired with larger speakers in the range, like the 703 floorstander.
The HTM72 is a two-way center speaker designed for home theater set-ups in smaller rooms, where space is at a premium. Partner it up with the more compact 700 Series speakers, such as the 706 and 704.
Lastly, the DB4S subwoofer is powered by a mighty 1000w of digital amplification and features the same Aerofoil cone drive unit technology found in the 800 Series Diamond.