Bow­ers & Wilkins Crank Out New Head­phone, Book­shelf Speak­ers + Subs

SmartHouse - - FIRST LOOK // Bowers & Wilkins - Writ­ten by DAVID RICHARDS

Af­ter tak­ing over the mar­ket­ing of their brand in Aus­tralia the Bri­tish sound Com­pany Bow­ers & Wilkins has moved to roll out a se­ries of new prod­ucts in­clud­ing new head­phones, sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved 700 Se­ries speak­ers and a new range of subs.

Among the new prod­ucts be­ing re­leased in Aus­tralia is the PX head­phones that are wire­less, noise can­celling, stylish and can be con­nected via a USB-C con­nec­tor, have have also said that the move to op­er­at­ing as a sub­sidary will see pric­ing par­ity with mar­kets like the USA in­tro­duced for their prod­ucts in Aus­tralia.

In launch­ing the PX pair Bow­ers & Wilkins has up­dated the de­sign and aes­thet­ics of the new head­phones which also in­cor­po­rate a sens­ing chipset that can tell when the head­phones are be­ing used, they au­to­mat­i­cally de­tect when you pick them up and turn on to play and the last song you were lis­ten­ing to.

Set to re­tail for Sub $549 the 335g head­phones come with its own mag­netic quilt car­ry­ing case which is very Bri­tish.

The de­vice’s in­tel­li­gent be­haviour­based con­trols uti­lize built-in sen­sors to de­tect user in­ter­ac­tion.

For in­stance, pick­ing up the head­phones and plac­ing them on your head will turn them on and au­to­mat­i­cally re­sume play­ing what­ever you were lis­ten­ing to last.

The driver de­sign of the PX bor­rows heav­ily from that of the com­pany’s ref­er­ence P9 wired head­phones— par­tic­u­larly its an­gled ori­en­ta­tion, which de­liv­ers sound to the ear more nat­u­rally (from the front rather than the sides) to cre­ate a more ac­cu­rate sound­stage.

Its ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion can be switched be­tween three set­tings (city, of­fice, or flight) to op­ti­mize it to can­cel

out the types of noises spe­cific to each en­vi­ron­ment.

When both Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and ANC are turned on, the head­phones have enough bat­tery power to last for up to 22 hours, though it can op­er­ate for up to 50 hours when ANC turned off and the head­phones are con­nected with the in­cluded re­mov­able 3.5mm cord.

An­other prod­uct be­ing launched by the Bri­tish Com­pany is a new cheaper gen­er­a­tion 700 se­ries speaker set that kicks in at $1,499.

Sound deal­ers that Chan­nelNews have de­scribed the new B&W speaker of­fer­ing as a dra­matic im­prove­ment based on knowl­edge gleaned from their flag­ship 800 Di­a­mond Se­ries speak­ers.

The new 700 Se­ries col­lec­tion in­cludes floor standers, book­shelf speak­ers, stand­alone stereo boxes and a sub­woofer. They have been de­signed to re­place the out­go­ing CM Se­ries.

“With the launch of the new 700 Se­ries, the much loved and hugely

pop­u­lar CM Se­ries makes way for a new speaker fam­ily, de­liv­er­ing gen­uine high-end sound in a time­less and clas­sic form fac­tor,” the com­pany said. “In our more than 50-year his­tory, we’ve never made a speaker that de­liv­ers so much per­for­mance at a price level within reach of so many.”

The first of the 800 Di­a­mond treats to trickle down to the 700 Se­ries is the wo­ven com­pos­ite Con­tin­uum midrange driver, which B&W says fea­tures “the clean­est and most trans­par­ent midrange cone ma­te­rial Bow­ers & Wilkins has ever used.”

The new range also gets its own flavour of the 800 Di­a­mond’s Aero­foil bass driver, which makes use of pa­per in­stead of car­bon fi­bre while hold­ing onto the com­pos­ite sand­wich con­struc­tion, foam core and orig­i­nal curve. This prom­ises a “dra­matic up­lift in bass per­for­mance com­pared with the out­go­ing CM Se­ries.” Fi­nally, the Tweeter-on-Top hous­ings on the two 700 Se­ries kings have been im­proved, which are each fash­ioned from sin­gle blocks of alu­minium and weigh more than 1 kg.

New to the 700 Se­ries is a Car­bon Dome tweeter, which is said to de­liver cleaner highs than the Double Dome tech on the CM Se­ries could man­age. A Dome of two parts, it has a car­bon­s­tiff­ened 30-mi­cron alu­minium dome to the front and a pro­file-matched 300-mi­cron Car­bon ring bonded to the in­ner face of the struc­ture. B&W says that the de­sign re­sults in “ex­cep­tional stiff­ness and re­sis­tance to dis­tor­tion with­out un­due mass and a first breakup point of 47 kHz.”

The three floor stand­ing speaker mod­els have been housed in a new op­ti­mized alu­minium chas­sis, for more stiff­ness than the re­tir­ing CM Se­ries, and a tuned mass damper on the front of the chas­sis helps present cleaner midrange by en­sur­ing any

way­ward res­o­nance gets an evic­tion no­tice. A midrange de­cou­pling sys­tem in the floor standers is also re­ported to im­prove on the draw­bar de­sign of the out­go­ing CM10 S2 model, which should re­sult in more open Mids.

The 700 Se­ries is due to land at B&W deal­ers this month The PX head­phones could be in short sup­ply as global de­mand for the new B&W of­fer­ing has ac­cord­ing to B&W ex­ec­u­tives been “big­ger than ex­pected”.

Bow­ers & Wilkins has also re­leased a new range of 8 sub­woofers – the DB se­ries which the Com­pany claims is the most pow­er­ful subs it’s ever pro­duced. The DB1D, DB2D and DB3D feature the same Aero­foil cone bass driv­ers found in B&W’s flag­ship 800 Se­ries Di­a­mond speaker, and in­cor­po­rate new dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies that im­prove on the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.

The DB1D is the largest, pack­ing a whop­ping 2000W of power, while the other two boast 1000W of grunt apiece. All three have dual-op­posed drive units and rigid cab­i­nets that re­duce dis­tor­tion, pro­vid­ing deep, ag­ile bass.

The Aero­foil cones are light, ul­tra-stiff trans­duc­ers that re­sist bend­ing or flex­ing for far longer than stan­dard cones. This means they can de­liver con­trolled bass with “out­stand­ing pre­ci­sion”, ac­cord­ing to B&W.

The DB 3D is priced at $3,699.

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