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