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It may share its dig­its with a bloomin’ great Boe­ing, but the Bowers & Wilkins 707 is the small­est of the com­pany’s new 700 Se­ries, just 28cm high (and about the same in depth with grilles and ca­bles taken into con­sid­er­a­tion), avail­able in B&W shiny white, shiny black gloss, or a stylish matt rosenut fin­ish. Like the rest of the se­ries, they have a 30-mi­cron-thick alu­minium-dome tweeter which has been stiff­ened with a layer of car­bon de­posited by vapour de­po­si­tion process be­fore bond­ing to a se­cond sec­tion, a 300-mi­cron-thick car­bon ring pro­filed to match the main dome. And they have the 13cm Con­tin­uum midrange driver, here

“Small, yet as lovely to hear as they are to behold, the 707 S2 speak­ers are mini mar­vels of high fidelity.

pressed into duty as a mid-bass woofer. De­spite lack­ing the bass units of their brethren floor­standers, their fre­quency range is quoted from 50Hz to 28kHz at -3dB, ex­tend­ing down to 45Hz at -6dB and up to 33kHz, and at their launch we had heard them pro­duc­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary bass given the right ma­te­rial. The break-up mode of the tweeter is way up at 45kHz thanks to the car­bon de­po­si­tion, so no dan­ger of nas­ti­ness up top ei­ther.

De­spite their size, their rear con­nec­tions fea­ture twin sets of high qual­ity bind­ing posts, so you could choose to bi­wire or bi­amp them if de­sired.

Be­fore even putting speaker wires into the back, their qual­ity is ev­i­dent. They look gor­geous, which is an achieve­ment for a rec­tan­gu­lar box, how­ever glossy and well fin­ished. Un­der evening room light­ing the metal rings shone around the tweeter and par­tic­u­larly be­low the mid-woofer, and they looked down­right sexy — we felt a frac­tion of the fris­son of B&W own­er­ship, even though we knew the 707s were res­i­dent only for a few weeks. You can grille them, but we rather think it would be a sin to stop them shin­ing so.

We had them on ca­sual TV du­ties for the first week, warm­ing them up be­fore get­ting to some crit­i­cal music lis­ten­ing. They lent easy au­di­bil­ity to di­a­logue, and en­joy­able mu­si­cal­ity to sound­tracks. Then to music lis­ten­ing, where we first found the 707s highly ver­sa­tile in terms of po­si­tion­ing, es­pe­cially as re­gards hor­i­zon­tal spread. Then we en­joyed their music, not­ing that the bet­ter qual­ity power you give them, the more they re­veal their tal­ents — creamy vo­cals, im­pec­ca­bly toned and im­aged; cym­bal taps clear, sharp and metal­lic; highly ac­cu­rate sound­stag­ing; and depth too, the lim­its of the size more prompt­ing a lit­tle dip in full­ness between bass and tre­ble than a sense of lim­i­ta­tions down low. Of course the lower oc­tave is lim­ited, but we were amazed by some of the bass com­ing through the lit­tle $1499 707s, in­clud­ing elec­tron­ica with spec­tac­u­lar phat­ness.

More info: www.bowers-wilkins.com

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