Bowers & Wilkins debut new 800 Series Diamond speaker range

posted on Wednesday, 25th August 2021 by Steve May

High-end  High Res Audio  Hi-fi  home cinema 

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Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled a new generation of 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers. The iconic high-end line has become a staple of recording studios, most famously resident at Abbey Road, and is beloved by audiophiles, so any new iteration will be eagerly anticipated.

The manufacturer describes the development process as ‘an evolution’. Six years in the making, the engineering team say the new models boast ‘proprietary technology that re-imagines the fundamental basics of a conventional loudspeaker drive unit.’ 

The new 800 Series Diamond range once again features seven models, beginning with the two-way 805 D4 stand-mount speaker. It’s joined by a series of three-way floorstanding models, including the £9,500 804 D4, £16,000 803 D4 and £22,500 802 D4.

The flagship model in the range is the £30,000 801 D4, which replaces the existing 800 D3. When it comes to home theatre installations, the £6,500 HTM81 D4 and £4,750 HTM82 D4 provide a pair of high-performance centre channel speakers to complete the layout.

B&W 800 Series Range

Cabinet design has been upgraded with an all-new rigid, cast aluminium top section (replacing the previous wooden version), for greater stiffness. The profile of the new aluminium top is finished in Leather by Connolly, in black for dark cabinets (Black, Satin Rosenut) and light grey for lighter finishes (White, Satin Walnut).

The new range also introduce a fourth finish to the line-up: Satin Walnut. It joins Gloss Black, White and Satin Rosenut.

There’s also a revised version of the iconic Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top housing, with a new, elongated tube-loading system, said to produce a more open sound for high frequencies. Milled from a single solid block of aluminium this Tweeter-on-Top comes with an anodised finish, either dark or light depending on the cabinet colour.

The 805 D4 and 804 D4 stereo models (£6,250 and £9,500 respectively) adopt the reverse-wrap cabinet design first introduced in 2015 for the larger speakers in the series. This reduces the profile of each cabinet’s front baffle while increasing the overall rigidity of the complete system. The 804 D4 adds a downward-firing port with an integral aluminium plinth. The HTM82 D4 centre speaker also adopts the design.

The brand’s famed composite Continuum Cone drive unit, and Fixed Suspension Transducer (FSTTM) midrange technology, now come with a new spider. An all-new composite Biomimetic Suspension replaces the conventional fabric spider, with a simplified composite suspension system that reduces unwanted air pressure. The result, say Bowers & Wilkins, is unprecedented midrange transparency and realism.

The new models, with optional matching stands, are available from September 1.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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