Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series S3 add refinement and resolution

posted on Thursday, 24th August 2023 by Steve May

home cinema  Hi-fi  Loudspeakers 


Audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins has launched its latest 600 Series of attainable yet high-performance loudspeakers.

This is the eighth generation of a much-loved line that has been captivating music enthusiasts for decades. The new models caim to push the boundaries of design, engineering, and manufacturing, and are being hailed by the brand as the finest iteration yet.

The 600 Series has a storied history as an integral part of Bowers & Wilkins' portfolio, solidifying its status as the second-longest continuously available series after the iconic 800 Series Diamond.

This latest lineup features four models: the floorstanding 603 S3, the standmount 606 S3, the bookshelf 607 S3, and the dedicated HTM6 S3 centre channel designed for home cinema systems.

Available in elegant Oak, White, or Black finishes (with an additional Cherry finish for APAC markets), the range offers choices that blend seamlessly with any interior. The introduction of the new FS-600 floor stand, available in Silver or Black, provides support.

The 600 Series S3 has been designed from the outset to function as a cohesive 600 Series S3 home theatre system. The front sound stage is tuned to match the dedicated HTM6 S3 centre, and existing ASW608 or ASW610 active subwoofers.

A pivotal introduction in the 600 Series S3 is the revolutionary Titanium Dome tweeter technology, aptly named the TitaniumDome. The tweeter comprises a two-part design: a thin, rigid 25-micron main dome reinforced by a 30-micron titanium ring. Encased in an elongated tube-loading system inspired by the 700 Series S3, this innovation minimises the impact of the housing cabinet, resulting in a more expansive and open sound.

This new tweeter's literal brilliance also benefits from a diaphragm mounting plate of the same size as the 700 Series S3, for enhanced dispersion. The incorporation of a new tweeter grille design, from the 800 Series Signature, ensures greater openness. The result, we’re told, is a smoother, more refined sound, elevating resolution and detail.

Now a cornerstone of Bowers & Wilkins' Hi-Fi designs, proprietary Continuum Cones, also feature in the 600 Series S3. Bolstered by 700 Series S3 motor assemblies, these deliver a distortion-free midrange and bass/midrange performance.

The paper cone bass drivers in the 603 S3 boast 703 S3 motor systems, and upgraded bypass capacitors from the 700 Series S3 find their place in the updated crossovers.

Cabinet design includes trickle down technologies from the 700 Series S3, resulting in redesigned and improved cabinet construction, says the brand.

The positioning of the tweeter and main drive units has also been optimised. Intersecting trim rings augment integration and stereo imaging. On the speaker's rear, a new terminal tray from the 700 Series S3 accompanies a 700 Series specification bass port. This both enhances performance and reinforces cabinet rigidity.

The internal bracing has also been elevated, employing superior wood for heightened rigidity. Metal threaded inserts beneath the 606 S3 and 607 S3 are used to secure attachment to the new FS-600 S3 stands.

The new 600 Series S3 range at a glance:
603 S3. £1999 ($2,500/€2,300)
A floorstanding speaker featuring an all-new 25mm Titanium Dome tweeter, a 150mm FST Continuum Cone midrange driver plus two 165mm paper- cone bass drivers.

606 S3. £749 ($1,100/€1,000)
A standmount or bookshelf speaker featuring the all- new 25mm Titanium Dome tweeter with a 165mm Continuum Cone mid/bass driver.

607 S3. £599 ($900/€800)
A compact standmount or bookshelf speaker featuring the all-new 25mmTitanium Dome tweeter and 130mm Continuum Cone mid/bass driver.

HTM6 S3. £649 ($900/€750)
A dedicated, high-performance centre-channel speaker featuring the all-new 25mm Titanium Dome tweeter plus dual 130mm Continuum Cone mid/bass drivers.

FS-600 S3 floor stand. £279 ($300/€300 per pair)
A mass–loadable stand suitable for use with both 607 S3 and 606 S3 available in black or silver and with top plate fixings for a direct connection to the speaker.

ASW608 and ASW610
£550 ($599/€650) and £700 ($899/€800) respectively
Two active subwoofers are available in matte black or matte white.

600 Series S3 Theatre. £3,947 ($5,199/€4,650)
5.1 speaker Home Theatre package featuring 603 S3, 607 S3, HTM6 S3 plus the ASW610 active subwoofer.’

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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