Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 Dolby Atmos Soundbar Unveiled
Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 soundbar packs 400W of Dolby Atmos and TrueHD into a 65mm tall unit.
Panorama 3 is Bowers & Wilkins' first Dolby Atmos soundbar and follows the heritage of the previous two models, the first of which was released in 2009.
Measuring just 65mm high, it should easily slip under most modern TVs. Whilst being 140mm deep and 1210mm wide, the Panorama 3 still manages to house 400W, and thirteen individual drive units arranged in a 3.1.2 configuration and look good doing it while not drawing undue attention to itself.
Upwards-firing twin Atmos drivers adds height channels to the Panorama 3's forward-firing array of drive units, arranged in a classic left, centre, right (LCR) configuration. Each grouping consists of twin 50mm midrange drivers partnered by fully decoupled 19mm titanium-dome tweeters.
Bowers & Wilkins tells us that the up-firing drivers have been designed to excel with spatial audio soundtracks and are carefully angled on the top of the soundbar enclosure to deliver optimal immersion. In addition, these 50mm drive units are accompanied by a sophisticated Dolby Atmos decoder. The same decoder will also handle Dolby Digital and Dolby TrueHD audio streams, where present, says B&W.
Finally, the dual 100mm subwoofers are mounted in a substantial acoustic volume that forms the majority of the enclosure, ensuring deep, extended bass with no need for an external subwoofer. Bowers & Wilkins is so adamant that there is no need to add a separate sub, that there is no means, wired or wirelessly, to do so.
Amplification is quoted as 40W to each tweeter, 40W to each pair of midrange drive units, 40W to each subwoofer and 40W to each Dolby Atmos Elevation drive unit. The company has obviously used knowledge gained while working with Philips and its range of televisions sporting Sound by Bowers & Wilkins, such as the 65OLED+935.
Connection via an ARC/eARC HDMI connection means you can use your TV or satellite/cable box remote to control the Panorama 3's volume and power functions. An optical digital input is also provided for older TVs: if connected in this way, Panorama 3 can learn key TV remote control commands to ensure a seamless user experience.
Alternatively, there is a neat bank of capacitive-touch 'hidden until lit' buttons on its top surface or control it via voice commands thanks to Alexa being baked in.
As well as a 40 year history in movies thanks to artists, composers and recording studios trusting Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers in studios worldwide when creating soundtracks for the likes of Return Of The Jedi and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the British brand is pretty handy when it comes to stereo sound. It's no surprise, then, that Panorama 3 is also equipped with AirPlay 2 and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth, enabling you to stream tunes from your mobile device. Additionally, Spotify Connect is also onboard.
That said, the Bowers & Wilkins Music App is supported by Panorama 3 and this hands you access to a host of streaming services, including Deezer, Last.FM, Qobuz, Soundcloud, TIDAL and TuneIn. Furthermore, we're told that more services are expected to be added to the app this year.
Like its iconic Zeppelin stablemate, Panorama 3 has been engineered to last thanks to over the air updates, with multi-room capability planned for introduction shortly after launch. This will make it compatible with other Panoramas and Zeppelins in a multiroom environment or, if you prefer, a multiroom system based on Bowers & Wilkins Formation products.
Panorama 3 comes bundled with a wall-mounting bracket; however, due to how the drivers are optimised, you can't alter the orientation of the soundbar.
The Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 will retail for US$999 (around S$1,450).
Visit Bowers & Wilkins for more information
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
Posted in:Home Theatre
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION
Want to share your opinion or get advice from other enthusiasts? Then head into the Message Forums where thousands of other enthusiasts are communicating on a daily basis.
CLICK HERE FOR FREE MEMBERSHIP