Bowers & Wilkins Unveils All-New 700 S3 Speaker Range
Eight-strong Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 Series loudspeaker range boasts new cabinet design, construction, finishes, and acoustic and mechanical improvements.
The new Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 Series borrows much from the brand's flagship 800 Series Diamond range, as trusted by many of the world's most famous recording studios.
Following a three-year development programme, the 2022 700 Series has almost been completely transformed. Featuring eight models (three floor-standing speakers, three stand-mount speakers, plus two dedicated centre channels), the new range introduces slimmer cabinets featuring a curved front baffle and drive units mounted in external 'pods'.
We are told that the new design dramatically reduces the impact of the loudspeaker baffle on sound quality by minimising the 'cabinet diffraction' effect. The upshot here, according to B&W, is the new range is better at 'disappearing' acoustically.
The new cabinet also gets a new Mocha finish option, described as “a beautiful, highly grained wood that perfectly complements the revised proportions and premium detailing of the new 700 Series cabinets.” The Gloss Black and Satin White finishes remain global options, whilst the Rosenut finish is offered exclusively in Asian and Pacific markets.
Half of the new Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series - the 702 S3 and 703 S3 floorstanding loudspeakers, the 705 S3 standmount model, and the HTM71 S3 centre channel loudspeaker - gets the British brand's Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top technology. This, too, has apparently been comprehensively re-engineered in the new range.
Machined from a single, solid block of aluminium, the new 700 Series Tweeter-on-Top enclosure has been significantly lengthened, reducing distortion and ensuring an even cleaner presentation. It also gets improved two-point decoupling that better isolates the assembly from the loudspeaker cabinet.
The Tweeter-on-Top diaphragm retains the Bowers & Wilkins Carbon Dome tweeter, with its 47kHz first break-up performance and improved, vented voice coils with new, upgraded magnets. Meanwhile, the 707 S3, 706 S3, 704 S3 and HTM72 S3 still benefit from a significantly elongated tube-loading system that, as with the Tweeter-on-Top, works to reduce distortion and ensure a cleaner sound.
All three-way loudspeakers in the new range get Biomimetic Suspension, first revealed in the new 800 Series Diamond range last year. Replacing the conventional fabric spider found in the suspension of almost all loudspeakers built over recent decades, the Biomimetic Suspension dramatically reduces unwanted noise from the output of the spider as the midrange cone operates. This is used in concert with decoupling the entire midrange assembly, an aluminium drive unit chassis featuring tuned mass dampers for reduced resonance, FSTTM surround-less suspension and Continuum cone material. Models with mid/bass drive units – 707 S3, 706 S3, 705 S3 and HTM72 S3 – have been upgraded too, with new motor systems and improved chassis for cleaner output, state Bowers & Wilkins.
Bass, meanwhile, uses the latest generation of Bowers & Wilkins Aerofoil Profile bass cone technology, based around a composite 'sandwich' of materials with a carefully formed variable profile aimed at delivering cleaner, lower distortion bass.
The new 700 Series range also introduces upgraded 800 Series Diamond-inspired speaker terminals that feature more substantial contact connections and are better laid out for use with spade-terminated cables. These, in turn, feed upgraded crossovers that use Mundorf capacitors enhanced with multiple bypass capacitors and improved heatsinking for even cleaner performance.
All models in the range feature updated, larger diameter Flowports that promise more substantial output. Furthermore, the 702 S3 floorstander is said to take that a step further, re-orienting its port to fire downwards on its integrated plinth, as also used in the 800 Diamond Series.
Finally, all floorstanding models feature significantly upgraded spikes to anchor them to the floor. On 704 S3 and 703 S3, stainless steel M6 spikes are included with their integrated plinths: on 702 S3, heavy-duty M10 spikes are provided.
Standmounters are offered the FS-700 S3 floor-stand (£800/ €900) for similar mechanical upgrades. This has been aesthetically tweaked to match the slimmer, curved profile of the new cabinet design while also offering acoustic improvements thanks to the introduction of those stiffer M6 spikes.
Bowers & Wilkins new 700 Series range will be available from September 21st and starts at £1,300/ €1,500 and £1,650/ €2,000 for the 707 S3 and 706 S3 standmount loudspeakers, respectively. The 705 S3 standmount with Tweeter-on-Top costs £2,600/ €3,000.
Meanwhile, the 704 S3 floorstander is priced £3,000/ €3,500 with the 703 S3 and 702 S3 Tweeter-on-Top models coming in at £4,200/ €5,000 and £5,500/ €6,500, respectively.
Finally, the centre-channel speakers cost £1,000/ €1,200, for the HTM72 S3 and £1,700 / €2,000 for the HTM71 S3 Tweeter-on-Top model.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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