Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Signature, ultimate loudspeakers and new sound benchmark

Bowers & Wilkins presented a few hours ago the new 800 Diamond series, the ultimate version of its ultrapremium loudspeaker range, with the new B&W 801 D4 and B&W 805 D4 references. On the program of the latter, sacred evolutions to discover immediately.

Bowers & Wilkins is adding the 800 Signature series to its range, positioned above the “simple” 800 series and the legendary Nautilus loudspeaker for which a new finish has recently been offered on the occasion of its thirtieth anniversary (cf. our current Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus, exclusive 30th anniversary Abalone finish).

With two models, the B&W 801 D4 column (see photo below) and the B&W 805 D4 bookcase, the 800 Series Signature represents the best of the brand's know-how, with many changes compared to the 800 series, and is aimed at the most demanding music lovers. And also the most silver of them given their price.

Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Signature, focus on the design

If at first glance, the shape of the B&W D4 800 series loudspeakers does not differ from the D3 models, they are nevertheless recognizable by their exclusive finish, midnight blue metallic or California Burl wood lacquer (walnut). The latter, identical to that proposed for the Nautilus, is applied with the same care, that is to say via a total of eleven successive layers of paint and mechanically polished lacquers. Excluding multiple drying times, this procedure requires 18 hours of work. The California Burl (walnut) wood lacquer finish is not to be outdone with fourteen coats of lacquer and multiple sanding operations, for a total of 24 hours.

Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4, the evolution program

In addition to the finish, the background also changes. Of course, there is the diamond tweeter and the Continuum Cone FST cone midrange. On the other hand, the B&W 801 D4 features two new 10'' (250 mm) Aerofoil Cone woofers (see photo below) with an aerodynamic membrane and motors equipped with new magnets. The interior of the loudspeaker cabinet also evolves with an innovative structure and an optimized arrangement of the damping material. The British manufacturer assures that the result is audible in the register of medium frequencies with more transparency and openness.

The bass-reflex front of the 801 D4 has also been modified. Now fully cast in aluminium, it has gained in rigidity and emits less unwanted noise. Combined with the membranes of the Aerofoil Cone bass drivers, the result is a more detailed, more precise rendering of the low end and less distortion.

Similarly, the filter (see photo above) of the 801 D4 is still progressing: increased transparency linked to improved filtering capacitors for each of the components of the enclosure. Finally, the brand has equipped the 801 D4 with a unique tweeter grille for a subtle balance between clarity and rigidity for an even higher energy delivered by the tweeter, while protecting it against untimely damage.

Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4, the evolution program

The B&W 805 D4 bookshelf speaker (see photo below) benefits from many of the technologies developed for the 801 D4 floorstanding speaker. On the menu, the new tweeter grid to magnify sound openness and transparency, as well as the latest generation filter equipped with original filtering capacitors. We also note a new 6.5'' (165 mm) midrange speaker with increased performance, better precision in the midrange and better extension in the bass. Finally, the aluminum top plate has been modified to reduce unwanted noise and vibration from the speaker structure.

The word to Dave Sheen, President of Bowers & Wilkins

“The 800 Series Signature brings together everyone in the Bowers & Wilkins brand, from our dedicated manufacturing teams to our world-renowned R&D engineers, to produce the finest loudspeakers we have ever made. I'm incredibly proud of the collective effort that went into producing these new 800 Series Signature models and I can't wait to hear what critics and our customers have to say.”

Immediate availability. Indicative prices: €50,000 a pair of Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 Signature, €12,000 a pair of Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 Signature.

Reminder of the key characteristics of the Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 loudspeaker:

• Type: 3-way loudspeaker

• Boomers: 250 mm x2 Aerofoil cone

• Midrange: FST Continuum of 16.5 cm

• Tweeter: 25 mm diamond dome, decoupled

• Charging: bass-reflex

• Non-magnetic: yes

• Sensitivity: 90 dB

• Impedance: 8 ohms (minimum 3 ohms)

• Bandwidth: 15 Hz-28 KHz

• Cabinet dimensions (W x D x H, mm): 451 x 600 x 1,221

• Maximum/peak admissible power: 50 W/1000 W

• Unit net weight: 100.6 kg

Reminder of the key characteristics of the Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 loudspeaker:

• Type: 2-way loudspeaker

• Midrange-boomer: Continuum 16.5 cm

• Tweeter: dome in diamond 25 mm, decoupled

• Non-magnetic: yes

• Sensitivity: 88 dB

• Impedance: 8 ohms (minimum 4.6 ohms)

• Bandwidth: 42 Hz- 28 KHz

• Cabinet dimensions (W x D x H, mm): 440 x 373 x 440

• Max/peak admissible power: 50 W/120 W

• Unit net weight: 15 .55 kg