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Bowers & Wilkins Expands Architectural Speakers

North Reading, Mass. – Bowers & Wilkins is bringing many of its core speaker technologies to architectural speakers for the first time with its new CI 800 series.

The premium speaker maker plans first-quarter shipments of a trio of CI 800 speakers that bring as much of the performance possible in its flagship 800 series of freestanding speakers to in-wall and in-ceiling applications, the company said.

The lineup consists of the $3,000-each CWM 8.3 three-way in-wall speaker, $1,400-each CWM 8.5 two-way in-wall, and $2,000-each CCM 8.5 two-way in-ceiling speaker. Pricing includes back boxes.

The company currently offers three architectural speaker series priced from $300/pair to $1,500 each plus a $4,100/pair in-wall flagship with back box. The latter will be phased out.

Bowers & Wilkins technologies making the transition from in-room to architectural speakers include a carbon-braced aluminum-dome tweeters, which uses a ring of ultra-thin wound carbon fiber to brace the tweeter dome, raising the tweeter’s break-up frequency to around 40KHz outside the audible frequency range.

The tweeters in all CI 800 models also feature Nautilus tube-loaded designs, fully decoupling the tweeters from the rest of the speaker assembly to ensure that low-frequency drivers don’t transmit unwanted vibrations that compromise tweeter performance.

The midrange drivers are made from Kevlar and use the Anti-Resonance Plug from the company’s high-end in-room PM1 speaker to deliver natural midrange sounds, the company said. The midrange driver in the CWM8.3 adds FST technology, a no-surround suspension technique said to improve cone-response time to enhance midrange performance.

The CWM8.3’s bass drivers use the carbon-reinforced Rohacell cones found in the flagship 800-series Diamond.

The crossovers in all CI 800 models are as close to first order as possible and share the premium components used in the Diamond 800 series.

Enclosures for each speaker use the stiffest possible structure to ensure the consistency of sound in any installation while providing optimum volume for the deep bass response, the company said.

The CWM8.3 is a three-way, in-wall loudspeaker features carbon-braced Ttweeter, 5-inch Kevlar FST driver, and two 7-inch carbon-fiber-reinforced Rohacell woofers. The central baffle can be rotated for vertical or horizontal mounting.

The second in-wall model is the two-way CWM8.5 with carbon-braced tweeter and single 7-inch bass/mid Kevlar driver with anti-resonance plug.

The in-ceiling CCM8.5 two-way model features 7-inch bass/mid driver and 1-inch carbon-braced tweeter with a wing design for time alignment. All of the drivers are located in a continuously rotatable mini baffle to toe in the speaker toward the listening position.