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Bowers & Wilkins Overhauls Flagship Diamond Speaker Series

Bowers & Wilkins overhauled its flagship in-room Diamond series speakers with what it called “technological, engineering and acoustic innovations” that reduce distortion “dramatically.”

The lineup consists of the top-end 800 D3, whose price will be announced in the spring, and the following models, which ship in early October: The $22,000/pair 802 D3, $17,000/pair 803 D3, $9,000/pair 804 D3, $6,000/pair 805 D3, $6,000-each HTM1 D3 center-channel speaker, and $4,000 HTM2 D3 center-channel speaker. Two floor stands will be available at $500 and $600 each.

Prices are up from the previous series, which launched in 2010 and topped out at $24,000/pair for the model that will be replaced by the 800 D3 in the spring at an unannounced price.  The first speaker below the 800 D3 is the $22,000/pair 802 D3, which replaces a $15,000/pair model.

Almost all of the component parts of the new models, except for the tweeter, are completely new, said research head Martial Rousseau. The rest of the parts have been “thoroughly overhauled” in a design that was seven years in the making, he said.

One of the biggest changes was the use of a new Continuum midrange cone driver developed in-house  to replace Kevlar drivers to further heighten clarity, the company said. Bass has also been improved with the use of an Aerofoil cone driver that “considerably reduces distortion,” the company said.

Other changes include improved cabinets, more robust bracing system, a new solid-body tweeter assembly, and an improved midrange enclosure. Together, they mean “distortion has been reduced dramatically in every regard” to deliver “inconceivable” levels of clarity, the company said.

A new industrial design preserves their predecessors’ aesthetic but with a more modern look, the company added. The cabinets are made from layers of wood curved into shape under intense pressure.