THE latest iteration of the 700 line-up – now in Series 3 guise and comprising three floorstanding, three stand-mount and two centre-channel loudspeakers – features many of the technologies found on Bowers & Wilkins’ flagship 800 Series Diamond.
These include, for the first time in the 700 Series, slimmer cabinets with curved front baffles, and drive units mounted atop in external pods for four models in the range. The new design, we’re informed, “dramatically reduces the impact of the loudspeaker baffle on sound quality by minimising the cabinet diffraction effect.” As a result, the 700 S3 range is touted to be better than ever at disappearing acoustically.
The 702 and 703 floorstanders, 705 standmount and HTM71 centre unit feature the proprietary “Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top technology. Machined, as before, from a single, solid block of aluminium, the “Tweeter-on-Top” form has been comprehensively re-engineered, with the enclosure significantly lengthened to reduce distortion and ensure an even cleaner presentation.
Improved two-point decoupling better isolates the assembly from the loudspeaker cabinet, ensuring a more free and open soundstage.
“Beyond these mechanical improvements, the Tweeter-on-Top diaphragm retains the Bowers & Wilkins carbon dome tweeter, with its 47kHz first break-up performance, coupled to improved, vented voice coils with new, upgraded magnets.
“Even models that feature tweeters mounted in the baffle – the 707, 706, 704 and HTM72 – benefit from all these changes, alongside a significantly elongated tube-loading system.”
Tweeter and cabinet apart, improvements have been made in other areas as well.
“In all three-way loudspeakers in the new range, Bowers & Wilkins has introduced its revolutionary Biomimetic Suspension – first revealed last year in the new 800 Series Diamond range. 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.
“Used alongside all of Bowers & Wilkins other proprietary midrange cone technologies – including decoupling for the entire midrange assembly, an aluminium drive unit chassis featuring tuned mass dampers for reduced resonance, FST surround-less suspension and of course the famous Continuum cone material – the result is simply astonishing midrange transparency.
“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.”
Bass, meanwhile, uses the latest generation of Bowers & Wilkins famous Aerofoil Profile cone technology, based around a composite “sandwich” of materials with a carefully formed variable profile aimed at delivering cleaner, lower distortion bass.
“The 700 S3 range introduces upgraded, 800 Series Diamond-inspired speaker terminals that feature more substantial contact connections and are better laid out for use with spade-terminated speaker cable. These feed carefully upgraded crossovers that continue to use Mundorf capacitors as before, enhanced with multiple bypass capacitors and improved heatsinking for even cleaner performance.”
All models have larger diameter Flowports that offer a more substantial output for a bigger and more expansive sound.
” In the 702 S3 floorstander, that approach is taken one stage further – and even closer than ever to the configuration of 800 Series Diamond floorstanding loudspeakers – thanks to the re-orientation of its port to fire downwards on its integrated plinth. The result is a substantial and powerful loudspeaker that is, at the same time, easier than ever to integrate into your home.”
All floorstanding models feature significantly upgraded spikes to anchor them to the floor. On the 704 and 703, stainless steel M6 spikes are included with their integrated plinths; on the 702, heavy- duty M10 spikes are provided.
“Even stand-mount models in the range benefit from similar mechanical upgrades, thanks to the FS-700 S3 floor-stand, which has been visually upgraded 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.”
Apart from the traditional Gloss Black and Satin White finished, the 700 S3 range now comes in Mocha as well, which serves to display a highly grained wood. Another finish, Rosenut, will be offered in Asian and Pacific markets.
The 700 Series 3 range is available now, at the following retail prices:
702 S3: £5,500 / $7,000 / €6,500
703 S3: £4,200 / $6,000 / €5,000
704 S3: £3,000 / $4,000 / €3,500
705 S3: £2,600 / $3,400 / €3,000
706 S3: £1,650 / $2,200 / €2,000
707 S3: £1,300 / $1,800 / €1,500
FS-700 floor stand: £800 / $800 / €900
HTM71 S3: £1,700 / $2,500 / €2,000
HTM72 S3: £1,000 / $1,500 / €1,200