Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled its latest speaker selection and there are two things to be especially excited about. Firstly, the new speakers – the sixth iteration of the company's 600 series line ̵
We recently got a chance to hear the speaker section, which includes four new speaker models, at an event in Boston before their official release. But before we get to the audio performance, let's break down what has changed for the latest models in the 600 series.
The four new models include the flagship 603 floorboards, 606 bookshelves, the more compact 607 bookshelves, and HTM6 center channel speakers.
The biggest advancement in the new line is the replacement of the speakers' medium-sized driver rules, which deal with signature kevlar construction for cones made of B & W's patented material known as "Continuum". Continuum Cones was first employed in the company's precious 800 series, and later entered the mid 700 series.
The name sounds As you will find in an X-Men comic book, and B & W is more mysterious about make-up than the Pentagon , but from what we have heard so far, Continuum makes a serious difference. Today's announcements mark the first time it is available in the company's speakers at the entry level.
Bowers & Wilkins also updated the 600 Series Decoupled Dome tweeters, adding a stronger neodymium magnet and repositioning the driver to be closer to the grill. In addition, the labeled speakers replaced the riveted acoustic monitors for magnetically mounted monitors and replaced the black vinyl, faux woodgrain cabinet finish for new matt black and satin white painted surfaces.
The performance was immediately impressive with new speakers sounding more organic, less colored and more accurate, for boot.
The company has also made a few changes in the smallest model in the series, 607, adding nickel-plated terminals and replacing the front cover for a backside place. On top of that, the company has added new paper clippers to the 603 floor heights.
As fans from 600-series speakers will notice, the B & W also simplified 600 series model numbers to set up 700 and 800 lines – basically just dropping "68" from the model number – in addition to releasing someone of the line's "less popular" models, including the 684 S2 floor, HTm61 center channel and DS3 surround satellite model.
You can check out the entire listing with prices at the bottom of this post.
Better sound for your dollars
We were a little surprised to have an invitation to fly across the country from our Portland headquarters for what may seem to be a minor update to Bowers & Wilkins speakers at the entry level. However, after a brief overview of the speakers, we realized why B & W is so excited about the new series. Shuffled to an acoustically tuned room in the Boston HQ brand, we were treated to an impressive demonstration that seemed to prove that Brand's Continuum technology is far from just marketing.
] With the staff to swap between the previous 600-series models and their upgraded colleagues, we were able to hear the speakers backwards. The performance improvement was immediately impressive, with the new speakers more organic, less colored and more accurate, to start.
The most obvious difference in our audition came from the middle of the show in the new 606 bookshelves. Listen to a beautiful input from John Lee Hooker's Canned Heat sessions, 606 immediately released their 685 predecessors. The guitar was smoother, warmer and more natural sounding, while Hooker's voice had more pepper on the tone thanks to better details and more readily available shades.
The 600 Series showed a smoother, more detailed sound and better accuracy than its predecessors.
We had a similar experience with the highest 603 speakers. Compared to 683 on a Bob Dylan track, the 603 offered a smoother, hotter tone to the guitar's nylon strings, less hardness and bit to harmonics, and especially better clarity from surrounding sounds like cicadas at the beginning of the track.
On the next song from Deadmau5, 603 could reproduce a massive amount of bass for just a stereo, to the point that we could actually feel the bass in the air without hearing a single trace of audible distortion.
Overall, the first impression of the 600 Series showed smoother, more detailed sound with wider sound levels and better accuracy than its predecessors. And at these prices there is something to be excited about.
We'll soon get more time with the latest from the 600 series, so we'll see if our first impression is translated into a complete review. For now, here's full setup and pricing:
- 603 floorstanders ($ 900 each): Dekoupled Dome tweeter, FST Continuum Cone medium driver, dual paper cone woofers
- 606 bookshelves ($ 400 each): Decoupled Dome Tweeter, 6-inch Continuum Cone Midrange Driver
- 607 Bookshelves ($ 300 Each): Decoupled Dome Tweeter, 5-inch Continuum Cone Midrange Driver
- HTM6 Center Channel ($ 599 ): Disconnected Dome Tweeter, dual 5-inch Continuum Cone Midrange Drivers
The addition is also complemented by three previously available subwoofers (now with corresponding finish), including ASW610Xp ($ 1200), ASW610 ($ 650) and ASW608 ($ 500).
You can find out more about the speakers, including order information, on the Bowers & Wilkins website.