The new Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond range continues to feature seven models, beginning with the two-way 805 D4 stand-mount speaker. That’s joined by a series of three-way floorstanding models, including the 804 D4, 803 D4, and 802 D4. For the flagship model in the range, Bowers & Wilkins has reintroduced an iconic name to its portfolio, with the launch of 801 D4 to replace the existing 800 D3. For home theater use, the HTM81 D4 and HTM82 D4 provide a pair of high-performance center channel speakers to complete the range.
Every new model in the range combines hundreds of detail improvements plus several entirely new technologies to create the most transparent, detailed, and natural-sounding series of loudspeakers Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced.
The first and most obvious change is the addition of a fourth finish to the line-up. The new range now includes a Satin Walnut finish, joining the established selection of Gloss Black, White and Satin Rosenut.
Every stereo model in the range also enjoys a significantly upgraded cabinet design with an all-new rigid, cast aluminum top section — replacing the previous wooden version — to offer even greater stiffness and thus improve cabinet quietness still further. The profile of the new aluminum top is finished in ‘Leather by Connolly’ — in black for dark cabinets (Black, Satin Rosenut) and light grey for lighter finishes (White, Satin Walnut).
Every model in the range adopts a revised version of the iconic Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top housing, with a new, elongated tube-loading system to produce an even more open sound for high frequencies. This supremely stiff enclosure deftly resists unwanted resonance and is an exceptional acoustic form — especially when combined with a new two-point decoupling system that isolates it from the rest of the loudspeaker more effectively than ever. As before, the Solid Body Tweeter is milled from a single solid block of aluminum and now, it uses an anodized finish, either dark or light depending on the cabinet color, to celebrate that fact.
Finally, the range introduces three entirely new cabinet forms. The 805 D4 and 804 D4 stereo models adopt the reverse-wrap cabinet design first introduced in 2015 for the larger speakers in the series. This new form reduces the profile of each cabinet’s front baffle while dramatically increasing the overall rigidity of the complete system. It also allows crossovers to now be mounted in dedicated spaces on the rear of each speaker, housed behind the aluminum spines.
The 804 D4 builds on the potential of its new configuration by adding a downward-firing port with an integral aluminum plinth — again, much like the form used by the larger floorstanding speakers in the range. Alongside the 805 D4 and 804 D4, the all-new HTM82 D4 center speaker adopts the reverse-wrap cabinet form of its siblings, for superior acoustic and mechanical performance.
Continuum Cone, FST, and Biomimetic Suspension: Bowers & Wilkins has combined the twin benefits of Continuum and FST with an all-new advance that transforms the other key element of a drive unit’s normal operation: the fabric spider. The all-new composite Biomimetic Suspension replaces the conventional fabric spider with a minimalist composite suspension system that revolutionizes midrange cone performance by greatly reducing unwanted air pressure — a.k.a. sound — that a conventional fabric spider can generate, removing its unpredictable, non-linear effects. The result is unprecedented midrange transparency and realism.
Decoupled Midrange and Turbine Head: Bowers & Wilkins combines all the performance-enhancing benefits of its Continuum Cone, FST midrange technology, and Biomimetic Suspension with careful isolation of the complete midrange assembly from the rest of the surrounding cabinet. In all three-way models, midrange drive units include a highly stiff all-aluminum chassis featuring Tuned Mass Dampers (TMD) to quieten any resonance. These complete drive units and motor systems are then isolated on sprung-mounted decoupling mounts, further restricting the flow of vibration into the assembly.
Finally, 803 D4, 802 D4 and 801 D4 include the stiff all-aluminum Turbine Head enclosure for their midrange drive units, providing not only an outstanding acoustic form but also even better isolation — since the head assembly is itself further decoupled from the bass enclosure below.
The HTM81 D4 and HTM82 D4 introduce a new and similar concept but inside their cabinets: each center-channel model now features an internal aluminum enclosure that provides a stiff, well-isolated housing for the midrange drive unit and its decoupling mechanism.
Solid Body Tweeter: To minimize the unwanted transfer of resonance into each model’s Diamond Dome tweeters, an exceptionally stiff enclosure is required. The new 800 Series Diamond introduces a revised version of the iconic Solid Body Tweeter housing; this continues to be machined from a solid piece of aluminum, but now it features an elongated form (almost 30cm/12in long) with a longer internal tube-loading system
The new Solid Body Tweeter assembly is now decoupled from the speaker body or Turbine Head (depending on model) in two locations rather than one: this notably improves spaciousness and openness. At the same time, the tweeter’s motor assembly has been re-engineered to allow the drive unit to ‘breathe’ more effectively with no loss of performance. The result is a notable reduction in the resonant frequency behind the tweeter dome.
Reverse-Wrap Cabinet and Matrix: Matrix has been a core Bowers & Wilkins technology for more than 30 years and has also been continually developed throughout that time. An internal structure of interlocking panels that brace the loudspeaker internally in all directions, Matrix helps to make speaker cabinets rigid, inert and quiet.
The 805 D4 and 804 D4 now feature the reverse wrap speaker cabinet previously reserved for the larger floorstanding 800 Series Diamond models. Each model now has a stiff aluminum plate on the inside face of its cabinet, bracing its baffle against resonance. Inside, both models also feature updates to their Matrix bracing, with thicker panels made from solid plywood rather than the previous MDF, reinforced by aluminum bracing sections.
Every stereo model in the range also features the new cast aluminum top, replacing the previous wooden design, increasing the rigidity of the speaker enclosure. As before, drive units are housed in stiff aluminum pods mounted to the baffle of the speaker while crossover units are fitted to equally stiff aluminum spines running up the rear of the cabinet. Finally, 801D4 introduces a steel plate in its base section around the port — again, all in the name of adding stiffness to the enclosure and further quietening its operation.
Aluminum Plinth: The 804 D4 now joins the other floorstanding models in the 800 Series Diamond range by offering a downwards-firing Flowport bass port, exiting on to a new, stiffer solid aluminum plinth complete with a constrained layer steel damping sheet designed to offer a rock-solid foundation and to control unwanted resonance. The 804 D4 also has greatly upgraded spikes and feet, with huge M12 spikes that are both more stable and stiffer than the outgoing M6 designs.
803 D4, 802 D4, and 801 D4 use the same arrangement of downwards-firing Flowport, solid aluminum plinth and constrained layer steel damping, but retain the wheel-plus-spike configuration introduced in 2015, making each model far easier to maneuver to the perfect listening position than any rival design.
Aerofoil Cone: The result of advance computer modelling, the Aerofoil Cone is a composite bass cone with a varying thickness designed to offer maximum stiffness where it is most needed while preserving a low mass — thanks to its carbon-fiber skin and light syntactic foam core.
Alongside revised and optimized motor systems, each floorstanding speaker in the 800 Series Diamond range now combines its Aerofoil Cones with a new foam Anti-Resonance Plug, which gently braces the voice coil and lowers distortion as the cone moves through its operating range, ensuring even cleaner bass.
- 801 D4 $35,000
- 802 D4 $26,000
- 803 D4 $20,000
- 804 D4 $12,500
- 805 D4 $8000
- HTM81 D4 $7500
- HTM82 D4 $5500
For more information, visit www.bowerswilkins.com.