With a 35 year history and an iconic place for a long time in such institutions as Abbey Road Studios, it’s safe to say the B&W 800 series is one of the most renowned speaker ranges in the world. We are ecstatic to have the newest version of the entire range here at Audio T Cardiff.
The Bowers and Wilkins 800 series has a long and illustrious history, the original 801 was released in 1980. The idea was to give engineers absolute free reign to come up with the very best loudspeaker they could without the usual restrictions placed on them. In fact in the original 801 manual there is a quote that says:
‘‘the first commercial effort to develop and produce a loudspeaker that would reflect the highest standards attainable without regard to any of the so called “practical considerations” that inevitably compromise conventional designs.’’
This is exactly what they did, the use of ultra-rigid Matrix cabinet construction and the idea of separate enclosures for high-frequency drivers or Flowport bass-reflex tuning was brand new innovative technology at the time and was filtered down through the generations of 800s over the years. The new series, 800 D3 to be precise has followed that same philosophy of their forebears but with the very most up to date cutting edge technology that ensures they are on the top of their game.
Words can’t explain how excited we are to now have the vast majority of the new 800 range in store including the HTM1 centre speaker, the stand mounting 805 D3, the more traditional looking floor standing 804 D3, the most compact of the classic 800 look the 803 D3, the immense 802 D3 and the astonishing head of the family the 800 D3.
There is far too much incredible technology that goes into these speakers to cover everything in this blog but let’s go through at least some features. B&W claim that their diamond tweeter technology that they have been using since the beginning and has continued to be improved, provides the most realistic treble possible. The use of diamond means that the tweeter is both as light and rigid as possible which is a very difficult balance to achieve. On these newest versions the tweeter sits in an all new solid body housing which brings even further advances to performance.
A big development in the new range is the abandonment of the iconic Kevlar cone for the new Continuum cone. These are essentially the next stage of evolution in B&W’s cone technology being able to ‘deliver pristine midrange performance by effectively negating the break-up behaviour that can adversely affect this all-important part of the spectrum.’ The fact B&W have done this when the Kevlar cone was already so innovative and unique show just how much they are striving for perfection.
We are still getting to grips with the whole range but what we have found out so far is that everything B&W are claiming about the sonic properties of this series is absolutely true. The ability to bring out the performance of the music you are listening to is exceptional the clarity and realism of these speakers make you feel like the musicians are right there in front of you. This is true for both stereo and home cinema settings, we have the 800’s, HTM1 centre and the 805 stand mounts setup in our cinema room with Dolby atmos and the result is nothing short of mind blowing.
We have several pairs of the range setup and ready to go for demonstration, so please get in touch if you would like a listen to what are frankly some game changing speakers.