Technology

Shine on you crazy expensive 800 Series Diamonds, says Bowers & Wilkins

A profile view of the Bowers and Wilkins 803 D4 Satin Walnut speaker

Bowers and Wilkins has announced a new generation of its iconic 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers. Famed for its unique Tweeter on Top design and imposing cabinetry, the model is one of the most recognisable high-end loudspeakers in the world, and has become a familiar sight in recording studios, including London’s legendary Abbey Road.

The new models, six years in the making, look similar to their predecessors at a glance, but feature new proprietary drive unit technologies, and a host of other refinements to further improve their performance.

We even get a new finish. It seems the best, has just got a little better…

Here’s the skinny: The new Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond range for 2021 still comprises seven models. The entry-level (not really an appropriate term for this calibre of kit) stand mount 805 D4 is joined by a trio of floorstanders, the 804 D4, 803 D4 and 802 D4. This quartet sells for £6,250,  £9,500, £16,000 and £22,500 a pair respectively.

The MVP of the new 899 Series is the imposing 801 D4, priced at £30,000 a pair. If you’re setting up a high-end home cinema system, you’ll also want to add either the £6,500 HTM81 D4 or £4,750 HTM82 D4 centre channel enclosure.  

The new line-up is available in Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut and, for the first time, Satin Walnut.

The new models, six years in the making, feature proprietary drive unit technologies and a host of other refinements…

A close-up of the tweeter on top of the 800 Series Diamond D4
The 800 Series Diamond D4 Satin Walnut Tweeter

The 2021 800 Series Diamonds have a slightly tweaked cabinet design, featuring an all-new rigid, cast aluminium top section, finished in leather. This comes in black for the darker cabinets (Black, Satin Rosenut) and grey for lighter finishes (White, Satin Walnut).

They also sport a revised version of B&W’s signature Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top housing, which has been reworked for a better high frequency range.

It’s still milled from a single solid block of aluminium, but now comes with an anodised finish, to contrast with the cabinet colour.

The 805 D4 and 804 D4 stereo have the reverse-wrap cabinet design, first seen in 2015 for the larger speakers in the series. The 804 D4 adds a downward-firing port with an integral aluminium plinth. The HTM82 D4 centre speaker copies this design trend.

The company says it has also made significant changes to its driver array, subtle improvements include a new spider component to accompany the Continuum Cone drive unit, and Fixed Suspension Transducer (FSTTM) midrange technology.  

These details, and new technologies, have resulted in the most transparent, detailed and natural-sounding series of loudspeakers Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced, we’re told. 

The new line is available from September.

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