Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond: the most beautiful speakers from the British manufacturer


Mis à jour le 30 August 2021.

Bowers & Wilkins just unveiled their B&W 800 Series Diamond fourth generation range of loudspeakers that set a new benchmark in the world of high-end high fidelity. No less than six years were necessary for the team of engineers at Bowers & Wilkins to improve each component resulting from each model with an innovative and exclusive technology. Among the major improvements made by the British manufacturer is a Biomimetic Suspension with a revolutionary design.

The speakers of the B&W 800 Series Diamond range

The new B&W 800 Series Diamond range of loudspeakers is made up of seven models: the B&W 805 D4 bookshelf speaker (€ 8,000 per pair), the three floorstanders B&W 804 D4 (€ 12,500 per pair), B&W 803 D4 (€ 20,000 per pair) and B&W 802 D4 (€ 26,000 per pair) and the flagship model of the range, the Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 speaker which replaces the B&W 800 D3. For home theater use, the manufacturer will soon be releasing two high-performance center speakers: the B&W HTM81 D4 and the B&W HTM82 D4.

B&W 805 D4
The B&W 805 D4 are the only bookshelf speakers in the B&W 800 Series Diamond range.
  • 2-way bookshelf speaker
  • Bass-reflex enclosure
  • 1x 6.5″ Continuum driver
  • 1x 1″ diamond dome tweeter
  • Frequency response: 42Hz to 28kHz (+/- 3 dB from the reference axis)
  • Sensitivity: 88dB / W / m
  • Impedance: 8 ohms at 1kHz and 4.6 ohms minimum
  • Recommended amplification: 50W to 120W

B&W 804 D4
The B&W 804 D4 speakers are the smallest floorstanders in theB&W 800 Diamond Series .
  • 3-way floorstander
  • Bass reflex
  • 2x 6.5″ Aerofoil drivers
  • 1x 5″ FST Continuum driver
  • 1x 1″ diamond dome tweeter
  • Frequency response: 24Hz to 28kHz
  • Sensitivity: 89dB / W / m
  • Impedance: 8 ohms at 1kHz and 3 ohms minimum
  • Recommended amplification: 50W to 200W

B&W 803 D4
The B&W 803 D4 is the “smallest” of the B&W 800 Diamond Series to adopt a decoupled midrange driver loaded in a turbine head.
  • 3-way floorstander
  • Bass reflex
  • 2x 7″ Aerofoil drivers
  • 1x 5″ FST Continuum driver
  • 1x 1″ diamond dome tweeter
  • Frequency response: 19Hz to 28kHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB / W / m
  • Impedance: 8 ohms at 1kHz and 3 ohms minimum
  • Recommended amplification: 50W to 500W

B&W 802 D4
The B&W 802 D4 features no less than two 8″ woofers with Aerofoil cones, allowing it to deliver low frequencies down to 17Hz with amplitude and authority.
  • 3-way floorstander
  • Bass reflex
  • 2x 8″ Aerofoil drivers
  • 1x 6″ FST Continuum driver
  • 1x 1″ diamond dome tweeter
  • Frequency response: 17Hz to 28kHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB / W / m
  • Impedance: 8 ohms at 1kHz and 3 ohms minimum
  • Recommended amplification: 50W to 500W

B&W 801 D4
TheB&W 800 Diamond Series is the flagship of the range, theBowers & Wilkins 801 D4 synthesizes all the knowledge and expertise of the British brand within speaker of exceptional qualities.
  • 3-way floorstander
  • Bass reflex
  • 2x 10″ Aerofoil drivers
  • 1x 6″ FST Continuum driver
  • 1x 1″ diamond dome tweeter
  • Frequency response: 15Hz to 28kHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB / W / m
  • Impedance: 8 ohms at 1kHz and 3 ohms minimum
  • Recommended amplification: 50W to 1000W

Continuum Membrane, FST and Biomimetic Suspension

The composite that forms the Continuum membrane is the result of eight years of research. It is used for the midrange and midbass drivers and is renowned for its open, transparent and neutral performances. When used as a midrange driver within Bowers & Wilkins floorstanding speakers, it is always paired with Fixed Suspension Transducer (FST) technology which avoids the coloration that traditional diaphragm edges can produce.

With its new 800 Diamond Series range, Bowers & Wilkins combines all the advantages offered by Continuum and FST technologies with a whole new technological advance that revolutionizes the traditional fabric spider, a key element in the normal functioning of a loudspeaker which had remained largely unchanged, until today.

The all new Biomimetic Composite Suspension developed by Bowers & Wilkins now replaces the conventional fabric spider with a minimalist composite suspension system. The latter revolutionizes the performance of the midrange diaphragm by drastically reducing the unwanted air pressure – in other words noise – that a conventional fabric spider is likely to produce, in particular by suppressing unpredictable nonlinear effects. The end result is an unprecedented transparency and realism in the mids.

Decoupled Medium and Turbine Head

The advantages and performance of the Continuum membrane, FST midrange technology and Biomimetic Suspension are perfectly preserved and optimized thanks to the careful isolation of the entire midrange driver from the rest of the loudspeaker cabinet. For all three-way models, the midrange drivers feature a very rigid all-aluminum chassis with Tuned Mass Dampers (TMD) to suppress any resonance. The drivers and complete motor systems are then isolated on spring-mounted decoupling brackets, again limiting any flow of vibration into the assembly.

The B&W 802 D4 features a 6″ diameter midrange driver whose Continuum cone is capable of reproducing all the nuances of the medium frequencies with energy and precision.

Finally, the midrange speakers of the 803 D4, 802 D4 and 801 D4 are integrated into the Turbine Head entirely in aluminum and therefore extremely rigid, offering not only exceptional acoustic performance but also better insulation since the head is fully decoupled from the cabinet placed below. The B&W HTM81 D4 and HTM82 D4 center speakers also feature a similar new concept, implemented inside their respective enclosures: each now has an internal aluminum enclosure that provides a rigid and perfectly insulated enclosure for both the midrange speaker itself and for its decoupling system.

Solid Body tweeter

To minimize unwanted resonance transfer to the Diamond Dome tweeters of each model, an exceptionally rigid cabinet is essential. The new 800 Series Diamond range presents a revised version of the iconic Solid Body tweeter cabinet: it is still machined from a single piece of aluminum but it now has a more elongated shape (almost 30 cm long ) and therefore a longer internal tubular charging system.

The diamond dome tweeter of the speakers from theB&W 800 Diamond Series is housed in a Nautilus tubular charging system longer than the previous generation to produce even freer and open sound in the higher frequencies.

The new Solid Body Tweeter set is now decoupled from the speaker body or Turbine Head (depending on the model) in two places instead of just one, greatly improving the amplitude and openness of the sound. At the same time, the tweeter motor assembly has been redesigned to allow the speaker to breathe more efficiently without losing performance. The result is a noticeable reduction in the resonant frequency at the back of the tweeter dome.

An inverted structure speaker cabinet & Matrix

Matrix is a technology from Bowers & Wilkins that has been around for over 30 years and has been continuously improved over this time. It is an internal structure made of interlocking panels that strengthen and hold the loudspeaker in all directions. Matrix helps make speakers more rigid, more inert and less prone to resonances.

The B&W 805 D4 and 804 D4 speakers are now equipped with an inverted structure speaker cabinet, previously reserved for the larger column-type models in the 800 Series Diamond range. Each model now has a rigid aluminum plate on the inside of its cabinet, thus protecting the speaker against resonances. Inside, both models also feature upgraded versions of their Matrix bracing, with thicker solid plywood panels in place of the MDF used previously, reinforced with aluminum bracing elements.

Each stereo model in the range also features a new cast aluminum top assembly that replaces the wood of previous models, significantly increasing the stiffness of the speaker cabinet. As before, the speakers are housed in rigid aluminum pods mounted on the speaker cabinet, while the filters are mounted on very rigid aluminum spikes placed at the rear of the speaker. Finally, the B&W 801 D4 loudspeaker also has a steel plate in its lower part around the vent, to add even more rigidity to the loudspeaker cabinet and make it as quiet as possible.

Aluminum plinth

The B&W 804 D4 joins the other floorstanding models in the 800 Series Diamond range to feature a down-firing Flowport type vent. This opens out under the enclosure through a new, more rigid solid aluminum base reinforced with a steel sheet with a strained layer. Everything is designed to give the loudspeaker a rock solid base and thus better control unwanted resonances. The B&W 804 D4 also benefits from significantly improved spikes and feet, including oversized M12 spikes that are both more stable and stiffer than the M6 versions of previous models.

The aluminum base of the floorstanding speakers of the &W 800 Diamond Series guarantees perfect stability and helps minimizing vibrations.

The B&W 803 D4, 802 D4 and 801 D4 loudspeakers use the same down-firing Flowport vent layout, solid aluminum plinth, and strain-coated steel damping, but retain the wheels and spikes configuration introduced in 2015, which makes each model much easier to place in the ideal listening position.

Aerofoil cone

The Aerofoil cone is the result of advanced computer modeling. It is a composite woofer cone of variable thickness, designed to provide maximum rigidity where it is most needed while maintaining low mass thanks to its flexible layer of carbon fiber and its lightweight syntactic foam core. Along with a revised and optimized motor system, each floorstanding speaker in the 800 Series Diamond range now combines these Aerofoil cones with a new Anti-Resonance Foam Plug, which reinforces the voice-coil and reduces distortion when the diaphragm moves, ensuring even more precise lows.

The two Aerofoil woofers that equip the floorstanding speakers of theB&W 800 Diamond Series allow them to explore low frequencies with amplitude and authority.

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Après plusieurs années passées dans la vente de produits high-tech d'occasion avant de rejoindre l'équipe de Son-Vidé en 2007, je ne compte plus les amplis, enceintes, casques, TV, vidéoprojecteurs et autres baladeurs qui sont passés entre mes mains... Je suis toujours curieux de découvrir de nouveaux produits et de partager cette passion pour la hi-fi et le home-cinéma.

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