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Bowers & Wilkins’ 700 S3 Signature Range Loudspeakers Deliver A Different Kind of Blue

Trickle-down technology from Bowers & Wilkins’ flagship 800 Series arrives in select 700 Series loudspeakers with gorgeous new finishes.

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature Loudspeakers in Midnight Blue Metallic Closeup

Having spent almost three months listening to the Bowers & Wilkins 703 S3 Loudspeakers in 2023 and awarding them with our “Editor’s Choice” designation in the floorstanding loudspeaker category under-$10,000 — it’s fair to say that we were particularly impressed with the new 700 S3 series.

Brian Mitchell visited Bowers & Wilkins in California prior to the arrival of our review pair and was afforded the opportunity to listen to all of the models and learn more about their technical features.

The 700 S3 series have been a huge success so far; both critically and in terms of sales. Dealers needed something new to excite the base and these speakers have not disappointed.

The 703 S3 were my first opportunity to review a pair of their loudspeakers in over 20 years and purchasing a pair is something that I am strongly considering based on how well they performed with my Cambridge Edge A Integrated Amplifier and how they interacted with my den listening space which is only 16′ x 13′ x 9′.

So why is the British manufacturer messing with my plans with a new “Signature” series?

Bowers Wilkins Silver Signature Loudspeaker launched in 1991
Bowers Wilkins Silver Signature Loudspeaker launched in 1991.

What Signature Means?

Bowers & Wilkins only uses the Signature name sparingly, reserving it for the rare and radically upgraded versions of its conventional loudspeakers and technologies. Since the brand was founded in 1966, only eight series of loudspeaker have carried the prestigious Signature mark – a reflection of its prestige and exclusivity.

The new Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature, 705 S3 Signature and HTM71 S3 Signature models build on a heritage that stretches back to the acclaimed Silver Signature loudspeaker of 1991, originally developed as a posthumous tribute to the founder of the company, John Bowers. 

The new models build on the already exceptional performance and aesthetic benchmarks of the standard 700 Series S3 loudspeakers that form the basis of their respective designs, featuring carefully upgraded components and rather luxurious and beautiful looking new finishes.

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Midnight Blue Metallic
Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Midnight Blue Metallic

702 S3 Signature

The larger model in the new Signature range is the 702 S3 Signature, a powerful three-way floorstanding loudspeaker that builds on the specification of the 702 S3, the flagship model in the 700 Series range.

The heart of the design is its Carbon Dome tweeter, housed in a decoupled Tweeter-on-Top aluminum enclosure and enhanced in this model with the addition of a new protective tweeter grille mesh derived from the 800 Series Signature models, introduced in 2023.

The decoupled Continuum Cone FST midrange drive unit – complete with its acclaimed Biomimetic Suspension, which notably reduces unwanted coloration emanating from behind the drive unit – ensures clean, effortless insight into the midrange and an open, spacious sound. 

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The 702 S3 Signature also includes three 165mm (6.5”) Aerofoil Profile bass drivers for full, powerful sounding bass, complete with upgraded drive-unit suspensions (or ‘spiders’) that help improve bass clarity.

As with all Signature models over the years, the 702 S3 Signature benefits from careful upgrades to its crossover aimed at further increasing transparency, with new and upgraded Mundorf capacitors, improved inductors and revised bypass capacitors. 

Finally, it includes new and upgraded speaker terminal posts featuring high-quality brass cores that ensure a cleaner flow of signal into the speaker.

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Midnight Blue Metallic
Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Midnight Blue Metallic

705 S3 Signature

The 705 S3 Signature brings new standards of performance and capability in a smaller, more room-friendly form factor than its mighty sibling. As with the larger 702 S3 Signature model, the 705 S3 Signature also includes an all-new tweeter grille mesh for more openness and transparency plus an upgraded crossover with new capacitors and resistors plus rearranged bypass capacitors. 

It shares the improved speaker terminals from 702 S3 Signature and also includes an all-new drive-unit suspension (or spider) for its 165mm (6.5”) drive unit, ensuring both a cleaner midrange and more extended bass.

Bowers & Wilkins HTM71 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Midnight Blue Metallic
Bowers & Wilkins HTM71 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Midnight Blue Metallic

HTM71 S3 Signature

For the first time, home theater enthusiasts can access the beauty and performance of Signature technology. The new 700 S3 Signature range includes a dedicated center-channel loudspeaker, the HTM71 S3 Signature. A three-way design, it features the same Tweeter-on-Top assembly as both the 702 and 705 S3 Signature models, ensuring the best possible integration with the performance of its siblings.

This is complemented by a centrally mounted 130mm (5”) Continuum™ Cone FST midrange drive unit, alsofeaturing decoupling and Biomimetic suspension. Finally, twin 130mm (5”) Aerofoil Profile bass cones give the HTM71S3 Signature its powerful, fully extended presentation. 

Comprehensive upgrades to both its crossover components and its input terminals complete the HTM71 S3 Signature’s performance-orientated specification.

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Datuk Gloss
Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Datuk Gloss.

Signature Finishes

To properly identify their prestigious position within the Bowers & Wilkins portfolio, both the 702 S3 Signature, 705 S3 Signature and HTM71 S3 Signature are only available in two exclusive signature finishes, complemented by unique identifying Signature logo plates on their rear panels.

The Midnight Blue Metallic paint is the same as offered on the iconic Nautilus loudspeaker and the 800 Series Signature models. Alternatively, all three loudspeakers can be purchased in a lustrous Datuk Gloss wood veneer.  

Exclusive to the new 700 Series Signature models, both finishes feature vibrant gold trims to their drive units and tweeter housings, further highlighting their Signature status.

Rear view of Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Datuk Gloss
Rear view of Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Datuk Gloss
Bowers & Wilkins HTM71 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Datuk Gloss Rear

As with all Signature loudspeakers over the decades, all three new 700 Series Signature models are the perfect embodiment of Bowers & Wilkins’ product philosophy and are a proud addition to the brand’s heritage in this category.

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The engineering team at Bowers & Wilkins remains passionate about providing the best listening experience available, and the 700 Series Signature models are the next step towards achieving this goal.

Commenting on the launch, Dave Sheen, Brand President of Bowers & Wilkins said: “Any Signature launch is an incredibly proud moment for everyone at Bowers & Wilkins. The new 700 Series Signature range represents a significant expansion of our Signature portfolio and I’m sure it will be enthusiastically received by both reviewers and our customers worldwide.”

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature in Midnight Blue Metallic and 702 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Datuk Gloss
Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature in Midnight Blue Metallic (left) and 702 S3 Signature Loudspeaker in Datuk Gloss (right)

Pricing & Availability

Available from March 27, 2024 from selected dealers, 700 Series Signature is available in two special finishes: Midnight Blue Metallic and Datuk Gloss.

  • 702 S3 Signature: $9,000 per pair
  • 705 S3 Signature: $4,500 per pair
  • HTM71 S3 Signature: $3,300 each

For more information: bowerswilkins.com

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Asa

    March 27, 2024 at 8:29 pm

    I’m surprised more companies don’t offer custom finishes. I think Tekton is one of the few.

    Thanks, Ian.

  2. ORT

    March 27, 2024 at 11:21 pm

    Alas that the words “affordable” and “luxury” do not go together…

    Write now. I am simultaneously grappling with the monkey on my back, i.e., my Ego who is after my bank account!! Suddenly my Ego grabs me by the neck and begins to choke the account number from my gradually numbing mind…I gasp for air and through tightly clenched teeth using my tongue, lips and vocal chords, I form and say these words:

    “Take your stinkin’ paws off me you damn, dirty ape!”

    For those out there that just uttered the letters “WTI” (“What The Intercourse!” I am quoting Charlton Heston in the original “Planet of the Apes!”.

    Yes. The Ego is the Simian on all our backs when it comes time to purchase something WANTED and not NEEDED! For some, it comes in the form of a French Organ Grinders pet monkey and in others like myself (and Batman!) it comes in the form of Kong as in “King Kong” not “Donkey Kong”.

    I cannot purchase these gorgeous speakers (in BLUE!) because I am on a fixed income (more a “nocome”) and need to reel in Kong and chain him to the floor. Kong likes these speakers (In BLUE!) and as we all know, ’twas beauty thrilled the beast…

    What doth all this have to do with you dear readers? Nothing. And as usual…EVERYTHING! I know for fact that many of you are, even as I write this, vicariously suffering with me! I am handicapable and have long thought of buying a Harley-Davidson Tri Glide motortrike. Used. But these speakers put that down as if they were one of the *GASP* Knights of Ni!!!!!!

    Doubtless you too have your demons of the Day and Knight. Together, here in this…this…Fortress of Manditude we shall try to find the manswers together.

    Dammit these speakers are beautiful!

    ORT-EL Last Son of a B…. 😉

    • Ian White

      March 29, 2024 at 8:22 pm

      The Editor who says “Ni” has requested a pair. Mostly to find out if the $4,000 price increase in warranted.

      And I will fart in their general direction if the improvements are not substantial. I usually save that for the French…

      IW

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