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Bowers & Wilkins 705 & 702 Loudspeakers Earn Signature Status (New 2020 models)

Bowers & Wilkins introduces Signature 705 ($3,999/pr) stand-mount and Signature 702 ($6,499/pr) floor standing loudspeakers with upgraded components and finishes.

“Crafted, honed, perfected”

Bowers & Wilkins today introduced the new 700 Series Signature loudspeakers for audiophiles. The 700 Series Signature combines state-of-the-art engineering with the highest possible standards of design, finish and quality. The company says, “Every speaker is crafted with care, honed by experience perfected with passion.”

Signature product launches are rare and special events in Bowers & Wilkins’ 54-year history, but when the world-leading specialist audio brand attaches the name Signature to its loudspeakers, you can be sure the results are very special. Today marks the introduction of two new Signature versions of premium loudspeakers from the Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series range:

  • 705 Signature stand-mount loudspeaker ($3,999/pr)
  • 702 Signature floor standing loudspeaker ($6,499/pr)

The new 705 Signature and 702 Signature models share a common philosophy with their predecessors: like previous Signatures, the new models are carefully upgraded and lavishly finished loudspeakers that represent the apex of current Bowers & Wilkins design, engineering and manufacturing processes. A huge amount of care and attention has been paid to improving their acoustic performance via an upgraded crossover design, and also to carefully crafting the luxurious new cabinet finish.

Launched in 2017, the elegant Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series range of speakers already delivers exceptional performance thanks to its careful use of technologies first seen in the high-end 800 Series Diamond, such as the Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top assembly, unique Continuum cone drivers and Aerofoil profile bass drivers. Used in combination with bespoke 700 Series technologies such as the Carbon Dome tweeter plus carefully optimized and rigid cabinets, the result is a range of loudspeakers as superb to listen to as it is to look at.

Upgraded Components

As Signature products, the new 705 & 702 Signature have received further, detailed improvements enabled by upgraded crossover designs and components. Both models now feature specially treated and upgraded bypass capacitors sourced from Mundorf, larger heatsinking and, in the case of the 702, an upgraded LF capacitor on the bass section of the crossover. In tandem with the immense benefits both models enjoy as a result of their Tweeter-on-Top configuration, these upgrades improve the already-remarkable resolution, openness and spatial retrieval on offer, lending them an even-more polished, refined and involving sound.

Upgraded Finish

Keeping up with established Signature practices, the 705 and 702 Signature boast a stunning new Datuk Gloss ebony-colored veneer with a distinctive, beautiful grain. This custom-designed finish combines the beauty of exotic real-wood veneers with the environmental benefits of a sustainably-sourced supply, in this case from specialist Italian wood company Alpi.

Each pair of speakers is unique, with no two models sharing the same grain pattern or figuring. Bowers & Wilkins adds to Alpi’s painstaking workmanship by applying nine coats of finish – including primer, base coat and lacquer – to create a deep, lustrous appearance. To further accentuate and highlight the quality of finish on each model, both Signature speakers have bright metal trim rings around the mid/bass and midrange cones plus bright, silver- finished tweeter grilles. Finally, both models have a Signature identity plate on their rear panel, turning each speaker into a genuine and unique piece of art.

Carbon Dome Tweeter

Both 700 Series Signature models feature Bowers & Wilkins Carbon Dome tweeter technology. Designed to bridge the performance gap between the Aluminum Double Dome used in the 600 Series and the Diamond Dome used in the 800 Series Diamond, the Carbon Dome is composed of two sections. The front portion is a 30-micron aluminum dome that has been stiffened by a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating of carbon. The second section is a 300-micron carbon ring that has been profiled to match the form of the main dome. This is then bonded to the inner face of the structure. The outcome is exceptional stiffness and resistance to distortion without undue mass and a first break-up point of 47kHz.

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Solid Body Tweeters

As with all preceding Signature products, the 705 Signature and 702 Signature are Tweeter-On-Top designs featuring, in this case, Solid Body Tweeter technology. This design is derived entirely from the approach used in the 800 Series Diamond and has the same performance benefits. As with the 700 Series speakers, instead of using a hollow zinc housing, the new Signature models use the same shape milled from a solid mass of aluminum to provide a stiffer and less resonant structure. Weighing over 1kg, it is exceptionally inert, and benefits from the same decoupling mechanism and acoustically transparent grille design as the 800 Series Diamond. This design also allows the use of the mass of the tweeter body as a heatsink for the dome.

Continuum cone

Continuum cone midrange drivers were first seen in the 800 Series Diamond. The Continuum cone’s design is based on the concept of optimized and controlled flexibility. This helps the cone to avoid the abrupt transition from pistonic to break-up mode behavior that drastically impairs the openness and neutrality of a conventional drive unit. Continuum is a woven composite that gives highly controlled break-up, for a more transparent and detailed midrange.

Midrange chassis

The 702 Signature is equipped with a dedicated midrange FST drive unit using a FEA-optimized aluminum chassis with a very stiff optimized form, further enhanced with the addition of a tuned mass damper on the front face of the chassis. This dampens any remaining resonance in the structure, resulting in a cleaner midrange presentation.

Midrange decoupling

The midrange decoupling system simplifies the design used in the 800 Series Diamond for a significant improvement in midrange spaciousness across the board.

Aerofoil-profile bass cone

A new implementation of the Aerofoil cone used in the 800 Series Diamond is featured on the 702 Signature, using a composite structure of inner and outer skins filled with EPS. The result is a dramatic uplift in bass performance.

Specifications

 702 Signature (floorstanding)

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  • Three-way vented-box Tweeter-on-Top
  • 3 x 165mm Aerofoil Profile bass
  • 1 x 150mm Continuum FST midrange, decoupled
  • 1 x 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter in Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top

 705 Signature (stand-mount)

  • 2-way vented-box
  • Tweeter-on-Top
  • 1 x 165mm Continuum bass/midrange
  • 1 x 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter in Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top

Comparison

702 Signature705 Signature
FeaturesDecoupled Carbon Dome™ tweeterDecoupled Carbon Dome tweeter 
Solid Body Tweeter on topSolid Body Tweeter on top
Continuum™ cone FST™ midrangeContinuum cone bass / midrange 
Decoupled midrange 
Aerofoil™ Profile bass cones 
Flowport™Flowport
Description3-way vented-box system2-way vented-box system
Drive Units 1x ø25mm (1 in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency1x ø25mm (1 in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency
1x ø150mm (6 in) Continuum cone FST midrange1x ø165mm (6.5 in) Continuum cone bass / midrange 
3x ø165mm (6.5 in) Aerofoil Profile bass 
Frequency range-6dB at 28Hz and 33kHz-6dB at 45Hz and 33kHz
Frequency response 45Hz – 28kHz ±3dB50Hz – 28kHz ±3dB
Sensitivity90dB spl (2.83VRMS, 1m)88dB spl (2.83VRMS, 1m)
Harmonic distortion 2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<1% 86Hz – 28kHz <1% 100Hz – 22kHz 
<0.5% 110Hz – 20kHz<0.5% 150Hz – 20kHz
Nominal impedance 8Ω (minimum 3.1Ω)8Ω (minimum 3.7Ω)
Recommended amplifier power 30W – 300W into 8Ω on unclipped programme 30W – 120W into 8Ω on unclipped programme 
Dimensions Height 994mm (39 in) cabinet only340mm (13.4 in) cabinet only
1087mm (42.8 in) including tweeter and plinth 200mm (7.9 in) cabinet only407mm (16 in) including tweeter
366mm (14.4 in) including plinth200mm (7.8 in)
337mm (13.3 in) cabinet only285mm (11.2 in) cabinet only
364mm (14.3 in) including grille and terminals 414mm (16.3 in) including plinth 301mm (11.9 in) including grille and terminals 
Weight 29.5kg (65 lb) 9.3kg (20.5 lb) 
Finishes Datuk Gloss (cabinet) Datuk Gloss (cabinet) 
Black  (grille)Black  (grille)

Price & Availability

The Bower & Wilkins new 702 and 705 Signature loudspeakers will be available July 2020.

  • 702 Signature – $6,499.99 a pair
  • 705 Signature – $3,999.99 a pair

Bowers Wilkins Signature 705 Reviews

From Critics Around the Web

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