October 03, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
I love the phrase Bowers and Wilkins is using to talk about the new Panorama 2 soundbar: “Widescreen for Your Ears.”
Sure, it doesn’t make much sense—ears can’t see and all that—but it sounds cool, and sounding cool is important for speakers. The Panorama 2 includes some cool features too, like a proximity-sensing control panel, nine drivers and six class D amplifiers (learn more about amplifiers here).
Because most of what you hear comes from the center channel of the soundtrack, five of the system’s nine drivers support the center channel. The midrange drivers are designed for wide dispersion to help create a virtual surround experience. The low-frequency drivers extend deeper than in the previous version for better bass and a more dynamic sound.
It features three HDMI inputs and switching capability, so you can use it without an AV receiver. The proximity-sensing control panel illuminates when you put your hand near it, but turns completely invisible when not in use.
It will be available from B&W dealers in late October for $2,200.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.