July 22, 2011
| by Rachel Cericola
Spring cleaning has long passed. However, it’s never too late to clean up some of that AV setup. Bowers & Wilkins wants to make that install a little nicer, with its new CI300 series.
The CI300 series is a new line of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, specifically designed for customers on an AV budget.
“Our high-value, high-performance in-wall and in-ceiling CI 300 speakers are entry-level in price only,” says Doug Henderson, B&W’s VP of sales and marketing.“The same acoustic and industrial design teams that created the higher-end ranges, led by Dr. John Dibb, developed the CI 300 models. From sound quality to installation mechanics, the CI 300s are extremely well-executed designs that have no peers at their price points.”
The CI300 series will start off with three models, which are each priced per pair. At $300, the CCM362 in-ceiling speaker features a 6-inch polypropylene cone bass/midrange driver and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. For $400, the CCM382 provides a larger in-ceiling option. It has the same 1-inch tweeter, but adds in an 8-inch bass/midrange driver.
Last, but certainly not least, the CWM362 is designed for in-wall installations. This two-way speaker is similar to the CCM362, with the 6-inch driver and the 1-inch tweeter. It’s also priced at $400 per pair.
All three models have a thin bezel and offer optional square grille adapters to match in-ceiling lighting schemes. Each one has also been designed to withstand high moisture, making these a nice match for a bathroom or pool-area install.
As an added bonus, B&W has also announced a new subwoofer, the ISW-3 (pictured below). Based on installer feedback, the ISW-3 delivers as close to a “zero visual footprint” as possible. Featuring two 6.5-inch long-throw drivers, the ISW-3 has a forward-facing vent with a slotted grille, so it can be installed inside millwork and kitchen cabinets, as well as in walls, floors or ceilings.
Boasting bass down to 21Hz, the ISW-3 is powered by a MkII version of the existing SA-250 rack mount amplifier. The SA-250MkII offers an external EQ switch setting for either the ISW-3 or ISW-4 in-wall subwoofer, plus a stereo summing input for distributed audio applications. A single SA-250MkII can power two ISW-3 or two ISW-4 subs.
Both the ISW-3 and SA-250MkII should start shipping soon, with an MSRP of $1,000 each.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.