Bowers & Wilkins Debuts New 600 Series Speakers for Home Theater and Stereo

The new center-channel, compact and floorstanding speakers will launch this March.

The new 683 (left) and 685 (right).

Bowers & Wilkins has decided to perk up the speakers in its 600 Series. The company just announced plans to add six speakers into the line, with new technologies and prices for the masses.

These new home audio speakers will pick up a few of the engineering solutions that Bowers & Wilkins has used in other ranges. For instance, the Double Dome Tweeters from the CM10 speakers promise to extend the first breakup frequency to 38kHz, while the Anti-Resonance Plugs from the PM-1′s mid/bass drive units will be on hand to lower bass distortion and improve the overall dynamics. Listeners can also expect the company’s Kevlar cones for the midrange.

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Of course, Bowers & Wilkins is adding some new goodies as well, most notably Dual Layer aluminum bass drivers and a new tweeter decoupling technology. The Decoupled Double Dome tweeter uses two aluminum domes, one of which has the center portion cut out and glued to the face of the first dome. This boasts a blend of both lightness and rigidity. From there, the tweeter assembly is decoupled and separated from the cabinet using a cushioning gel ring. The end result promises bigger sound with less dynamic compression.

As far as the actual models go, the 683 is the biggest of the bunch. Priced at $1,650 per pair, this floorstanding speaker has the new Decoupled Double Dome tweeter, an FST midrange driver, and Dual Layer aluminum bass drivers. The Dual Layer design includes an aluminum bass cone reinforced around its periphery with a second layer of aluminum, for a richer bass sound.

The 684 is much slimmer than its predecessor. Much of that design has to do with new Kevlar bass/midrange drive units and the Decoupled Double Dome tweeter. It also has 5-inch mid/bass drivers to replace the current 6.5-inch drivers. The 2-way design also has the Anti-Resonance Plugs. The 684 has been priced at $1,150 per pair.

Bowers & Wilkins has designed the 685 for those who can’t decide between stands or shelves. This speaker can do both! Priced at $700 per pair, the 685 has the Decoupled Double Dome tweeters, the Kevlar cones, and the Anti-Resonance Plugs.

For something slightly smaller, the 686 is priced at $550 per pair. Measuring 6.3-by-12.4-by-9 inches, the 686 has the Decoupled Double Dome tweeter and the Kevlar driver with an Anti-Resonance Plug. Other features include a 5-inch driver with a 25mm voice coil, as well as a front-firing Flowport (versus the rear). This allows it to be placed near the wall or on a shelf. It also has a built-in bracket, if you decide to go the wall-mounting route.

To round out the new 600 collection, Bowers & Wilkins is also introducing a pair of new center speakers. The HTM61 is priced $750 each, with the HTM62 coming in at $450. The HTM61 is a 3-way system with a tweeter placed directly above the 4-inch FST midrange driver for a better dispersion. The HTM62 is slightly smaller, with two 5-inch bass/midrange drivers with a central tweeter. Both center speakers also have rear-facing ports to help minimize cabinet width.

All of the new 600 Series will be available with a black ash finish, starting in March 2014. Also worth noting is that each model will come with an optimized steel mesh grille, with a decorative brushed aluminum plate and a diamond cut logo.

The 685 was designed to sit on a stand or a bookshelf.

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