Bowers & Wilkins has an extravagant yet theoretical approach towards speaker making that has always been the talk of the audio town. Every product that comes out of the Bowers & Wilkins factory in UK is a stunner. For our HT speaker package special, we review their 600 Series—683s (foorstanding speakers as fronts), HTM61 (centre), DS3s (surrounds) and ASW 610 (subwoofer).
Out of the Box
Just one look at these speakers and you know that you are in for a pleasurable audio experience. The entire 600 Series consists of speakers moulded in a conventional box shape, which is made up of real wood. The yellow from the Kevlar woofer with the silver on the aluminium tweeters are quite refreshing from the otherwise monotonous black baffle of the speakers. The simplicity of the 600 Series speakers will see you having an instant liking towards them. The build quality looks sturdy, and you will almost feel that the speakers will last with you forever.
Towers of power with a deep lower end
The most salient feature of the 600 Series is its drivers. There are several speaker manufacturers that incorporate the famous Kevlar woofers but what makes Bowers & Wilkins stand out among the rest is the way they use these drivers. They don’t just connect the drivers and leave the rest in destiny’s hands. But instead there is a lot of importance given to optimise the use of Kevlar woofers. For instance, FST (Fixed Suspension Transducer) uses a narrow ring of foamed polymer to support the outer edge of the cone. This ring absorbs all the bending waves that travel towards the edge of the cone, and accordingly controls the movement of the cone. The physical significance of this arrangement is quicker response of the heavy Kevlar driver leading to better transients as well as clarity and definition in the overall response.
It can take the pressure
For the tweeters, they have incorporated the revolutionary tapering tube technology. Thoroughly tested and acclaimed for its efficiency to eliminate all the drawbacks of back waves in a speaker, the tapering tube tweeter is known for its smooth and linear high-frequency response. Another salient feature of the 600 Series is the bass reflex port, which is not a driver but definitely an equivalent. In heavy and boxy speakers if the air flowing out of them is not properly directed, the result is boomy and muddled sound. Bowers & Wilkins have devised a concept called the Flowport, which looks and works like a golf ball. The hollows on the surface of the port helps generate a smooth and linear flow of air coming out of the speakers that facilitates a controlled bass frequency response.
Setting up these speakers was a breeze. However, the setup deserves more space to open up and to its best. As we arranged the 683s (fronts) in our 180sq ft studio, we placed them far away from each other in order to make the most of the expansive soundstage that these speakers offer. It is essential that you get the right blend, which is usually a trial and error procedure. The overall sound of the setup is almost perfect. Once we connected the speakers to the Anthem MRX 300 AV receiver and sampled some of our favourite Blu-rays, the Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series generated all the excitement that one would expect from a quality 5.1 HT speaker package.
Well designed for that surround feeling
The opening sequence of ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King’ is known to exhaust even the mightiest of subwoofers. But the ASW610 subwoofer displayed no such pressure. At no point did we feel that the lower-end was getting heavy on the rest of the spectrum. One factor that helped the subwoofer was the deep lower end of the 683 floorstanding speakers that were being used as fronts. With the 683s easily reaching the 80Hz mark, the subwoofer was responsible only for the lower frequency effects that the sub dealt with effectively—an advantage of using floorstanders as fronts. Further the quick transient response of the speakers made us believe that we were sitting in a movie theatre as we thoroughly enjoyed watching 'Transformers: Dark of The Moon’.
Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series Review
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