B&W -- or Bowers & Wilkins -- announced yesterday that it's updating its affordably priced 600 series speakers with features originally developed for higher-end models. Feel like you're heard that line before? You have. But B&W's one of the few truly iconic audiophile speaker brands -- and for good reason -- so when it does something, it's always newsworthy.
The most important new development is the Double Dome tweeter, originally featured in the recent CM10 tower. It's basically a sandwich of two aluminum tweeter domes, one with the middle cut out, that moves the resonances in the tweeter to higher frequencies so they're even further from the audio band. The tweeter's in an enclosure that's physically decoupled from the main enclosure so the other drivers' vibrations affect it less.
Change #2 is an anti-resonance plug in the middle of the Kevlar midrange driver, taken from the design of the PM-1 minimonitor. This plug prevents resonances from occurring inside the voice coil. B&W has also stiffened the woofers by using new dual-layer aluminum diaphragms.
Top of the new line is the $1,650/pair 683 tower speaker, which has the 1-inch Double Dome tweeter, a 6-inch Kevlar midrange and two 6.5-inch aluminum cone woofers. The smaller 684 tower runs $1,150/pair. There are two two-way minimonitors, the $700/pair 685 and $550/pair 686.
There are also two center speakers, the $750 HTM61 and the $450 HTM62.
All of the 600 series speakers are available in any finish you want, as long as it's black ash.
Photo of 600 series speakers provided by B&W