Precious Little Speakers

  • Brent Butterworth

Six years ago, speaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins upgraded top models in its famed 800 Series with tweeters made from solid diamond, grown in a laboratory to form a dome shape. The diamond tweeters’ clear sound and low distortion delighted audiophiles, but fans of the company’s smaller speakers felt left out. Now B&W has revised the entire 800 Series, and even the smallest model, the 805, has been blessed with an improved version of the diamond tweeter. A new quad-magnet design further increases the tweeter’s power handling. B&W’s iconic yellow Kevlar-cone woofer delivers extraordinarily deep bass considering the speaker’s modest 16.5-inch height. The heavily braced woofer cabinet and the solid metal tweeter enclosure assure natural, even response from bass to mid-range to treble. The $5,000-per-pair speaker is available in gloss black, cherrywood, and rose-nut finishes. The upgrade is welcome news to those who considered previous versions of the 805 to rank among the world’s finest stand-mounted speakers. (978.664.2870, www.bowers-wilkins.com)

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