Bowers & Wilkins




An insight into the making of our revolutionary new loudspeaker.

 “It didn’t get better by chance, it got better by change.”

Being the flagship model in the 800 Series Diamond range, the 800-D3 is expected to improve upon a range that includes some of the most advanced loudspeakers, in the world – not an easy task, especially considering B&W have already spent the past 50 years pushing it to the peak of high-end audio performance. Fortunately, the research and design team at Bowers & Wilkins were up to the challenge…

Improving on near perfection required a willingness to think outside the box and embrace change… 868 changes, to be exact. The most ambitious research and development project B&W, has undertaken so far, the 800-D3 isn’t an evolution, it’s a revolution.

“We were able to squeeze and put even more technologies and improvements in the parts and components which are making the 800-D3 the outstanding product it is,” says Senior Research Engineer, Mattia Cobianchi. “The motors are different, the chassis are different, the cones are different,” explains Transducer Engineer, George Weaver. “It’s an unreal change.”

One notable change is the switch to two 10-inch Aerofoil bass cones. “We had the Aerofoil on the eight inch on the 802, but now we’ve got the Aerofoil technology on the 10-inch, and having two 10-inches is a good place to be if you want to get a good extension,” remarks Weaver excitedly. “This new drive unit even though it’s the same diameter as the previous generation, has been completely redesigned. So it’s a new cone, new suspension, new motor system, new coil,” continues Head of Research, Martial Rousseau.

Click below to watch B&W’s engineers and researchers discuss the exciting new changes to the 800-D3 in greater detail.

Producing a top-of-the-range loudspeaker, prototype is a monumental challenge in itself, but replicating that quality in large quantities for B&W’s ever-growing customer base was difficult to say the least. “We want to make the best loudspeaker we can, but we are in the business at the end of the day at Bowers & Wilkins, of trying to bring ‘True Sound’ to as many people as we possibly can,” says Senior Product Manager, Andy Kerr. “We want a large number of listeners to enjoy the experience, and we want them to be able enjoy that experience year on year. So we’re not interested in technologies and techniques that can only be repeated 15 or 20 times a year and require such bespoke processes and such individual handcrafted techniques that you can’t produce them in quantity in a factory.

As Kerr goes on to explain, B&W’s cutting-edge technology enables the team to reach the pinnacle of performance while still being competitively priced: “Because we’re innovative in technology and we’re innovative in manufacturing processes, we can produce something that’s incredibly high performance,” he says. “Clearly it’s expensive, but I would argue it’s actually a good value proposition relative to some of the other super high-end loudspeakers that are out there. I don’t think this is a super high-end loudspeaker in price [but] it certainly is in terms of performance.”

View the below video to learn more about the challenges faced by the B&W team during the making of the 800-D3. 

After half a century pursuing perfection through refinement and innovative change, the 800-D3<web link>, has reached yet another highpoint in high-end audio<web link>. Head of Research Martial Rousseau says it best: “The system is certainly a statement of intent in terms of engineering and sound quality for anything we’re going to design from now on. We’ve set the bar a lot higher and all we’re going to try to do from now is try to make everything as good as this.”

Discover the 800-D3:

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