Bowers & Wilkins launches new 600 Series of hi-fi and home cinema speakers

10 Feb 2014

Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled details of its all-new 600 Series, which it says represents a "dramatic improvement" on its existing range of acclaimed hi-fi and home cinema speakers.

The addition of six new speakers signals a complete overhaul of the entire range, with every element of its design upgraded to make high-end sound quality "more accessible and affordable than ever", B&W claims.

MORE: B&W 685 S2 review 

 B&W's tried and tested engineering solutions from its other ranges have been used in the new 600 Series – such as the Double Dome Tweeters from the CM10 and its iconic Kevlar cones, among others.

Meanwhile, the manufacturer has incorporated additional elements such as its new Dual Layer aluminium bass drivers and tweeter decoupling technology to further improve the performance of the 600 Series.

Bowers Wilkins 600 series tweeter (new)

The largest speaker in the new 600 Series is the 683 floorstander (£1150 a pair). Smaller 5in drivers are included in the 684 floorstander (£800 a pair), which is a two-way vented-box system compared with the three-way vented-box system of the bigger model. The 684 stands 6.5cm shorter than the 683 (cabinet-only).

Elsewhere, the 685 (£500 a pair) and 686 (£350 a pair) speakers can be housed on a stand or a bookshelf and have been designed to be a "perfect fit" for most rooms. The 685 and 686 stand 34.5cm and 31.5cm tall respectively. 

MORE: See all our hi-fi speaker reviews 

Bowers Wilkins 685 (new)

If you're interested in building a home cinema system using the new 600 Series, two new centre speakers – the HTM61 (£550) and HTM62 (£350) – and three subwoofers have also been launched. 

The ASW610XP (£700), ASW610 (£500) and ASW608 (£350) subwoofers have been carried over from the previous 600 Series with revamped finishes.

Bowers Wilkins 684 (new)

Dealers will be selling two specific home cinema packages based on the new 600 Series: the B&W 684 Theatre (£1999), comprising 684 front speakers, an HTM62 centre speaker, 686 rears and an ASW610 subwoofer; and the 683 Theatre package (£2749, below), with 683 front speakers, an HTM61 centre channel, 686 rear speakers and an ASW610XP subwoofer. Other combinations will be available.

Bowers Wilkins 683 Theatre

B&W says: "The new 600 Series comfortably surpasses the outgoing range’s already excellent reputation for outstanding value and exemplary audio performance."

The new 600 Series will be available from March, in black ash and white, and we already have a demo pair of the new B&W 685s in our listening rooms. They'll be the lead First Test in our April issue of the magazine, on sale from March 12th.

Bowers Wilkins 683 (new)

MORE: Best Buys – home cinema speaker packages 

 

by Pete Hayman

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Comments

On B&W's website, the frequency response for the 684 is stated as 72Hz - 22kHz ±3dB, while the smaller 686 is 62Hz - 22kHz ±3dB. Does that make sense?

Thanks for correcting the error I pointed out too, Andy, and deleting my comment doing so. You're very welcome.

Corrected. The info hadn't been updated on the B&W website yesterday.

How tall are the standmounts? I'm sure you meant 345mm and 315mm respectively

Hi CraigDS. I'm afraid not - as far as i understand it, the new range will only be available in black or white...

Exciting reading! Only two finishes? Anymore finishes expected?

I loved my old 603 s3 speakers but my kids fingers didnt, nice to see those tweeters have now been covered.