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Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: pricing, features, specs and more

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more
(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

Bowers & Wilkins has launched a new speaker range. The latest, third iteration of its 700 Series gives us more of the same, which, if you're familiar with its previous incarnations, you will know is very good news.

The 700 S3 packs many of the same cutting-edge Diamond technology found in B&W's flagship 800 Series into a slightly more affordable (okay, less expensive) package, while also offering a significant step up from the more budget 600 series. There have been slight compromises – otherwise why sell the 800 Series? – but, for many of us, the 700 could be the sweet spot in B&W's family of speakers.

This is the range's first update since 2017, so it's a very welcome refresh. A three-year development programme has seen the family redesigned from the ground up, with a new cabinet design, construction and finish, as well as key acoustic and mechanical improvements.

It comprises eight models: three floorstanders, three standmounts and two centre channel speakers.

Excited? Here's what's new, and what you need to know about each model in the range.

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 at a glance

  • Three floorstanders: 702 S3, 703 S3 and 704 S3
  • Three standmount speakers: 705 S3, 706 S3 and 707 S3
  • Two centre channels: HTM71 S3 and HTM72 S3
  • New-look, slimmer cabinets with a curved front baffle
  • Tweeter on Top tech from 800 Series Diamond features on more models
  • All models are on sale now

New design

B&W

(Image credit: B&W)

The first thing you will notice is that the speakers have a new look. The cabinets have been slimmed down, and now feature a slightly curved front baffle and drive units mounted in external 'pods' (just as in the 800 Series Diamond range).

But the change isn't only aesthetic. It also serves to reduce the impact of the loudspeaker baffle on the audio output by minimising cabinet diffraction. Which means less colouration, and a purer sound.

And they come in a new Mocha finish too, along with the usual Gloss Black and Satin White. There's also a Rosenut finish, but that is exclusive to Asian and Pacific markets.

Also new are speaker terminals inspired by the 800 Series Diamond. These feature more substantial contact connections and are more suitably laid out for use with spade-terminated speaker cables. The crossovers feature Mundorf capacitors as before but have been "carefully upgraded", according to B&W, and enhanced with multiple bypass capacitors and improved heatsinking.

All speakers in the range benefit from updated Flowports with larger diameters for a more substantial output, making for a more expansive sound.

Additionally, the FS-700 S3 speaker stands have been visually upgraded to match the new curved and slimmer profile of the standmounts and centre channel speakers, and they are furnished with stainless steel M6 spikes.

Tweeter on Top tech features on four models

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

One of the headline features of the new 700 S3 Series is the inclusion of B&W's Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top arrangement with a carbon-dome tweeter across four models. This has featured in previous ranges, but has been redesigned for the new family. 

While it is still machined from a solid block of aluminium, the new 700 S3 Tweeter-on-Top enclosure is longer, which helps to reduce distortion and ensure a cleaner presentation. 

There is also better two-point decoupling to more effectively isolate the assembly from the loudspeaker cabinet. The result? A more open soundstage.

The carbon-dome tweeter retains the same 47kHz first break-up performance as in previous models. But it is now coupled to improved, vented voice coils with new, upgraded magnets. Even the speakers that have their tweeters mounted in the baffle instead of the Tweeter-on-Top arrangement benefit from these improvements to the carbon-dome tweeter, as well as an elongated tube-loading system that also reduces distortion for a cleaner sound.

Biomimetic Suspension arrives on 700 series

Biomimetic Suspension also isn't new – it was introduced in last year's 800 Series Diamond range – but this is the first time it has featured in the 700 Series. It replaces the conventional fabric spider, and promises to reduce unwanted noise as the midrange cone operates.

Latest generation Aerofoil Profile bass cone

Bass is delivered via the latest generation of B&W's Aerofoil Profile bass cone tech, which is based around a composite ‘sandwich’ of materials with a carefully formed variable profile. B&W says this results in cleaner bass with less distortion.

B&W 702 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: B&W)

The 702 S3 is the flagship floorstander in the 700 Series. It boasts Tweeter-on-Top tech and Biomimetic Suspension, and like all the other speakers in the range, it has larger diameter Flowports. But it takes this a step further – just like the 800 Series Diamond, its port fires downwards on its integrated plinth, adding some sonic welly, and taking it closer to the 800 Series speakers that take pride of place in recording studios all over the world.

It also has heavy duty M10 spikes to better anchor it to the floor, which is a cut above those found on the other floorstanders.

• 3-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 1x 15cm (6in) Continuum cone FST midrange; 3x 16.5cm (6.5in) Aerofoil Profile bass
• Sensitivity: 90dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 113.8 x 29 x 39.1cm

Price: £5500 / $7000 / €6500 / AU$10500

B&W 703 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: B&W)

The 703 S3 is a step down from the 702 S3. It still has the Tweeter-on-Top tech and Biomimetic Suspension, but its port doesn't fire downwards like the 702's. And it has the slightly less premium stainless steel M6 spikes included with its plinth, rather than the 702's heavy duty M10.

The frequency range isn't quite as wide as the 702's (30Hz to 33kHz, compared with 28Hz to 33kHz), and a lower recommended maximum amp power (200W compared with 300W).

• 3-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 1x 15cm (6in) Continuum cone FST midrange; 3x 16.5cm (6.5in) Aerofoil Profile bass
• Sensitivity: 90dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 111.7 x 29 x 37.2cm

Price: £4200 / $6000 / €5000 / AU$8000

B&W 704 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: B&W)

The 704 S3 is another step down and the smallest floorstanding model. This time there is no Tweeter-on-Top – instead, the tweeter is mounted in the baffle – though it does still have the Biomimetic Suspension.

The same M6 spikes from the 703 S3 model are present and correct, while the frequency range is narrower still (43Hz to 33kHz) and the recommended maximum amp power lower at 150W. The Continuum cone midrange is a little smaller than on the other standmounts' too (5in, compared with 6in) as is the Aerofoil profile bass (5in compared with 6.5in). 

• 3-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 1x 13cm (5in) Continuum cone FST midrange; 2x 13cm (5in) Aerofoil Profile bass
• Sensitivity: 88dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 96.4 x 25.2 x 32.1cm

Price: £3000 / $4000 / €3500 / AU$5500

B&W 705 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: B&W)

The 705 S3 is the top-of-the-range standmount speaker in the new 700 S3 range. It has the Tweeter-on-Top tech, but like the other standmounts, it misses out on the Biomimetic Suspension. However, it has still been upgraded with a new motor system and an improved chassis for a cleaner output.

The frequency range is 45Hz to 33kHz, while the recommended amplifier power is 30W to 120W.

• 2-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 1x 16.5cm (6.5in) Continuum cone bass / midrange
• Sensitivity: 88dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 41.3 x 19.2 x 33.7cm

Price: £2600 / $3400 / €3000  / AU$4499

B&W 706 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

The smaller 706 S3 standmount doesn't have the Tweeter-on-Top, but it still benefits from the carbon dome with vented voice coils and new magnets, as well as the elongated tube-loading system. It too has the new motor system and chassis, and can be matched with the new FS-700 S3 speaker stands as its pricier stablemate.

It also has the same frequency range and can power an amp up to 120W.

• 2-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 1x 16.5cm (6.5in) Continuum cone bass / midrange
• Sensitivity: 88dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 34.5 x 19.2 x 33.4cm

Price: £1650 / $2200 / €2000  / AU$2999

B&W 707 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: B&W)

The 707 S3 is the same as the 706 S3 but with a slightly smaller Continuum cone bass / midrange (5in, compared with 6in). It can also power an amp up to only 100W, not 120W, and has a slightly lower sensitivity. Other than that, the specification is the same.

• 2-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 1x 13cm (5in) Continuum cone bass / midrange
• Sensitivity: 84dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 30 x 16.5 x 28.4cm

Price: £1300 / $1800 / €1500 / AU$2499

B&W HTM71 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: B&W)

The HTM71 S3 is the higher end of the two centre channel speakers. It's a three-way speaker, with Tweeter-on-Top and Biomimetic Suspension.

• 3-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 1x 13cm (5in) Continuum cone FST midrange; 2x 13cm (5in) Aerofoil Profile bass
• Sensitivity: 89dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 23.3 x 62.8 x 35.6cm

Price: £1700 / $2500 / €2000 / AU$2999

B&W HTM72 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 speakers: release date, pricing, features and more

(Image credit: B&W)

The HTM72 S3 misses out on the Tweeter-on-Top. It has a mid/bass drive unit, and so has the same new motor system and improved chassis as the other two-ways.

Its sensitivity is marginally lower than the HTM71's (87dB compared with 89dB), and its maximum recommended amplifier power is also lower (120W versus 200W).

• 2-way vented-box system
• Drive units: 1x 25mm (1in) Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency; 2x 13cm (5in) Continuum cone bass / midrange
• Sensitivity: 87dB
• Dimensions (HWD): 16.5 x 47.7 x 30.2cm

Price: £1000 / $1500 / €1200 / AU$1599

There's no new subwoofer introduced in the 700 S3. For those wanting to make a complete 5.1 home cinema system, B&W recommends its existing DB4S subwoofer (£1399 / $1899 / AU$2799) as the best sonic and aesthetic match for the new models.

MORE:

Go inside the B&W factory to see the new 800 D4 speakers being made

Read our Award-winning B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition review

Here are the best stereo speakers you can buy

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.