Bowers & Wilkins' entry level range has always hit a sweet spot, with its £500 standmounters picking up multiple What Hi-Fi? Awards over two decades. The 600 Series - first introduced in 1995 - is now in its sixth iteration, and continues its long tradition of marrying sensible prices with technology trickled down from its top ranges.
As expected, the new 600 Series uses technologies introduced in the flagship 800 Series Diamond from 2015 and the new 700 Series launched last year - chiefly the silver Continuum midrange driver that has replaced B&W’s once-iconic yellow Kevlar cone.
Every speaker model in the new 600 Series incorporates the new Continuum cone: not only is the B&W family look now uniform, the new woven material is designed to improve accuracy, transparency and insight of all the speakers.
But that’s not all. The decoupled double dome tweeter from the outgoing range returns, but has been revised: it now uses the upgraded neodymium magnet and new grille mesh seen in the 700 Series, and the dome has been repositioned slightly forward in its diaphragm to improve time alignment.
The internal circuits across all models, such as the inductors and bypass capacitors, are all derived from the 700 Series, as is the port assembly and nickel-plated terminals. The ports have all been relocated to the rear of the cabinet and the speakers now have magnetic grilles, removing the need for any peg holes to mar the clean fascia.
All new 600 Series speakers come in two new finishes: matte black and matte white.
The three-way 603 floorstander leads the range, featuring the 25mm decoupled double dome tweeter, an FST midrange with 15cm Continuum cone and two 16.5cm paper cone bass drivers. The floorstanders will cost £1249.
The 606 is the successor to the Award-winning 685 S2 speakers. It's a two-way standmount speaker with a 16.5cm Continuum cone and the same 25mm tweeter, and has a £549 price tag.
The smallest speaker of the range, the 607, has decreased a little in height, features a 13cm Continuum cone and costs £399, but is designed to deliver “outstanding bass response and insight” from its petite stature.
There’s also a single centre channel, the HTM6 for £399. It’s the exact same dimensions as the previous HTM62 model, but sports two 13cm Continuum drivers flanking the 25mm tweeter, and has a longer voice coil and bigger magnet to match the performance of the 603 floorstanders.
The bigger HTM61 S2 from the previous range will not be replaced as the smaller HTM6 far outperformed its bigger brother. B&W will also be discontinuing the 684 S2 floorstander and the DS3 dipole speakers from the previous range due to lack of popularity.
All three subwoofers - ASW610XP, ASW610, ASW608 - have been carried over from the previous 600 range unchanged in every way apart from the finish. They now match the rest of the range in its matte black or white finishes, and cost £799, £499, and £399 respectively.
The new 600 Series speakers will be available in September.