B&W PV1D review

The successor to the multi-award winning PV1, B&W's PV1D proves to be equally as capable, and head and shoulders above the rest Tested at £1200

(Image: © B&W)

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A brilliant sub that delivers the best precision and agility, the PV1D is a great addition to your system


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    Excellent precision and agility

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    lots of punch

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    delivers deep bass

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    cool and unique design


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The Bowers & Wilkins PV1D is the successor to B&W’s multi-Award-winning PV1, the ‘D’ denoting a digital upgrade that lets you fine-tune the sub with a wide range of EQ options.

Accessible via an OLED display plus a touchbutton interface mounted on the central band of its enclosure, the DSP both optimises the PV1D’s overall performance and allows for a degree of user-adjustable equalisation to suit different applications.

For example, should you want to use the PV1D in a 2.1 configuration, it provides preselected EQ modes to help integrate it with any one of six different types of B&W speaker.

B&W PV1D – the inside view

B&W PV1D – the inside view

The PV1D’s drive units (2 x 20cm) and amplification (400W) have been tweaked too, and the result, says the company, is a sub with all the speed and agility of its predecessor plus considerable additional bass extension.

The DSP system helps extend the sub's low-end capability, using dynamic bass EQ to monitor the amount of low-end boost delivered to ensure both the amplifier and drive units remain in their 'comfort zone', and also offers user-adjustable equalisation to suit different applications.

In addition, you can connect the PV1D to a Windows computer using its RS-232 socket and a cable supplied. This enables the use of B&W's SubApp – available as a free download from the company's PV1D support page – to get deeper into the subwoofer's settings and configure it from the listening position.

In use it’s deeply impressive: watch the train wreck from Super 8, and the PV1D maintains control at crashing volumes, while delivering ample detail, punch and attack.

Precision is paramount, and you really feel the big wallops.

Right now, this really is the subwoofer to beat.


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What Hi-Fi?

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