Bowers & Wilkins refines 700 Series for new 702 and 705 Signature speakers

Bowers & Wilkins refines 700 Series for new 702 and 705 Signature speakers
(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

Bowers & Wilkins has added two new models to its premium range of Signature speakers. The 705 Signature standmount (£2699 / AU$4,999 per pair) and 702 Signature floorstander (£4499 / AU$8,500 per pair) are derived from, but promise improvements over, the 700 Series models launched in 2017.

The new generation of Signature Series comes almost 30 years after the first model, the Silver Signature, which marked B&W's 25th anniversary and was the first significant speaker launch after the death of its founder, John Bowers. 

Subsequent Signature speakers have since represented the apex of B&W design and, since the 40th anniversary Signature Diamond model released in 2006, each has featured the distinct tweeter-on-top design. The two latest additions are consistent with the range's approach and philosophy, here featuring upgraded crossover designs, components and finishes.

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

The 705 Signature is a two-way standmount based on the existing 705 and carries over that tweeter-on-top design, as featured on the Signature, 800 Diamond and 700 Series. As with the 700 Series speakers, instead of using a hollow zinc housing, the new Signature models use the same shape milled from a solid mass of aluminium to provide a stiffer and less resonant structure. 

Below it, mounted inside the enclosure, is a 25mm carbon dome tweeter, comprised of two parts to ensure it is light yet rigid and resistant to distortion. There's also a 16.5cm Continuum midrange driver, manufactured by B&W and first seen in its 800 Series Diamond.

The 702 Signature, meanwhile, is based on the 702 floorstander and combines the same tweeter-on-top design with a 15cm dedicated midrange driver and three Aerofoil-profile 16.5mm bass cones. These new cones use a composite structure of inner and outer skins filled with polystyrene.

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

Both feature specially treated and upgraded bypass capacitors, larger heat-sinking and, in the case of the 702, an upgraded low frequency capacitor in the bass section of the crossover.

The 705 Signature and 702 Signature also introduce a new, custom-designed and sustainably-sourced Datuk Gloss ebony-coloured veneer, with no two pairs of speakers sharing the exact same grain pattern. To accentuate the Signature look, each bares a celebratory Signature identity plate. They certainly sound pretty special on paper – we look forward to hearing them in our test rooms.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.