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B&W gives its Panorama soundbar a makeover

It's no secret that we weren't hugely impressed by the original B&W Panorama soundbar, but now there's a replacement in the form of the £1650 Panorama 2.

B&W says it offers "dramatically improved acoustic performance" over the original model and – praise be! – the new one gets HDMI connectivity with three HDMI inputs and one HDMI out.

There's also a new proximity-sensing control panel and enhanced user interface.

Designed to boost the sound of your flatscreen TV, the Panorama 2 features completely new B&W drive units. There are nine in total, with five used in the active centre speaker: two bass woofers, two midrange drivers and an aluminium dome tweeter with B&W's Nautilus tube-loaded technology.

The other four drive units provide the rest of the surround sound effects, and all are driven by six Class D amplifiers with a combined power output of 175W.

Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is used to create a pseudo-surround effect from a single speaker unit, and a subwoofer such as the B&W PV1D can be added to further enhance the bass.

A close proximity sensor activates the display on the Panorama 2 when the user's hand gets close, otherwise it remains off.

Those extra HDMI inputs mean a Blu-ray player or games console can also be connected to the soundbar.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.