Which Bowers & Wilkins D4 Speakers are Right for You?

Which Bowers & Wilkins D4 Speakers are Right for You?

Like their industry-leading predecessors of the past 40 years, the 800 Series Diamond speakers are not intended to blend in with their surroundings, though they are quite beautiful. This makes complete sense when you know that their target customers are professionals who spend time listening deeply to music or sound for picture, giving it their full attention, rather than playing music as a backdrop to other activities.

This is why control rooms of the biggest recording studios and sound stages the world over have been employing B&W speakers to make sure their final audio products are ready for release. Those space-age looks — and the technological and design advances that underly them — help to make sure that engineers, producers, and musicians can be certain they’re hearing their music exactly as they recorded, mixed, and processed it, without any distortion or artifacts caused by the playback speakers or cabinetry.

Diamonds are your ears' best friend.

Bowers & Wilkins is known throughout the industry for its Tweeter-on-Top design, and for the amazing sonic results the design produces. The entire generation of speakers is called the D4 line, which stands for Diamond, Fourth Generation; so is there really a one-inch diamond tweeter inside that cool-looking enclosure?

Yep! The diamonds are synthetic, and they’re made into a cone shape by being vaporized and blown into a mold that creates the tweeter dome. But make no mistake, the tweeter is made of diamonds, though they have nothing to do with bling and instead have everything to do with their astounding frequency range.

A diamond tweeter can reproduce sounds accurately up as far as 70kHz, which is so far beyond the range of human hearing that it’s nearly inconceivable. However, a lot of the music we listen to has energy in the frequency ranges above human hearing — even a recording of a Beethoven Symphony can go up above 20kHz. If your tweeter can’t handle energy above 20kHz, for example, you won’t notice the actual sound not being played accurately, but you are very likely to hear some sort of distortion, which can appear as brittleness in the high range.

The Bowers & Wilkins diamond tweeters ensure that you will always hear undistorted, pure sound to the highest range of your hearing, and way beyond. The elongated enclosure, as cool-looking as it is, isn’t just eye-candy. That enclosure allows the tweeter to be decoupled from the rest of the speaker housing, eliminating unwanted resonance that can color the sound, and giving the tweeter room for a more open and free sound in the high range.

Which models have this feature? All of the 800 Series Diamond speakers do. Every one.

Choosing the right D4 speaker for your system.

The 800 Series Diamond D4 speakers are not mere superficial updates to the previous lineup. This is a new generation — the fourth in the history of the 800 line — and as you’ll see, every aspect of this new series has been bolstered with major technological advances, all in service to that pristine listening experience. Well, with the possible exception of one, which though it definitely appeals to vanity, is entirely appropriate considering the legacy, reputation, and significance that Bowers and Wilkins continues to have in the audio industry. More on that in a bit.

The 800 Series Diamond lineup consists of seven models, each distinguished by its intended use and target room size, but united in appearance and all benefiting from the same design advances. Let’s explore the features and tech innovations as they’re implemented in each of the models, starting with the 805 D4, the entry-level speaker in the 800 Series Diamond line.

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$3,999.00

The 805 D4 is the entry-level model of the 800 Series Diamond line. It’s compact and designed to be mounted at the perfect height on the FS-805 D4 stand, but can be mounted on a tabletop as well. It has a single 6.5" bass/mid driver with a Continuum Cone made of Bowers & Wilkins’ proprietary composite material that eliminates abrupt transitions caused by conventional drive units, and a front-firing port. The 805 D4 also shares many of the premium features of the rest of the 800 series diamond line, including the beautiful one-piece reverse wrap cabinet, the Matrix interior bracing system that eliminates resonance, and the one you can’t take your eyes off of: the iconic Tweeter-on-Top.

805 D4 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker - Each

  • 1" Diamond tweeter
  • Solid body Tweeter-on-Top
  • 6.5” bass/mid driver
  • Matrix interior bracing system
  • Aluminum top plate
  • Leather by Connolly detailing, black or light grey
  • Finishes: Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut, Satin Walnut (new!)
  • 17" x 9.4" x 14.7" (HxWxD)
  • FS-805 D4 stand optional
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$6,249.00

If your design sensibilities lean towards floor-standing speakers, but away from space-age enclosures, the 804 D4 is for you. The 804 D4 gives you the amazing sound of double Aerofoil bass drivers augmented by the Flowport bass port, which fires downward into the newly designed aluminum plinth with a steel damping sheet, giving the 804 D4 a rock-solid foundation that also controls unwanted resonance. The gorgeous reverse-wrap cabinet isn’t only to dazzle your eyes — especially with the new Satin Walnut finish — its one-piece design reinforced by aluminum virtually eliminates the joints and edges that can add vibration and color to the sound.

The 804 D4 and the larger models in the series also share an innovation to the drivers themselves. Instead of the standard fabric suspension system employed by speaker manufacturers since the dawn of amplification — called a “spider”  — which Bowers & Wilkins determined generates its own air pressure that can color the sound of a speaker — the 804 D4 drivers are suspended in a design that is free of vibrations. This new Biomimetic Suspension system gets its name from its uncanny resemblance to a spider web.

As with all design elements of the 800 Series Diamond speakers, the looks are striking, but the goal is the delivery of pure, uncolored sound.

804 D4 3-Way Floorstanding Speaker - Each

  • 1" Diamond tweeter
  • Solid body Tweeter-on-Top
  • 5" Continuum cone midrange driver
  • 2 x 6.5" Aerofoil cone bass drivers
  • Matrix interior bracing system
  • Aluminum top plate
  • Aluminum plinth
  • Flowport bass port
  • Leather by Connolly detailing, black or light grey
  • Finishes: Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut, Satin Walnut (new!)
  • 42.1" x 12" x 15.4" (HxWxD)
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$9,999.00

Perfect for mid-sized home theater rooms, the 803 D4 is the smallest footprint that has the iconic Turbine Head midrange driver. Newly designed with an all-aluminum housing that provides rigidity and even more isolation from the rest of the cabinet, the Turbine Head enclosure allows the midrange driver to reproduce the mids of any music or soundtrack with complete transparency. The Turbine Head is just part of the equation, however: The midrange drivers in all 800 Series Diamond speakers are decoupled from the rest of the cabinet, and Bowers & Wilkins' Continuum Cone composite material makes the driver’s response smooth and efficient, without the sudden jumps in performance that traditional cone materials exhibit.

It’s not just the midrange driver that got the attention of Bowers & Wilkins' engineers: The bass drivers in all floorstanding models in the line benefit from the new Aerofoil cone material, which reinforces key areas of the bass cone with varying thickness. A new Anti-Resonance Plug cradles the voice coil, lowering the distortion that can be generated as the coil goes through its full range of motion. The result is the clearest bass sound of any Bowers & Wilkins speaker system.

Combined with the new all-aluminum cabinet head, Matrix bracing system, one-piece Reverse Wrap aluminum-reinforced cabinet, solid-body Tweeter-On-Top enclosure, and the new aluminum plinth, the isolation of each component of the three-way systems in the line enables transparency and clarity unlike anything you’ve heard before.

803 D4 3-Way Floorstanding Speaker - Each

  • 1" Diamond tweeter
  • Solid body Tweeter-on-Top
  • 5" Continuum cone midrange driver
  • Turbine Head midrange enclosure
  • 2 x 7" Aerofoil cone bass drivers
  • Matrix interior bracing system
  • Aluminum top plate
  • Aluminum plinth
  • Flowport bass port
  • Wheel plus spike undercarriage
  • Leather by Connolly detailing, black or light grey
  • Finishes: Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut, Satin Walnut (new!)
  • 45.9" x 14" x 20" (HxWxD)
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$12,999.00

The 802 D4 offers the most detailed, transparent sound you’ve ever heard in a floorstanding speaker for medium to large home theaters. All of the substantial design and construction advances evident in all of the 800 Series Diamond speakers help the 802 D4 achieve its remarkable sound quality, including the superb isolation of the bass drivers, the decoupled midrange driver enclosed in the all-aluminum Turbine Head housing, the Solid Body isolated tweeter, plus the vibration-free Matrix reinforcement and Reverse Wrap cabinet construction of the housing, as well as the all-aluminum cabinet top and steel-reinforced plinth.

Bowers & Wilkins did more than create the most inert housing and cabinet on the market, they eliminated the sound coloration that can be caused by traditional driver and voice coil suspension systems, and by the speaker electronics themselves. Contributing to the astonishing clarity of the 802 D4’s midrange is the new Biometric Suspension, which replaces the traditional fiber system and eliminates the creation of air pressure that can affect sound. The new Anti-Resonance Plug cradles the voice coil of the bass drivers, eliminating resonance that can occur as the coil moves through its range of motion. On all the stereo units, the crossover electronics are mounted at the rear of the Reverse Wrap cabinet, and mounted on stiff aluminum spines. This keeps the capacitors isolated from air pressure within the cabinet, which eliminates unwanted sound coloration, and makes for a highly effective heat sink, too.

It’s not just one technological advancement, or even a handful of improvements that make the 800 Series Diamond speakers so amazing. Every aspect of the entire range has been designed and crafted to ensure the sound that comes out of each driver is the sound that was intended, and not affected by vibration and resonance of the speaker or cabinet itself.

802 D4 3-Way Floorstanding Speaker - Each

  • 1" Diamond tweeter
  • Solid body Tweeter-on-Top
  • 6" Continuum cone midrange driver
  • Turbine Head midrange enclosure
  • 2 x 8" Aerofoil cone bass drivers
  • Matrix interior bracing system
  • Aluminum top plate
  • Aluminum plinth
  • Flowport bass port
  • Wheel plus spike undercarriage
  • Leather by Connolly detailing, black or light grey
  • Finishes: Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut, Satin Walnut (new!)
  • 48" x 16.25" x 23.7" (HxWxD)
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$17,499.00

The 801 D4 is the epitome of perfection in sound reproduction — which is why you’ll see this model in the control rooms of the top recording studios and sound stages around the world. If the artists, engineers, and producers who create the music and movies we love ensure that the product they deliver to us sounds as they intended by playing their work back on these speakers — then anyone who is obsessed with flawless sound clarity really should give these amazing speakers a listen.

You can do exactly that at our showrooms, as World Wide Stereo is one of the only dealers in the Northeast U.S. authorized to demonstrate and sell Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond speakers. When you come in, our experts will be happy to explain each of the technical details and improvements that have gone into each of the speakers in the 800 Series Diamond line, and exactly how they contribute to the most pristine sound available anywhere — but the bottom line will be what you hear.

What you won’t hear is sound that is colored or affected by cabinet resonance or vibration, speaker cone inconsistencies, interference between drivers, or the operation of electronic components. The 801 D4 housing is completely inert, thanks to new innovations such as the aluminum-reinforced Reverse Wrap cabinet, the Matrix bracing system, the all-aluminum midrange and tweeter enclosures, and the aluminum top and base. The movement of the drivers themselves is facilitated by the elimination of unwanted air pressure caused by suspension systems. And the drivers themselves — from the reinforced composite Aerofoil bass speaker cones to the Continuum Cone midrange driver and to the diamond Tweeter On Top — are crafted to deliver unparalleled response and clarity.

801 D4 3-Way Floorstanding Speaker - Each

  • 1" Diamond tweeter
  • Solid body Tweeter-on-Top
  • 6" Continuum cone midrange driver
  • Turbine Head midrange enclosure
  • 2 x 10" Aerofoil cone bass drivers
  • Matrix interior bracing system
  • Aluminum top plate
  • Aluminum plinth
  • Flowport bass port
  • Wheel plus spike undercarriage
  • Leather by Connolly detailing, black or light grey
  • Finishes: Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut, Satin Walnut (new!)
  • 48" x 17.8" x 23.7" (HxWxD)
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$5,499.00

For a premium home theater system in a modest space, a set of the 803 D4 or 804 D4 speakers are perfectly paired with the HTM82 D4 center channel speaker. Its compact midrange drive unit is ideally sized to match those of its siblings and its ample output will ensure a seamless and cohesive listening experience. The same design innovations of the 803 D4 and 804 D4 are featured in the HTM82 D4, including a completely inert cabinet reinforced by B&W’s upgraded Matrix bracing, a decoupled midrange driver in its own isolated aluminum housing, and the solid body diamond Tweeter-on-Top.

Innovations to the speaker cones themselves include the Aerofoil bass cones, which are made of a composite material that is varied in thickness to bolster smooth and efficient movement, the Contiuum Cone midrange driver with Biometric Suspension and Anti-Resonance Plug, as well as the isolated crossover electronics which are housed at the back of the enclosure, preventing air pressure interference with the sensitive capacitors. The FS-HTM Stand is designed to place the HTM82 D4 at a height that is perfectly matched with the drivers of the 803 D4 and 804 D4.

HTM82 D4 3-Way Center Channel Speaker

  • 1" Diamond tweeter
  • Solid body Tweeter-on-Top
  • 5" Continuum cone midrange driver
  • Aluminum midrange enclosure
  • 2 x 6.5" Aerofoil cone bass drivers
  • Matrix interior bracing system
  • Flowport bass port
  • Leather by Connolly detailing, black or light grey
  • Finishes: Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut, Satin Walnut (new!)
  • 11.4" x 28.1" x 14.5" (HxWxD)
  • FS-HTM Stand optional
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$7,499.00

Designed for use with the 801 D4 or 802 D4 to become the heart of the finest multichannel system available, the HTM81 D4 has bass power and midrange extension that perfectly matches the quality of its intended stereo partners. The HTM81 D4 has all of the incredible design and tech innovations that make the 801 D4 and 802 D4 the most transparent reference speakers on the market, including the completely isolated and resonance-free diamond Tweeter-on-Top, decoupled midrange driver housed in a solid aluminum housing, and bass units with Anti-Resonance Plugs and Aerofoil composite cones, all of which combine to provide you with sound that has no interference, vibration, or resonance introduced by the cabinet or components.

The FS-HTM Stand is designed to place the HTM82 D4 at a height that is perfectly matched with the drivers of the 801 D4 and 802 D4.

HTM81 D4 3-Way Center Channel Speaker

  • 1" Diamond tweeter
  • Solid body Tweeter-on-Top
  • 6" Continuum cone midrange driver
  • Aluminum midrange enclosure
  • 2 x 8" Aerofoil cone bass drivers
  • Matrix interior bracing system
  • Flowport bass port
  • Leather by Connolly detailing, black or light grey
  • Finishes: Gloss Black, White, Satin Rosenut, Satin Walnut (new!)
  • 13.1" x 33.3" x 14.6" (HxWxD)
  • FS-HTM Stand optional
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Want to learn more about the D4 lineup?

Contact one of our showrooms to schedule your own private listening experience or check out our full review here.

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