Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3
Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3
Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3: Robust, sizeable floorstanding speaker

The B&W 702 S3 stands as the pinnacle of the 700 series – a robust, sizeable floor-standing speaker brimming with cutting-edge, impressive technical innovations. Pair it with a high-caliber hi-fi amplifier and brace yourself for a versatile audiophile experience. It demands its share of space yet promises to render exceptional sound quality, perfect for both music and movie audio.

In comparison with its more accessible sibling, the 703 S3, the 702 S3 boasts an additional bass driver, enhancing its cabinet’s output without increasing its size. This arrangement ensures an exceptionally clean and dynamic bass response.

A distinctive feature of the 702 S3 is its separate tweeter enclosure, a concept borrowed from the pricier 800 Series Diamond, which greatly enhances sound dispersion and stereo imaging. Uniquely among its 700 series counterparts, it features a down-firing bass port, necessitating a fixed plinth for optimal placement. This design tweak facilitates easier integration into living spaces, making it less prone to placement near walls.

The 702 S3 is available in multiple finishes and comes with stainless steel spikes.

Design

The Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 series marks a significant evolution from the popular 700 S2 series, favored by audiophiles and home cinema enthusiasts globally. Enhanced performance across the board is largely thanks to technology borrowed from the more luxurious 800 D4 Series Diamond. The S3 iteration brings you closer than ever to top-tier performance, but at a more accessible price point.

This series redefines expectations in its category, offering either compact excellence or full-scale home cinema solutions for an unparalleled listening experience.

The 700 S3 series sports a simple, elegant, and premium design. Available in high-gloss black, matte white, or the new Mocha in real wood veneer, the series has slimmed down from its predecessor, incorporating a gracefully curved front inspired by the 800 series. These updates not only enhance its aesthetic appeal but also minimize sound distortion. The sound quality benefits noticeably from these improvements.

The speaker’s front and sides are reinforced with thick plates and solid MDF internal bracing. This sturdy construction minimizes resonance, ensuring crystal-clear sound delivery.

The series continues to protect the delicate treble diaphragm behind a discreet metal grille, ensuring unimpeded sound flow, all while maintaining an elegant look, free of visible screws. This attention to detail allows the speakers to blend seamlessly into any living space, with or without their fabric fronts.

Performance

The patented Nautilus tweeter, a hallmark of Bowers & Wilkins, uses a reverse-trumpet tube to eliminate rear-directed sound, ensuring pure audio delivery. The 700 series introduces the Carbon Dome tweeter, a hybrid design bridging the gap between the aluminum and diamond diaphragms of its sibling series. This innovative construction significantly improves stiffness and raises the break-up frequency to 47 kHz, enhancing sound clarity without added weight.

A novel feature across all four 700 S3 models is the tweeter’s placement in a separate enclosure atop the cabinet, optimizing sound dispersion and minimizing cabinet vibration effects—a design cue from the 800 series. The robust construction also aids in cooling the tweeter, contributing to a purer sound.

The 700 series showcases B&W’s exclusive Continuum FST midrange technology, offering a seamless and neutral sound reproduction. This innovative design eliminates traditional edge suspension, allowing for a more dynamic sound distribution, providing a consistent listening experience from any position.

A key upgrade in the S3 series is the Biomimetic Suspension, which surpasses the traditional textile “spider,” offering unprecedented naturalness and clarity in sound.

Sound

The Aerofoil profile bass drivers, inspired by the 800 series, offer a lightweight yet rigid design for precise bass reproduction. This technology, while simplified in the 700 series, continues to deliver dynamic and accurate bass performance.

The 700 series’ crossover network is meticulously refined, featuring high-quality components selected through extensive listening tests. This minimalistic approach ensures a purer sound path, further enhancing the overall sound quality. The series also features high-quality screw terminals and bi-wiring options, enhancing operational reliability and performance flexibility.

The unique Flowport design mimics a golf ball’s surface, reducing air resistance and allowing for smoother, deeper bass delivery while minimizing distortion.

Pros

  • Massively equipped in relation to its size
  • Exclusive finish in lacquer or real wood veneer
  • Excellent level of detail and dynamics even in large listening rooms
  • Carbon Dome tweeter in separate Nautilus housing for optimal stereo image
  • Continuum Biomimetic Suspension FST midrange
  • Newly designed dividing filter with extra refined components

Cons

  • Requires quite a bit of space to get to its full potential
  • Not Matrix-braced enclosure

Resurface CMP