BOWERS & WILKINS 705 S3
BOWERS & WILKINS 705 S3
BOWERS & WILKINS 705 S3

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3: Impressive stand mounted speakers

The 705 S3 stands out as the most exclusive speaker within the 700 series. B&W has ingeniously incorporated the top-mounted Carbon Dome Nautilus tweeter, typically found in their larger floor models, onto the cabinet of the simpler 706 S2. This clever combination has resulted in a remarkable enhancement in dispersion and stereo perspective, propelling the 705 S3 into the realm of enthusiast-class speakers.

The exceptional performance of the 705 S3 is not a mere coincidence. B&W has drawn inspiration from their more expensive high-end 800 series, implementing the principle of a top-mounted tweeter in its own Nautilus housing. With years of expertise in harmonizing these elements, B&W has achieved a flawless synergy that truly captivates.

The 705 S3 offers exceptional musical quality and serves as a compelling alternative to bulkier floor models. Its ability to reproduce voices and instruments with precision and neutrality makes it ideal for enjoying classical music and jazz. The dynamic and accurate bass response adds depth to pop, rock, and film soundtracks. For those seeking an extra punch in the low end, a compatible subwoofer, such as one from B&W’s collection, can be added.

Crafted with high-quality materials, the 705 S3 boasts a sophisticated finish that complements any elegant interior, whether you prefer lacquer or real wood veneer. The front grill attaches magnetically, ensuring a seamless look without visible mounting holes when the speaker is displayed openly.

Various design options are available for the 705 S3, with matching stands offered as an additional choice.

BOWERS & WILKINS 700 S3 SERIES – HIGH-END QUALITY IN THE MID-RANGE

The new 700 S3 series from Bowers & Wilkins is both a design and technological upgrade of the 700 S2 series, which has been incredibly popular with music and home theater enthusiasts worldwide. Performance is significantly improved in all models, partly due to the many technologies inherited from the more expensive 800 D4 Series Diamond. The S3 generation takes you closer to the top range than ever before, but at a far more affordable price.

The 700 S3 series once again sets a new standard in the mid-range, which the competition will have trouble matching. Regardless of whether you need a compact gourmet model or a heavy, complete home cinema, you can be sure of a thoroughly exclusive experience.

SOLID AND ELEGANT DESIGN WITH THE SOUND IN FOCUS

The new design in the 700 S3 series is simple, stylish and exclusive. You can choose between high-gloss black or matt white lacquer as well as the new Mocha finish in real wood veneer. Compared to the previous S2 generation, the S3 design has been made even slimmer, and inspired by the 800 series, the front is now elegantly curved with highlighted units mounted in ‘pods’. All these upgrades help to give an even more exclusive visual expression and at the same time reduce sound-deteriorating diffractions from the cabinet. The result is audibly improved sound compared to its predecessors.

The front plate and sides are made of extra thick plates, and solid internal stiffeners in MDF have been used. The rigid cabinet reduces resonances in the lower frequencies, while the higher mass in the thicker cabinet sides reduces high-frequency resonances. You can’t see all these subtleties – but you will enjoy the result of them.

As on the 800 series, the delicate treble diaphragm is well protected behind a discreet metal grille, which is designed to let the sound through intact. At the same time, the front is completely without visible fastening screws. This means that the stylish mounting rings around the elements come into their own, so that the speakers in the 700 series can become an elegant piece of furniture in the living room, both with and without a fabric front.

NAUTILUS CARBON DOME – A TREBLE WITHOUT NOISE

Bowers & Wilkins’ patented Nautilus tweeter has for a number of years been the standard in various variants on almost all of their loudspeakers. The Nautilus principle is based on a tube that is mounted on the back of the element and almost acts like an inverted trumpet. This tube effectively absorbs all the sound that the element produces to the rear, so that the forward-directed sound is not affected. And that’s the one you want to hear from a speaker.

The exclusive Carbon Dome tweeter in the 700 series is an intermediate link between the aluminum diaphragm in the 600 series and the expensive diamond diaphragm in the 800 series. A Carbon Dome consists of two sections. The front part is an aluminum membrane only 30 μm thick, which is evaporated with a thin carbon coating in a process called Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). The rear part is a 300my thick ring of carbon fiber, which is laser cut to fit the profile of the outer part of the aluminum dome and then attached to it. The result is a dome with fabulous stiffness and a break-up frequency that has been moved all the way up to 47 kHz – without excess weight or other disadvantages!

As something new, all four 700 S3 Series models now have the tweeter mounted in a separate housing on top of the cabinet to optimize dispersion and prevent the influence of cabinet vibrations – again a principle taken from the 800 series. As with the 800 series, the 700 series tweeter is also turned out of a massive aluminum block. The elegant and newly designed woofer weighs over 1 kilo, so it is extremely solid and resonant dead. This design also means that the housing itself can be used to cool the treble as in the 800 series.

The element is also mechanically disconnected in the models where it is mounted in the front baffle. Here, it is done with the help of a ring of synthetic jelly around the magnetic motor, and it gives an audibly clearer and more three-dimensional sound image.

FST – A UNIQUE MIDRANGE WITH UNIQUE QUALITIES

All 700 series three-way models are equipped with B&W’s unique “edgeless” Continuum FST midrange. The FST element is constructed without the conventional edge suspension known from ordinary elements, and it provides an extremely resolved and neutral reproduction of voices and instruments.

The Continuum membrane in an FST midrange is woven in a special way that causes unwanted resonances on the surface of the element to be “smashed”. In combination with the rimless FST suspension, the membrane will reproduce different frequencies on different areas of the surface. The element “flexes” from the played note rather than moving like a piston, and this helps to spread all the frequencies in the working area equally. You are not forced to sit in a certain position in order to enjoy the music optimally.

An important innovation in the S3 generation is the new Biomimetic Suspension, which replaces the traditional “spider” in textile. Another unique and exclusive technology inherited from the 800 series. The spider’s role is to center the coil in the magnet gap and provide a precise damping of the diaphragm’s movements without hindering its movement, a bit like the shock absorbers in a car. The new suspension provides far less air compression and coloring compared to before, and the result is a hitherto unattainable naturalness and transparency for voices and instruments.

The finely tuned, “anti-resonance” mass damper in the center of the membrane also makes a valuable contribution to damping vibrations and controlling the break-up. The speaker chassis itself is ultra-stable cast in aluminium, and the element is mounted in a refined way on the back of the chassis inside the cabinet with a special attachment.

AEROFOIL PROFILE – BASS REPRODUCTION FROM THE HIGHEST AIR LAYERS

The refined bass elements in the 700 series are equipped with a simplified version of the ultra-light and ultra-stiff Aerofoil membrane that was developed for the 800 series. The Aerofoil membranes of the 700 series are still inspired by the aircraft industry and it is still a sandwich construction. Here it is simply made with two solid layers of paper around a layer of polystyrene foam instead of carbon fiber and synthetic special foam as in the 800 series.

Despite the simpler construction, the 700 series bass elements are still extremely potent. The light and stiff membranes act as an almost perfect “piston” that resists breaking very well throughout the entire working area. Exactly the same reason why Bowers & Wilkins developed the Carbon Dome tweeter for this series. You will be amazed by the precision and dynamics of these advanced bass elements.

LESS IS MORE

The crossover is of great importance to the speaker’s sound quality, and as in their most expensive series, Bowers & Wilkins in the 700 series has made the interaction between the elements so optimal that the crossover can be reduced to quite a few components. In return, these are of excellent quality and have been selected through a wide range of listening tests. Fewer components provide a more direct signal path, which in turn provides better sound. In the S3 version, the crossover has also been redesigned and has received even better components than in its predecessor, and this has given an audible boost to the already very good sound quality.

The heavy-duty screw terminals on the rear panel ensure trouble-free operation throughout the speaker’s lifetime. You also have the option to bi-wire the speaker, so you can squeeze out all the power reserves in the system.

The bass reflex port is B&W’s unique Flowport, which has small recesses in the mouth. The surface resembles a golf ball and reduces air resistance so air can pass more easily. It provides cleaner and deeper bass, and at the same time reduces distortion.

Pros

  • Top-mounted Carbon Dome tweeter in separate Nautilus housing
  • Very good three-dimensional stereo image
  • Very good all-round qualities for both music and film sound
  • Continuum bass/midrange
  • Newly designed dividing filter with extra refined components
  • Exclusive finish in lacquer or real wood veneer

Cons

  • Not FST midrange
  • Natural limitations in the very deepest bass
  • Requires quite a bit of power to play really loud

Resurface CMP