B&W Launches Signature Versions of its Iconic 800 Series Speakers

Bowers & Wilkins today announced the latest iteration of the famous 801 speaker that became an instant audiophile classic when it was introduced in 1979, making its way into London’s fabled Abbey Road Studios a few years later.

Hailed as the ultimate version of the 800 Series Diamond series, the new 801 D4 Signature brings new refinements and advances to the reference-standard 801 D4 speaker introduced in 2021 and is joined by a second model, the 805 D4 Signature, that aims to capture 801 magic in a smaller, stand-mount footprint.

B&W doesn’t take the use of the Signature moniker lightly. Only seven series of speakers have carried the prestigious mark since the brand was founded in 1966. Both of the new models incorporate proprietary upgrades unique to the new D4 Signature lineup, advancements that represent the pinnacle of the brand’s current thinking in its perpetual quest for sonic perfection.

Building on the 801 D4 model currently in use at Abbey Road Studios, the 801 D4 Signature is a three-way floorstander that mates B&W’s 1-inch Diamond Dome tweeter and 6-inch Continuum Cone FST midrange driver with two 10-inch Aerofoil Cone woofers in a 4-foot cabinet topped with the 801’s unmistakable tweeter and midrange enclosures. The woofers take response down to a rated 15 Hz (±3 dB).

Upgrades include improved woofer magnets, a new aluminum port designed to reduce noise, resulting in cleaner bass, and a redesigned “turbine head” midrange enclosure featuring a new aluminum plate at its base and an optimized skeletal structure with carefully placed damping material to reduce unwanted resonance; the turbine enhancements are said to achieve “even more midrange transparency and openness” than the already outstanding 801 D4.

The 801 D4 Signature speaker also boasts a new FEA-optimized tweeter grille and new bypass capacitors in its crossover — measures intended to increase transparency. The 801 D4 Signature is now officially available for a cool $50,000/pair.

The crossover and tweeter grille refinements carry over to the two-way 805 D4 Signature, which B&W calls its “highest performance standmount ever,” along with a redesigned aluminum plate that separates the tweeter from the main enclosure. Standing just over 17 inches tall, the new 805 mates a new 6.5-inch woofer unit with the 1-inch Diamond Dome tweeter and is rated down to 42 Hz (±3 dB). The 805 D4 Signature sells for $12,000/pair.

Both models are available in two luxurious hand-crafted finishes: the same Midnight Blue Metallic paint offered on B&W’s thoroughly unique Nautilus speaker, featuring 11 coats of paint and lacquer with blue leather on the top of the main enclosure, or California Burl Gloss wood veneer trimmed in black Leather and featuring 14 coats of lacquer. For more information, visit bowerswilkins.com.

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