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Bowers & Wilkins Revamps 600 Series Speakers, Their Best Yet?

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Bowers & Wilkins 600 series speakers

Bowers & Wilkins 600 series speakers

Summary

  • Product Name: 600 Series Speakers
  • Manufacturer: Bowers & Wilkins
  • Review Date: August 21, 2018 01:00
  • MSRP: $900/ea - 603 Floorstanding; $400/ea - 606 Bookshelf; $300/ea - 607 Bookshelf; $599 HTM6 Center Channel; $1,200 ASW610XP sub; $650 - ASW610 sub; $500 - ASW608 sub
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now

603 Floorstanding Speaker

  • Technical features: Decoupled Double Dome aluminum tweeter Continuum cone FST midrange Paper / Kevlar bass cones Flowport
  • Description: 3-way vented-box system
  • Drive units: 1x ø25mm (1 in) aluminum dome high-frequency
         1x ø150mm (6 in) Continuum cone FST midrange
         2x ø165mm (6.5 in) Paper / Kevlar profile bass
  • Frequency Range: -6dB at 29Hz and 33kHz
  • Frequency Response: 48Hz - 28kHz ±3dB
  • Sensitivity: 88.5dB spl (2.83V, 1m)
  • Harmonic Distortion: 2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
    <1% 90Hz - 22kHz
    <0.5% 120Hz - 20kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.0Ω)
  • Recommended amplifier power: 30W - 200W into 8Ω on unclipped program
  • Dimensions HxWxD: 38.8 in x 7.5 in x 13.4 in
  • Net Weight 24.5kg (54 lb)

606 Bookshelf Speaker

  • Technical features: Decoupled Double Dome aluminium tweeter Continuum cone bass / midrange Flowport
  • Description: 2-way vented-box system
  • Drive units 1x ø25mm (1 in) aluminum dome high-frequency
      1x ø165mm (6.5 in) Continuum cone bass / midrange
  • Frequency Range: -6dB at 40Hz and 33kHz
  • Frequency Response: 52Hz - 28kHz ±3dB Sensitivity 88dB spl (2.83Vrms, 1m)
  • Harmonic Distortion: 2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<1% 100Hz - 22kHz
<0.5% 150Hz - 20kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.7Ω)
  • Recommended amplifier power: 30W - 120W into 8Ω on unclipped program
  • Dimensions HxWxD:  13.5 in x 7.5 in x 11.8 in

607 Bookshelf Speaker

  • Technical features: Decoupled Double Dome aluminum tweeter Continuum cone bass / midrange Flowport
  • Description: 2-way vented-box system Drive units 1x ø25mm (1 in) aluminum dome high-frequency
     1x ø130mm (5 in) Continuum cone bass / midrange
  • Frequency Range: -6dB at 40Hz and 33kHz
  • Frequency Response: 52Hz - 28kHz ±3dB
  • Sensitivity: 84dB spl (2.83Vrms, 1m)
  • Harmonic Distortion: 2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<1% 110Hz - 22kHz
<0.5% 180Hz - 20kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω (minimum 4.0Ω) Recommended amplifier power 30W - 100W into 8Ω on unclipped program
  • Dimensions HxWxD:   11.8 in x 6.5 in x 8.1 in
  • Weight:  10.25 lb

HTM6 Center Channel

  • Technical features: Decoupled Double Dome aluminum tweeter Continuum cone bass / midrange Flowport
  • Description:  2-way vented-box system
  • Drive units: 1x ø25mm (1 in) aluminum dome high-frequency
     1x ø130mm (5 in) Continuum cone bass / midrange
  • Frequency Range -6dB at 42Hz and 33kHz
  • Frequency Response 72Hz - 28kHz ±3dB
  • Sensitivity 87dB spl (2.83Vrms, 1m)
  • Harmonic Distortion 2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<1% 100Hz - 22kHz
<0.5% 200Hz - 22kHz
  • Nominal impedance 8Ω (minimum 4.3Ω)
  • Recommended amplifier power 30W - 120W into 8Ω on unclipped program
  • Dimensions HxWxD:  6.3 in x 18.9 in x 10.0 in
  • Net Weight 16.87 lb

ASW610XP Subwoofer,

  • Type: Active closed subwoofer
  • Drive unit: 10in paper / Kevlar long throw cone
  • Frequency Response: -6dB at 18Hz and 25/140Hz adjustable (EQ at A)
  • Amplifier power output: 500W
  • Low pass filter: Active 4th -order, variable cut-off frequency
  • Dimensions: Height: 12.8 in- not including feet, Width: 12.8 in,  Depth: 14.7 in- including grille and controls
  • Weight: 34.4 lb

ASW610  Subwoofer

  • Type: Active closed subwoofer
  • Drive unit: 10in paper / Kevlar long throw cone
  • Frequency Response: -6dB at 20Hz and 25/140Hz adjustable (EQ at A)
  • Amplifier power output: 200W
  • Low pass filter: Active 4th -order, variable cut-off frequency
  • Dimensions: Height: 12.2 in- not including feet, Width: 12.2 in,  Depth: 14.8 in- including grille and controls
  • Weight: 27.6 lb

ASW608 Subwoofer

  • Type: Active closed subwoofer
  • Drive unit: 8in paper / Kevlar long throw cone
  • Frequency Response: -6dB at 23Hz and 25/140Hz adjustable (EQ at A)
  • Amplifier power output: 200W
  • Low pass filter: Active 4th -order, variable cut-off frequency
  • Dimensions: Height: 10.2 in- not including feet, Width: 10.2 in,  Depth: 13 in- including grille and controls
  • Weight:  19.5 lb

Executive Overview

With CEDIA right around the corner we’re apt to see a slew of new speaker designs coming from all the major manufacturers.  Audio company Bowers & Wilkins decided again this year to improve on a tried and true speaker design rather than changing the name and repackaging marginally acceptable speakers like other companies we’ve seen recently. The new version of their 600 series is their 6th iteration of the speaker line ranging from subwoofer, bookshelf and floorstanding speakers. 

B&W 603 angle.jpg

The Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series range has already won a host of awards for great value and high performance. This year, Bowers & Wilkins is launching a new range composed of four speakers and matching subwoofers that feature several improvements from their predecessors.

“The 600 Series is the perfect entry point into the Bowers & Wilkins high-fidelity audio experience. The new 600 Series embodies the original ethos of John Bowers’ mission to deliver best sound quality and to set new standards for audio performance.” 

- Richard Campbell, Chief Revenue Officer at Bowers & Wilkins

Continuum drive b&W.jpg

Bowers & Wilkins’ is integrating higher-end technologies first used in their flagship 800 Series Diamond range into their 600 series. The new 600 Series incorporates their Continuum Cone midrange driver, developed and exclusively manufactured by Bowers & Wilkins to improve upon the transparency and accuracy of the iconic Kevlar cone. The Continuum Cone is available in every model in the new 600 Series range.

B&W double dome tweeter.jpg

The new 600 Series also introduces an updated version of its acclaimed Decoupled Double Dome Tweeter technology designed for even clearer and more accurate high-frequency performance. This technology, paired with new paper cone low-frequency drivers in the flagship 603, should ensure rich, powerful bass response.

The new range is available in Matte Black and Satin White in all of the following models.

603: Floorstanding Speaker

The 603 is the flagship and largest speaker in the series. This floor standing speaker includes a Decoupled B&W 603.jpgDouble Dome tweeter, an FST midrange driver using the Continuum Cone, and dual paper-cone bass drivers  Developed over an eight-year period and first featured on their flagship 800 Series Diamond models, the Continuum cone has been integrated into the sixth generation of the  603. The 603 also features the  Decoupled Double Dome tweeter, which has a re-engineered assembly for better performance. The dual paper bass cones are also re-engineered to allow for more precision and low-distortion accuracy.

Besides a cleaner sound with newer features, we also really like the cleaner look of the 603 over older models. Bowers & Wilkins wrapped the speaker in a matte finish available in black or white, removed grille pegs and replaced them with magnets and also moved the port to the rear cabinet . Stylish.  At a price $900/each, you get the legendary performance of Bowers & Wilkins with the newest upgrades they have to offer.

606 and 607 Bookshelf Speakers

B&W 606.jpg     607 B&W.jpg

Bowers & Wilkins 606-left and 607-right

The 606 standmount or bookshelf loudspeaker also features Bowers & Wilkins award-winning Continuum cone technology. The 606 is a compact speaker that combines Decoupled Double Dome tweeter technology with a 6.5-inch Continuum Cone bass / midrange driver. At  $400/each the 606 is in a crowded field of speakers in this size and price point, but considering the caliber of materials used in this system you will definitely be getting your money's worth.

The 607 is the smallest speaker in the range, but this compact stand or bookshelf speaker looks to offer some outstanding bass response and insight from its main 5-inch Continuum Cone mid/bass driver. The  $300/each price point might make this speaker system more palatable for smaller room sizes or use as surround speakers, but the continued use of high grade materials will still make a worthy choice for audioholics.

HTM6 Center Channel

HTM6 B&W.jpg

The HTM6 center channel speaker in the new 600 Series from Bowers & Wilkins features their award-winning Continuum cone technology as well. In this latest iteration, Bowers & Wilkins merged their HTM62 S2 and HTM61 S2 center channel options into one powerful, punch-packing speaker. Now in a compact and living room-friendly package, the center channel speaker offers 603-matching levels of performance from a smaller, more preferred size for your home. The HTM6 is a slim, dedicated center channel speaker with considerable power and exceptional precision featuring the Decoupled Double Dome tweeter plus dual 5-inch Continuum Cone mid/bass drivers. At $599, you'll be hard pressed to find a center channel speaker of this caliber for this price.

ASW610XP, ASW610 and ASW608 Subwoofers


ASW B&W.jpg

Completing the range are three exceptional subwoofers carried across from the previous 600 Series with updated finishes to match the new range (Price for each ASW610XP: $1,200, Price for each ASW610: $650, Price for each ASW608: $500)

Initial Impressions

B&W 606.jpg

With the newest version of the 600 series from Bowers & Wilkins taking cues from their much acclaimed 800 series we see the potential for an amazing speaker line at reasonable prices. Bowers & Wilkins incorporated their Decoupled Double Dome tweeter plus their Continuum Cone drivers in every speaker in the new 600 series!  We were personally invited to the unveiling of the D3 800 series a few years ago and got a chance to listen to them in a variety of settings. If the 600 series perform at anything close to that memorable experience Bowers & Wilkins will have done something truly amazing. While we weren't able to attend their unveiling of this series at their most recent press event to hear them firsthand, you can rest assured we'll be getting in some samples to take a closer look and listen.

Are you ready to jump into the new 600 series of speakers from Bowers & Wilkins? Tell us in the comments thread below which model(s) you're planning on getting or your experience with prior versions of the revered 600 series.

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About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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