“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Bowers & Wilkins Launches 700 S3 Signature Series Loudspeakers

Bowers and Wilkins 700 S3 Signature Series

Bowers and Wilkins 700 S3 Signature Series


  • Product Name: 702 S3 Signature floorstanders, 705 S3 Signature stand-mount speakers, HTM71 S3 Signature center-channel speaker
  • Manufacturer: Bowers and Wilkins
  • Review Date: March 27, 2024 13:00
  • MSRP: $9,000/pair - 702 S3 Signature floorstanders, $4,500/pair - 705 S3 Signature stand-mount speakers, $3,300/each - HTM71 S3 Signature center-channel speaker
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature

  • Frequency Response: 46Hz - 28kHz ±3dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.1Ω)
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 44.8 x 11.4 x 16.1 inches
  • Weight: 87.1 lbs

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature

  • Frequency Response: 50Hz - 28kHz ±3dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.7Ω)
  • Sensitivity: 88 dB
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 16.3 x 7.6 x 13.3 inches
  • Weight: 23.9 lbs

Bowers & Wilkins HTM71 S3 Signature

  • Frequency Response: 50Hz - 28kHz ±3dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.1Ω)
  • Sensitivity: 89 dB
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 9.2 x 24.7 x 14.0 inches
  • Weight: 43.9 lbs

In the nearly 60 years since Bowers & Wilkins was founded, the company has used the Signature name only eight times. In each instance, the loudspeaker series to carry the prestigious Signature moniker has boasted “rare and radically upgraded” components and technologies compared to their already-impressive counterparts in the company’s standard lineup. In June of 2023, the brand’s top-of-the-line 800 Series speakers received the Signature treatment, and my colleague Tony was lucky enough to be present for the unveiling and live demonstration at Masimo’s facility in Carlsbad, California. The 801 D4 Signature floorstanders and 805 D4 Signature stand-mount speakers promised (and delivered) improved performance compared to the regular Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series D4 loudspeakers, which launched in 2021. To reflect their prestige and exclusivity, they were also given gorgeous new finishes, as has become customary for the brand’s Signature offerings. Now Bowers & Wilkins is giving the Signature treatment to its less expensive 700 S3 Series, which arrived on the scene in 2022. The new 702 S3 Signature floorstanders ($9,000/pair), 705 S3 Signature stand-mount speakers ($4,500/pair), and HTM71 S3 Signature center-channel speaker ($3,300 each) all build upon the high performance and undeniable aesthetic appeal of the standard 700 Series models that form the basis of their designs, with the added benefits of carefully upgraded components and stunning new finishes that seriously outshine the originals.

702 S3 Signature closer up

The 702 S3 Signature floorstanding loudspeaker “further refines and advances the already exceptional 702 S3, introducing all-new levels of insight and realism that put it in a class of its own,” according to Bowers & Wilkins. Meanwhile, the 705 S3 Signature stand-mount loudspeaker brings “category-defining levels of transparency and accuracy to a more compact footprint, making it the perfect choice for discerning listeners in smaller spaces,” according to the company. The 700 S3 Signature series is the first to feature a center-channel speaker, and the HTM71 S3 Signature ensures “Signature-series levels of performance” for home theater customers looking to upgrade their whole front stage (or beyond). Bowers & Wilkins says that all of the new 700 Series Signature loudspeakers “build on a heritage that stretches back to the acclaimed Silver Signature loudspeaker of 1991, originally developed as a posthumous tribute to the founder of the company, John Bowers.”

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 Signature: Models and Tech Features

705 S3 Signature close up

The 702 S3 Signature is a three-way floorstander based on the flagship model in the standard 700 Series. Bowers & Wilkins says that the heart of the design is the Carbon Dome tweeter, which is prominently displayed via the company’s famous “Tweeter-on-Top” design. It sits in its own decoupled aluminum enclosure. Here the tweeter receives a modest upgrade for the Signature editions in the form of a new protective tweeter grille mesh with a more open structure, as first seen on the 800 Series Signature speakers that Tony auditioned last year. The midrange driver is a decoupled Continuum Cone FST unit, which uses B&W’s acclaimed Biomimetic Suspension. This feature reportedly reduces the amount of unwanted coloration being emitted from behind the driver, ensuring “clean, effortless insight into the midrange and an open, spacious sound,” according to the company. A trio of 6.5-inch Aerofoil Profile woofers promise full, powerful bass, thanks in part to upgraded spiders (driver suspensions) designed to improve clarity in the low frequencies. One common feature in all Bowers & Wilkins Signature models throughout the years has been the careful and considered upgrading of crossover components, with the goals being increased overall clarity and the extraction of every last iota of performance that the drivers and cabinet are capable of delivering. The crossover in the 702 S3 Signature reportedly uses new and upgraded Mundorf capacitors, improved inductors, and revised bypass capacitors. Even the binding posts are upgraded; they feature high-quality brass cores that ensure a cleaner flow of signal into the speaker, according to Bowers & Wilkins.

702 S3 Signature Crossovers

The 705 S3 Signature stand-mount speaker features many of these same upgrades, including the new tweeter grille mesh, which is said to provide more openness and transparency than the design used on the standard 705 S3. The crossover is once again upgraded with new capacitors and resistors, plus rearranged bypass capacitors and upgraded speaker terminals. The 705 S3 Signature also includes an all-new spider for the 6.5-inch mid-woofer, resulting in both a cleaner midrange and deeper bass performance, according to Bowers & Wilkins.

B&W HTM71 S3 Signature Midnight Blue Metallic

The new HTM71 S3 Signature comes as something of a surprise to me, and I imagine it will be a very welcome surprise for home theater enthusiasts shopping in this price range. (It’s a pet peeve of mine that so many excellent speakers don’t have a matching center-channel speaker. I’m looking at you, PSB Synchrony Series.) The HTM71 S3 Signature is a three-way design featuring the same Tweeter-on-Top assembly as both the 702 S3 Signature and 705 S3 Signature. The centrally-mounted 5-inch Continuum Cone FST midrange driver features the same decoupling and Biomimetic suspension as the midrange driver in the 702, and the twin 5-inch Aerofoil Profile woofers should provide plenty of power in the mid-bass. (Naturally, deep bass frequencies will be handed off to a subwoofer in home theater applications). The crossover has been given comprehensive upgrades, and Bowers & Wilkins says that the speaker integrates beautifully with both of its Signature Series siblings.

Any Signature launch is an incredibly proud moment for everyone at Bowers & Wilkins. The new 700 Series Signature range represents a significant expansion of our Signature portfolio and I’m sure it will be enthusiastically received by both reviewers and our customers worldwide.

— Dave Sheen, Brand President of Bowers & Wilkins

702 S3 Signature Datuk GlossBeauty may be subjective, but it’s hard to imagine that any audio enthusiast could look at the 700 S3 Signature speakers and think they’re anything but gorgeous. All three models are available in two exclusive Signature finishes: Midnight Blue Metallic paint and a lustrous Datuk Gloss wood veneer. While the wood veneer accentuates the speakers’ traditional form factors, the Midnight Blue Metallic paint is destined for contemporary environs. This is the same blue finish that we’ve admired on the 800 Series Signature models and the iconic $100,000 Nautilus loudspeaker. It’s never been available on speakers costing less than five figures, and I think it looks smashing. All 700 Series Signature models in both finishes feature gold trim around the drive units and tweeter housings, and all can be easily identified by the Signature logo plates on their rear panels.

Bowers & Wilkins says that the new 700 Series Signature loudspeakers are the perfect embodiment of the company’s product philosophy, which aims to combine timeless beauty with cutting-edge engineering to deliver “the best, truest listening experience available.” The 700 Series Signature loudspeakers are available now from select Bowers & Wilkins retailers, like our friends at Audio Advice.

More information: Bowers & Wilkins

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

View full profile