It may share its digits with a bloomin’ great Boeing, but the Bowers & Wilkins 707 is the smallest of the company’s new 700 Series, just 28cm high (and about the same in depth with grilles and cables taken into consideration), available in B&W shiny white, shiny black gloss, or a stylish matt rosenut finish.
Like the rest of the series, they have a 30-micron-thick aluminium-dome tweeter which has been stiffened with a layer of carbon deposited by vapour deposition process before bonding to a second section, a 300-micron-thick carbon ring profiled to match the main dome. And they have the 13cm Continuum midrange driver, here pressed into duty as a mid-bass woofer. Despite lacking the bass units of their brethren floorstanders, their frequency range is quoted from 50Hz to 28kHz at -3dB, extending down to 45Hz at -6dB and up to 33kHz, and at their launch we had heard them producing extraordinary bass given the right material. The break-up mode of the tweeter is way up at 45kHz thanks to the carbon deposition, so no danger of nastiness up top either.
Despite their size, their rear connections feature twin sets of high quality binding posts, so you could choose to biwire or biamp them if desired.
Before even putting speaker wires into the back, their quality is evident. They look gorgeous, which is an achievement for a rectangular box, however glossy and well finished. Under evening room lighting the metal rings shone around the tweeter and particularly below the mid-woofer, and they looked downright sexy — we felt a fraction of the frisson of B&W ownership, even though we knew the 707s were resident only for a few weeks. You can grille them, but we rather think it would be a sin to stop them shining so.
We had them on casual TV duties for the first week, warming them up before getting to some critical music listening. They lent easy audibility to dialogue, and enjoyable musicality to soundtracks. Then to music listening, where we first found the 707s highly versatile in terms of positioning, especially as regards horizontal spread. Then we enjoyed their music, noting that the better quality power you give them, the more they reveal their talents — creamy vocals, impeccably toned and imaged; cymbal taps clear, sharp and metallic; highly accurate soundstaging; and depth too, the limits of the size more prompting a little dip in fullness between bass and treble than a sense of limitations down low. Of course the lower octave is limited, but we were amazed by some of the bass coming through the little $1499 707s, including electronica with spectacular phatness.
More info: www.bowers-wilkins.com