With redesigned drivers but the same (or improved) impressive performance, B&W renews its position in the top branches of the soundbar tree.
Bowers & Wilkins has had a long involvement with the film industry; its legendary 800 Series monitor loudspeakers are used in many of the world’s recording studios, including George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch. So it was not a total surprise when the company entered the soundbar market in 2009 with the original Panorama. The company has, after all, produced surround sound speaker packages for years. But the Panorama was B&W’s first attempt at the tricky compromises required to mimic movie speaker sound from a single front speaker unit.
What an attempt it was. Reviews of the original Panorama, including Sound+Image’s own, were glowing, to say the least. The general consensus was that this was the best soundbar yet heard, especially when you allowed it to go loud. The only problems with the original Panorama were that it perhaps didn’t look like three grand’s worth of sub-TV loveliness, while a lack of HDMI inputs meant consumers had to get to grips with digital audio outputs.
All this, and more, has been rectified by the Panorama 2.
Thank you for searching out Sound+Image Magazine’s equipment review of the B&W Panorama 2 Review originally published in Sound+Image May/June 2013
This equipment review is available as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages - it looks nicer than us throwing a load of words up the screen here.
You can download it here: B&W Panorama 2 Review.pdf