Bowers & Wilkins have launched the first Signature models based on its 700 series loudspeakers. The Signature 705 (£2,699) is a two way bookshelf while the 702 (£4,500) is a three-way floorstander with three bass driver, both models share the tweeter-on-top that has been the hallmark of Signature series designs since they were first launched in 1991. The original Silver Signature marked the company’s 25th anniversary and was a two-way that encapsulated all of the technological breakthroughs that the company had made up until that point. The same can be said of the Signature 700 models except that they don’t have the diamond tweeter dome found in 800 series models, keeping prices down to below eye watering level.
Both models have a carbon tweeter housed in a machined aluminium body that eliminates pretty well all of the shortcomings of its hollow bodied predecessor. The tweeter dome is made up of a 30 micron thick former that is coated in a fine layer of carbon and reinforced by a carbon ring at the edge for a combination of stiffness and light weight that far exceeds aluminium. The midrange and mid/bass on both models has a woven Continuum cone as found in the 800 series models, in lab measurements this performs considerably better than the Aramid cones that were found on earlier models. Which translates to lower distortion and thus greater fidelity. The 165mm bass cones on the 705 have the Aerofoil profile sandwich cones based on that in the 800 series, these consist of paper skins with an EPS foam filling that gives them significant rigidity without adding weight. Again the benefit is lower noise and distortion for more signal clarity.
Both Signature 700s have a Datuk gloss finish that is unique to these models and the 702 measures 1087mm (42.8”) high including tweeter and plinth while the 705 is 340mm (13.4”) high with a 165mm main driver. Both have rear facing reflex ports and bi-wire cable terminals and are available now.