Bowers & Wilkins XT Series home theatre loudspeakers

Bowers & Wilkins’ stunning new XT Series loudspeaker range will arrive this August. The XT Series combines leading edge loudspeaker technology in sleek slimline aluminium cabinets.

Bowers & Wilkins XT Series cabinets are meticulously finished to perfection in gloss black or brushed aluminium and are equally at home in traditional living rooms or modern apartments. The XT Series loudspeakers are ideal for the discerning listener’s music or as a full home theatre system. The XT Series has already become one of Bowers & Wilkins’s most popular ranges overseas, unifying the audio prowess that approaches B&W’s reference 800 Series with a look that manages to be both modern and timelessly stylish.

With the XT Series is Bowers & Wilkins have utilised aluminium with its blend of attributes: comparatively lightweight, yet incredibly strong and stiff. The stunningly curved cabinets not only look fantastic, but also add a degree of solidity, setting up the perfect platform for the drive units to be housed.

The XT Series range featuresathree-way floorstanding speaker, the XT8, a sleek column designed to act as either a highly polished stereo pair or the front left and right speakers of a home theatre system. Slim it may be, but the XT8 contains many of Bowers & Wilkins’ signature technologies. These include an aluminium-dome Nautilus Tapering Tube tweeter, which is mounted outside the main cabinet to eliminate time smearing. It also utilises a woven Kevlar driver for midrange, and using developments derived from B&W’s high-end products it includes FST (Fixed Suspension Transducer) technology, which helps to enhance definition. There’s plenty of bass on offer from such a slender speaker, too, thanks to the deployment of two 130mm paper/Kevlar bass drivers.

The new XT2 is a two-way standmount speaker, equally at home as a compact stereo system or as the effect speakers in a full home rheatre system. It benefits from the sonic advances discovered during the development of the XT8 and also uses an aluminium dome Nautilus Tapering Tube tweeter and a 130 mm Kevlar drive unit, although this time it serves as both midrange and bassdriver. The XT2 is supplied with adjustable wall brackets, but can also be placed on its dedicated stand, the FS-XTII.

For home theatre enthusiasts the XTC is the ideal final element of the XT Series. This voice-matched, two-way Centre speaker uses an aluminium dome Nautilus Tapering Tube tweeter and two 130mm Kevlar midrange/bass drivers to achieve stunning all-round integration. Due the exceptional capabilities of the XT Series’ drive units and enclosures, the all-important crossover network in XT models combines elegant simplicity with only the finest hand-selected components. The first-order tweeter filter for example uses just a single, high-calibre capacitor that can retain the subtle nuances of delicate high frequency information.

Complementing the XT Series’ impressive loudspeakers is the PV1500 Watt, 200 mm (8 inch) subwoofer. The PV1, although elegant and stylish, owes its curved shape to sound engineering principles, those of a pressure vessel, from which the initials in the name derive. From a simple bubble to a sophisticated deep sea diving bell, a spherical form is the ideal shape to accommodate pressure differences between the inside and outside of the enclosure; and there can be considerable pressures generated inside compact subwoofers. The intrinsic strength of the form enables a relatively thin wall construction to the aluminium enclosure, maximising the internal volume.

The XT Series may have been designed with audio properties in mind, but there’s no doubt it’s amazing to look at as well. Available in both a black and an natural aluminium finish, the XT Series make an elegant addition to any living area.

Price and availability

The new XT Series will be available at selected Bowers & Wilkins dealers from August 2009, with the following recommended retail prices:

  • XT8 Three-Way Floorstanding Speaker $5,999 for the pair
  • XT2 Two-Way Bookshelf/ Stand MountSpeaker $1,699 for the pair
  • XTC Two-Way Centre Speaker $1,299 each
  • PV1250 mm (10″) 500 W Active Subwoofer $2,200 each