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CEDIA 2018: Bowers & Wilkins launches updated 600 Series

KEF R Series

B&W is in a good place… Coming off of their 50th anniversary only 2 years ago, they have now completed the roll-out of many technologies that they established in the B&W 800 D3 series loudspeakers to both the 700 series and the entry-level 600 series loudspeakers.

Over the course of 8 years of R&D for the 800 D3, they found a better material to work with. B&W calls it “Continuum”. It is a woven material, like the Kevlar they used to us, but better.  We heard them originally in March 2016 at Definitive Audio and liked what we heard.  This technology was introduced this week at CEDIA and arrives in the new B&W 600 Series.

The changes of note in the updated 600 series include: introduction of continuum, new driver and tweeter, magnetic grills (no more pegs!), bass port moved to the back, top-notch binding posts and block from the 700 series an a improved finish.

Of particular note, we really like the look of the 600 series in white. They had a white bookshelf on display with the speaker on display and spinning tunes. It looked right at home, modern, clean. and more expensive than its $800 price point.In a second room, B&W was offering a shoot-out between the new 606 loudspeaker and the older 685 loudspeaker. Everything in the demo was identical, and they simply used the ability to toggle between speakers A or B on the Rotel integrated amplifier to switch.

Demo tracks were delicious and promptly added to our personal favorites playlist for demo content.

They started with the 606 and then played the track again on the older 685 series.

When listening to “Human” by Saevdaliza, we were nicely surprised by the dynamics and tonal quality on the 606. It wasn’t that old B&W signature sound that we have been accustomed to.  Instead, it was definitely a sweeter sounding music that we have heard from the 700 and 800 series now in a smaller package.  Definitely a bookshelf speaker to keep an eye on and listen to.

As we listened to the track on the 685, we lost some magic. It was almost like a blanket had been lowered on it, with some dynamics lost, bass was not as tight and the tonality wasn’t where we would want it.

B&W 600 Series Pricing

Thank you to B&W’s Kevin Wolff for showing us around the B&W Booth and giving us the inside on the new 600 series. Part-Time Audiophile would like to welcome and congratulate our good friend Kathleen Thomas on joining the B&W team this week at CEDIA!

-Mohammed