The new Bowers & Wilkins PM1 speaker has been on display for several months in our showroom. In the time we’ve displayed it, we’ve received positive feedback from customers and employees alike. It’s a compact loudspeaker that can be utilized on a shelf or with speaker stands. The PM1 utilizes many of the designs of the 800 series Diamond speakers such as the famous Nautilus tweeter, Matrix bracing and Kevlar cone but at a more comfortable price.
Like other speakers of B&W high end line, the PM1 utilizes the famous tapered Nautilus tweeter. The benefit of the Nautilus tweeter is less distortion due to the fact the sound that comes from the back of the tweeter is dissipated into an insignificant minimum rather than bouncing around screwing things up. Located on top of the speaker, and decoupled from the cabinet we find the tweeter’s sound to be more accurate and more involving than many other designs. With B&W’s new carbon bracing, using a ring of ultra-thin wound carbon fiber, the high frequency detail is among the most accurate we’ve listened to at any price.
The 800 Diamond series of speakers are known for their incredible bracing in their cabinets. B&W calls this their Matrix cabinet technology. Although not a member of the 800 Diamond series, the PM1 utilizes the the Matrix cabinet design just like their far more expensive bigger brothers. A three dimensional honeycomb structure reinforces the cabinet in each direction The benefit of the Matrix cabinet is a notable reduction in the cabinet coloration and more accurate stereo imaging from the speakers.
Spoken of in hushed reverence in audiophile circles is the B&W Kevlar speaker cone. Kevlar is stronger than steel, but far lighter allowing a more accurate and less muddy sound than most paper or plastic cones. B&W is famous for their use of Kevlar and in the PM1 they don’t disappoint. In our listening sessions, we’ve noted wider stereo imaging and more accurate and deeper bass than we thought possible with the size driver in the PM1. By design or by accident many speaker designs in this size and class can have a ‘fruity’ mid-bass. Our listening tests note that B&W has hit it out of the park in mid-bass accuracy.
The Bowers & Wilkins PM1 speaker has been a welcome addition to our showroom and we often find ourselves in slower moments taking in a quick listening session and seem to find it difficult to pull ourselves away! The comfortable size, the qualities and technologies that B&W have placed into the PM1 make this a speaker that you should consider on your short list of quality speakers to audition.
Well done B&W.
George Webster, Suess Electronics