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Review Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 – A Fresh New Start

Pros

  • Open and fast playback
  • Lots of air
  • Detailed

Cons

  • Very steep price
  • Fresher sound colour
  • Prijs: € 10000

    Build quality
    Controllability
    Sound
    Price
    Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4

    Intro

    August 2021: Bowers & Wilkins introduces the new 800 D4 series. This is always a “happening”, as Bowers & Wilkins can rightfully be called an icon in our industry. The British brand has several innovations to its name. With the ‘Nautilus Tube’ as one of the most famous. In the D4 line this ‘tube’ has been developed a bit further. But before we dive into the technology: first we take a look at the Baby 800: the Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4

    Bowers & Wilkins usually tackles things pretty thoroughly when it comes to the 800 series. When the D3 line was introduced, it was accompanied by the continuum unit, a new tube for the tweeter, and a completely new cabinet for almost all models. In fact, the entire speaker was pretty much redesigned.

    With the D4 line again quite a few things have been addressed: the tube for the tweeter is significantly longer and is now one piece of aluminum. This should reduce resonances to practically 0. The spider has been reviewed and is basically reduced to a ring with some wires to hold it all together. This should reduce reflections and thus distortion. Clever.

    Finally, it is striking that the cabinet has been made even more ‘dead’ and is definately more beautifully finished. Especially the 805 stands out, because with the D3 line the 805 was not really thoroughly addressed. There, it was mainly the 801, 802 and 803 that had a completely different look. The 804 and 805 had a slightly more subtle approach. But that has changed with the D4 series. Now these two models have also joined in the overall picture. It must be said: the finish and styling is sublime.

    A few specs

    The new Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 is a two-way monitor speaker. The price is currently 8800 Euros per pair excluding stands. The stands cost about 1200 Euros per pair. That brings the 805 D4 to 10,000 Euros. Serious money, about which more later.

    The midwoofer is a 16.5cm diameter continuum unit. In the 805 D4 it does come with a surround, unlike the other models, where it is an FST unit (without a surround). This is because it obviously has to reproduce not only the mid-band, but also the lower range. The tweeter is – of course – a diamond model with a diameter of 25mm. Together they have a range of 42 Hz – 28 kHz (+/- 3dB according to the booklet). That’s neat.

    The filter is a first order filter. The crossover frequency isn’t listed in the specs, but we’re guessing it’s around 2500 Hz. The sensitivity comes in at 88dB at 1 watt on 1 meter. And the nominal impedance at 8 Ohms with the minimum at 4.6 Ohms. It is – we have a feeling – a bit of an easier load for the amplifier than the D3.

    The 805 D4 is heavy…. very heavy. The speaker itself weighs about 16 Kg, but the stands, after they are properly loaded, add – we guess – about 25 Kg each. Now, unfortunately, we still have to carry it a couple of times (the life of a reviewer)… and that’s no fun with 40 Kg each. Certainly not if they are not really nice to handle and you really do not want to damage anything.

    The 805 D4 itself is 44cm high by 24cm wide and 37cm deep. With tripod that comes to about one meter high. Very good.

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