Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) today launched an all-new upgrade to their popular 600 Series line-up that they call their Anniversary Edition. With the Anniversary Edition, the line – one of B&W’s longest running and most popular series – receives both aesthetic and technical updates…a true win-win for new 600 Series buyers.
Learn more about the B&W 600 Series Anniversary Edition speakers…
As I mentioned in another post, B&W held a media briefing on their forward-looking product roadmap that extended through the end of 2020. Kicking off that roadmap was the 600 Series Anniversary Edition, which gets an impressive refresh that will help it look richer and sound better.
For B&W, the 600 Series is their gateway drug designed to entice the curious and the precocious journeyers into audiophilia. Far and away their most accessible and affordable option, many a customer has chosen to start their B&W relationship with a 600 Series model, ultimately upgrading to higher and higher series all the way up to the vaunted 800 Series Diamond – the pinnacle of the reference brand.
A Luxury Nameplate is Like a Hood Ornament on a Luxury Car
During the media presentation, B&W Director of Product Marketing & Communications Andy Kerr started by presenting a new and special nameplate for the series. Actually…this makes sense. Much like a luxury automobile, where the hood ornaments are such a statement piece that they get stolen. But they also sell cars as buyers look to it to build an affinity with the high-end brand. B&W knows that buyers will be happy to show off the special nameplate to their friends, letting them know they have acquired a special edition of a very special speaker brand.
Over the years, B&W has often introduced technologies in their higher end models and then in ensuing years had that technology – or some version of it – extend down into the lower series products. Because the company designs and manufacturers many of their own components, they have more control over their systems configurations – an advantage over less vertically integrated competitors.
Attractive New Finishes Including Oak & Red Cherry
Certainly the 600 Series Anniversary Edition has benefited from this technology transfer as well.
New this year is an attractive oak finish, a great complement to their existing matte black and matte white finishes. The company is also making a striking red cherry finish available as a special order as well.
The 600 Series models receiving an Anniversary Edition “S2” designation include the 607, 606, 603, and HTM6 center channel speaker. However, the ASW608, ASW610, and ASW610XP subwoofers – along with the STAV24 S2 speaker stand continue unchanged.
Anniversary Edition Home Cinema Package
The company has also created a complete 600 Series Anniversary Edition Home Cinema package. This package includes the 603 S2, 607 S2, and HTM6 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers. The package also includes a ASW610 subwoofer.
The 600 Series Anniversary Edition is a classic example of Bowers & Wilkins thinking. By using our unique, in-house-developed components and technology from higher ranges, we can raise the performance of our entry-level product to new heights and for a very modest premium. The 600 Series has been setting the standard in its category for 25 years and we’re confident our new Anniversary Edition range will carry on that tradition in style.”Andy Kerr, Director of Product Marketing & Communications for Bowers & Wilkins
Upgraded Crossovers Deliver Improved Resolution & Transparency
The technical upgrades, further improving the already well-respected performance of the 600 Series, largely revolve around upgraded crossover networks in every Anniversary Edition model. The company says they have added “greatly improved” bypass capacitors that have been specially treated by Mundorf. The upgraded capacitor technology was originally used in the 700 Series Signature models.
B&W also says that high-frequency and mid-frequency capacitors have also been upgraded, with newer designs offering improved resolution and transparency across all Anniversary Edition models.
600 Series Anniversary Edition Models
603 S2 – $1999.98/pr – A floorstanding model featuring the Decoupled Double Dome aluminum tweeter, a 6″ FST Continuum Cone midrange driver, and two 6.5″ paper cone bass drivers.
606 S2 – $899.98/pr – Works as either a stand-mounted or bookshelf speaker with Decoupled Double Dome aluminum tweeter with a 6.5″ Continuum Cone mid/bass driver.
607 S2 $699.98/pr – A compact stand-mount or bookshelf speaker with a 5″ Continuum Cone mid/bass driver.
HTM6 S2 $799.99/ea – A center channel speaker featuring a Decoupled Double Dome aluminum tweeter and two 5″Continuum Cone midbass drivers.
600 Series Theater $4,299.94 – A full 5.1 channel home theater package consisting of 603 S2, 607 S2, HTM6 S2, plus a ASW610 active subwoofer.
Distribution Strategy Includes Online Sales of 600 Series Anniversary Edition
During a presentation to the media, Executive Vice President for the Americas James Krakowski noted that the company sells the 600 Series through an expanded network of dealers, including select online partners. I followed up with Krakowski after the presentation to find out just who the company had authorized as their online dealers for B&W’s 600 Series Anniversary Edition. I have listed them below…
- Audio Advice
- World Wide Stereo
- Nebraska Furniture Mart
- Music Direct
- B&H Photo & Video
Closely Monitoring Online Marketplaces
Krakowski assured me that the company monitors their online program closely, even retaining a 3rd party company to help continually scan the online marketplace such that the company can quickly address any unauthorized resellers. He told me, “We track our sales very closely and record all serial numbers so we can quickly trace back any sideways sales of our goods.”
In a separate interview with Strata-gee, Krakowski told us that during the depths of the pandemic, they had allowed a select subgroup of dealers to take online orders for their 700 Series models. The program worked well, allowing dealers to sell through their committed inventory and Krakowski says the company will extend this program as well.
Company Focused on Protecting the Brand
B&W’s Executive Vice President says the company is always focused on doing everything it can to protect the brand, while helping dealers deal with the realities of the current COVID-19 impacted market.
Learn more about B&W’s new 600 Series Anniversary Edition by visiting: bowerswilkins.com.
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