First Listen: Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature and 705 S3 Signature

Posted on 27th March, 2024

First Listen: Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature and 705 S3 Signature

Bowers & Wilkins announces its new 700 S3 Signature models, and we've already been ears-on with the 702 S3 Signature and 705 S3 Signature.

Bowers & Wilkins' Signature tag is reserved for “radically upgraded” versions of its loudspeakers, with only eight series being endowed with the prestigious Signature mark since the company's formation in 1966, including the recent Applause Award-winning 801 D4 Signature. The new Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature, 705 S3 Signature, and HTM71 S3 Signature models were unveiled to a select number of journalists before the official announcement.

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature

The new models build on the already impressive 702 S3 floorstander and 705 S3 standmounter and matching centre-channel loudspeaker. Signature enhancements include carefully upgraded componentry plus luxurious and beautiful new finishes.

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature

The 702 S3 Signature three-way floorstanding loudspeaker sports a Carbon Dome tweeter housed in a decoupled Tweeter-on-Top aluminium enclosure that gets the new protective tweeter grille mesh derived from the 800 Series Signature models introduced in 2023.

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 Signature

The decoupled Continuum Cone FST midrange drive unit—complete with its acclaimed Biomimetic Suspension designed to reduce unwanted colouration emanating from behind the drive unit—is also on duty here. Bringing the low range are a trio of 165mm (6.5-inch) Aerofoil Profile bass drivers with upgraded drive-unit suspensions (or 'spiders') that help improve bass clarity.

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 Signature

Furthermore, the 702 S3 Signature crossover sees the Mundorf capacitors upgraded to the Evo range alongside improved inductors and revised bypass capacitors. Finally, it includes new and upgraded speaker terminal posts featuring high-quality brass cores that ensure a cleaner signal flow into the speaker.

Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 Signature

The 705 S3 Signature also includes an all-new tweeter grille mesh for more openness and transparency, an upgraded crossover with new capacitors and resistors, and rearranged bypass capacitors. It shares the improved speaker terminals from the 702 S3 Signature and includes an all-new drive-unit suspension (or spider) for its 165mm (6.5-inch) drive unit, ensuring a cleaner midrange and more extended bass.


The 705 S3 Signature standmounters were the first to be compared with the standard version. The speakers were driven by Michi pre/power amplification with tunes fed via Roon.

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Signature

Beware The Stranger by Lady Blackbird and Massive Attack's Paradise Circus benefitted from greater separation, resulting in a much clearer presentation than the already capable 705 S3. Also notable was the improved bass extension from the compact cabinets.

Similarly, the upgraded 700 series flagship benefitted from much snappier articulation, with Aya Nakamura's Pookie instantly getting heads bobbing and feet tapping.

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature

Meanwhile, Hidden Chamber by Avishai Cohen & Big Vicious enjoyed an increased out-of-speaker presentation and a more distinct and expressive bass response. A blast of TOOL's The Grudge also proved the new 3-way 700 S3 Signature model was no slouch regarding dynamics and replicating percussion.


Home theatre enthusiasts are not forgotten in the new 700 S3 Signature line, as the HTM71 S3 Signature three-way dedicated centre channel design gets in on the action with the same Tweeter-on-Top assembly as both the 702 and 705 S3 Signature models.

Bowers & Wilkins HTM71 S3 Signature

This is complemented by a centrally mounted 130mm (5-inch) Continuum Cone FST midrange drive unit, also featuring decoupling and Biomimetic suspension bookended by 130mm (5-inch) Aerofoil Profile bass cones. Comprehensive upgrades to its crossover components and input terminals complete the HTM71 S3 Signature's performance-orientated specification.


Finally, the Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature, 705 S3 Signature and HTM71 S3 Signature are only available in two exclusive Signature finishes, complemented by unique identifying Signature logo plates on their rear panels.

Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature

The Midnight Blue Metallic paint is the same as offered on the iconic Nautilus loudspeaker and the 800 Series Signature models. Alternatively, all three loudspeakers can be purchased in a lustrous Datuk Gloss wood veneer. Both finishes feature exclusive vibrant gold trims to their drive units and tweeter housings, further highlighting their Signature status.

Dave Sheen, Brand President of Bowers & Wilkins, told StereoNET:

Any Signature launch is an incredibly proud moment for everyone at Bowers & Wilkins. The new 700 Series Signature range represents a significant expansion of our Signature portfolio and I'm sure it will be enthusiastically received by both reviewers and our customers worldwide.

The Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series Signature is available now. The 702 S3 Signature is priced at £7,000/ €8,500 per pair, the 705 S3 Signature costs £3,400/ €4,000 per pair, and the HTM71 S3 Signature retails at £2,200/ €2,500 each.

Visit Bowers & Wilkins for more information


    Jay Garrett's avatar

    Jay Garrett

    StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

    Posted in:Hi-Fi
    Tags: bowers & wilkins  sound united  massimo 


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