Look out, Sonos! Bowers & Wilkins reveals all-in-one Dolby Atmos upgrade for your telly


British audio brand Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled its latest soundbar – the Panorama 3 – which has its sights set firmly on the Sonos Arc. Panorama 3 is the first Dolby Atmos speaker from the company and takes a very different approach from almost every other soundbar on the market. That’s because the Panorama 3 isn’t designed to work with surround speakers or a dedicated subwoofer to provide a complete surround sound experience. Instead, Bowers & Wilkins is confident that its soundbar alone will be able to provide immersive surround sound for your next boxset binge or movie or sports night.

Just like the Sonos Arc, Bowers & Wilkins has included support for handsfree assistant Alexa. For those who already have a number of Amazon Echo speakers dotted around the house, you’ll be able to use the Panorama 3 like another new smart speaker – requesting songs, podcasts, radio stations as well as the latest headlines and forecast, setting reminders and timers, and more.

The Panorama 3 has a low profile design – standing at just 6.5cm tall – so that it can nestle beneath your television without blocking anything from view. If you’ve mounted your television on the wall, you’ll be pleased to know that Bowers & Wilkins is bundling a wall-mount kit in the box.

At 121cm wide, Bowers & Wilkins says the Panorama 3 will work well with screens of 55-inches or more. If your telly is smaller than that, the soundbar will still work just fine, but it will extend past your screen and could even hang over the edge of the furniture.

When it comes to connectivity, Bowers & Wilkins has included a single HDMI port on the back for ARC and eARC, with an optical digital input also included for those with older TVs (or who don’t want to lose an HDMI port on the back of their TVs for the sound system). While an HDMI ARC connection has the benefit of immediately working with your remote, as the Panorama 3 doesn’t ship with a remote in the box, Bowers & Wilkins has baked-in new technology to learn the functionality from your TV remote to ensure everyone has the same unified experience.

What about sound?

Bowers & Wilkins has included 13 individual driver units, driven by 10 40 Watt amplifiers. Running across the front, each channel group includes twin five-centimetre midrange drivers partnered with 19mm titanium-dome tweeters. Two angled drivers at the top of the speaker are designed to add height to the sound. Twin 10cm subwoofers are packed into the enclosure to add depth.

When you’re not watching movies or television, you can use Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2 to wirelessly beam audio to the Panorama 3. For high-resolution audio, the Bowers & Wilkins app offers access to streaming services like Tidal, Deezer and TuneIn to losslessly stream music. The British audio brand has promised to add more platforms to the app in the coming months.

The latest soundbar from Bowers & Wilkins is available now. Priced at £899, Panorama 3 is the exact same cot of the Sonos Arc. Both offer wireless audio streaming from your smartphone or tablet, Dolby Atmos sound for your movies and video games, and access to a hands-free voice assistant.

Of course, Sonos Arc is compatible with the US audio brand’s £749 Sonos Sub, and two Sonos One speakers (£199 each) as left and right rear channels …whereas Bowers & Wilkins believes that its Panorama 3 alone is enough. And is so confident about that that it’s incompatible with additional components.

Published at Sun, 06 Mar 2022 10:30:26 +0000

Look out, Sonos! Bowers & Wilkins reveals all-in-one Dolby Atmos upgrade for your telly