Bowers & Wilkins reveals Panorama 2 soundbar: same body, new features, $2,200 price tag

Brian Heater
B. Heater|10.04.12

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Bowers & Wilkins reveals Panorama 2 soundbar: same body, new features, $2,200 price tag

Bowers & Wilkins this week unveiled a sequel to its Panorama soundbar that looks an awful lot like its predecessor. There are, however, some key differences, including "dramatically improved acoustic performance," according to B&W. That soundbar soundbump comes courtesy of nine drive units, including two bass woofers, two midrange drivers and an aluminum dome tweeter. The Panorama 2 has three HDMI inputs and one output, plus an On Screen Display that lights up when your hand gets close. It'll be available later this month for $2,200 a pop. More info can be found in the press release after the break.

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Bowers & Wilkins launches Panorama 2

Panorama 2 offers a dramatically improved acoustic performance over the original Panorama. It's simple to connect and operate with HDMI, a new proximity-sensing control panel and an enhanced user interface. Panorama 2 offers the same great design and premium build quality as the original, and is a true one-box, surround sound home cinema solution.
As televisions get thinner, so does the sound they produce. Great images have come at the cost of good sound. Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 2 redresses the balance in favor of sound. A discreet, high-performance soundbar that dramatically boosts the audio performance of your viewing, without the need to fill your living room with speakers, Panorama 2 significantly improves on the class-leading audio performance of the original Bowers & Wilkins Panorama, as well as adding new features and enhanced connectivity.

Panorama 2 is the result of intensive research by Bowers & Wilkins renowned engineering team at its UK Research and Development division in Steyning, West Sussex. It includes technologies originally developed for high-end speakers such as the 800 Series Diamond, and uses them to bring a new level of performance to soundbars.

Panorama 2 features completely new Bowers & Wilkins engineered drive units, which deliver a dramatically enhanced acoustic performance. The new low frequency drivers have improved linearity for greater dynamic performance and lower resonance for deeper extension. The midrange drive units have wider dispersion characteristics, which helps to improve the virtual surround performance. The tweeter has been improved, too, for smoother integration with the midrange. The overall result is significantly improved acoustics on a product that already set the standard for audio performance from a soundbar.

The vast majority of sound from even the most effect-heavy movie soundtrack is delivered through the centre speaker in a surround sound system, and Bowers & Wilkins has worked hard to get this aspect of the Panorama 2 right. Of the nine drive units housed within Panorama 2's sleek and rigid casework, five are utilized in the active centre speaker: two bass woofers, two midrange drivers and an aluminum dome tweeter featuring Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus™ tube-loaded technology.

The other four drive units provide the rest of the sound, and each one is located within its own enclosure to maintain a purity of performance. All the drive units are powered by six class D amplifiers, providing a combined power output of 175Watts.

This combination of bespoke drive unit technology, the latest in digital amplification and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) allows Panorama 2 to not only boost the quality of your TV to unprecedented levels, it also provides users with an immersive surround performance from a single speaker. The wide 'sweet spot', allows lots of people to experience the surround sound effects together, making it the ideal family entertainment system. For many people Panorama 2 will sound amazing on its own, however it's simple to add a subwoofer such as Bowers & Wilkins PV1D, for an even further enhanced experience.

Panorama 2 also has improved connection options, with the introduction of the latest HDMI connectivity. The three HDMI inputs and single HDMI output allows Panorama 2 to serve as the hub of your home entertainment system. So you can boost the audio performance not only of broadcast television, but also Blu-ray movie and games.

Panorama 2 retains the original's aesthetic, and in terms of design and dimensions it is almost identical. However, it is now even easier to use thanks to a new proximity-sensing control panel and more intuitive On Screen Display (OSD). When Panorama 2 is operating the display is completely black, but when the user's hand gets close, it slowly illuminates, allowing the user to control Panorama 2 directly. Panorama 2 is set up and configured through the OSD, and the menu system is designed to be so simple it can be used straight out of the box, without having to read the manual.

Panorama 2 sets new standards for soundbars. It dramatically boosts the performance of televisions whether you are watching movies, listening to music or playing games, while offering comprehensive connectivity and control.

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