I spent a pleasant evening playing vinyl through these speakers, as their sensitivity to timing and low level detail make them eminently well suited to the subtleties that this format is able to reproduce. Ryley Walker’s Golden Sings that have been Sung [Tompkins Square] delivering very strong vocals within a precisely defined acoustic, the lyrics being articulated so well that even Walker’s mumblings become clear. This source proved highly engaging with a variety of records, the less smooth among them were not masked but neither were their shortcomings emphasised. For a contrast I swapped amplifiers for a Rega Elex-R integrated, a musically inspiring few days ensued with what turned out to be a surprisingly well-matched combination. The bass wasn’t as solid but it still went down low with adequate control and the mid and treble provided a spark that was hard to put down. It proved to be highly enjoyable with everything from Nick Drake to Blind Faith (the live version of ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ is a blinder) and Terry Callier to name a few. All had three dimensionality, pace and good projection when the recordings allowed it.
The Bowers & Wilkins 702 Signature is not just a great looking speaker with a deluxe finish, it’s a refinement of what was already a damn fine speaker that takes performance to the next level. There may be competitors that deliver an equally impressive combination of performance and looks for the price, but I’ve yet to hear them.
Type: Three-way, five-driver, floorstanding speaker with bass reflex enclosure
Driver complement: One 25mm carbon dome tweeter in decoupled housing; one 150mm Continuum cone FST midrange driver; three 165mm Aerofoil profile bass drivers.
Frequency response: 45Hz–28kHz
Impedance: 8 Ohms
1087mm (including tweeter & plinth) × 200mm × 337mm
Finish: Datuk gloss
Manufacturer: Bowers & Wilkins
Tel: 0800 232 1513