20 Aug Sound and Class: The 803 D3 Diamond From Bowers and Wilkins, Made With Real Diamond
For almost 40 years, the 800 Series has been regarded as some of the finest speakers in existence, both for their crystal-clear sound and their beautiful appearance. 40 years is plenty of time to learn, practice and refine, and the latest incarnation of the 800 Series – the 803 D3 Diamond – is the pinnacle of this audio engineering journey. The product of their “most ambitious research and development project” ever undertaken, the 803 Diamond are killer speakers designed for both ambitious professionals in need of fidelity, and audiophiles looking for the best listening experience possible.
The design starts with their Diamond Dome Tweeters, made with actual diamond. They call diamond the “ultimate tweeter material,” as it’s the material that comes closest to achieving what would be found in the mythical Perfect Tweeter – infinite stiffness and zero mass. They pair that with their Continuum cone and Turbine head, which is the “ideal shape for sound dispersion” and has an internally-ribbed, aluminum construction to ensure it is acoustically inert. In less technical terms, the sound fidelity is incredibly good, as the speakers give off almost no sound of their own; the original sound shines through.
Again, these things sound beautiful – and we can tell you that from personal experience. Plug in a studio recording and you’ll be picking up instruments and backing tracks you never knew were there. Throw on a live recording, and you’ll feel like you’re right there in the concert – as cliché as that might sound.
Technically, achieving zero sound interference from the speakers will never be possible, as there will always be some micro-sized, indiscernible sound from their vibrations. But the extreme hardness of diamond is the next best thing, eliminating most play and vibration and reducing most of the speaker’s natural sound.
And how do they look? Almost as good as they sound. The 803 D3 towers come in Gloss Black, Satin White and Rosenut. They’re also 45” tall and weigh a hefty 144 lbs. each. Want some? They’ll likely run you about $15,000.