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Bowers & Wilkins T7 Bluetooth speaker officially revealed

Richard Easton
21 Oct 2014
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Bowers & Wilkins has finally entered into the Bluetooth portable speaker market with its newly announced T7

The portable Bluetooth speaker market is bigger than ever, but Bowers & Wilkins was a surprising omission; considering the British company's rich heritage in audio, it had yet to release a portable speaker of its own. That changed today, when the company revealed the T7. It will be hitting shop shelves in November, notably including Apple stores - unlike products from Bose, which were recently removed from sale. We got to put one to the test ahead of launch in order to bring you some first impressions.

The T7 is a fair amount larger than other Bluetooth speakers from the likes of Bose or Jawbone, measuring about the size of a hardback book, but the T7 benefits from the extra size both acoustically as well as in terms of battery life. Bowers & Wilkins says the battery should last an incredible 18 hours, meaning the speaker will easily outlast an all-day garden party. This is substantially more battery life than the average Bluetooth speaker, which typically has around 8 hours of play time.

When we met with Bowers & Wilkins for a hands-on demo, we were told that technology the company has developed elsewhere has been filtered down into the portable speaker. One of those is Micro Matrix technology, which the company developed in conjunction with Jaguar for one of its concept cars. The honeycomb bracing never made it into an automobile customers could actually buy, but it is used in the T7's outer cabinet. The bracing helps provide a solid platform for the T7's drive units, reducing unwanted resonance, while the rubberised base helps dampen vibrations and adds a small degree of protection. The T7 is far from ruggedised, however, so don't expect to throw it around.

Inside the T7, two force-cancelling high-output bass radiators to take care of the lower frequencies, while two 50mm drive units made from glass fibre handle the mid range and high-end. They were tuned by the same engineers responsible for the company's loudspeakers, having been involved in the development of the T7 from the beginning. The sound was surprisingly wide and open, with music filling the testing room and aided by the T7's unusually large dimensions for a compact portable speaker. From our short time listening to the T7, we came away impressed by both its sound and its design and build quality. 

The T7 supports Bluetooth aptX for less-lossy audio and there's also a 3.5mm auxiliary connection for wired devices. To do away with the generic Bluetooth jingles you commonly hear with other speakers, Bowers & Wilkins has also partnered with musican and composer, Mira Calix, to create unique jingles for when you turn on the speaker and pair it with your device. 

The T7 will also be available directly from Bowers & Wilkins online for £299 from today. Keep an eye out for a full review soon.

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