Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 – New soundbar with Dolby Atmos
It’s an elegant all-in-one solution for getting the most out of spatial audio effects and delivering room-filling sound for movies, TV shows, games and music, according to Sound United LLC.’s description of the new soundbar with Dolby Atmos, the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.
The new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is a soundbar that delivers powerful, room-filling sound for movies, TV shows, games and music alike. It uses Dolby Atmos first and foremost, making it the first soundbar from Bowers & Wilkins to support this immersive surround format. It is also said that this solution was developed by the same engineers responsible for Bowers & Wilkins’ monitor speaker systems in sound studios, which have been used as the basis for the production of legendary films for years, be it Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
But that’s not enough for the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 to actually function as a complete solution, it also comes with other interesting features, especially when it comes to streaming.
Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 the first Dolby Atmos soundbar from Bowers & Wilkins
Of course, the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is not the first soundbar from Bowers & Wilkins, but it is the first such solution from the company that has support for Dolby Atmos.
The manufacturer states that the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is based on the experience of its predecessors, and even relies on their concept. It is also designed in such a way that appealing sound can be generated from just one device. First and foremost, this means that the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 does without an external subwoofer, unlike other such solutions.
This is a direct return to the concept of the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama from 2009, the first soundbar from Bowers & Wilkins, which the manufacturer describes as an uncompromising premium product, and which celebrated its re-release in 2013 with the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 2.
Particularly flat design
One of the most important features of the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is its ultra-flat design with a height of just 65 mm, a depth of 140 mm and a width of 1,210 mm. This should ensure that the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 can be easily integrated into any living environment.
The low height even allows placement under most TVs, and a metal wall-mounting bracket is included with the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.
Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 with one-box design
As described earlier, there is no external subwoofer, instead the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 uses a total of 13 individual drivers in a 3.1.2 configuration, which should provide powerful, room-filling sound.
The Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 relies on left, center and right radiating driver units consisting of two 50 mm midrange drivers with fiberglass-reinforced diaphragms and an acoustically decoupled 19 mm titanium dome tweeter. Two 100 mm low-profile woofers, housed in separate enclosures, act as low-frequency drivers.
For the realization of immersive surround sound based on Dolby Atmos, two diagonally upward radiating drivers with a diameter of 50 mm each and glass fiber reinforced membrane are responsible.
Signal processing is handled by a sophisticated DSP-based Dolby Atmos decoder and processor, and the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 can of course handle Dolby Digital and Dolby TrueHD signals in addition to Dolby Atmos. However, any format from DTS is missing from the listing.
The manufacturer states the system power of the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 to be 400 watts, which is divided into 40 watts each for the tweeters, midrange pairs, Dolby Atmos speaker drivers and subwoofer.
The frequency range that can be reproduced by the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is specified with 43 Hz up to 48 kHz.
Simple installation via HDMI
Of course, the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 primarily relies on a connection to the TV via HDMI, whereby in addition to HDMI CEC for central control, audio signals from the TV are also routed to the soundbar via an eARC, i.e. an enhanced Audio Return Channel. Compared to a conventional ARC, the eARC is also able to transmit content in immersive surround formats with the higher data rate required. This is a basic requirement for playing content from streaming providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV or Disney+ in the best quality.
Of course, the connection with just one cable also makes it easier to get started, although an optical S/PDIF interface is also supposed to be available as an alternative for older TVs.
Extensive streaming functions
No soundbar, certainly not solutions in the premium segment, can do without extensive streaming functions these days, and the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is no exception.
The manufacturer promises streaming in the best hi-res audio quality, and the soundbar can be easily integrated into the network via WiFi.
It supports access to various streaming services, starting with Spotify including Spotify Connect, Qobuz, Deezer, Last.fm, SoundCloud, TIDAL and TuneIn.
Simple control here is guaranteed by the Bowers & Wilkins Music App, which is available for Apple iOS and Google Android. According to the manufacturer, more services will be offered via this app this year, which can then also be used directly via the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.
The new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is also equipped for Apple AirPlay 2, and those who want to use music streaming directly from a smartphone or tablet outside of the network infrastructure can do so via Bluetooth 5.0, whereby the aptX codec is also supported in addition to SBC and AAC.
The aforementioned app is of course perfect for streaming control, but the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is also supposed to stand out for its simple operation. It has an integrated Amazon Alexa function, so it can be controlled directly via voice control. Furthermore, all relevant controls are found on the top of the soundbar in the form of capacitive sensor buttons.
In the future, part of the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Series.
Back in 2019, Bowers & Wilkins unveiled the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Suite, a range of high-end wireless speakers, as the manufacturer itself described them. These solutions were intended to be a particularly flexible, high-quality multi-room audio streaming platform that would allow music streaming throughout the home.
It is pleasing to see that they continue to support this product line, because both the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin of the latest generation and the now presented Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 are basically integrated into the ecosystem of the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Suite, even if they are ultimately not part of this product family.
The manufacturer states that the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3, like the aforementioned Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin, is prepared for future expansions and new functions. This also allows the retrofitting of a multi-room function, which is expected shortly after the product launch of the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3. This should allow the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 to be connected to more of these models in the home, as well as to the current Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin, but also to solutions from the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Suite.
“We are very excited to launch the Panorama 3, our first Dolby Atmos soundbar. It combines the great sound quality and high standards of a Bowers & Wilkins product with outstanding ease of use and particularly elegant design. I’m sure this premium combination of room-filling sound and comprehensive features will delight our fans.”Stephanie Willems, Brand President, Bowers & Wilkins
Prices and availability
According to the manufacturer, the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 should be available at retailers as early as mid-March 2022. The company states a recommended retail price of € 999 for this solution. It should also be mentioned that this solution will be offered in black alone.
Getting to the point
With the new Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3, Bowers & Wilkins continues its series of high-quality soundbar systems that are designed as a so-called one-box solution and thus do without an external subwoofer. This time, however, they go one step further and promise not only rich sound, but even room-filling rich sound based on Dolby Atmos. In addition, this solution is now optimally equipped for streaming and can thus function as a full-fledged, flexible audio system.
|PRODUCT||BOWERS & WILKINS PANORAMA 3|
|BRAND||BOWERS & WILKINS|
|Manufacturer||Sound United LLC.|
|Distribution||Bowers & Wilkins|
D&M Germany GmbH
A division of Sound United
|More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG|