For any ardent lover of music and technology, the name Bowers & Wilkins is no…
Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins, often referred to as B&W, is a British company known for producing high-quality audio equipment, particularly loudspeakers and headphones. The company’s journey began in 1966 in Worthing, West Sussex, England, when John Bowers, a passionate music lover and electronics engineer, and his friend Peter Hayward decided to create their own loudspeaker company.
Initially, John Bowers used his electronics shop as a base to build and sell his own speaker designs. His first products were assembled in the back of the shop, and were sold to local customers and friends. The turning point for Bowers & Wilkins came when an influential customer was so impressed by Bowers’ dedication to quality and his innovative designs that he left a significant legacy for Bowers to create his own manufacturing facility. This led to the opening of the first Bowers & Wilkins factory in 1973.
From the very beginning, B&W was driven by the philosophy of creating speakers that could “bring the listener as close as possible to the sound intended by the artist.” This was reflected in their approach to design and manufacturing, which emphasized extensive research, innovative materials, and a commitment to quality. B&W’s products quickly gained a reputation among audiophiles for their superior sound quality and aesthetic design.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, B&W continued to innovate, introducing new technologies and materials to improve the performance of their speakers. One of their most notable innovations was the use of Kevlar, a material typically used in bulletproof vests, for their speaker cones. This helped reduce unwanted vibrations and distortions, resulting in cleaner, more precise sound.
In the late 2000s, Bowers & Wilkins expanded their product line to include headphones. Applying the same principles of sound quality and design that had made their speakers so successful, B&W soon established itself as a leader in the high-end headphone market. Today, B&W’s range of headphones includes everything from compact in-ear models to premium over-ear headphones, all characterized by their distinctive design, premium materials, and outstanding sound quality.
In 2016, Bowers & Wilkins was acquired by EVA Automation, a Silicon Valley startup led by Gideon Yu, a former Facebook and YouTube executive. Despite this change in ownership, B&W has continued to uphold its long-standing commitment to audio excellence.
From its humble beginnings in the back of an electronics shop to its current status as a global leader in audio equipment, Bowers & Wilkins’ story is one of passion, innovation, and an unwavering dedication to sound quality. Whether you’re listening to their headphones or their speakers, B&W offers a premium audio experience that brings you closer to the music.
Over-ear headphonesClosed-back headphonesNoise-cancelling headphonesWireless headphones
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