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Crafting the future of sound

Posted on 13 November 2018

lennoxwood southwater

In the spring of 2019, Bowers & Wilkins will open a new research and development center in Southwater, U.K., replacing Steyning Research Establishment as the home of audio innovation. Continuing our legacy as the world’s leading luxury audio brand, the new facility will power the next generation of acoustic excellence.


The investment is our commitment to keep doing what we love: empowering music lovers to truly hear music as the artist intended, with all the passion and emotion of the original performance.


To honor the previous Steyning location, we are calling the new facility the Southwater Research & Engineering (SRE), keeping the same initials as its venerable predecessor. The original location was dubbed the “University of Sound”, and Steyning was the birthplace of breakthrough technologies such as the Diamond tweeter, both Continuum and Aerofoil cone materials, iconic products such as the Nautilus, 800 D3 and Zeppelin speakers, as well as the award-winning PX headphones.

Our new facility will give us nearly twice as much space, at nearly 30,000 square feet (or about 2,750 square meters). Stocked with cutting-edge equipment and tools, the new site will feature multiple anechoic chambers, a significant increase in the number of listening test rooms, a suite of product testing and engineering labs, and dedicated headphone and automotive audio labs. In recognition of the incredible legacy of John Bowers, it will also feature a near recreation of his original listening room to ensure that our sound remains true to his vision. The all-new SRE will also feature an experience center designed to showcase the product ranges to partners, press, and visitors alike.

Our engineers couldn’t be more excited. "Bowers & Wilkins' commitment to audio excellence, precision craftsmanship and innovation has allowed us to stay true to our promise of delivering the highest quality and most accurate performance audio possible," said Ken McAlpine, Chief Technology Officer. "The team at SRE has more than 300 plus years of combined sound engineering expertise. The investment in the all-new SRE will ensure that our dedication to innovation continues for the next 50 years and beyond."