1 hero history products

Our Story

50 years of excellence


1960s: Humble beginnings

The sleepy coastal town of Worthing in South England might not look like a hotbed of 1960s freewheeling experimentation, but for audio fans it’s a place that’s synonymous with innovation. Thanks to the first Bowers & Wilkins speakers built here in the early years of the company, music lovers could experience albums such as Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds in new, mind-expanding depth and clarity.



B&W Electronics founded

Following an inheritance of £10,000 from a satisfied customer, John Bowers sets up his own loudspeaker company.

3 beginings bowers 3 beginings bowers

1966: Beginings

John Bowers begins assembling speaker systems in the workshop of his electronics shop in Worthing, South England.

P1 P1

1966: P1

The first Bowers & Wilkins loudspeaker. The profit from P1 allowed Bowers to invest in new calibration equipment.

50% IMG 50% IMG

1968: Domestic Monitors

The DM1 and DM3 were launched to bring high quality audio to more customers, at an affordable price point.


1970s: A decade of milestones

The decade that saw a series of musical upheavals from disco to punk rock also brought several major milestones for Bowers & Wilkins. The company introduced curved cabinet forms and new cone materials such as Aramid fibre. And it all culminated in the launch of the 801, soon to become the reference speaker of choice for many of the world’s leading recording studios.

5 Dm70 5 Dm70

1970: DM70

With its curved cabinet, the DM70 changed the shape of loudspeaker design.

6 DM6 6 DM6

1976: DM6

The first Sir Kenneth Grange-designed speaker.

7 1977 DM7 7 1977 DM7

1977: DM7

DM7 liberated the tweeter from the cabinet – the originator of the “Tweeter-on-Top” design used in our high-end speakers today.

1979 801 1979 801

1979: 801

The modern era of hi-fi begins. With drive units housed in separate chambers, the 801 delivered unheard-of realism.


1980s: The application of science

Extensive investment in research led to the establishment of the company’s dedicated R&D facility in Steyning. The era of MTV pop superstardom and bombastic stadium rock also saw Bowers & Wilkins buck the trend and introduce something small and unobtrusive: the “compact monitor”, or CM1.

9 1981 steyning research establishment 9 1981 steyning research establishment

1981: Steyning Research Establishment (SRE) founded

SRE is a hub of acoustic innovation, where scientists and engineers push speaker design to the limits.

10 b 1987 cm1 10 b 1987 cm1

1987: CM1

Designed by Sir Kenneth Grange, CM1 was developed through the latest advances in computer-aided design.

10 1987 800 matrix 10 1987 800 matrix

1987: Matrix 801

The speaker that introduced Matrix: the bracing structure that boosts driver performance by reducing cabinet vibration. 


1990s: Rewriting the rulebook

The 1990s saw the pioneering work of the Steyning research team realised in spectacular fashion with the launch of Nautilus™, a speaker that upended preconceived notions of speaker design. It also saw major product launches at both ends of the spectrum, with the unveiling of the highly regarded entry-level 600 Series and the flagship Nautilus 800 Series.

11 1991 600 series 11 1991 600 series

1991: 600 Series

Continuing the concept of the Domestic Monitor, the 600 Series made quality hi-fi accessible to a wider audience.

12 1993 nautilus 12 1993 nautilus

1993: Nautilus

The extraordinary result of a no-holds-barred R&D programme, Nautilus influences our speaker designs to this day.

13 1998 nautilus 800 series 13 1998 nautilus 800 series

1998: Nautilus 800 Series

This iteration of our flagship range introduced Nautilus technologies to the commercial market for the first time.


2000s: Hi-fi goes digital

The decade that brought us iPods and smartphones saw us embrace the new world of digital with the launch of the Zeppelin. We also expanded into the car audio market with our partnership with Jaguar, and launched a revolutionary new speaker technology in the form of diamond tweeter domes.

M 1 PV1 Plasma Shot Silver M 1 PV1 Plasma Shot Silver

2004: PV1

Curved cabinet creativity reaches its zenith with the spherical “Pressure Vessel™” PV1™ subwoofer.

15 2006 signature diamond 15 2006 signature diamond

2006: Signature Diamond

Launched to celebrate our 40th anniversary, Signature Diamond was the first speaker to feature diamond dome tweeters.

16 2007 zeppelin 16 2007 zeppelin

2007: Zeppelin

Bowers & Wilkins enters the digital age with Zeppelin, our strikingly curvaceous, multi-award winning iPod speaker.

17 2007 car audio 17 2007 car audio

2007: Car audio

Our partnership with Jaguar marked our first entry into the world of high-end car audio.


The 2010s: Innovation overdrive

Monumental technological change seemed to be everywhere in the 2010s, and Bowers & Wilkins was no exception.

18 2010 800 series diamond 18 2010 800 series diamond

2010: 800 Series Diamond

The sixth incarnation of our flagship speaker series featured diamond tweeter domes in every model in the range. 

19 2010 p5 19 2010 p5

2010: P5

P5 was a statement of intent: beautifully crafted headphones that were a joy to wear and even better to listen to.

20 2015 800 series diamond 20 2015 800 series diamond

2015: 800 Series Diamond

The latest version of our flagship introduced a complete redesign and revolutionary new technologies, such as the Continuum™ cone.

21 800 d3 and p9 signature 21 800 d3 and p9 signature

2016: 800 D3 and P9 Signature

We marked our 50th year with the launch of two new flagships, the 800 D3 reference speaker and P9 Signature headphones.

22 eva automation logo 22 eva automation logo

2016: EVA Automation

EVA Automation purchased Bowers & Wilkins - the first time a startup acquired a brand with such a powerful global presence.

23 px headphones 23 px headphones

2017: PX headphones

The launch of the PX headphones sees intuitive digital technologies combined with world-class sound engineering.