Optimising Matrix


Matrix has been a vital part of the 800 Series since the Matrix 800 was launched. In the new 800 Series Diamond, Bowers & Wilkins engineers have taken the internal bracing structure to a whole new level.

The Bowers & Wilkins Matrix bracing structure has long been a core technology of the 800 Series range. As with many of our other technologies it has continued to evolve and improve with time, going through multiple iterations since its introduction in the 1980s.

As part of the thorough investigation that our Steyning engineers conducted into every element of the 800 Series Diamond, Matrix came under the microscope. As a result it has undergone its most radical improvement yet, with the new optimised Matrix offering a vastly stiffer and more effective structure than before. The result is even better resistance to resonances within each loudspeaker’s cabinet

How Matrix works
Resonances in a loudspeaker’s body or cabinet only serve to make the speaker’s character superimpose itself on that of the music it is there to relay. Bracing is an essential tool in keeping the ‘loud speaking’ to the drivers, not the cabinet, so the original character of the instruments can come through cleanly.

Unique to Bowers & Wilkins, Matrix interlocking panels take cabinet bracing to the ultimate level. Matrix acts a little like the bracing inside the hull of a ship, and with powerful bass drivers trying to shake the cabinet and high air pressures inside trying to make the panels flex and blur the sound, this 3D structure reinforces the cabinet at small intervals and in every direction.


The latest version of our Matrix philosophy uses a new and optimised construction to deliver superior results. Our examination of the behaviour of the old Matrix using advanced Finite Element Analysis led us to conclude that we could achieve superior stiffness using fewer but thicker wooden components.


Instead of MDF, the new Matrix is constructed from thick sections of high-quality plywood (except for the 805 D3, where MDF is sufficient). In addition, the new structure is critically braced with aluminium and steel components in all headed products.

As you can see from the image here, the bass drive unit pods now couple directly into the Matrix itself, which optimally couples the Aerofoil drive units into the stiffest parts of the assembly.


The result of all this technology? The new 800 Series Diamond’s Aerofoil bass drivers have a substantially more solid platform from which to work, which means not only better, more articulate bass, but also fewer resonances moving up the cabinet to the midrange and high-frequency driver for a cleaner, more precise sound all round.

Explore more about 800 Series Diamond here.


  • HAYTHAM says:


  • allan morris says:

    B&W undoubtedly make beautiful loudspeakers and as pieces of furniture they are unique.
    I suggest that crossovers and drivers are what make a good or excellent transducer, and passive loudspeakers are now the dinosaurs of the hi-fi world.
    Active is the way to go, and AVI Speaker Techniques Ltd have got my vote, see quote:
    “AVI DM10s use 48dB/Octave (24 dB/Oct in DM5) Linkwitz Riley crossover filters an octave away from driver irregularities that would affect phase. This means that the drivers are phase linear and the crossover is doing exactly as Linkwitz Riley predicts. This is as near to the theoretical ideal as you get and not a common approach, but we have special drivers that enable us to do this.”
    The proof is in the listening. Keep on making beautiful furniture that plays music too.

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