Polishing – the fine art of loudspeaker manufacturing

Our 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers are required to look (almost) as good as they sound. And there’s only one way of achieving this – hours and hours of attention by our skilled craftspeople.

A high-end end, high-performance loudspeaker is primarily (and rightly) judged on sound quality. The 800 Series Diamond was conceived by Bowers & Wilkins engineers as the ‘world’s most advanced loudspeakers’. Loudspeakers that not only dramatically improved upon the outgoing range, but also set new standards for high-performance loudspeakers everywhere. This, we feel we have achieved, and the new 800 Series Diamond range contain the best sounding loudspeakers Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced.

However, with great sound quality comes great responsibility, and Bowers & Wilkins was determined that the new 800 Series Diamond came close to looking as good as they sounded. No easy feat, this involves a whole new industrial design, because when form follows function, form is likely to change dramatically with new technologies.

But it also involves continued investment in the art of craftsmanship – something that has played a major part of Bowers & Wilkin ethos for decades, and is most obvious in the 800 Series Diamond.

A major pillar in the craftsmanship is the efforts at Bowers & Wilkins’ Worthing factory to ensure that after the intensive painting process, every single speaker cabinet, Turbine head and Solid Body Tweeter assembly is hand-polished by skilled craftspeople in a highly labour-intensive process.


At the Bowers & Wilkins manufacturing facility in Worthing UK, the polishing department takes up much of a floor. There are currently 38 skilled crafts people employed in the polishing shop, and it takes a single person a full eight-hour day to polish a single 802 D3 cabinet. This is, of course, after the paint has been left to dry for a minimum of two weeks in the case of the white models, longer for the Piano Gloss Black.


The process is highly intricate, and involves increasingly fine tools – the very final polish is achieved using 3000 grit paper, which is incredibly fine. The goal is to produce a finish that bests even that in the high-end automotive world, and involves creating a depth of finish that is impossible without putting the (highly-skilled) hours in.


This level of attention to detail and precision is unique to Bowers & Wilkins in the Hi-Fi world, and the result is that the best sounding loudspeaker range is also the best built and finished.



  • H.Dekker says:

    I like the 800 speaker,you write same as the music.but my house had the sound ot a gra-f.chamber.
    How is the sound dan or what you expect dan? greetings,Henk.

  • Dino says:

    That’s the most amazing story from all speaker companies I’ve ever read.
    Absoloute poerty in motion completing each work of art, each model, each Bowers & Wilkins speaker.

    One day…i will understand when i have my own.

Add a comment

We welcome debate within Society of Sound, but please keep it friendly, respectful and relevant. We have a few house rules which we ask you to abide by to keep the debate intelligent. Read more.
Product enquiry or support issue? Please click here.

Related Posts

800 Series Diamond and new DB1D subwoofers shine at Bristol Sound & Vision 2017

Bowers & Wilkins was once again one of the must-see rooms at the Bristol Sound & Vision Hi-Fi show with a demonstration featuring the …

Industry firsts – Matrix

Bowers & Wilkins’ team of acoustic engineers is constantly pushing the limits of their understanding of audio technology. The result …

Industry firsts – Flowport

Bowers & Wilkins’ team of acoustic engineers is constantly pushing the limits of their understanding of audio technology. The result …