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Top End Sound Company Bowers & Wilkins Set To Take On Networked Players

16 months after top end British Hi Fi brand Bowers & Wilkins moved to set up their own subsidiary in Australia the British based but US owned Company is set to deliver a new range of products following a major restructure of their R&D operation.

The Company that was acquired by US Company EVA Automation in 2016, and now is owned by Gideon Yu, the current co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers and former Facebook CFO is determined to be a major player in both the top end sound market and networked audio a move that will see them take on Sonos, Heos by Denon and Bluesound.

A new 2,800 square metre research facility in Southwater, England—just 20 minutes further north from their current home is set to be the development labs for a range of new network capable B&W products as well as top end Hi Fi systems.

Bowers & Wilkins Chief Revenue Officer Richard Campbell said recently they’ve hired 40 percent more R&D staff since the acquisition of the new R& D location in May of 2016.

“This is a big step for us, we’re truly excited about being able to more than double the space of our facility for research and development of our new products,” Campbell said.

“We’re going to go ahead and invest in additional resources, we’re going to basically double the labs, double the sound chambers, and we’ll
have some of these tools and the types of resources that are needed for folks to do their jobs.”

Campbell said the new space will allow for the Company who is looking to take on Harman in the automotive sound and navigation market, to place greater focus on new product categories that B&W hopes to dive deeper into.

Automotive and headphones, for example, will have dedicated areas within the new facility.
In their current research facility B&W claim that they have already has achieved some incredible advancements in the world of high-performance audio since the acquisition of the UK Company by EVA Automation
“This new facility is a big step for us, we’re truly excited about being able to more than double the space of our facility for research and development of our new products,” Campbell told Dealerscope.

“We’re going to go ahead and invest in additional resources, we’re going to basically double the labs, double the sound chambers, and we’ll
have some of these tools and the types of resources that are needed for folks to do their jobs.”

“Not only will we have a larger space, but we’ll have a space that’s designed correctly for us to facilitate the development of the work
that we’re doing,” Campbell said.

“We will actually have vehicles from our car manufacturers parked in our facility that we will have access to, to be able to do development work on”.

He added “That’s a significant departure from where we are today, it also allows us to be more efficient and to be able to move at a faster pace in
bringing these products to market”.
“We are looking to continue to innovate. We are not looking to rest on our laurels and be comfortable with what we have today,” he said.

“We have, as a company, always pushed the envelope in providing the newest and greatest technology in this space and this category as a leader within the space.

This should only help continue helping us to solidify that position going forward.”

One area of concern was whether the unique Bowers & Wilkins sound would be affected by the move.

Management said that their engineers had expressed concern as to whether a new facility with newly designed sound chambers and listening rooms could impact the sound profile of B&W products.

To that end, the company made the commitment to literally recreate the original sound room from the Steyning facility in their new home—down to
the original couch that was in that room.
“As you know, sound as it comes out of the speaker it comes out in a wave, so things that are in that room have the ability to have an
acoustical effect on those waves and dampen the sound as it’s reverberating throughout the room,” Campbell explained. “That couch has been a part of the DNA of that room for quite some time, which is why it’s coming with us. So, there’s a justified reason as to why the coach is moving, it’s not just from a nostalgic perspective.”

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