Founded in the United Kingdom in 1966, Bowers & Wilkins has been at the forefront of high-performance audio technology for more than five decades, the perfect company to partner with, then for the high-end audio system in BMW’s cutting-edge electric SAV (sports activity vehicle) the iX.
The iX is the first fully electric vehicle to feature Diamond Dome tweeters, as found in Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers, the monitor loudspeaker of choice at the world’s most famous recording studios, Abbey Road Studios. The partnership between the famed loudspeaker company and BMW aims to deliver an “audio experience that feels as though you are sitting with the artist in the studio,” what Bowers & Wilkins refer to as “True Sound.”
Nautilus swirls are spiralling channels which sit behind the tweeter domes. They dissipate reflected sound waves that emanate from the rear of the drive unit and limit distortion, allowing for incredibly accurate, low-distortion tweeters. These sit behind brushed stainless-steel covers with a laser-etched logo and, as you’d expect from BMW, feature an ambient lighting effect too. The door speakers are discretely hidden behind acoustically optimized fabric in order to fit in with the iX’s slick and minimalist cabin.
The result of the collaboration between BMW and Bowers & Wilkins engineering teams is a system that consists of two Diamond Dome tweeters, three Aluminium Dome tweeters and five Aramid Fibre midrange speakers which are mounted as high as possible within the iX’s light and spacious cabin. In addition, eight speakers are integrated into the front and rear headrests, which can be individually adjusted to create a personalised audio experience for each occupant. For the first time, the four bass speakers are complimented by 4D Shakers, strategically positioned in the cabin to produce a rich bass experience, no matter the volume setting.
The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond audio system will be available as an optional extra in the BMW iX when the EV goes on sale in South Africa in the first quarter of 2022.