Bowers & Wilkins just took the wraps off its AM-1 (architectural monitor) outdoor loudspeaker, and it’s a looker, inside and out.
The speaker has the industrial strength to brave the elements, but B&W didn’t phone in its acoustical engineering as is so often the case with other outdoor speakers. Made to be as convenient as it is durable, the AM-1’s one-plug wall mounting system is engineered to streamline setup. It can be oriented horizontally or vertically and can rotate 110 degrees from center in two different directions. According to Bowers & Wilkins the product went through extensive stress tests during development to ensure that it could withstand a variety of weather conditions..
Underneath the hood, we can see that the AM-1 also employs some interesting techniques in pursuit of sound quality. For one, it flips the script in terms of driver configuration, placing its one-inch aluminium dome tweeter below, instead of above, its five-inch glass-fiber bass/midrange driver. The inversion is said to provide superior sound dispersion when the unit is mounted high on the wall. The speaker also features a rear-mounted auxiliary bass radiator to help handle lower frequencies, rather than a bass reflex port that would no doubt wind up playing home to birds or bees. The end result is a sealed speaker with some real bass potential.
The speaker will be available next month in both white and black finishes. Expect to shell out about $300 per speaker to get the patio party started.