Skip to main content

B&W Panorama 3 soundbar: Easy Dolby Atmos for $1,000

British audio company Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) has taken the wraps off the $999 Panorama 3 — its very first Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar. The all-in-one speaker is available starting March 3 at and select B&W retailers. At that price, the Panorama 3 joins a growing collection of near-$1,000 Dolby Atmos soundbars that includes the $899 Sonos Arc, $899 Bose Smart Soundbar 900, and $1,000 Sony HT-A5000.

Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.
Bowers & Wilkins

B&W might be best known in audiophile circles for its $35,000 per pair floor-standing loudspeakers, but the company also knows a thing or two about building speaker systems for those who want to keep things simple. In fact, that’s the whole premise behind the Panorama 3: There’s no wireless subwoofer, no HDMI inputs, and no option for rear speakers. Instead, B&W has put everything you need inside one remarkably slender speaker enclosure. There are 13 individual drivers, including three 3/4-inch dome tweeters, six 2-inch cone bass/midranges, two 2-inch cone Atmos (height) drivers, and twin 4-inch subwoofers — all powered by 400 watts of amplification. The result, B&W says, is “a room-filling and powerful sound no one-box rival can match.”

Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 front touch panel.
Bowers & Wilkins

That’s a significant departure from the design of the Panorama 2, which acted as both soundbar and A/V receiver replacement, with a slew of HDMI inputs and the ability to add a wired subwoofer. But just because the Panorama 3 lacks some of these goodies doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features.

The two main connections are an optical input and an HDMI ARC/eARC input, both of which can be used directly with your TV over a single cable. Your TV will need to support Dolby Atmos over HDMI ARC/eARC, otherwise you’ll be limited to Dolby 5.1 surround sound. From a wireless perspective, the Panorama has Bluetooth 5, with aptX Adaptive, AAC, and SBC codecs, plus Wi-Fi and Apple’s AirPlay 2 technology.

Those wireless connections will let you stream virtual audio from a smartphone or laptop, but if you want to take advantage of the Panorama’s hi-res chops, it works with the B&W Music app. Within the app you’ll find access to Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Soundcloud, and TuneIn.

It’s also an Alexa-enabled smart speaker, letting you control a wide range of smart home and audio functions using voice commands. Alexa can also join the Panorama 3 to a multiroom audio setup, but B&W is planning its own mutlitoom feature. Shortly after launch, it will provide a software update that will make the Panorama 3 compatible with the company’s Formation line of wireless speakers, as well as its latest Zeppelin. Rounding out its features is Spotify Connect compatibility.

There’s no remote control — B&W encourages you to use your TV remote for that — but it does include a wall-mount bracket in the box, something most companies only offer as a paid option.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
Sennheiser’s Ambeo Soundbar Mini is a pricey, bedroom-sized Dolby Atmos speaker
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini.

Sennheiser has shrunk its impressive Ambeo surround sound technology into its smallest speaker yet with the newly announced Ambeo Soundbar Mini. It looks just like a smaller version of the excellent Ambeo Soundbar Plus, with a footprint that's nearly identical to the Sonos Beam Gen 2 and the Bose Smart Soundbar 600. But at $800, it's considerably more expensive than either of those Dolby Atmos soundbars. The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini will be available starting September 1 at and select retailers.

An exploded view of the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini Sennheiser

Read more
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect could eliminate home theater soundbars and HDMI cables
A diagram showing how Dolby Atmos FlexConnect combines wireless speakers with a TV's sound system.

Dolby Labs has a new home theater technology called Dolby Atmos FlexConnect. The company says it will let people with a compatible TV place wireless speakers anywhere that's convenient, and the TV's built-in microphones will automatically calibrate them to work with the TV's speakers while ensuring the whole setup produces optimal sound. The technology will make its debut in the 2024 TCL X955 QD mini-LED 4K TV, but Dolby anticipates that other companies will also announce support for Dolby Atmos FlexConnect.

Because Dolby Atmos FlexConnect works wirelessly and uses a compatible TV's built-in hardware and software, you'll be able to set up a Dolby Atmos audio system that doesn't require a soundbar or AV receiver as its central unit and doesn't need an HDMI cable to send an audio signal to an external device.

Read more
B&W’s revamped entry-level 600 Series speakers start at $900 for a pair
Bowers & Wikins 607 S3 in black.

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) has announced the eighth generation of its most affordable speaker family, the B&W 600 Series S3. The collection of speakers includes three sizes, plus a center channel model for home theaters. Each model comes in three colors globally (oak, white, or black), plus a cherry finish that is exclusive to Asia-Pacific countries.

Prices start at $900 per pair for the bookshelf model and all four speakers are available starting August 23 at and select retailers.

Read more