Bowers & Wilkins PV1
A stylish subwoofer
- Powerful, incredible low-frequency kick, compact, great styling
- Not as versatile as we would have liked for movies
Even though it’s clearly an exercise in contemporary styling, the PV1 is a great sub for music listeners. It’s not as fantastic if you watch movies, but it still does an exemplary job.
Price$ 2,200.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
B&W'S PV1 subwoofer has been created with style in mind — it's a far cry from the squat, square boxes that are so common — but doesn't suffer because of it. It's great for music lovers with its focus on quick, controlled beats, although it isn't as expansive and room-filling as we would have liked for action movies.
The styling is eye-catching to say the least. B&W's media release jokingly calls the PV1 — short for 'Pressure Vessel' — "a little less ugly" than regular subwoofers. And it is. The spherical form factor is also technically superior to a cube-shaped enclosure, so its looks are part of a package deal.
Setup is relatively simple; just place the subwoofer where you want it, and connect it to a power point. The PV1 has a plate amplifier built in, so you don't need a dedicated home theatre amplifier to run it. Analog RCA connectors are used to receive audio signals, although there is a speaker-level input available. The subwoofer also has an RCA output for connecting to a second subwoofer, but why you'd need one is beyond us.
The PV1 is a sealed subwoofer — there's no bass extension port to increase volume. Instead it uses two separate eight-inch subwoofer drivers in a push-pull arrangement to minimise unwanted resonance and vibration. The enclosure is constructed mainly of aluminium, making the unit quite heavy. Weighing in at slightly over 20 kilograms, it's certainly not portable.
It's not the most expensive subwoofer in Bowers & Wilkins' line-up by a long shot; that honour is held by the 855 at $6000. However, the PV1 is cheap only by comparison — $2000 is enough to buy almost any other component in a home theatre setup.
When it actually comes to listening, the PV1 won't disappoint. At all volumes it has a crisp, sharp sound, and never sounds slow or booming. It's a great subwoofer for people who purely listen to music, delivering notes precisely and evenly across the entire bass frequency range.
As a dedicated movie subwoofer there are better options. Since the PV1 is a sealed subwoofer, it's unable to deliver the same volume and expansive, reverberating sound as a ported unit. The result is that while it certainly adds to the experience of watching an action movie, it doesn't provide a room-filling amount of audio.
If you love your music and want a subwoofer that adds another dimension to most music, the PV1 is a compelling option. Just don't expect it to do an equally good job for the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
- Indiepix Unlimited wants to be the Netflix of independent film
- Denon's latest S-Series A/V receivers are built for 4K Ultra HD video and 3D audio
- New Roku Streaming Stick allows private listening via your mobile device
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Sales Manager - Online MediaNSW
- FTSystem EngineerACT
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- FTBusiness Intelligence ConsultantSA
- CCSenior Technical WriterVIC
- FTSolution Architect (Guidewire Billing Center)NSW
- CCFull Stack Developer - Java - Blue Chip CompanyNSW
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCData Management & Reporting Development OfficerSA
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/HTML/SQL) 160421/P/903Asia
- CCSolution ArchitectACT
- FTTechnical/Team Lead - .NetNSW
- CCTechnical WriterACT
- CCSr. Iteration ManagerVIC
- FTDigital Project ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Financial Crime AnalystVIC
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- CCSenior Project Manager - HealthcareVIC
- CCContract Programmer (Crystal Report/HTML/SQL) 160428/P/244Asia
- FTWeb DeveloperSA
- CCSenior Implementation AnalystNSW
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- CCOnline Shop Operations Consultant (eCommerce)VIC
- FTTechnical Business Analyst - BINSW