History of Bowers & Wilkins

Following the enormous success of the 801, Bowers & Wilkins started the 1980s re-investing the extra revenue generated to fund even more research and development. The decade saw the creation of a dedicated research facility in Steyning, but also the death of John Bowers.

Steyning Research Establishment

1981: Steyning Research Establishment

John Bowers creates the now world-famous Steyning Research Establishment, often dubbed ‘University of Sound’ by those journalists that visit. SRE houses a team of specialist acoustic and electronics engineers who have a wealth of modelling, testing and design tools at their disposal.

Matrix 1, 2 and 3

1986: Matrix 1, 2 and 3

Having worked wonders with speaker components, Bowers & Wilkins turned its attention to the structure that held them all together. What the cabinet needed was backbone. Matrix™, with its interlocking panels, pushed the bass attack of speakers a big step further.

John Bowers

1987: John Bowers

John Bowers passes away.

Abbey Road Studios

1988: Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios adopts the Bowers & Wilkins Matrix 801 in its studios. This relationship continues today and Abbey Road’s engineers are frequent visitors to the Steyning Research Establishment. The Bowers & Wilkins 800D is the reference monitor at Abbey Road today.

Morten Warren

1989: Morten Warren

Bowers & Wilkins appoints Morten Warren, and manufactures his Emphasis ‘graduate project’ loudspeaker design. Warren went on to found one of the UK’s most successful design agencies and is responsible for Bowers & Wilkins’ current product design, including the iconic Zeppelin and P5 headphones.

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