Bowers & Wilkins T7 Bluetooth Speaker Review
Bluetooth speakers are mostly about sound quality but every now and then you’ll encounter some that not only sounds good, but looks and feels good as well. The Bowers & Wilkins T7 is a good example. Find out what this speaker has to offer by reading our review.
Design and Construction
Bluetooth speakers mostly come in three different materials – metal, plastic, and rubber. The B&W T7 balances those three materials into one premium device. Protruding on the front is the metal grill with gun metal finish which houses the two 50mm drive units and twin bass radiators.
Enclosed around it is a see-through plastic enclosure with honeycomb cells which B&W calls the Micro Matrix which aims to reduce vibration and distortion, which are then enclosed by a metal frame that is wrapped in smooth rubber.
On top you will see four buttons: Bluetooth, Play / Pause, Volume Down, Volume Up. Located on the right hand side is the power button while down at the bottom is the rubber base to further stop it from rattling on your table when playing music.
Take a look at the back and you will see another grill for the rear bass radiator, DC power jack, AUX port, microUSB port, and pinhole for rebooting the device.
When it comes to aesthetics, the T7 looks elegant and unique thanks to the transparent honeycomb design. The boxy frame and metal grills remind us of the classic radio. It exudes a certain attractiveness that you’d want it displayed openly in your living room, bedroom or office. Portability-wise, the T7 is relatively slim but hefty (940g) and not that comfortable to lug around.
Like most Bluetooth-enabled speakers, the T7 is easy to use. Before you connect, make sure to power the device first by pressing on the power button for a couple of seconds. The LED indicator will light up to show your current battery level and a quick but pleasant tune will play to notify you that its on. Press and hold the Bluetooth button for a couple of seconds to ready the T7 for pairing and just search for the speaker on your smartphone and tablet and connect.
Obviously, the T7’s main connectivity is Bluetooth with support for aptX technology but it also features a 3.5mm auxiliary input for wired connections. The microUSB port, on the other hand, is only there for firmware updates only and isn’t for USB charging which is a bummer. NFC and speaker phone function is also absent on the T7.
As expected from a B&W speaker, the T7 is capable of producing loud and rich sounds. It’s superb when it comes mids and highs. The guitars, drums and vocals come out crisp and detailed which is great for Rock, Jazz, and acoustic music lovers. As for lows, the T7 is good in delivering bass. It’s warm and punchy which is great for Hip Hop, Club and R&B.
Although good, its bass performance is no greater compared to other Bluetooth speakers with lesser price. The very low bass levels sometimes feel subdued as some beats that we expect to be weighty or powerful come out short even at higher volumes. Don’t get me wrong though, the T7’s bass is good but we were expecting something more powerful given its asking price.
The B&W T7 claims to have a battery life of 18 hours. With our time with it we were able to squeeze out almost 16 hours of playback before it runs out which is still good. To charge, it requires you to use its own bulky power adapter. As mentioned earlier you can’t charge it via USB so plugging it to a power bank or a smartphone charger would be pointless.
The Bowers & Wilkins T7 is one of the nicest-looking Bluetooth speakers we’ve used so far. It supports aptX technology, has great quality and build, a simple yet attractive design, and long battery life. Sound-wise, the T7 can produce really good sounds that should satisfy listeners of all kinds of music. Overall, the T7 is a great Bluetooth speaker.
On the downside, the T7 has a local price tag of Php18,800 (~$420). It’s expensive given that it doesn’t have NFC, no speaker phone function, doesn’t support USB charging, or waterproofing. It’s a tough sell considering its competitors, like the Bose SoundLink Mini, also offer great sound quality for a lesser cost.
To conclude, the Bowers & Wilkins T7 is great speaker with a hefty price tag. If you prefer its looks, require aptX, and have deep pockets, this is the speaker to get. Otherwise, you’re better off with reasonably priced ones.
Bowers & Wilkins T7 specs:
2x 50mm (2.0-in) Full range drivers
2 x Auxiliary Bass Radiators (ABR)
Frequency Response: 58Hz – 19kHz +/-3dB
Frequency Range: [email protected] 50Hz to 21kHz
Amplifier power output: 2 x 12W
Bluetooth codec: aptX (standard latency), AAC, SBC
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
High Quality Class D amplifiers
Rechargeable lithium ion battery
Auxiliary – analogue (stereo 3.5mm jack)
Service – firmware updates only (micro USB)
114 x 210 x 54mm
What we liked about it:
* Good build
* Attractive design
* Good sound quality
* Supports aptX
* Good battery life
What we didn’t like:
* No NFC
* No speaker phone feature
* No USB charging
The Bowers & Wilkins T7 can be purchased at the following stores:
* Toyama Inc. Showroom – Mezzanine Level, The West Wing Building, Quezon City
* Sound Dimension – 3rd Floor Glorietta 2, Makati City
* Hi-Fi Lounge – 4th Floor Festival Mall, Alabang
* The Listening Room – 3rd Floor Bldg. B Megamall, Mandaluyong City
* Cardinal Audio – 3rd Floor Vira Mall Greenhills, San Juan