Posted on 23rd May, 2018


Bowers & Wilkins is relocating its world-famous research and development centre to a new and larger facility with cutting-edge equipment and tools.

The new facility will be called Southwater Research & Engineering (SRE), based on its location in the West Sussex town of Southwater, U.K. The new SRE will build on the enviable legacy of its predecessor, the Steyning Research Establishment. Handily, it also keeps the same initials as a tribute (it probably means that ID badges and letterheads don’t need to be updated either!).  

The new and enhanced facility will power the next generation of audio excellence through an expansion of capabilities and staff. Furthermore, it will drive innovation across B&W’s suite of luxury home speakers, headphones and performance car audio.

Building on a legacy

Every major acoustic innovation that has defined Bowers & Wilkins had its beginnings at that original ‘University of Sound’, established by John Bowers in 1981. The original SRE lays claim to innovations including the Diamond tweeter, the Continuum and Aerofoil cones, as well as iconic products such as the Zeppelin, the 800 D3, the PX noise-cancelling headphones as well as the ground-breaking Nautilus speakers.

The new facility will be more than twice the size of the original at nearly 30,000 sq ft (2,750 sq m). When it opens later this year, it will accommodate multiple anechoic chambers, and boast a significant increase in the number of listening test rooms. Additionally, there will be a suite of product testing and engineering labs, and dedicated Headphone and Automotive Audio Labs.

In recognition of the incredible legacy of John Bowers, it will also feature a near recreation of his original listening room to ensure that the signature sound remains true to his vision. The all-new SRE will also feature an experience centre designed to showcase the product ranges to partners, press, and visitors alike. Needless to say, we are hoping for an invitation!
Gideon Yu, executive chairman and CEO at Bowers & Wilkins, told StereoNET UK:

For more than 50 years, Bowers & Wilkins has been defined by cutting edge acoustic technologies complemented by beautifully designed products. Inspired by John Bowers’ quest for what he called ‘True Sound’, our engineers are dedicated to honouring and continuing that legacy today. The new SRE is an extension of our rich sound engineering tradition. It is designed to further the mission of crafting products that deliver incredible sound experiences and beyond to our customers and consumers.

In anticipation of the move, Bowers & Wilkins has already increased the size of its R&D team by 40% over the past two years. Once the new facility opens the company will continue to recruit new top-quality engineering talent to join the expanding team.
We look forward to seeing, and hearing, more innovations from the new Bowers & Wilkins SRE in the not too distant future.

For more information visit Bowers & Wilkins.

Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Home Theatre Lifestyle Integration Industry
Tags: bowers wilkins