Bowers & Wilkins Bows New In-wall Subwoofer

North Reading, MA—August 2009 B&W Loudspeakers, the British manufacturer recognized internationally as one of the world’s leading sources of loudspeaker technology, is proud to introduce a new best-in-class in-wall subwoofer, the ISW-4.

According to Doug Henderson, VP of Sales and Marketing. “B&W engineering has been working on an in-wall subwoofer design for quite some time. Why the long wait, you may ask? Sticking a woofer in a wall doesn’t seem that hard after all…and there are many poorly executed designs testifying to this fact. Creating an in-wall subwoofer that meets B&W’s high standards for performance yet is visually unobtrusive and easy to install, however, is a much bigger challenge.”

In-wall subwoofers have become an important segment of custom installation projects, as homeowners and/or their interior designers often don’t want speakers or electronics “detracting” from the interior design. However, they can be sold on good sound, especially where it matters most, in a home theater or main music room. Unfortunately, most in-wall subwoofers under perform due to inadequate driver design (what works in a conventional enclosure is not ideal for the requirements of an in-wall subwoofer) or from a lack of optimized EQ/amplification or from a substandard enclosure.

Enter B&W’s new ISW-4. This project was led by Dr. John Dibb—designer of many of B&W’s flagship products such as the Signature Diamond and the Signature 8NT in-wall—at the renowned Steyning Research Establishment in the UK.

– over –

Dibb made numerous trips to the U.S. during the course of his research and the dealers he visited provided valuable feedback. After two years of effort, B&W believes the ISW-4 to be the finest in-wall subwoofer available. It is no shallow claim—although it features a shallow enclosure, fitting 2” x 4” stud bays!

There are several reasons for this incredible performance. First, the ISW-4 features dual B&W designed long-throw, eight-inch bass drivers utilizing Kevlar®/paper cones which are many times the cost of ordinary cones. Kevlar has long been a B&W hallmark for its superb distortion-reducing qualities. For bass applications, the combination of Kevlar and paper fibers creates a non-resonant cone that is also extremely stiff and light weight, ideal for fast, deep, clean bass performance. In fact, the ISW-4 produces substantial bass down to a very low 17 Hz (-6dB EQ at A setting on the SA-250.) Just as importantly, the solidly braced BB-ISW-4 MDF backbox prevents wall shake and cabinet distortions that plague other designs. This is an in-wall sub that can be played hard and yet doesn’t cry. Nothing is more annoying than a sub that rattles!

The ISW-4’s superior sound quality is also due to the dedicated SA250 mono power amplifier/crossover. The SA250 is the perfect match to achieve the utmost performance from the ISW-4, with its 250 watts of power and an audiophile grade electronic crossover built in. The crossover is a 4th order Linkwitz-Riley with adjustable increments from 40Hz – 140Hz. Features also include a low-pass filter defeat, 0/180 degree phase switch, 3-position bass extension switch, movie/music EQ switch, and an On/Auto/Standby switch. Amplifier inputs and outputs include XLR and RCA line in and link out. There is also a 3.5 mm jack for 12 V trigger on/standby, equalization, and movie/music. The cabinet is a 2U height (3.5”) for standard rack mounting.

The ISW-4 is finished in a semi-matt white suitable for custom painting. The grille is the same size as the CWM-8180 (cut-out dimensions 19.1” H x 10” W), which is to say quite compact for a high performance in-wall sub.

There is a pre-mount kit available for new construction, as well as the MDF back-box to optimize cabinet volume for the drivers and reduce acoustic bleed-through to other rooms. Use of the BB-ISW-4 backbox is strongly recommended. The ISW-4 is another best-in-class product from Bowers & Wilkins.

Availability – August 2009

Suggested system retail including SA250 amplifier – $ 2,000 (ISW-4 subwoofer – $800 each, SA-250 amplifier/crossover – $1,000 each, BB-ISW-4 Back-box – $200 each).

About Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) is Britain’s leading exporter of loudspeakers, and is also the number-one imported brand in North America. Since 1966, B&W’s “Quest for Perfection” has resulted in a succession of technical loudspeaker innovations that have satisfied the world’s most demanding listeners. B&W’s rave reviews and universal acceptance as the monitor for classical music recordings have helped B&W become the dominant premium loudspeaker company throughout the world.

For additional information visit