Bowers and Wilkins CM10 Speakers: CM series’ new crown jewel

CM10 First Impression

bowers-and-wilkins-cm10-speaker-wenge-tableBowers and Wilkins CM10 speakers breathes new life into the CM series. The new CM10s take the top spot formerly held by the venerable CM9 speakers.

Bowers and Wilkins releases the CM10 speakers in August. For now, we give you our first impressions of what these speakers have to offer.

Bowers and Wilkins CM10 pre-review

Right off the bat, you’ll notice the CM10’s tweeter placement bears striking resemblance to its bigger siblings, the 800 Diamond series speakers. The top-mounted tweeter technology utilized by 800 Diamond speakers gives you two distinct advantages over normal speaker cabinet construction:

  1. Top mounting prevents sound waves from re-radiating along sharp cabinet edges which interfere with the original timing of the sound waves you actually want to hear.
  2. Top mounting also allows fine adjustment of the time-alignment with the midrange driver for perfect phasing through the crossover region.

This is huge! Again, this is technology previously unavailable below the 800 series.

Another benefit to the top-mounted tweeter gives room for a third bass driver in the CM10 without making the cabinet significantly larger than the CM9. In fact, without the tweeter on top, the CM10’s cabinet is the same height as the CM9’s at 990mm. The third bass driver allows for extended bass response and less distortion at any volume level.

bowers-and-wilkins-cm10-speaker-wenge-close-up

Of course, the CM10 speakers contain Bowers and Wilkins signature woven Kevlar® midrange driver. The same material that stops bullets also produces better sound compared to its counterparts. Since 1974, Bowers and Wilkins pioneered the use of Kevlar® in its speakers. Kevlar® benefits your speakers by producing more constant sound dispersion at all frequencies and less time-smearing.

For a more detailed analysis of Kevlar® as a speaker material, click here.

In addition, the CM10 features Bowers and Wilkins’ FST mid range driver technology, allowing for greater cone response times and sound integrity. You’ll find FST mid ranges in 800 Diamond series, CM9, and 683 speakers. However, the CM10 is the first speaker outside of the 800 Diamond series to feature decoupled FST driver with gel mountings compressed via a tensioning rod to the back panel.

Find out more about Bowers and Wilkins FST drivers.

A Bowers and Wilkins Flowport reduces air flow turbulance in the CM10 for less compression at high volumes.

Bowers and Wilkins CM10 specifications

Here are the CM10 specifications. You can find them on Bowers and Wilkins site here.

ModelCM10
Description3-way vented-box system
Technical featuresFree-mounted dual layer aluminium dome tweeter with Nautilus™ tube loading
Kevlar® brand fibre cone FST midrange
Decoupled midrange and tweeter units
Flowport™
Drive units1x ø25mm (1 in) dual layer aluminium
dome high-frequency
1x ø150mm (6 in) woven Kevlar® cone FST midrange
3x ø165mm (6.5 in) paper/Kevlar® cone bass
Frequency range-6dB at 28Hz and 50kHz
Frequency response45Hz – 28kHz ±3dB on reference axis
DispersionWithin 2dB of reference response
Horizontal: over 60º arc
Vertical: over 10º arc
Sensitivity90dB spl (2.83V, 1m)
Harmonic distortion2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<1% 86Hz – 28kHz
<0.5% 110Hz – 20kHz
Nominal impedance8Ω (minimum 3.1Ω)
Crossover frequency350Hz, 4kHz
Recommended amplifier power30W – 300W into 8V on unclipped programme
Max. recommended0.1Ω
Dimensions
Height990mm (39 in) (cabinet only)
1087mm (42.8 in) (including tweeter and plinth but not feet)
Width200mm (7.9 in) (cabinet only)
366mm (14.4 in) (including plinth)
Depth337mm (13.3 in) (cabinet only)
364mm (14.3 in) inc. grilles and terminals but not plinth
414mm (16.3 in) including plinth)
Net weight33.5kg (73.7 lb)
Finishes
Cabinet: Real wood veneersRosenut
Wengé
Cabinet: Painted finishGloss Black
GrilleBlack

CM10 Overall

bowers-and-wilkins-cm10-speaker-wenge-living-roomBowers and Wilkins has outdone themselves with the CM10 speaker. It steps perfectly between the CM9 and the 800 Diamond Series. The blending of technology between the CM and 800 Diamond series in the CM10 further cements its solid position.

In Hi-Fi News’ Bowers and Wilkins CM10 review, Steve Harris writes:

Thanks to its pod-mounted tweeter and FST mid driver, the CM10 offers a beautifully clean, detailed midrange and treble, with a big, open and impressive soundstage. I would have liked to discover a more organic quality in the bass, though, and it needs a capable amp to give of its best. But, while facing stiff competition at this price point, the CM10 is a worthy stepping-stone to B&W’s fl agship 800 Series.

Bowers and Wilkins’ CM10 speaker simply sounds amazing. August can’t come soon enough!

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