Bowers & Wilkins has been BMW’s speaker partner since the G30 5 Series. I actually remember being on that press launch and being excited by a new upgraded sound system for BMWs, other than Harmon & Kardon. Since then, BMW and Bowers have grown their partnership and you can now find the British speaker company in all of BMW’s most expensive cars. The latest Bimmer to get Bowers & Wilkins’s new 20-speaker Diamond Surround Sound system is the BMW XM.
This new Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system is similar to the brand’s 800-series Diamond loudspeakers used in professional recording studios, such as the iconic Abbey Road.
The system’s 20 speakers include five aluminum tweeters, two Rohacell central bass speakers under the front seats, and two Diamond Dome tweeters in the driver and passenger side A-pillars. Those Diamond Dome tweeters are extremely light and rigid, which actually helps to get rid of unwanted resonance, keeping the sound as clean as possible. There are also five Continuum midrange speakers throughout the car: in the front and rear doors, the dashboard, and the rear of the cabin.
This is the same new Bowers & Wilkins setup as you’ll find in the new 7 Series and i7 and, having tested it out in person, I can personally say that it’s outstanding. It’s some of the richest, cleanest, and purest sound I’ve ever heard from any speaker, of any kind. It’s truly among the very best in the business and sounds like it belongs in cars three times the price. It also makes a great combination with the 7 Series/i7’s theater screen, as you can watch movies with the full 20-speaker surround sound and it’s likely sensational. If your fellow passengers don’t mind, you can close all of the rear shades, crank the B&W system up load, and make the rear seat of your 7er like a movie theater.
I will admit, I’m a bit of a Bowers & Wilkins fan, so this system is very cool to me. Though, reading this does make me a bit sad, only because I used to have a pair of Bowers & Wilkins over-the-ear headphones and I loved them dearly. However, I lost them due to a baggage mishap while traveling a couple of years ago and I’ve been crushed ever the loss ever since. So I might just have to buy a 7 Series, i7, or XM so I can get my fix of proper Bowers & Wilkins sound.