Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), the British loudspeaker company responsible for the legendary Zeppelin iPod dock and subsequent Zeppelin Air, released its first Mini Theater systems based around the company's M-1 loudspeaker six years ago. The company has now upgraded the M-1 with a new ultra compact unit that pairs with a new PV1D subwoofer or ASW608 subwoofer for the company's new Mini Theater systems.

Like the outgoing M-1, the new M-1 serves duty delivering all five (left, right, center and two surround) channels in a 5.1 surround set up. But B&W says the new unit offers improved full range performance to also deliver stereo performance comparable to larger bookshelf speakers. The improvements come courtesy of all new drive units, including an in-house designed tweeter, and a bass/mid-range driver that uses the same mushroom-shaped Anti-Resonance Plug used on the high-end PM1 bookshelf speaker to soak up resonance.

B&W has also upgraded the M-1's speaker cable terminations and the connections to the stands. A table-top stand and wall bracket are supplied with the M-1, while a floor stand is available as an optional extra for US$150. The new M-1 units weigh 2.3 kg (5 lb) and measure 248 (h) x 114 (w) x 162 (d) mm (9.8 x 4.5 x 6.4 in), with a frequency response of 64 Hz to 23 kHz and recommended amplifier power of 20W to 100W. They are available in matte white or black.

The new M-1 speakers form the backbone of the MT-60D Mini Theater system, which pairs five M-1 units with a new PV1D subwoofer. The new PV1D follows on from the DB1 and retains the same balanced drive and pressure vessel concept of its predecessor while adding Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and a dynamic EQ circuit.

Measuring 323 (h) x 270 (w) x 358 (d) mm (13.5 x 10.6 x 14.1 in) and weighing 18.7 kg (41 lb), the PV1D has a frequency response of 7.5 Hz to 570 Hz with a power output of 400W. It is also available in matte black or white and includes an OLED display and buttons for selecting pre-sets and tuning options. A custom version of the SubApp PC software also provides more advanced set-up options.

Additionally, a new MT-50 Mini Theater includes the five of the new M-1 speakers, but pairs them with an ASW608 subwoofer that is now available in the same matte white finish offered for the new M-1 speakers, as well as the original matte black.

Bought individually, the new M-1 units retail for US$250 each, the PV1D for $1,700 and the ASW608 for $500. Those looking for a discount when purchasing the units as part of a Mini Theater system can think again with the MT-50 retailing for $1,750, while the MT-60D sells for $2,950.

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