Bowers & Wilkins has scrapped its hugely successful, award-winning Mini Theatre 5.1 speaker systems, the MT-25 and MT-30, and replaced them with new all-in-one packages that have mostly been redesigned from the ground up. The MT-50 features the brand new M-1 satellite speakers and the same ASW608 subwoofer as the MT-25, while the MT-60D is completely new, with M-1 satellites and a PV1D sub.
Those familiar with the previous systems will notice only minor aesthetic differences from the M-1 speakers that make up the mainstay of both of the new packages. Gone is the rubberised top and bottom to each speaker, to be replaced with a grille that now totally encompasses the fascia. Neither system is available in silver anymore, but each is offered in black and matte white finishes.
There is a new port on the rear of each, with all-new drive units inside, including a new tweeter design and a bass/mid-range driver that Bowers & Wilkins says will allow the speakers to be as comfortable in a stereo pairing as with 5.1 surround sound. Also as a first, wall mounts are included with each package as well as tabletop stands. Matching floor stands are available as an optional extra.
The ASW608 subwoofer included in the MT-50 set-up offers exactly the same performance levels as before, including 200W power output, but is now available in matte white to go with that particular system.
The MT-60D gets a whole new sub in the PV1D. While retaining much of the look of the round diving bell-like PV1, the new model is all digital, borrowing the same technology as B&W's £3k DB1. And while it abandons some of the power output of its predecessor, from 500W to 400W, the company claims that the digital signal processing actually more than compensates, given the impression that its more powerful because it uses the amplification more effectively. It also has a longer throw than the PV1 and sports an OLED screen for adjustments and volume control.
All of the speakers can be bought individually, while the MT-50 costs £1,099 for five M-1 satellites and the ASW608 subwoofer. The MT-60D weighs in at £1,950 for five M-1s and a PV1D sub.
One their own, the M-1 speakers cost £150 each, while the ASW608 sub is £349. The PV1D is £1,200, and the floor stands for the M-1s will come in at £100 each.
Both systems are available now from retailers.
Check out our hands-on and pictures of the Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D here, including what we thought after listening tests.