Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D Mini Home Theatre System Review
Perhaps you’ve read our earlier reviews on the Cambridge SX-50 and the Infinity Primus 163 as excellent satellite appendages to an existing home theatre system, unobtrusively hiding away while delivering quality sound. And while you may have read the reviews and even heard the speakers in person, you may not have an existing system to plug them into. The Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D Mini Home Theatre system offers a perfect — if not expensive — introductory system with which one can expand on further. For a serious home theatre setup, it’d be hard to go wrong with the MT-60D setup.
Construction and Design
The MT-60D is an elegantly designed system, offered in black or white. The quasi-spherical PV1D subwoofer itself gives the entire system a modern look and just plain looks cool. At just over 18.5kg, though, it’s a hefty piece of equipment.
The subwoofer comes paired with five M-1 satellite speakers. Each of the M-1’s has a steel cabinet with matching grills mounted on tabletop stands, the bases of which allow users to run their cabling up into the themselves to spring-loaded bindings. This effectively hides away much of the cable clutter, allowing one to place the speakers on bookshelves without introducing unnecessary cable nests. Beneath the footpad where the bindings are located, there is a Torx driver that allows one to adjust the tilt of the speaker or to flip the entire speaker to a horizontal orientation, lowering its overall profile. Even the B&W logo can be rotated to match the new orientation! The base can also be removed completely to allow wall mounting in either orientation. Also available are speaker stands if you don’t like the idea of mounting your speakers on the wall or storing them in a bookcase.
The PV1D builds on the now legendary PV1 subwoofer and adds a DSP element to the mix. Controlled by a OLED display, users can select EQ presets, low-pass filter cutoffs, among other things to fine tune their theatre experience and to compensate for flat spaces or unusually resonant rooms in their home. The amplifier onboard is the 400 watt Class D amp that, like the PV1, drives two 8-inch drivers — one on each side of the cabinet. The drivers themselves are made from paper, aluminum, and an old Bowers & Wilkins innovation, Kevlar. On the bottom of the subwoofer, there are a number of inputs from trigger inputs for switching EQ settings, stereo line-level RCA, stereo speaker-level, an RS-232 serial input for an app, and a mini USB input for firmware updates.
The serial port is for use with Bowers & Wilkins SubApp. This allows users to dig deeper into the subwoofers settings and configure it from the listening position, rather than adjusting settings and returning to the listening position to check. And repeat. And repeat… It’s a Windows-only app so for once you may be happy you bought a PC!
Each of the M-1 speakers come with two drivers: a high-frequency tweeter and a mid-range driver. The tweeter is a highly specialized piece of equipment utilizing technology first introduced by Bowers & Wilkins in their pioneering Nautilus speaker. It features tube-loading which works by reducing resonance from the rear of the speaker so the sound from the front is as clear and detailed as possible. The mid-range driver uses the anti-resonance plug found on the higher model PM1 speakers. It uses a four-layer coil, a simplified crossover, and a longer bass reflex port allowing the speaker to reach frequencies down to around 55Hz. The result of this pairing of drivers is a fantastic sonic blend of clarity, detail, and power. There have been few speakers of this size that have been able to achieve this level of performance.
Bowers & Wilkins have nearly 50 years of experience designing speaker systems so it’s really no surprise that their MT-60D system shines among the brightest. Compared to their MT-50 Mini Home Theatre system, the only difference is the subwoofer which in the world of home theatre is all the difference. If you can fork out the extra cash, the PV1D is well worth it. It really makes the system.
Though significantly more expensive than some of the competing systems — notably Bose’s CineMate series — those serious about cinema will appreciate the added clarity and detail of the Bowers & Wilkins system.
The M-1s rendered these and other audio details – the snick of a spring-loaded knife, the crunching sound of an enemy’s fingers being broken during a fight – with aplomb.
The level of detail is exemplary…
Bowers & Wilkins’ MT-60D, however, is an unqualified success
However, if all you have is one system, and a limited amount of space that you must keep relatively uncluttered, the MT-60D could very well be the system for you.
5 x Bowers & Wilkins M-1 4″ 100W Satellite Speaker
1 x Bowers & Wilkins PV1D 2x 8″ 400-Watt Subwoofer
Versatile — provide a full-range, coherent and cohesive sound from the front to the back of the sound stage
Compact and discreet enough to fit into relatively small spaces
Symmetrical mounting keeps the subwoofer perfectly balanced and anchored to the floor
Drive units: 1x ø25mm (1in) metal dome high-frequency