One evening at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I found myself sitting at a dinner table with some obnoxious man telling me how he was going to take a cheap and nasty technology brand, give it an old-school, British-sounding name and sell it as a premium brand. Fake gentlemanly names are a hoary old huckster’s trick.
In Worthing’s Bowers & Wilkins, however, we have a rare instance of an authentic gentlemanly name, and an authentic audio company. True, I’m not a fan of its ubiquitous, elongated rugby-ball-shaped Zeppelin music players – although they sound fine, they look just too gimmicky for my liking. However, the majority of its products are impeccable and as classy as its name.
In both style and substance, the Panorama 2 TV sound bar is pretty much the best a man can get. I say “man”, because chez Technopolis, the womenfolk actually seem to prefer the tinny sound of naked flatscreen TVs. (Well, they say that, then complain whenever loaned sound bars have to be returned.) With this product, however, there was no reverting to the TV speakers. It has a fantastic finish, aesthetic and build, and the shiny, slightly bronzed gloss on top is just beautiful. The sound and functionality are also sublime. Best of breed.