We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Bowers & Wilkins website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.


Sphere / Tube Enclosure: Absorbs rearward energy from the driver and allows precise imaging.

Whether it’s raw rock, powerful arias or any of the choral repertoire, voices are central to musical communication and conveying all the emotion requires the very best midrange rendition – the finest driver operating in an ideal enclosure. Taking the simple tube concept of the original 4-way Nautilus™ a stage further, we perfected the Nautilus ’head’ to allow a single driver to cover the whole of the critical mid band in one seamless sweep.

Crafted from inert Marlan® composite, the internal cavity – a sphere closely coupled to a short tube - absorbs most of the sound from the back of the driver, with the fibre filling mopping up the last vestiges. On the outside, the glossy teardrop shape smoothly disperses the sound around the speaker creating a solid, three-dimensional image. It was pointed out in the section Nautilus tapered tubes that the technique is limited in bandwidth by the onset of cross-mode resonances as the wavelength gets smaller. It has long been known from horn theory that, if there is a cavity between the driver and the throat of the horn, high-frequency performance is limited. While undesirable in standard horn design, this effect is just what is needed to attenuate higher frequencies before they enter the Nautilus tube and cause any cross-mode resonances.

Cavities, of course, have their own internal resonance problems. Indeed, it is to get away from these that we use tubes in the first place. However, for once physics is on our side. Extensive computer modelling and practical experimentation showed that, if the cavity is a sphere whose diameter had a particular ratio to the diameter of the driver diaphragm, and a hole directly opposite the driver which is the same diameter as its diaphragm and leads to a tapered tube, the internal resonances are to a large extent eliminated. Any residual effects are readily mopped up by wadding inside the sphere and tube. The sphere also has the ideal shape for avoiding diffraction effects on the outside of the enclosure, with consequent benefits to the imaging.

Copyright © 2018 Bowers & Wilkins. All rights reserved.