With your eyes closed, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re listening to a number of speakers dotted around the room …not an all-in-one soundbar nestled under the telly. A large part of the audio magic taking place is due to the clever upwards-firing drivers, which bounce off the ceiling to create the impression of a surround sound setup. If you’re not keen on the appearance of speakers dotted around your sofa, but want a cinematic audio upgrade for your next boxset binge or blockbuster – the Panorama 3 might just be the best option on the market.
Dolby Atmos is an industry standard for satellite set-top boxes, streaming services, and games consoles, so its inclusion in the latest from Bowers & Wilkins is very welcome. As you’d expect, the Panorama connects via HDMI eARC, so there’s no need to go through the hassle of pairing your existing remotes with the soundbar – everything works out-of-the-box.
There’s also support for chatty AI assistant Alexa, so you can request your favourite songs, radio stations, podcasts and audiobooks without reaching for your smartphone or hunting for a remote. It’s incredibly convenient, although we wish Bowers & Wilkins had taken a leaf from Sonos’ playbook and included Google Assistant support too – so your shiny new soundbar isn’t tied to a single hands-free assistant, which will impact the video doorbells, smart thermostats, Wi-Fi-enabled lightbulbs, and other smart home kit that you can buy in the years to come.
That’s a small nitpick, especially given that Bowers & Wilkins has outdone Sonos when it comes to the dizzying number of ways to beam songs, playlists, podcasts, and more from your smartphone or tablet to the Panorama 3.
This all-in-one soundbar supports AirPlay 2 for wireless lossless streaming from all Apple gadgets, Spotify Connect for those who subscribe to the music streaming service, and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth. There’s also the Bowers & Wilkins Music App, which lets you stream from services like Deezer, Last.fm, Qobuz, Soundcloud, TIDAL and TuneIn.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one soundbar with room-rattling bass, plenty of connectivity options for iOS and Android users, an elegant design and a convincing Dolby Atmos surround sound experience from a single package …the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is an excellent choice. Trust us, movie nights will never sound the same.