B&W being purchased by a Silicon Valley Startup

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by GoldprintAudio, May 3, 2016.

  1. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Lexington, NC
    Vidiot likes this.
  2. Long Live Analog

    Long Live Analog Forum Resident

  3. soundboy

    soundboy Forum Resident

    West Coast sound for B&W!!
    Billy Budapest and tmtomh like this.
  4. audiolab1

    audiolab1 Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    Another one bites the dust...*sigh*
    Vinyl Addict likes this.
  5. Perfect sound forever

    Perfect sound forever Well-Known Member

    Marantz, Luxman, Mission , McIntosh went in a funny direction fortunately back on track , let's hope it won't be cheapo toot with the B&W badge on it.
  6. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Corvallis, Oregon
  7. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    How strange.
  8. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Very interesting.
  9. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    Very strange indeed. I've always loved B&W speakers - have owned only three pairs of primary listening speakers in the past 25 years and all have been B&Ws.

    That said, there's already been a lot of price creep in their mid-high range over the years and so I don't know if this acquisition will change much as long as the new owners aren't stupid enough to move away from the core tech and design philosophy.

    Plus there's always Harbeth. :)
    whaleyboy and Upinsmoke like this.
  10. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Nowadays property and production are much more independent one to each other than in the past. Investors want boutique brands to be exactly what they are, because the best of the best is always the most profitable market in crisis times. Think of Ferrari, which is now FCA (Chrysler and FIAT) owned.

    Money is always wise. New money means to an old brand We Believe In You. I don't think it does mean Let's Make B&W the Beats by Dr.Dre of Loudspeakers.
    martinb4 and KeninDC like this.
  11. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider

    I hope they will respect the name and quality now found inside.
    Grootna and Long Live Analog like this.
  12. xcqn

    xcqn Audiophile

    Gothenburg, Sweden
    What? I thought they did well?
  13. This isn't what I meant when I said it would be good if millennials got interested in high-end audio.
  14. deadcoldfish

    deadcoldfish Forum Resident

    Santa Rosa, CA
    from the article:

    Bowers & Wilkins became a household name before speaker companies had to distinguish themselves through Spotify integrations and voice recognition capability. While Bowers & Wilkins does sell speakers designed to accommodate people used to listening to music through their smartphones, Atkins acknowledges that his company lacks the expertise needed to build software that communicates with cloud services. Any company that wants to sell speakers at a significant premium would need to integrate high-end hardware with sophisticated software. Yu plans to begin selling new products that incorporate Eva’s work by early to mid-2017.

    While the details of the sale are odd, Atkins’s decision to sell isn’t a total surprise. He hinted at a potential acquisition in an interview with the Guardian last year, but that was long before talks started with Eva. Bang & Olufsen A/S, another high-end audio-equipment maker, walked away from takeover talks with a Chinese billionaire last month and replaced its CEO.

    Bowers & Wilkins’s most devoted customers will probably be skeptical about a Valley startup being the best steward for a fancy speaker brand. Audiophiles often turn their noses up at digital music companies, which have a reputation for sacrificing fidelity for convenience. “It will take some explaining,” said Atkins. “I think when the verdict comes back, it will be clear that this is exactly what Bowers & Wilkins should be doing.”
  15. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Vallejo, CA
    I do.

    In your example, an established car company has bought another car company, the latter being a very recognizable brand outside of the world of sports car enthusiasts.

    In this case, a silicon valley startup has bought a company that really only audiophiles are especially familiar with. Silicon valley startups are about making better mousetraps, not serving as holding companies that keep acquisitions as they are.
  16. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Supper's ready


    Now with Bluetooth!
  17. soundboy

    soundboy Forum Resident

    I can almost see the new B&W "lifestyle" products showing up at our local Walmart. Nakamichi will finally have some serious competition. I'm surprised Audiovox didn't pick up B&W....oh, they haven't yet completely run Acoustic Research or Energy into the ground yet.
    sunspot42 likes this.
  18. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Supper's ready

    Already available at Best Buy.
  19. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    I own two of the little Eva wireless climate sensors - an indoor one and an outdoor one. They're made by Eva Automation - Yu's company. Both sensors work well, they're well made, accurate, and the app used to read and configure the sensors works well on my iPhone 6.

    Lots of companies have majority shareholders without traditional backgrounds in the specific products and enginnering that the companies have developed. Sometimes, founders or long-time successful managers or CEOs have to move on because they're simply finished with the business.

    This cat, Yu, is smart and experienced enough (in the venture cap and tech startup world) to know better than to monkey around with what is working well at B&W. He's also bringing a lot of cash and other VCs to the B&W table, a significant portion of which will finance the R&D for projects that will help make B&W better and more versatile than it is today. That's my prediction.
  20. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Vallejo, CA
    I'm not sure you sell your company to a third party to address the problem of not having the in-house talent to connect to Spotify - seems a bit drastic. I think you just hire some people for that.
  21. David Johnson

    David Johnson Forum Resident

    Atlanta Georgia
    Well thank you for the news link.
    I was planning on buying the new 803 D3's sometime this summer and replacing my 804 D2's.
    However, I think I will wait off and see what happens to the company, and maybe look at other speakers in the same price range.
    GoldprintAudio likes this.
  22. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I'm good. I'm 63 years old, my B&W speakers will be with me until the end.
  23. deadcoldfish

    deadcoldfish Forum Resident

    Santa Rosa, CA
    Exactly but we don't know what their balance sheet looked like so hopefully it will all be for the better for both.
  24. skriefal

    skriefal Forum Resident

    SLC, Utah
    What? Buyers of "expensive" audiophile equipment don't want streaming devices built into their speakers. If they do want a streaming device they'll want to purchase it separately from the speakers (and often separate from the amp). This type of thing does make sense in the lower-end market where all-in-one devices are popular -- but you get this from outsourcing, or hiring developers, or by licensing and rebranding existing hardware.

    Whatever the real reason was for the sale, apparently they're not saying (yet).
  25. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    I bet they'll be going up against Devialet.
    sunspot42 likes this.

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