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Bowers & Wilkins PV1D

Powered subwoofer with digital processing and touch-panel controls (Matte White)

Item # 749PV1DMW

This sleek, bubble-shaped sub was designed after diving vessels and creates exceptionally accurate, musical bass.

This sleek, bubble-shaped sub was designed after diving vessels and creates exceptionally accurate, musical bass.

Item # 749PV1DMW

Low stock

$1,999.00 -$194.90 Outlet savings


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About the Bowers & Wilkins PV1D

Kramer Crane

Unique design, exquisite performance

At first glance, the Bowers & Wilkins PV1D looks like some kind of futuristic craft. But there's more to this sleek powered subwoofer than meets the eye. Its unique design creates exceptionally accurate, musical bass. Let's take a closer look...

Unique design, exquisite performance

At first glance, the Bowers & Wilkins PV1D looks like some kind of futuristic craft. But there's more to this sleek powered subwoofer than meets the eye. Its unique design creates exceptionally accurate, musical bass. Let's take a closer look...

Bowers & Wilkins PV1D powered subwoofer

An inside look at the PV1D's driver assembly shows the ingenuity behind its unique design.

Two woofers are better than one    

The PV1D is outfitted with not one, but two 8" woofers, which are powered by a built-in 400-watt amp. The cones fire in opposite directions, giving you evenly distributed bass that will fill your room. 

Each woofer uses a hybrid aramid fiber/aluminum cone design. This stiff-yet-lightweight configuration allows them to respond quickly and accurately to the dynamic peaks in music or movie soundtracks. 

Modeled after pressure vessels

The rigid, almost-spherical design of the PV1D comes from a careful study of diving spheres and other pressure vessels. In other words, it's shaped like a bubble.

This rounded design allows the PV1D to handle high levels of air pressure. It delivers deep, clean bass without distortion or vibration.

Tailor the sound to your room

The PV1D sports touch-panel controls that let you dial in the sub for your room and speakers. You can easily adjust crossover frequency and slope, phase, and more.

This sub even has preset configurations for specific Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers, making it an excellent choice for a Bowers & Wilkins stereo or home theater system.

For even more in-depth adjustments, you can connect the PV1D to a Windows® PC using the included 16-foot USB adapter cable and run the free Bowers & Wilkins SubApp.

A rich history of audio excellence

Founded in England in the 1960s, Bowers & Wilkins is known worldwide for their innovative hi-fi speaker designs and their premium headphones. Crutchfield is proud to offer a diverse selection of products from this legendary audio brand.


Product highlights:

  • 400-watt Class D amplifier
  • dual 8" hybrid aramid fiber/aluminum woofers
  • touch-panel controls for crossover frequency and slope, phase, and more
  • acoustic suspension (sealed) enclosure
    • rounded design for handling high levels of air pressure
    • note: this sub does not come with grilles
  • continuously variable 25-140 Hz crossover
  • speaker-level and line-level stereo RCA inputs
  • 3.5mm serial (RD-232) port
    • allows control and setup via Bowers & Wilkins PV1D SubApp using a Windows® PC and provided USB adapter cable
    • allows control via third-party home automation system
  • auto on/off
  • 10-3/4"W x 13-1/2"H x 14-1/8"D
  • 41 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # FP31089

What's in the box:

  • Powered subwoofer
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • 16' Proprietary speaker-level cable
  • 16' USB-to-minijack cable
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Manual
  • Bowers & Wilkins brochure
  • Warranty Information

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

See the difference between "Open Box" and "Scratch & Dent" Outlet items

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Crutchfield response

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More details on the Bowers & Wilkins PV1D

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Enclosure Sealed
Woofer Size (inches) 8
Woofer Composition Paper-Kevlar/Aluminum
Firing Direction Side
Amplifier Output (watts) 400
Frequency Response Not gi Hz
Preamp-Level Inputs Stereo RCA/LFE
Speaker-Level Inputs Molex
Speaker-Level Outputs No
Wireless No
Low-Pass Crossover Freq 25-140
High-Pass Crossover Freq N/A
Phase Switch Yes
App Control No
Remote No
Other Info
Height (inches) 13-1/2
Width (inches) 10-3/4
Depth (inches) 14-1/8
Weight 41 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 2 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 2 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 2 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research


PV (Pressure Vessel) Enclosure: Inside the PV1D's enclosure, the tremendous air pressures that stress the panels of normal, flat-sided subs at higher output levels are dispersed evenly around a rigid, continuous shell, reducing unwanted vibrations to a bare minimum. The PV1D's inherent stability means it can be pushed just a bit further for bigger bass performance when compared to other compact powered subwoofer enclosures. The PV1D also rests on an integrated rubber foot, which provides a great degree of vibration isolation from the floor and other supporting structures.

Note: No grilles come with this powered subwoofer.

Opposed Dual Driver Technology: Along with its ultra-rigid enclosure, the PV1D uses horizontally-opposed bass drivers, working back-to-back. The PV1D houses two 8" paper-kevlar/aluminum long-throw woofers with rubber surrounds that are firing in opposite directions for deep, distortion-free, wide-spread bass. The symmetrical mounting of its twin drive units keeps the subwoofer perfectly balanced and anchored to the floor, so there's no rattle when it rumbles. The back-to-back arrangement also further improves the distribution of pressure inside the powered subwoofer enclosure.

400W Class D Amplifier w/ DSP: Coupled to an all-new Class D amplifier generating 400 Watts of power, the dual 8" woofers have the dynamics and control to deliver fast, clean, firm solid bass for movie and music soundtracks. DSP (digital signal processing) provides greater control and versatility, allowing the PV1D to integrate seamlessly with a wide variety of loudspeakers, either to create a truly impressive home theater system, or to simply extend the bass response for a 2ch stereo application. There is enough power on tap to fully reproduce the most demanding special effects in movies, while also retaining all the subtle nuances of your music.

Advanced User Interface: The PV1D can be setup and operated either from its front-panel touch controls or using the Bowers & Wilkins PV1D SubApp setup and optimization application running on a Windows PC.

  • Touch-Control Panel: The simple, intuitive touch-control panel lets you "dial-in" the PV1D for use with everything from little satellite speakers to big floorstanding models. The OLED control panel gives easy access to a number of presets and tuning options. By default, the display is set to dim and the navigation buttons fade completely after 30 seconds of button inactivity to reduce visual distraction in normal operation. Alternatively, the display may be set to go off altogether. As soon as any button area is pressed, the display and buttons become fully bright and always remain bright when in setup mode.
  • PV1D SubApp: The PV1D also supports B&W's custom SubApp PC software (for Windows only), which provides more advanced set-up options. The PV1D SubApp is downloadable from the B&W website. Any changes you make to the settings in the PV1D Sub App are automatically fed back to the subwoofer and become immediately audible. They are also written to the subwoofer's on-board UI menu. The PV1D powered sub's serial 3.5mm (RS-232) port will need to be connected to your Windows PC's USB port using the supplied 16' USB-to-minijack cable.

Advanced Subwoofer Controls: The Bowers & Wilkins PV1D offers a wide variety of advanced settings and control to tailer the sound of the powered subwoofer to your preference, room, source content, and application.

  • Input Settings: The Input Settings menu provides sensitivity, gain, polarity, and/or level controls for its line-level and speaker-level inputs.
    • Line Input Sensitivity & Gain Control: The PV1D provides line input sensitivity options (+6dB, 0dB, -6dB) that enable its optimum matching with source electronics, and variable gain control to match its volume level with that of the main speakers. With all the levels of PV1D set to their default value of 0dB, the subwoofer has the THX standard sensitivity of 109dB SPL at 1m for an input of 1V RMS.
    • Line Input Polarity Inversion: The PV1D provides optional polarity inversion that enables compensation for the polarity inversion occasionally found in electronics. In the majority of cases the Line input Polarity should be set to Normal. However, if the power amplifiers feeding the main speakers invert the signal, select Inverted.
    • Speaker Input Level: The PV1D's output level from the speaker-level input may be adjusted to match that of the main speakers by simply entering a single sensitivity figure (quoted in dB at 1m for an input of 2.83V).
  • Speaker Configuration: The Speaker Configuration menu modifies the subwoofers response to blend optimally with your main loudspeakers.
    • Low-Pass Crossover: The variable low-pass crossover allows for smooth transition between the subwoofer and your loudspeakers. You can set the frequency and slop of the crossover. If you are using an AV receiver or processor with an LFE output, then the Low Pass Crossover should be deactivated.
    • Phase Adjustment: Normally the phase will be set to 0°, but if the subwoofer is positioned at a distance significantly different from the other speakers, or the power amplifier driving the other speakers happens to invert the signal, the 180° position may be preferable. Listen with the switch in both positions and choose the one that gives the fullest sound. If there is little difference, leave the switch at 0°
    • B&W Speaker: In addition to manually setting the crossover, slope, and phase, the PV1D offers preset configurations for specific Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers - making setup simpler and less time consuming.
  • Setup Presets: The PV1D incorporates five memory presets where groups of setup parameters can be configured, stored and recalled. The setup parameters that can be configured and stored are Input Selection, Input Level, Equalization, and Low-Pass Filter. The setup presets enable different performance characteristics to be easily selected for different types of program material or different listening occasions. You can add a name of up to 10 characters to any or all of the five Presets using the SubApp PC program.
  • Volume Trim: The Volume Trim function has a range of +/-6dB and is intended to provide occasional on-the-fly adjustment and does not affect the volume setting stored within any preset. If the PV1D is switched to standby and on again, the Volume Trim is reset to 0dB.

Line-Level & Speaker-Level Inputs: The PV1D provides both line-level and speaker-level inputs (located on the bottom of the sub enclosure), which may be connected simultaneously for different applications. Through the PV1D's advanced user interface, you can choose which input is actively being used. The line-level input consists of stereo RCA jacks, while the speaker-level input consists of a molex connector and a 16' proprietary speaker cable with a molex plug on one end and bare wires on the other end. The color-codes of the proprietary speaker cable are as follows - Yellow (Left +), Green (Left -), Red (Right +), and Black (Right -). If using an AV receiver, preamplifier, or processor with an LFE out, then you will only need to connect the powered sub's "Left" or "Right" line-level input, but not both.

Auto On/Off: The Bowers & Wilkins PV1D powered subwoofer will switch on automatically when an input audio signal is detected and off following a specified time after the input signal stops. The powered sub comes with a detachable 6.5' AC power cord.

Two 12V Trigger Inputs: The Bowers & Wilkins PV1D is equipped with two 12V Trigger inputs, each consisting of a 3.5mm minijack. One trigger is used for switching between On/Standby, and the other trigger for switching between two presets.

3.5mm Serial (RS-232) Port: The 3.5mm serial (RS-232) port has two purposes. First, it enables communication to a Windows computer running the PV1D SubApp setup program. A 16' USB-to-minijack cable is supplied to connect between the PV1D subwoofer and your computer. Secondly, the 3.5mm serial port enables control of the subwoofer by a home automation system communicating by RS-232 protocol.

miniUSB Port: From time to time it may be necessary to update the subwoofer's internal software (firmware). This is done from a computer running the updater program and a USB-to-miniUSB cable (not included). Check for updates on the Bowers & Wilkins PV1D support webpage.

Placement Options: The PV1D may be used freestanding on the floor or be installed into custom-built furniture. The positioning of a subwoofer is generally less critical than for full-range speakers. Furthermore, the PV1D is also more versatile than most subwoofers in terms of positioning thanks to its on-board equalization and optimization system that can compensate to some extent for less than ideal positioning.

  • Best results, however, will be obtained if the PV1D is placed between the left and right speakers or in the vicinity of one of them. Placing a subwoofer to the side, but still to the front of the listeners is an acceptable compromise if domestic considerations dictate, but we recommend you avoid placing the subwoofer behind the listeners. If two PV1D subwoofers are to be used it is best to position one near the left speaker and one near the right speaker.
  • Like all speakers, the proximity of room boundaries affects the sound of a subwoofer. Bass level increases as more surfaces come into close proximity. The more boost gained from the room, the lower the subwoofer’s volume can be set and the less hard the subwoofer has to work.
  • Using two or more subwoofers in a single installation can improve performance by averaging the effects of low-frequency room resonances and enabling a higher maximum volume level.

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