The B&W audio speakers comparison is a great way to see basic peculiarities of mentioned units and pay attention to the audio benefits. In this article, the best B&W bookshelf speakers reviews are presented, revealing their features, strengths, and weaknesses. The combination of its lightness and durability means that dome accurately captures the finest nuances of music.
You can also look through the best bookshelf speaker reviews that cover the best speakers from all leading brands.
B&W Bookshelf Speakers Reviews
Bowers & Wilkins 606: Combination of Continuum Diffuser and Bass-Reflex
The speakers have a very high-quality exterior finish (design options are black or white, with matching the tone meshes), metal reinforcement, and magnetic fixation of the grills. The Bowers & Wilkins 606 has a subwoofer with a patented Continuum diffuser. The bass speaker mounts on a cast antiresonance basket and equips with a powerful magnetic system. Special patented bass-reflex Flowport is characterized by high efficiency, low noise, and distortion. The speaker bass-reflex is located on the rear panel and, optionally, it can be closed with the provided blanking element.
The tweeter in the B&W 606 also has the patented design of the decoupled dome. It has a double aluminum diffuser and operates in an extended frequency range. Thanks to this tweeter, the units have a very transparent detailed sound and the formed stereo image, which defines by an accurate arrangement of images in space.
- The emitters are pinned to the separation filter, which is made of selected audiophile-grade components.
- Adjusting the crossover helps phase distortion minimizing and allows obtaining a smooth response in the mid-frequency.
- As the device is passive, there are two pairs of reliable binding posts to connect the speaker’s amplifier.
- Its dimensions (20.5 x 17.7 x 16.5 inches) are not compact and don’t fit into standard sizes of shelf speakers.
- Ambient temperature greatly affects the B&W 606 because while working in a cold room, its damping materials and suspension need some time to appoint the mechanical properties.
Bowers & Wilkins 686 S2: Tweeter with Aluminum Elements
The model 686 S2 is a narrow rectangular case with a frontal bass-reflex port and a bracket on the rear side. Such design simplifies the speaker’s placement in a small room. It permits hanging or moving them on a shelf close to the wall. The passive model uses a new tweeter with an aluminum dome, reinforced with an additional aluminum ring. This modification of the dome allows better internal resonances control and broaden the frequency range of the tweeter. The branded Nautilus tube effectively damps unwanted vibrations from the back of the tweeter dome.
- There are no overtones during speakers’ operation even at high volume.
- The model is equipped with two pairs of convenient metal clamps with pressure rings for wires connecting.
- The device has rather compact dimensions (6.3 x 9.1 x 12.4 inches), so can be placed on almost any shelf.
- There are some bass distortions while playing rock music.
- The instrument’s timbres sound somewhat simplified (which leads to artificial effects).
Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2: Flowport Bass-Reflex Port and Compactness
The units (10.3 x 6.5 x 11.1 inches) have durable, acoustically inert boxes with a Flowport bass-reflex port, built into their back. The port has small round depressions inside, which help reduce turbulence and noise, generated by the outgoing airflow. The devices are equipped with four binding posts that make a 2-cable connection.
Special dome tweeter is amended by a high-performance carboxylic membrane, which has a low weight, high strength, rigidity, and excellent damping. For accurate transmission of mid and high frequencies, the B&W 707 S2 uses a 5-inch loudspeaker with a Continuum diffuser of woven composite material.
- The passive speakers sound solid and consistent, giving out the bass with a lot of pressure and power.
- Both at high and low volume the devices sound equally good.
- Sometimes the sound lacks dynamic subtlety and rhythmic dexterity.
- The level of acoustic recordings detail is insufficient.
Bowers & Wilkins CM5 S2: Clean Vocals and Metallic Fringe
The passive device reproduces a deeper bass, creates a large scale stage, and is capable of demonstrating detailed and transparent high frequencies up to 50 kHz. There is a brand port of the bass-inverter Flowport on the back panel, which reduces distortion at high volume. The upper overtones slightly dominate the lower middle, making the female vocals a bit raised.
The speakers (11.8 x 7.9 x 13.4 inches) itself are the cases of thick fiberboard with deep internal damping, having a modern exterior finish. The speakers’ bodies have black and white colors combination, making the system a universal interior detail. The models have a cable duct, which allows hiding of all the interfering wires and achieving the accurate appearance. Set grills are removable and have invisible magnetic locks.
- A vocal smoothly embeds in a spacious sound stage.
- The 2-cable connection increases accuracy and focuses on the entire frequency range.
- Sometimes sharp high-frequency sounds unwittingly attract the attention.
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