Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series 5.1 Speaker Package Review & Comments

Mallardo

Well-known Member
I would put these on my Christmas list, but I'm not sure Santa would get airborne with all that in his sack. :(
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
I do wish I had the space to house these beasts :(. Unfortunately I do not but envy members that can . I can take comfort that my seven room friendly B&W M1s give me satisfaction .
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I do wish I had the space to house these beasts :(. Unfortunately I do not but envy members that can . I can take comfort that my seven room friendly B&W M1s give me satisfaction .
If you check the dimensions, you'll see that these speakers (especially the floostanders) aren't as big as you might imagine.
 

Rockets

Active Member
If you check the dimensions, you'll see that these speakers (especially the floostanders) aren't as big as you might imagine.
Yes but the problem is that to get the best from them you need have a decent distance from the walls. The foam bungs usually do no favours for the sound quality because the speakers have been fundamentally designed around the use of the rear ports.

I just wish that some more of the R&D time was spent so that that the speakers could go a little closer to rear walls without having a big impact on the sound.

Just out of interest how close to rear walls do you think the stand mounts can stand?
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Just out of interest how close to rear walls do you think the stand mounts can stand?
I had them about a foot away from the wall at one point and that seemed fine.
 

Goodmane

Active Member
Every room is different but I have small floorstanders about a foot away from rear/1-2m + from sides, and toed in and they are fine in a 6x4m room.

If you toe them inwards 45 degrees (or similar) at about a foot away from the wall, a lot the back of the speakers / rear port energy ends up about 1.5 feet away from the wall and potentially more in the open generally than it would be directly at the wall.

I'm afraid that part is pseudo-science or worse as I haven't tried to measure the difference, but anecdotally, my speakers sound un-boomy like this. That said, I have my floor-standing fronts crossed-over to the subs at 60Hz so the port frequencies are tamed that way also.

It's not just speakers with ports that suffer from being close to walls and especially corners. It happens with any speaker afaik, e.g. sealed subwoofers. You just notice it more with ported speakers I think as they have more energy in the lower frequencies so that it is audible. Happy to be corrected but I think enclosure volume, amplification, driver size and especially room acoustics play a bigger part than ports in unwanted boominess ....?

I was considering much bigger floorstanders and I'm glad I didn't go for them, not because of the boominess, but because they would have looked ridiculous and gotten in the way of using the room for other things. In general, I think smaller floorstanders are no harder to place than most standmounts.
 
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simon194

Well-known Member
I currently have the old DM600 series speaker in my set up and it's nice to find a review of what I was planning on upgrading to but I'll be adding an extra pair of 707's.
 

Mister_Tad

Well-known Member
@Steve Withers - would you have the same reservations about the X8500 with regards to driving these?

I'm happy with what it does with my CDM-NTs, but as these represent quite a departure from the mid-range lineup for the last 20 years (which kind of seemed like same speaker, different box) so not sure how relevant the comparison is.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
@Steve Withers - would you have the same reservations about the X8500 with regards to driving these?

I'm happy with what it does with my CDM-NTs, but as these represent quite a departure from the mid-range lineup for the last 20 years (which kind of seemed like same speaker, different box) so not sure how relevant the comparison is.
The X8500 wouldn't have any problems driving these babies.
 

Dean

Well-known Member
Nice review but where's the immersive audio? No option for any upfirers in the range?
 

hestepare

Member
Yes but the problem is that to get the best from them you need have a decent distance from the walls.
I had this exact problem with my CM8 s2's (predecessor of the 704's) and my solution was to throw money at them. I bought a Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 with built-in room correction that works best if the speakers are as close to the wall as possible. Granted, it's not multi-channel but it has a flawless system for integrating subs with the mains, it lets me get the speakers out of the way and close to the wall and it just sounds awesome.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Nice review but where's the immersive audio? No option for any upfirers in the range?
Having talked with one brands tech guy, lot of manufacturers don`t believe the upfiring idea as it´s so room dependant for it to work best (ceiling type, height, listening distance, angle). So customer might be disappointed for the speaker, but not understand there might be nothing wrong with the them, only how he setups them / wrong type of ceiling to work in he´s room or he sits too far etc.

Height type approach high up on front wall / side wall seems to work really good for many people. With B&W pair of M1s w/ wall brackets that let`s you to angle the speaker towards MLP or front stage (side wall installation).
 

Dean

Well-known Member
Having talked with one brands tech guy, lot of manufacturers don`t believe the upfiring idea as it´s so room dependant for it to work best (ceiling type, height, listening distance, angle). So customer might be disappointed for the speaker, but not understand there might be nothing wrong with the them, only how he setups them / wrong type of ceiling to work in he´s room or he sits too far etc.

Height type approach high up on front wall / side wall seems to work really good for many people. With B&W pair of M1s w/ wall brackets that let`s you to angle the speaker towards MLP or front stage (side wall installation).
I think there's a market for people who have lower flat reflective ceilings, and their MLP is not too far deep into the room, as not everyone would want to cut holes in their ceiling for Atmos speakers.

Upfirers like the KEF ones can also be used as a monopole surround/height/presence speaker in it's own right, which is good for people who don't have space to put bookshelf speakers at the rear of the room, or want to install in ceiling. There would be the flexibility as you wouldn't always have to bounce sound of the ceiling if you didn't want to as surround/presence speakers which would tonally match as well.

I think the height type approach to Atmos is effective but still slightly faux considering the overhead effects are not technically emanating from the ceiling as it's location is just like a height/presence speaker (high on the side wall). I'm sure it adds to the immersion though but maybe not as good if it was more over your head as per Dolby recommendations.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I think there's a market for people who have lower flat reflective ceilings, and their MLP is not too far deep into the room, as not everyone would want to cut holes in their ceiling for Atmos speakers.

Upfirers like the KEF ones can also be used as a monopole surround/height/presence speaker in it's own right, which is good for people who don't have space to put bookshelf speakers at the rear of the room, or want to install in ceiling. There would be the flexibility as you wouldn't always have to bounce sound of the ceiling if you didn't want to as surround/presence speakers which would tonally match as well.

I think the height type approach to Atmos is effective but still slightly faux considering the overhead effects are not technically emanating from the ceiling as it's location is just like a height/presence speaker (high on the side wall). I'm sure it adds to the immersion though but maybe not as good if it was more over your head as per Dolby recommendations.
Yes i agree, it would still be nice to have those from same line. Especially with similar keyholes back as in new KEF Q&R, Dali Altecos, Klipsch SA etc. so would have the option to wall mount them if "bouncing" doesn´t work. But then again there is lot of people who are mixing these from different brand with satisfying results. SVS Prime Elevation is very popular option as it`s larger and more capable, can keep up with many systems. :)
 

pcaddy

Well-known Member
I would like these myself, unfortunately I'm still paying off the loan for my TV, everything is just so expensive but you can dream and I think that my next upgrade would be my AVR so as to get the Daric room correction on the Arcam AVR 550 but even that's a dream at the moment.
 

pcaddy

Well-known Member
If it helps, the NAD T758v3 does the same thing and is half the price ;)
Thanks it might do but not for a good few months yet, must wait until the TVs paid off first I've only got my pension and it's not very much:(
 

NedK

Active Member
@Steve Withers do you have any plans to review the new 600 series? They've been available for a while but I haven't seen any reviews of the floorstanders yet.
 

dts_boy

Well-known Member
I currently have B+W XT series left, centre, right and am looking at 705 s2 and htm72. I have an arcam avr550 - will this drive them ok? Have a good sub (velodyne dd12) so would prefer a smaller profile (even slim floorstander) for detail and rely on sub for bass.
Also, is there anything else I should look at in this price bracket - I've been trying to find some CM series ex display but have struggled so thinking to save a little more and go for the 700 series instead.
 

MacVee

Well-known Member
I currently have B+W XT series left, centre, right and am looking at 705 s2 and htm72. I have an arcam avr550 - will this drive them ok? Have a good sub (velodyne dd12) so would prefer a smaller profile (even slim floorstander) for detail and rely on sub for bass.
Also, is there anything else I should look at in this price bracket - I've been trying to find some CM series ex display but have struggled so thinking to save a little more and go for the 700 series instead.
I was thoroughly impressed by the 705s2 when I auditioned it via an Arcam AVR550. In fact it was best of the bunch for the speakers on trial that day. Didn't listen to it at higher volumes, more low and medium but felt it was easily capable of driving them.

This was strictly two channel with no sub, so if you have something capable like the Velodyne, it should be able to help the speakers shine even more.

The new KEF R3, Monitor Audio Gold 100 and the brand new Dynaudio Evoke 20 I would consider stablemates that compete in that category/price point. I've heard on the grapevine that a new MA Gold range is due next year which could depress current prices.

There are some second hand models of the preceding range from some of the above mentioned.
 

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