New Bookshelf and center speakers - KEF vs B&W?


Novice Member
I currently have my brothers B&W Nautilus 805's with the Nautilus 805 HTM2 (center channel) with an older version of B&W M1 surround (B&W 600 series Sub from about 10 years ago - still going strong). AVR - Denon 7.2 3500h receiver - (105 w).

Long story brother is coming back from living abroad for a long period of time and will be taking the 805's and the HTM2 back. I want to replace them but can't afford the current ones at the same level and I also want to explore new technology and am completely open to other brands. I am not in the market for a new AVR - but with my current set up, it feels that the AVR is not enough to power the 805's and HMT2 as they seem dulled even with DB's up and volume up. So I am looking for something that can show out a little more with my current Denon AVR.

What I am currently looking at:

KEF q350c vs B&W 606 s2 (anniversary edition)

KEF q250c vs KEFq650c vs B&W HTM6 (anniversary edition)

Will mainly be using it for streaming movies/TV but also music (but not as much).

Additional price note - my brother works in AV installation programming and can get most things around cost (50%) plus about 15% (on top of the decreased price for commission). So think about that when considering options - significant price deduction. (so my budget is between $700-1000 for all 3 speakers after discount - so about $1300-1700 store price)


Last edited:


Distinguished Member
Shame you aren´t allowed to keep the B&Ws as the new speakers aren´t going to sound as good in that price range. You could have easily added poweramp (3ch) to your Denon to make those 800s come alive more at high SPL. Also if your main use is movies then the B&W 600 serie sub should be swapped at some point if you are more serious. Even the 610XP top model was quite poor performance wise and more ideal for small room / moderate listening levels. There is so many great options in US with the ID brands (specialized in subwoofers).

If you can visit some hifi shops in Nashville comparing few products then do so. I think Best Buy carries both brands (B&W / KEF). Also listen Klipsch RP-600M as that is typically very popular choice in US for the type use you have, also it´s very easy to drive due to higher sensitivity. You would partner those with RP-600C center channel. There is like zillion reviews and youtube videos for them if you aren`t familiar..

PS. Make sure your Denon doesn´t have ECO mode "On" and you haven´t lowered the impedance switch to 4ohm setting. Both would lower the power output and the receiver would struggle more. Naturally with those B&Ws you have the correct settings would be speaker size set to Small for all and crossovers ~80hz for the front three and 120hz for the old M1s. Some people just run Audussey and doesn`t check/manually change these as they can be set much lower and that means your receiver has to work more which is not really required as you have powered subwoofer playing the 20-80hz range typically.


Have you thought about used 805s? The 600 series don't come close in terms of clarity.

marcos alvarenga

Standard Member
I made a listening of a secondhand 805S, but could only afford a 606 S2. Maybe my tiny listening room helped a lot, but I am quite satisfied.

My amp is a Cambridge CXA 81.


Novice Member
I ended up going to KEF q350 and q650c. Very satisfied. There are some albums I have to use the foam fillers because they can be bass heavy.

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: We review Dune and ask which is the best decade for horror movies?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom