Pairing B&W 685 S1 with S2


Novice Member
Hiya all,

I'm looking for a center speaker to complete my B&W set. Currently I have:

4x B&W 685 S1 for front and surround
ASW610 as sub
And a Denon X2500h receiver

This works great, but I don't have a center yet, and I'd like to for clearer dialogue and better surround.

At first I considered the HTM62 and HTM61. The former I'm testing right now, and is not great compared to the 685 next to it (lower in volume and not as clear).
The HTM61 has very mixed reviews, so I looked for the successor the HTM61 S2. But the height is an issue, it doesn't fit below my PJ screen, and for its price I can buy two more B&W 685 (S1 or S2).

So what I'm considering now is this:
Get 2x B&W 685 S2 (can't find S1 ATM, and the S2 appears to perform better), and then replace the surround speakers with these. Then use my current B&W 685 S1 speakers for left, right and center, to maintain the soundstage.

For listening to music I use the 'multi-channel stereo' option, so all speakers output stereo, and I should be able to optimally enjoy the S2 speakers (positioned as surround) as they're next to the couch.

Question is, do the new B&W 685 S2 pair well (tonally etc.) with the S1 series? Or will you hear the difference across the room?

Has anyone experience with both these speakers?


Distinguished Member
"Then use my current B&W 685 S1 speakers for left, right and center, to maintain the soundstage."

But you would lay it down then which isn`t most ideal thing either as you would want it standing vertically upright just like L/R. It would be odd to put the better speakers at rear for surrounds (S2) and keep the older S1 at front. Probably not massive difference, but still.

You sure you can`t raise the projector screen enough so you can have the HTM61 S2 below/in front and if necessary tilted shooting upwards. Used B&Ws are highly overpriced in most cases, shame.
Upvote 0


Active Member
I ran 685s with an HTM62 for a while. I found the centre fairly poor for dialogue and had much better results with Kef speakers. How fixed are you on B&Ws? You may have more luck looking outside of the brand and going with something else if you’re on a budget.

I doubt you’d hear any difference in the middle of something like mad max between S1 and S2, too many explosions to think about. Mixing brands on your LCR sounds odd, but keeping within brand/range is fine. I mix Kef LCRs with B&W rears and don’t have an issue.
Upvote 0

The latest video from AVForums

Maverick UK Premiere IMAX Review + Top Gun, Tom Cruise, Tony Scott and 4K + Movie/TV News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom