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B&W 600 S2 Series: more expensive speakers beware

 
B&W 683 Theatre speaker package

 

B&W has just launched a new version of its 600 series speakers. The smaller the model number, the bigger the speaker. The conventional speakers in the range are as below:

  • 686 S2 - slim standmount speaker (£349)
  • 685 S2 - large standmount speaker (£499)
  • 684 S2 - slim floorstanding speaker (£799)
  • 683 S2 - large floorstanding speaker (£1149)

The 683 S2 is a very large speaker so it's no surprise that there isn't a 682.

Despite the model numbers hardly changing, modifications are extensive. With the 686 and 684, the most obvious difference is how slim the speakers are. But their compact dimensions do not compromise performance, which is actually improved, thanks to new bass/midrange drivers, incorporating the anti-resonance plug from B&W's high-end PM1 speaker.

As is traditional for B&W, the drive units make use of Kevlar to retain strength. And the new tweeter has been derived from another high-end speaker - the CM10 - so high-frequency performance is a big leap over the previous (award-winning) 600 series. Those with toddlers in the home will be pleased to learn that the tweeter is now protected by a metal grill.

The top-of-the-range 683 features two aluminium bass drivers that produce an enhanced bass response over the model it replaces.

The new cabinets and plinths are very smart and finish options are black ash and white. B&W stands are available to get the best out of the 686 and 685 but the 686 speakers can also be wall mounted using the attached brackets.

All speakers can be bi-wired.

Centre channel and surround speakers are also available and B&W's ASW subwoofers continue. A perfectly balanced home cinema setup can therefore be assembled.

With all the enhancements, B&W's 600 S2 speakers are a serious threat to more expensive alternatives and are available now from Hi-Fi Stereo.


Date of article:20/03/2014


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