TOWER SPEAKER REVIEWS

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 01, 2003  |  0 comments

The model designation "DM" might not sound like anything special, but it has a long history with B&W. Models such as the DM 6, fondly remembered by audiophiles as the "pregnant penguin," enjoyed a modest following in the 1970s, when then-small English speaker company Bowers & Wilkins was knocking out attendees at hi-fi show demonstrations. B&W is now, by most accounts, the biggest speaker company in the UK. Its model range has increased exponentially since those early days, but the DM prefix is still very much alive.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Aug 17, 2006  |  0 comments
The audiophile and the ecstasy.

Bowers & Wilkins offers an impressive range of speakers in nearly every size and price category, but they're best known for models that demonstrate the company's continuing pursuit of the state of the art. Just last year, the diamond-tweeter-equipped Nautilus 800 Series speakers made a big splash in audiophile magazines all over the world. Those one-plus ultra models all come with breathtaking MSRPs, but you'll find traces of the 800 Series' inspired engineering throughout B&W's new, considerably more affordable XT Series designs. The XT4 tower's gleaming extruded-aluminum cabinetry is fresh, but the déjà-vu curves, yellow Kevlar midrange driver, and bulging topside tweeter pod leave no doubt—it's a B&W.

Robert Deutsch  |  Nov 07, 2004  |  0 comments

Of all the subwoofers I've reviewed over the years, the one I remember as being the most satisfying overall is the Bag End Infrasub-18. It went lower than any sub I've had in my system, and its integration with the main speakers was the most natural. At any level that I could tolerate, the low bass had an authority that left other subwoofers sounding just a bit strained.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 06, 2015  |  3 comments

BeoLab 18 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

BeoLab 19 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $25,625 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
WiSA wireless multichannel audio technology
All processing and switching built into the TV
Motorized TV speakers and TV stand
Minus
No backlighting on remote control
Nothing else but the price

THE VERDICT
Although most of us can’t afford this system, those who can will be treated to an amazingly moving experience that no other system can provide—every time they turn it on.

Bang & Olufsen is unusual in the AV world. In fact, I could have stopped at “unusual.” I once heard a story about B&O that perfectly sums up what I’m talking about. It’s probably apocryphal, because the person I heard it from had heard it from someone else, but I’ll tell it anyway. Years ago, when B&O still made phones—corded, landline telephones—a guy from the U.S. asked one of the Danish engineers why the handsets had their unique shape, which made them almost impossible to cradle between your ear and shoulder so you could have a conversation and still use both hands. (Twenty-some years ago, that was the era’s version of “hands free.”)

The engineer’s answer was short and to the point: “Because we don’t talk on the phone that way here.” That sort of stubborn—some might say arrogant—confidence in the belief that their way is the right way is one of the core characteristics of Bang & Olufsen. When other AV companies are busy jumping on the latest technological bandwagon, B&O is off in the woods searching for truffles.

Jerry Kindela  |  Feb 15, 2005  |  0 comments
The thrill of exotics.

The Radia Series speaker system is the latest development from what can be considered a seriously thick branch in the speaker-manufacturing tree. You may not be too familiar with the Bohlender-Graebener name; but, when it comes to hybrid planar magnetic driver technology, the name isn't uttered without a good deal of respect.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Jul 20, 2005  |  0 comments
Big ambitions.

Boston Acoustics has been perfecting the art of speaker design for 26 years, so I guess they're ready to try something new. For 2005, the company set their sights on the fiercely competitive A/V-receiver market and released a classically handsome, custom-installer-savvy contender, the AVR7120. To keep it all in the family, I checked out the receiver with a contingent of Boston VR Series speakers.

uavSteve Guttenberg  |  Mar 02, 2009  |  0 comments
I'd like to admit something up front—I'm the sort of reviewer who's easily swayed by the sight of attractive gear. There, I said it, and I feel a little guilty about it. Sadly, I may have missed out on some great-sounding but drab-looking products over the years, including a number of Boston Acoustics speakers. So I was pleasantly surprised by the company's gorgeous new VS Series speakers when they were unveiled in New York City a few months ago.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  4 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $3,999/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Precise, lifelike imaging
Intimate vocal sound
Well-defined and satisfying bass
Minus
Midrange slightly constricted

THE VERDICT
One of the best sub-$5K speakers you can buy

Nobody wants to be stuck in the middle. Nobody wants the middle seat in the car or on the plane. Nobody wants to be the middle child, stuck between the more accomplished older sibling and the cuter baby. And hardly anyone wants “good for the money”; we want the best or the cheapest.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 28, 2014  |  3 comments

683 S2 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value
ASW 610XP Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $4,300 (as reviewed)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Soundstaging
Presence and immediacy
Tight bass (with subwoofer)
Minus
Top end a bit restrained
Limited subwoofer output
Pedestrian styling

THE VERDICT
It took some effort to get their best in my room, but these relatively affordable B&Ws ultimately came through with a big, immediate, and generous sound.

Bowers & Wilkins, aka B&W, has been in the loudspeaker game since the mid-1960s. I reviewed the company’s original 600 series for Stereophile Guide to Home Theater over six years ago, and I was impressed—even though I was listening to those speakers immediately after evaluating Revel’s high-end Ultima2 system. At less than 15 percent of the Revels’ price, the B&Ws couldn’t, of course, equal them. But they weren’t anywhere near embarrassed by the comparison. Now we have the 600 S2 models in house, ready to do battle. The Revels are no longer here, of course, so the 600 S2s will have to speak for themselves. We’re ready to see if they can.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 08, 2003  |  0 comments

The late electronics wizard Henry Kloss, founder of Advent and co-founder of Acoustic Research and KLH, devised the concept of the high-performance compact radio back in the 1960s, and he invented timeless products to back up that innovative idea: His classic KLH Model 8 tabletop radio is still sought after, still sounds great, and fetches $500 and up on Internet auction sites. Cambridge SoundWorks, established by Kloss in 1988 and later sold to Creative Technology Ltd., began as a direct marketer of innovative, inexpensive, overachieving radios and powered multimedia speaker systems.

Chris Lewis  |  Feb 15, 2005  |  0 comments
Good sound made easy by Lexicon and Canton.

In case you didn't believe we were serious about dedicating more of our pages to the overriding reality of home theater—the necessity of individual components coming together to form a cohesive system—we offer exhibit B, our new Spotlight System review. Exhibit A, for those keeping score, is our Hook Me Up column: Sometimes it includes reviews, and sometimes it doesn't, but it always keeps an eye on system issues, especially connections. This new column contains all of the elements of a standard gear review, with the notable exception of being focused on a system, rather than individual components.

Shane Buettner  |  Sep 13, 2006  |  0 comments
  • $1,600/ea.
  • "2.5-way" active loudspeaker with built-in 200-Watt IcePower amplifier modules powering four 4" aluminum mid/bass drivers and one 1" aluminum driver
With the CD 3200 Canton is at the forefront of a trend we expect to see major growth in: active speakers carrying small, efficient and powerful 200-Watt digital switching amps onboard. The drivers have been re-engineered for increased excursion for superior deep bass response and a focused soundfield. Canton claims it will outperform anything or near its class.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Mar 26, 2008  |  0 comments
Chrono logical.

The Canton Chrono Series seems to have a split personality. With the grilles off, you can’t help noticing the gleaming diamond-etched aluminum trim rings that hold the almost equally flashy aluminum drivers. With the grilles on, the floorstanding models become impassive black totems, complemented by equally self-effacing centers, stand-mounts, and subs. The only hint of style is a glossy lacquered fiberboard baffle that twinkles slightly on close inspection under a bright light.

uavGary Altunian  |  Dec 08, 2008  |  1 comments
German products are usually associated with precision performance and high quality. When you think of brands such as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz cars or Rolleiflex cameras, meticulous attention to detail and quality construction are probably the first impressions that come to mind. A budget price not so much.
Steve Guttenberg  |  Feb 04, 2008  |  First Published: Jan 04, 2008  |  0 comments
Pump it up!

Cinepro's demo at the 2007 Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) show in Denver made a powerful impression on my eardrums. I'm no power-hungry audiophile—far from it—but I immediately understood what Cinepro is all about.

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