Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Stand Mount Speaker Test
More and more often our repeat and new customers ask us to test their hi-fi equipment. In addition to the acoustic measurement and treatment of the home of our new customer, Gergő Marosi we also performed an audio testing of the owner’s Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 stand mount speakers. The room where we tested the speakers was the family’s 20-square-foot, rectangular minimalist-style living room. The acoustics optimisation of the room is not yet complete as the wife of our customer is still reluctant to accept the presence of any acoustic improving panels. But it came as a relief for her to know that printed, acoustic panels can be made to suit her taste, and since that moment printed panels showcasing the Avengers adorn the walls. (We didn’t dare to ask if her husband persuaded her or the appeal of the irresistible Iron Man, Robert Downey Junior, made to change her mind.)
So let’s see what this speaker designed by the English engineering team knows!
At the top of the modern square box is an aluminium dome hidden behind a protective grille and a carbon-coated tweeter. In the opening at the top of the box, the usual golden Kevlar was replaced by a silver Continuum. The edge of the subwoofer sparkles in a thin band. A screw thread on the bottom ensures that the device is properly placed on its stand. On the back you can see Flowport reflex opening, gold-plated connectors, which also allow two-wire cabling. The tweeter is modern, conical, the speaker is separate from the speaker housing. The speaker box has a massive, serious “individuality.” It is an attractive, modern, and sophisticated-looking audio device that is available at a very affordable price in its category, which does not mean that it represents a lower quality or performance! Bowers & Wilkins has been manufacturing high-end hi-fi equipment for 50 years, and their expertise and engineering know-how was also required for this product.
The front baffle and top plate are made of a multi-layer piece of wood. The side walls are not completely parallel; the front is wider than the back to prevent the formation of standing waves. Compared to previous products of the same series, Mundorf bypass capacitors and larger heatsinks were used as innovations for the 705 S2 speaker. Thanks to the Continuum membrane, we can experience controlled frequency decomposition, resulting in more detailed, more beautiful sound at mid frequencies.
Some of the features:
– 50Hz – 28kHz, ± 3dB frequency response
– 45Hz-33kHz -6dB frequency range
– impedance 8 ohms, minimum 3.7 ohms;
sensitivity 88dB / 2.83 V /
-a harmonic distortion of less than 1%
We run the audio test …
We started our audio test with songs downloaded to a laptop. We placed a granite pad under the speaker for a more optimal sound.
We put on first Regard’s latest hit Ride it. The rumbling basses sounded clear and firm, the vocals also flawless, we didn’t experience any confusion, maybe a hint of reverberation was noticeable, but it wasn’t the speaker’s fault, it was rather on account of the imperfect room acoustics. Listening to the melodies of the rock opera Stephen, the King. the Bowers & Wilkins did not disappoint us this time either. The higher range vocals seemed a little too sharp, but this is a negligible problem as it would only be noticed by us with no tin ears. The instruments sounded fantastic, and we couldn’t even stop playing air guitar concurrently with the rock opera guitarist. Real instruments, real space – that was our overall impression. We observed a detailed and sharp sound while listening to the rock opera.
We were in need of action and also curious to know how these great audio devices would perform while rendering a representative of the seventh art, we launched the action movie Die Hard Part 5. We were also satisfied with the sounds of the movie, although, in terms of bass intensity, they fell slightly short of our expectation. The special effects of the action movie, as well as the sound of explosions, crashes and bangs did not always sound the way we were used to hear those in professional movie theatres. However, a more muscular amplifier would also help with this problem.
The Continuum, which replaced the former Kevlar, showed a more precise, sharper sound, but at high volumes it was less able to produce really full and rumbling depths. Accurate vocals and sophisticated details are the hallmark of this instrument, making it an ideal choice for hi-fi or movie rooms for those who don’t mind missing out on powerful, rumbling basses when the volume is turned up. Compared to its small size, there’s no reason to complain about its qualities. The midrange is clear and harmonious, the sound is outstanding.
The Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 stand mount speakers absolutely worth their price, they render your favourite music and movies beautifully and clearly. But if you’re planning a more serious home theatre system that sounds perfect in every way, it is worth choosing even better-performing speakers. But paired with a high-quality amplifier, these speakers can also meet our expectations.
By: Róbert Polgár