Bowers and Wilkins - 5" 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Wenge
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5" woven KEVLAR® cone woofer
Along with a 1" aluminum dome tweeter with a Nautilus tube-loaded design for a range of sounds (KEVLAR is a registered trademark of DuPont).
2-way speaker system
Sounds like 1 source rather than several separate sources.
High-quality minimalist crossover design
For enhanced sound.
Flowport dimpled port design
Offers reliable use.
Vented box system
Ensures adequate ventilation to keep the speaker cool.
Wenge real wood veneer enclosure
For a stylish appearance.
Dual binding posts
For easy installation.
55Hz - 22kHz frequency response
For faithful sound reproduction.
For powerful sound.
8 ohms nominal impedance
Effectively conducts power.
- Bowers and Wilkins 5" 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)
- 2 foam plugs, 8 self-adhesive rubber pads
- Owner's manual
- Number of Speakers per Package2
- Speaker UseBookshelf
- Speaker type2-way
- Number of Speakers2
- Crossover Type2-way
- Tweeter Size1"
- Tweeter CompositionAluminum dome
- Woofer5" woven KEVLAR cone
- Connector TypeDual binding posts
- Enclosure TypeVented
- Magnetically ShieldedNo
- Impedance8 ohms nominal
- Required Amplifier Power30-100W
- Speaker PricingPair
- ENERGY STAR QualifiedNo
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review(1 Review)
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Some of my most favorite speakers ever made.Posted .
Where to start... The CM1's are the best speakers you can get from B&W's line of speakers without spending a ridiculous amount of money and running into the law of diminishing returns. I've even read a professional audio review stating that these are 80% of the 805's sound for less than half the price. The 805's represent the best bookshelf speakers that B&W has to offer. Which is really saying something. Also, I'm not much of a tower guy...just never liked them much even having heard some of the best, including B&W towers. I've also lived in smaller living spaces where towers really don't shine as much as a good pair of bookshelf speakers. I'm a massive audiophile and have owned expensive audio equipment over the years. When it comes to speakers, B&W is my favorite, and the CM1's in particular. I've heard so many B&W products: 705's, 800 series, XT4s, ASW300, PV1, 601's, 603's, the whole new 68x series, ZMF2002's, Zeppelin, CDM1NTs and I finally settled with these! I've owned EVERY pair of the new 68x series (686, 685,684,683); all are wonderful speakers but I had two problems with them. The current 600 series bottoms out quite quickly and as such really do not go as loud. The other problem I was having is that they're much less forgiving as to the sound quality of the music. For example, a bad recording would sound REALLY bad on the 600 speakers and you basically HAD to find good quality recordings since the 600 speakers would easily identify flaws in the recording. They're still gorgeous speakers in looks and sound quality, but they just weren't enough to satisfy my fairly stringent desires in a high fidelity stereo system. So onto the CM1's... The CM1's are much more mellow sounding vs. the more warm and sharp 600 speakers. The CM series speakers feature additional internal bracing and the woofer drivers have additional suspension reach meaning they can give out better bass and be cranked louder. With a proper subwoofer this system is incredible. Moreover, the CM1's are much more forgiving when it comes to poorer quality recordings. The music still sounds nice, and naturally, high quality recordings will make the CM1's sing. Unfortunately I have not heard the CM5's but I can't imagine they'd be that much better, especially since one would likely get a subwoofer anyway. If the 600 series are any indicator, I preferred the 686's over the larger 685's. The 685's were too warm and really didn't give much of a difference in sound quality.. Likewise the CM5's use the exact same tweeter and go a bit lower in bass than the CM1's...but who cares since you'll have a subwoofer to fill in those lower frequencies anyway. If you only want bookshelf speakers with no subwoofer and do want a bit of extra bass, the CM5's may be worth looking into. Many people claim B&W speakers need a lot of power to sound their best--this is simply not true. The quality of the amplifier makes more of a difference than the amount of power it puts out. I can say that the more power you give them, the more easily they'll distort (usually B&W's make a "slapping" noise) or possibly even blow. My old but high quality tube amplifier that puts out 50w/channel makes B&W speakers absolutely sing and even beat out my high powered Marantz, Rotel, and Integra component/receiver systems (all of which are flagship models) when paired with my CM speakers. Now, B&W has moved production of the CM1's over to China from England where they were first made. Any B&W speaker purchased at Best Buy is made in China. In fact, their decision to move into Best Buy may have likely influenced their decision to move construction of the speakers into China as that's about when they started transitioning production over to the East. I first had my doubts, admittedly, but I can now say that there is NO reason to worry about build quality or the way the speakers sound! I've owned the English CM1's and now the Chinese CM1's and there is NO DIFFERENCE in quality!! They both sound exactly the same. B&W has a reference speaker to which all the other CM1's must match within 2dB. Just a bit of trivia: the English made CM1's came in an additional color: Maple. And the gloss black and white color is only found in the made in China versions. Rosenut and Wenge have been produced in both countries. Anyway! Back to my story: I had sold my English made CM1's and wanted another pair but decided to give these a try as they would be brand new, in the color I wanted, and have a NINE year warranty (B&W 5 year warranty combined with the 4 year geek squad protection plan). Not bad at all. These are just as good as the Engish ones, and I have no disappointment about the purchase whatsoever. As far as colors go, gloss black and white didn't appeal to me since I wanted the real wood veneer (though it is only 1mm thick and covering MDF). Plus gloss black is notorious for collecting dust, fingerprints, and scratches. White looks a bit retro and even outdated from seeing the speakers in person. The rosenut is a tad tacky (in my opinion!). The maple is no longer offered on the Chinese models, sadly, though it was certainly a very lovely color and really brought out the minimalistic, modern design of the CM1's. The wenge color is lovely as well and I love how it contrasts with the yellow Kevlar drivers. As far as getting these speakers, it's tricky. They are getting a tad bit older and I'm not sure if B&W has plans to replace them soon, though they did just introduce the white versions so perhaps there's some life left in this line. Most Best Buy's don't even carry these and if they do have them in store, they're probably gloss black. I just went into a Best Buy store and had them order the speakers and have them shipped to the local store. This was despite the website saying the speakers were unavailable at my local store! The shipping is free, though the wenge speakers took about 1.5 weeks to get shipped in. Also, they did come in before the expected date so I was thrilled about that! Some of my friends would scoff at me for spending such an amount on speakers. I've had some contend they could build better speakers. Well, I'm not sure about that, especially with the incredible finish and the kevlar drivers. Moreover, if you've noticed, DIY speakers have horrible resale value. B&W speakers keep their value extremely well. One last thing...the foam plugs didn't make much of a difference for me and they're really cheap....I've had a pair of the same plugs in the past that came with a used pair of 684 towers and the outsides of the plugs had already began to harden after a couple years. If you do find the plugs necessary, you may have to come up with a better long term solution for blocking the ports. I sort of think the plugs really aren't necessary anyway. The foam plugs being junk are forgivable though, since the rest of the speakers build quality and sound is fantastic. Aside from that, the speakers come with a concise, but useful, instruction manual, warranty guide, metal connectors already on the back of the speakers to connect the tweeter to the woofer driver, and some small cheap rubber feet to stick onto the bottom of the speakers to prevent scratching. The included feet are nice, but I feel it'd be better to just get the feet from B&W that can be screwed into the available metal plugs already installed and threaded on the bottom of the speakers. If you're an audiophile, I do highly recommend these speakers. They're incredible. Any comments? Feel free to post away!I would recommend this to a friend