The 683 speakers came in well designed cartons, heavy wall, and capable of real protection during shipment, a nice plus. They were partitioned for placement of accessory parts and the manuals as well, so nothing bounces around during transit. I bought them directly from the local Best Buy, and the boxes were factory sealed.
These speakers are quite heavy and appear well constructed; they are rock solid when you tap on them. But the real surprise is how effortlessly they perform. I only need 5 watts RMS per channel to fill my small listening area. The specs said they should need about 20 watts each minimum. And the speakers simply absorb the power as you crank up the volume, with absolutely no buzz, rattle, or distortion. I had them so loud that I had to leave the listening area, and I am sure the neighbors heard them clearly, but they just continue to operate smoothly; I could not cause these speakers to distort or behave badly, and I had well over 60 watts RMS into each speaker.
The speakers are colorless; they add nothing to the music. Vocals are flawless, and the lows are nice and tight. They are forcing me to dial all amplifier contours back to neutral, and enjoy the music as it was recorded. No more tweaking bass or treble, no more loudness controls for low volume listening …. simply not needed. I’ve been seriously listening to speakers for over 50 years, and these are best I have ever owned. They sound so good that I am being forced to review my entire collection of music to discover what musical nuances I have been missing. I make new discoveries every evening. I also have quite a few amplifiers and receivers, and am now rotating them through the 683s.
They are not cheap, but worth every penny they cost. If I had a larger listening area, I am sure these 683s would cover it well. I can hardly imagine what extra you get as you move up to the B&W CM series. I am totally satisfied with the 683s and expect years of enjoyment from them.
PS – even my wife comes in to listen to them when I play some of her favorite songs, and that’s a surprise.