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Magnolia Collection

Bowers & Wilkins - 600 Series 685 S2 6-1/2" 2-Way Loudspeakers (Pair) - Black

Magnolia

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On Display at Leesburg

Magnolia Home Theater

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Magnolia Home Theater
Enjoy your music with these Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series 685 S2 2-way loudspeakers, which feature 6-1/2" woven DuPont™ KEVLAR® fiber woofer cones for clear sound. The 1" decoupled double-dome aluminum tweeters deliver crisp, pure highs.



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    $699.98
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      Overview

      What's Included


      • Two 2-part foam plugs, 8 self-adhesive plastic pads
      • Owner's manual
      • Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series 685 S2 6-1/2" 2-Way Loudspeakers (Pair)

      Ratings & Reviews


      Overall Customer Rating:
      100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (168 out of 168)

      Features


      100W maximum power handling

      For robust sonic output.

      6-1/2" woven KEVLAR® woofer cone

      Creates rich, clear sound.

      1" decoupled double-dome aluminum tweeter

      With Nautilus tube loading features 2-layer construction for a rigid, lightweight design that offers crystal clarity and pure tone. Gel ring enhances imaging and dispersion for natural, expansive sound.

      Vented enclosure

      Produces vibrant audio.

      Dual binding posts

      Ensure a secure connection.

      52Hz - 22kHz frequency response (±3dB)

      Delivers faithful sound reproduction.

      87dB SPL sensitivity (2.83V, 1m)

      For powerful audio.

      8 ohms nominal impedance (4 ohms minimum)

      Efficiently conducts power through the speaker.

      DuPont™ and KEVLAR® are registered trademarks of DuPont used under license by Motorola Mobility LLC and its subsidiaries.


      Customer rating

      Rating 4.9 out of 5 stars with 168 reviews

      100%
      would recommend to a friend

      Pros

      Cons

      Looks like there aren't enough negative mentions yet.

      Most relevant reviews

      See all customer reviews
      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Full sound, worthwhile upgrade

        Posted
        JoeM
        • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

        [Note: BestBuy carries 2 different models of B&W 685 S2 speakers. The model shown on this page, 685 FP35343 (SKU 4827037) - the model I bought - has a 1" decoupled double-dome aluminum tweeter; the other model, 685B S2 (SKU 1277365), has a 1" aluminum dome tweeter ... and costs $50 less. I initially posted this review on the wrong model, but can't figure out how to delete or edit that review.] I recently bought a Sony STR-DN1050 receiver at BestBuy. I also bought the Sony CS5 bookshelf speakers and the Sony CS9 active subwoofer, but felt the CS5 speakers were too bright / trebly. I replaced them with a pair of Bose 301 speakers, and was surprised at how hollow the sound was (I had run Easy Setup on the Sony receiver for calibration, but may not have configured the subwoofer correctly). I returned the Bose 301 speakers and was intending to purchase the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers and the Pioneer SW-8MK2 active subwoofer (both designed by Andrew Jones), but I wandered into the Magnolia studio while at the store, and after comparing the Pioneers (which the salesperson brought into the studio for me) to the B&W 685 S2s, I was amazed how full the B&W sound was - highs, mids and lows. I should note that my primary use of these speakers - and other audio components in my system - is listening to music (mostly rock, jazz, folk, bluegrass). I did play a bit of The Dark Knight on my BluRay player, and they sounded fine. I did not do a side-by-side comparison between subwoofers. I've read some less-than-positive comments on AVSForum about the B&W ASW610 subwoofer, and after a few weeks with this setup I'm still tinkering with the settings on the Sony STR-DN1050 and the B&W ASW610. I mention this here because I read another review here (and another elsewhere) suggesting you don't need a subwoofer with the B&W 685 S2s. That may well be true ... but the more I've read, the more I believe that a subwoofer rounds the sound out nicely. I've tried the speakers with the subwoofer disabled, and I like the overall sound better with the subwoofer enabled. One thing I did not initially note about these speakers is that the are considerably deeper (12-3/8") than the Sony CS5, the Bose 301, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR and all of the other speakers I saw out on the main floor of BestBuy. I did not think to examine the depth of these or others speakers in the Magnolia studio. The B&W 685 S2s are designed to be mounted on stands, but due to our room configuration, and constraints imposed by my wife, I have to mount these in shelves, and they overhang the 11" deep shelves by about 2". [Note that the 685 FP35343 shown on this page is mounted on a stand, but the stand must be purchased separately.] The B&W 685 S2s are about 5x more expensive than the Pioneers, 3x more expensive than the Sony CS5s, and 2x more expensive than the Bose 301s, but after listening to the B&Ws,, I knew I would always be dissatisfied if I didn't upgrade. My last speakers were a pair of floor-standing Laser 150s, which included 10" woofers, and they have lasted me 30 years (my daughter has them now), so I'm hoping the extra investment will amortize out over a long period.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Believe the hype - seriously good speakers

        Posted
        Nocableguy22
        • My Best Buy® MemberMember

        I've been trying to replace my beloved Monitor Audio GR10's since I stupidly sold them to a friend (side note: If you have speakers you really love, don't think because you are willing to spend a bunch of money, that you will better them). In the past couple of months I've had several pairs in my house that I either bought and resold, demoed, or returned - Monitor Audio Gold GX100's (list price $2200), Epos Elan 15's ($1400), and Totem Acoustics Rainmakers ($1225), and straight out of the box, these 685's blew them all away. And I firmly believe that speakers need a good 100 hours of run in before they sound their best, so I expect them to sound even better in the coming weeks. Admittedly, I am powering them with a Rega Elex-R integrated amp ($1700), which has plenty of good, clean power, and is probably a cut above what most people would be using for an inexpensive bookshelf speaker, but I think a NAD 326, or something similar would drive them nicely. Nice, rich bass without any boominess - great detail in the high end without being fatiguing, and the mids sound fantastic with vocals. My favorite aspect so far is that even at lower volumes, they pull you in and make you want to listen closely - which I appreciate because I live in a condo building and don't want to have to crank it to really engage with the music. Yesterday, I was listening and realized I had something to do, and I thought I'll just listen to one more song, and then, one more song, and the next thing you know a half hour had flown past and I was running late - and this is literally straight out of the box. There is a reason these are getting all the rave reviews online - they punch way above their weight.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Can Be The Right Tool

        Posted
        garydolson

        This is the right tool for you if: - you love music and prefer hearing it as the musicians & studio engineers did in the studio - have a small to approaching-medium-size room - hate mediocre sound - your receiver or amplifier has robust power with which to feed them I was a pro musician in the 80's and spent loads of time in recording studios. The last 2-channel audio speakers I bought was a pair of JBL L20T's in the 80's which cost me the 2015 equivalent of $900.14 plus tax. They have and continue to serve me well. 30 years later I got the itch and brought these B&W 685 S2's home. I set them up on stands about 1 foot from the wall in a 12'WX13'DX10'H guest room and hooked them up to a Yamaha C70 preamp & Yamaha M70 power amp (200wpc into 8ohms). A laptop served as the music source with JRiver Media Center (v19) as the software player of lossless flac files which were then fed to an outboard Schiit Modi DAC (Audioquest Forest USB & RCA cables). I turned it on and allowed this system to play non-stop for 2 days before listening to it. WOW! Fast, crystal clear, & natural sound. Amazing with vocals, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, acoustic drums, jazz, classical, rock; there's nothing they can't do well, and so much they do great. I had mixed feelings when I realized how much they trounced all over my old JBL's in every way - especially with bass, which is always tight & controlled. These are easily Highly Recommended.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Amazing for the money

        Posted
        Aznboy1993
        • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
        • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

        I absolutely fell in love with the B&W sound when I first heard them at a friend's place (he had a complete 683, 685, HTM61 S1 setup powered by an Emotiva XPA-7 and a Marantz SR-7010). I knew I had to get them. I waited patiently until I had completely my move to California while on the meantime I did plenty of research on pre-pros, amps, speakers, and other HT topics. I budgeted around $5k total with the TV. A few months later, I was in California and decided to listen to them one more time. I pulled the trigger on 683 S2 for FLR, HTM62 S2 for C, and 686 S2 for SLR. I got the Marantz SR-5010 for the receiver. I carried over a SVS SB12-NSD sub. I was looking to save a few bucks on center and surrounds. I wasn't happy. I ended up returning them for HTM61 S2 and 685 S2. They just sounded much fuller (without getting into too much audiophile lingo) and matched better with the 683 S2. As this is a review for the 685 S2, I will say as much as these are very darn good bookshelves for the price. And at MSRP, they're hard to beat (note: if you can find sales on speakers like JBL Studio 530, I'd say it be a better speaker - the new ELAC UniFi UB5 also seem promising). They produce plenty of bass for their size and have sparkling highs (the tweeter with the Nautilus tube design is much better than the original S1 tweeter). Midrange is honesty where this speaker lacks a little if I had to be picky. The 683 S2 with its dedicated Kevlar midwoofer performs better, but that's not to say the 685 S2's is rubbish. It's not. I also highly recommend you put these on stands and give them a few weeks to break in. As for amp choice, anything with 50W or more per channel will suffice. I highly recommend anyone looking to build a HT with a budget of $4000 for speakers to look at the 600 series from B&W. They should be on the everyone's shortlist. If you're looking for bookshelves around this price range too, I'd recommend having to these on your shortlist. Your ears will thank you.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Amazing Speakers

        Posted
        ITJim
        • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

        Where I live my choices for quality audio are limited. So I took a trip to my closest Magnolia store in the neighboring state. I brought with me a small selection of music and a few movies so that I could audition the speakers. I understand that how it sounds in the showroom is not exactly what I should expect in my home but it would give me some idea of what the speaker's themselves can handle. I told the Best Buy rep what my goals were. He brought me into the higher end sound room and let me audition the whole room. After trying out a few systems he steered me towards the B&W line. I had never heard of these guys but after the first demo it became my baseline for comparing everything else to. The sound was clear, full, and essentially my ears loved them. After about an hour of playing around with music, movies, and matching center and subs I finally settled on the 685s. They fit the balance of size and price I was looking for. I have not regretted the decision. They sound just as wonderful in my living room. I chose to match this up with the HTM62 S2 and the Energy ESW-C10 which was on sale for half the price of the B&W Sub. Music sound wonderful compared to my old Bose 321 system. And I find myself leaving the radio running all day now that music doesn't have that cruddy Bose sound. Movies are full and rich at all volume levels. When I finish building out my home theatre they will be with additional B&W speakers.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Best Speaker Purchase So Far

        Posted
        Avholic
        • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
        • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

        I prefer bookshelves over tower speakers for 2 channel for their tightness and accuracy. The 685s2 stands out among the rest in its price range. Its bass hits low and loud without being boomy. The highs are crisp but never bright that you could listen to music all day without getting fatigued. The sound is neutral, uncolored and remains true to original recording. I removed the subwoofer in my stereo setup when I switched to 685s2. My NAD 375BEE integrated amp drives the 685s2 with such ease and authority. My friends ask where my subwoofers are hidden in my 15x18x30 ft room, yes with 30 feet cathedral ceiling! These speakers handle loud (party) and whisper level volumes (night listening) with finesse and accuracy. I sometimes drive them with my tube amp and the 685s2 is nothing short of remarkable.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Excellent Musical Bookshelf Speaker

        Posted
        AVSR
        • My Best Buy® MemberMember

        I was in the need to upgrade my bookshelf speakers and began listening to various HI-FI brands around my area such as KEF, Focal, Monitor Audio, and B&W. The KEF LS50 were my favorite, nice 3D presentation, but for my budget I really loved the 685 S2. The speakers need some break in time before they really open up, ~100 hrs. They also can sound slightly harsh right out of the box. Once broken in though they really shine. A good sound stage, great mids and highs, and for a book self speaker pretty nice bass. I do recommend a nice subwoofer to really bring out a little more oomph in the lows. I liked them better than the B&W CM1 and though the CM5 (more controlled) and CM6 (really open sound stage) were better, the 685 S2 gives you almost everything they give at a significant cost savings. I do recommend investing in a good amplifier. I am powering these with a Rotel RB1552 mk11 amp through the pre-outs on a Marantz receiver and the speakers really are more open and dynamic. I was originally using just the Marantz receiver and the sound was more recessed and less full to my ears. If you like a more neutral, balanced yet dynamic sounding speaker than these will definitely make you smile.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

        Best bookshelf for the price

        Posted
        RedBaron
        • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

        Audio, like many things in life, is very subjective. Some people like highs, other mids and others lows. Not all kinds of music are for everyone too, but trying to be as objective as possible, these little speakers rock at Jazz and Classical. Obviously, if you like a hard rock punch bass, you will need to add a sub-woofer. Being a bookshelf with a 6.5" woofer they won't go down in that range of the frequency response, but they are not too shabby playing Rock. These speaker are very clear and not muddy at all. I did not get tired of listening and had great stage presence to me. It's all about room size and speaker location. They are so pretty, I play them without the grills on. One last thing, the listening room at Magnolia did no justice to these speakers. Thanks to the many positive reviews I read, I knew they were not performing well at the store, for so many people can't be that wrong. They are not very efficient at 87 db sensitivity, so you will need a good amp. Once up in volume, you will see how these speaker rock and perform.

        I would recommend this to a friend

      What experts are saying

      Click to visit alaTest website
      • soundandvision.comThomas J. Norton on October 28, 2014
        Bowers & Wilkins 683 S2 Speaker System
        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. The response of the speakers is ragged for the price. The sense of dynamic range is fine forFull Review



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