Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Stand Mount Speaker test
More and more often our old and new customers ask us to test their hi-fi equipment. In addition to the acoustic measurement and treatment, we also undertook the testing of the Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 stand mount speaker in the home of one of our new customers, Gergő Marosi. The room where we tested the speaker pair was the family’s 20-square-foot, rectangular minimalist-style living room. The acoustics of the room are not yet complete, as the lady of the house is still showing strong resistance to treating the living room with acoustic elements. But there was some relief from the part because the printed, acoustic panels could even suit women’s tastes, so the panels adorned with posters of the movie Revenge could take up space on the walls. (We didn’t dare ask if her husband’s persuasion or the appeal of Robert Downey Junior, the irresistible Iron Man, was the persuasive factor.)
So let’s see what this speaker designed by the English engineering team knows!
At the top of the modern square box is an aluminum 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 silvery Continuum. The edge of the subwoofer sparkles in a thin band. A screw thread in the base ensures that it is placed on the 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 is a massive, serious “individuality.” 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 its expertise and engineering know-how for this product is indisputable.
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, which prevents the formation of standing waves. Compared to previous products in the 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 decomposition, resulting in more detailed, more beautiful sound at mid frequencies.
– 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 have listened …
We started the test listening with songs downloaded to a laptop. We placed a granite pad under the speaker for a more optimal sound.
We first launched a current hit, Regard’s track “Ride it”. The rumbling basses sounded clear and firm, the vocals also sounded flawless, we didn’t experience any confusion, maybe a hint of reverberation was noticeable, but it wasn’t the speaker’s fault, it was more the imperfect room acoustics that was faulty. We then rehearsed the melodies of the rock opera “Stephen, the King”. Bowers & Wilkins did not disappoint this time either. The higher-range vocals seemed a little too sharp, but this is a negligible problem, it could also be only noticed by critics like “carved ears” like us. The instruments sounded fantastic, we couldn’t even stop to start playing air guitar symmetrically with the rock opera guitarist. Real instruments, real space – that was our impression. We got a detailed, sharper sound while listening to the rock opera.
We were also curious to see if this great audio device would fit into the action of an action-packed movie. Part 5 of “Die Hard” was the test subject. We were also satisfied in this area, although in terms of bass intensity, they fell slightly short of our expectations. The effects of the action film, enriched with explosions and clicks, did not always sound the way we were used to in cinemas. However, a more muscular amp also remedied 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 detail characterize this instrument, making it an ideal choice for hi-fi or movie rooms for those who don’t mind if you miss out on powerful, rumbling basses when you turn up the volume, but compared to its small size, there’s no reason to complain.The midrange is clear and harmonious, the sound is outstanding.
The Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 stand mount speaker is absolutely worth the price, we will hear our favourite music and movies beautifully and clearly. But if you’re planning a more serious home theater system that sounds perfect in every way, it’s worth choosing from even better-performing speakers, but with a high-quality amplifier, this speaker can also meet our expectations.
By: Róbert Polgár