B&W 685 Bookshelf Speakers

4.61/5 (23 Reviews) MSRP : $600.00


Product Description

For hi-fi or home cinema in small to medium-sized rooms, you need a loudspeaker that is doesn’t take up floor area, but whose sound can still command the space. You’ll find the 685, which can sit on a shelf, table, stand or wall-mount, an inspired choice.

Its 165mm diameter Kevlar® cone bass/midrange is based on a tried-and-trusted B&W design, but its new fixed centre bullet helps to smooth the response in upper frequencies. Also, by setting the bass/midrange closer to the tweeter than in equivalent earlier speakers, we have improved the integration and vertical dispersion of sound from the two units. The Nautilus™ tube-loaded, aluminium dome tweeter, featuring a new surround material to improve spaciousness and imaging, adds needle-sharp top end all the way to 50kHz and beyond.

The improvements to the drive units in the new 600 Series make it possible, for the first time, to introduce a minimalist crossover to the range. The use of components that are fewer in number but higher in quality – hand-picked in exhaustive listening tests – reduces the degradation of the signal significantly. So, whether you’re enjoying hi-fi or home cinema, what you hear is that much closer to what was recorded.

Visually, a refreshed, contemporary design language and a widened choice of wood finishes allows the 685 to fit in effortlessly with any interior.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jmargolies a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2016

Bottom Line:   
These B&W speakers are perfect for smaller rooms! They provide full sound spectrum mixed with accurate harmony mid-range. They fully amplify an 85 watt (Cambridge audio) receiver and make it sound like 200 watts. A complete bargain for $650.00 and more. The bass is totally covered and balanced as well as the mid-range instrumentation.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ragingfighter a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2016

Bottom Line:   
I must've met the speakers do sound amazing. They have great detail and music playback especially with vocals jazz and then he subtleties and recordings One example is the intricacies of piano music and when the recording is really good especially good all the thing she can hear you when you're in a normal set up with conventional default speakers Is it pretty much great for any genre though some genres such as the heavier metal hard rock and home theater playback requires a sub woofer in my opinion. I primarily uses for jazz, rock, soft rock, movies, gaming. Very much appreciate the value of what the speakers off or when your video gaming make sure World seemed much more three-dimensional thanks for the great imaging of the speakers and not something that sounds very flat and dull. Specially during moments like when you're in the brush of a forest walking around you can definitely hear things like the movement of grass more than you would hear it on other speakers highly detailed. I did hear the series 2 of the speakers and they do sound phenomenal as well Are there any improvements I did not hear them side-by-side but knowing Bowers and Wilkins I'm sure there is a definite boost as I have yet to see them actually fall behind in their sound quality. I will say this I got these for very good price and though there may be some differences in audio tracks I have heard in comparison between the two speaker series I believe the series one comes extremely close to the series 2 and only the most diehard audio file/technical person in regards to what they're looking for in their soundtracks will opt for the newer. Point is these speakers by no means are out of date or fallen behind by any leaps or bounds. They are among the best in my opinion. They play clear, loud, smooth, great detail in all frequencies. They are compatible with a lot of gear though hook them to higher end gear you will be rewarded with better quality. Highly recommended. Experience them for yourself. I have a pair and I plan on these lasting for many years to come ????????


If you must Best Buy usually has the series 685 s2 up for audition bring a few tracks you know well for demo. They'll let you sample them. So your own comparison. I think you'l
l find the series one holds up quite well.

I know it's not easy for everyone to test models of speakers that you may be interested in but that's a way I did my comparison of these as I had my eye on these throughout the years.

Best wishes good luck on your speaker hunt.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by schu a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2014

Bottom Line:   
B&W does their homework. These are great speakers for the price - and size! I also have a pair of DM303's, which appear to have a similar tweeter. I'm sure it's been updated. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as the old saying goes. Does anyone know if it's an updated version of the DM303's tweeter? (which is probably used in other B&W products - doubt they invested in such a phenomenal driver only to use it once...)

Alan

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tom a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Have owned and really loved listening to a pair each of B&W 805 Matrix S2's and 602 S2's (year 2000). I know the traditional hallmarks of B&W sound: imaging, balance, clarity, and omission of sins. I *enjoyed* those speakers.

But the 685's are a real shame of a speaker to me. No way around it, B&W has succombed to the Wal Mart effect. They've tried to engineer around it, unsuccessfully. The 600 series was always about the balance of accuracy and dynamics on a beer budget. Well, those days are gone. Cheap is in and B&W are out. What a real shame.

I've since heard a few other speakers and have found a few other brands that will fill the void and ironically they're of US manufacture with mostly US components.

If you want the 685's, make sure you can try them in your own home for awhile before fully committing or you might be left wanting.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jean Henry Noel a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 1, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I used to have a pair of B &W DM2A. Transmission line. Those 685 cannot beat them.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010




Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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