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B&W 685
21 Reviews
rating  4.57 of 5
MSRP  600.00
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. <br> <br>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. <br> <br>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. <br> <br>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 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ivansteiven a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 7, 2011

Bottom Line:   

i live in southeast asia and bought the 685 for $590 in our local store , first i was amazed how it sounded sooo clear and rich in sound and have decided to replaced my bose 301 as mains and the 301 will be my surround..
listening between b&w 685 and bose 301 my b&w sounds way ahead in every aspect and im a happy B&W owner
you cant go wrong with the 685 no regrets

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



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

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I don't usually take the time to post reviews, but these small monitor speakers are outstanding. Not perfect, but an incredible value. Strenghts - balanced sound, very good imaging, great mids and highs, impressive bass for such a small speaker (does require some "tuning" for best bass respnse - in my case that required playing with the position of the speakers re: proximity to walls; I did not care for sound with the port plugs). More about the bass - I find it perfect for most recordings, especially classical and most jazz, but for rock, trance/dance/electronica and home theatre I think a subwoofer is a must). I've tried several - for my moderately sized room with a vaulted ceiling an old NHT SW1 with a MA1 amp sounds acceptable, crossed at 60Hz, out of phase). Mind you, I think you will need the right sub to keep up with these fast speakers for music - other subs I tried sounded boomy, bloated, or slow. And do play with the phase of the sub - mine sounded best out of phase with the 685s. They're not overly revealing and certainly not dry or analytical. While they do sound better with better gear, the mid-fi setup I have them paired with sounds great: an ARCAM AVR 200 receiver and an ARCAM Diva 135 CD/DVD player. Weaknesses? I find the female voice not perfectly reproduced, but otherwise none that I can think of. Tese are keepers for me.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010




Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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