B&W Nautilus 805 Bookshelf Speakers

4.54/5 (157 Reviews) MSRP : $2000.00


Product Description

High End Bookshelf Speaker - 6.5" Woofer and 1" Tweeter


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Reviews 1 - 5 (157 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Ben Griffin a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2015

Bottom Line:   
After a long wait I was finally able to afford a pair of these highly rated speakers, needless to say as many things in life the wait was not justified, to say I was disappointed is an understatement as much as I wanted to like them I just don't I've tried several set ups Bi-Amped and Single Amped on stands on shelves and all over the room We find ourselves listening to a 30 year old pair of Dynaco's A25s that we paid less than $200 for, instead of a pair of $2000 B&W NO WOW factor and the very thing B&W is famous for voices is not that great either if you can't find a better set of speakers for a lot less money you ain't listened to many speakers. Save your money $1000 speakers can & will blow them away but if you really want a pair I'll sell mine in a heart beat

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gary McAleer a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2010

Bottom Line:   
The B&W 805 speakers are my studio-mix speakers of choice. Using a Studiomaster P7 24ch. board, Crest V1100 amp and MIT cables the B&W's provide the perfect tonal characteristics for virtually every sound system my mixes are played on. (This is no compliment to me but to the speakers' trustworthiness.) The presence of the instruments sounds like your just a few feet away, unlike most speakers where the presence of the instruments sounds like they're forty feet away. —And some times they even sound like they're back stage : ^ ) But the best compliment I can give to the B&W 805's is that every style of music: from classical (piano and symphonic alike) and jazz (standard and fusion alike) to rock and motown: all sound balanced, musical, even caressing with very minimal listening fatigue. Even the famed Dynaudio speakers don't caress the acoustic nerve the way the 805's do. I've been in million dollar studios where the most expensive speakers were used for the mix. And while it sounds great in the studio, once you hear the performance on consumer grade equipment it becomes a crap shoot whether the EQ will balance out. More often than not it doesn't. Again, the B&W 805's virtually fit anywhere on any system. I could compliment these speakers all day, but I appreciate the proverb, "Shut up before you think you're half way done."

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sune a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Hi Fellow sound nerds,

This speaker has been a love/hate relationship for me. I can only conclude that what people say about feeding this thing with the right frontend, seems to be very very true. I have found that every change in my system has had a profound effect on the result produced.

I used to have to b&w 601 and provoking a different result by changing a component in the front end was clearly possible, but it was nowhere near what the situation as with the n805's. So after going through 4 different power amps, 2 preamps and changing out signal cables I have landed upon a result that is vastly(!) different from what I started with (Yes every cables, power and pre amp swich all brought substantial change). I'm not so sure you need an expensive frontend, actually I'm quite sure that the wrong expensive frontend could be quite horrible. I heard it sounding quite nice with a German Grundig integrated :-) However hifi amps from Copland and Quad were not the ticket for me.

I will advice you to be able to try this speaker in the configuration it's going to play in before committing, If you can't do that you should be prepared that you might need to do a lot of experimentation and changing out of equipment till you get great results. Mine have gone from being over analytical, lean, cold, tinny, harsh, uneven bass and fatiguing (I almost wanted to cry when I got home and my non audiphile dog and girlfreind both ran and hid when the system played) to being balanced, slightly warm, much more, even, tight and full bass and without any harsh/iterating treble. But it's been a long road. Actually it now has the ability to certainly dissect the music, but is very musical and quite forgiving of lesser records. Amy Winehouse "Back to Black" still sounds awful - so there are limits :-) But old dodgy jazz recordings, some of the lesser Ella and Sinatra, 70’s soul records, Elvis Golden records and something like Radioheads "In Rainbows" all sound great. And of course audiophile recordings shine.

My system is like follows (I'm sure that it could use some more love in the source, cable and preamp departments at a later point):
Source: Cambridge Dacmagic / Pro-Ject Debut III
Preamp: Parasound p/hp 850
Poweramp: Sugden Signature 41p
Speakers: B&W Nautilus 805 on original sand filled stands
Interconnects: Mogami 2549 seudo-balanced homemade
Speaker Cable: Tara Labs Helix 8 bi-wire cable (This might need a change soon)

By the way I was a professional performing and recording musician and music composer/producer in my former life and thus have tons of reference from playing and recording music ranging from acoustic jazz, rock, pop, folk and electonic music.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Charles Tan a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I am so impressed by these bookshelf speakers that i feel I should write to share good things with others,

I grabbed a pair used 6 months ago and I realised that I have belittle bookshelf speakers too much,

I owned full range huge speakers previously and never knew that I can be blown away by bookshelf speakers.

To cut a long story short, this is the exact experience I had:

1. Big soundstage, though small speakers
2. Exceptionally transparent that many a time at night when I listen to it, it disppeared in the dark
3. Never boxy sounding like other bookshelf speakers I audition
4. Sweet vocals and best of all it is clear and not vague sounding
5. Superb airyness and I can hear air and ambience in the singer and instruments creatin a palpably real and deep soundstage.
6. The highs are the clearest I hard to date with not funny roll off
7. I can sense the singer and instruments in front of me
8. Best of all I can play soft and still get good sound
9. You can hear both marco and microdetails .....every breath taken by the singer can be heard so clearly...wow

I use a home made tube pre power and I was stunned what this speaker offered me.

The sweetness and clarity and soundstage makes me think back of bookshelf though I am a floorstander lover.

Buy it used, mine is 805 nautilus and I am still loving it,

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006



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

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I can't say enough about these wonderful bookshelf speakers. For the money, and I know they are not super cheap, one would be hard pressed to find better. On many occaisions I have AB'd the entire line of B&W Nautilus, N802s and higher were clearly better but only if used with high wattage amps. As much as I wanted it to be true (so I could upgrade), the 804s, 803s, and even the new diamond line left me unimpressed when compared to the 805s. Clearly you are not going to get great base extension with bookshelf speakers and I feel this is their only limitation. The bass they do produce is tight and convincing. Detail is excellent as is imaging.

For those who gave poor reviews, read the following mini-rant

The overall quality of the front end and amp are critically important. The weakest link in your system theory is sadly very true. I don't want to sound like an audio snob here, but if someone trashes a high end component and lists any box store receiver as their source of amplification take it with a grain of salt. Really any electronic component that you can buy at Circuit City or Best Buy is not going to do these speakers any justice. If you really want to try some good entry level higher end gear at a nice price look into Rotel or Adcom. Want to go better, try Arcam. Thinking about that 2,000 dollar Onkyo or Dennon reciever, consider an amp/pre-amp from Rotel for the same price. Better yet, go on EBAY and get some used stuff. These higher end component almost never break. Don't go cheap on cables!!! no you don't need to buy 1,000 dollar Kimber's. I use Tributaries and Straight wire... sounds fine. Even the high end monster cables are good.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Spearit Audio, Bosto




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