B&W Nautilus HTM2 Center Channels

5/5 (26 Reviews) MSRP : $1000.00


Product Description

Vented 2-Way Center Channel Speaker - 6.5" Woofer, 6.5" Mid and 1" Tweeter


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Reviews 1 - 5 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by pdmonty1965 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2015

Bottom Line:   
This Center channel is amazing.

For a long time I was a die hard Definitive technology and Paradigm fan. Both companies make great speakers but have differing strengths. I found that Def Tech is great for movies . Inversely, Paradigm shines on music. Def tech has a more laid back presentation particularly in the high end. I used to call this a "sweeter" sound but I was mistaking less detail as warmth. Paradigm has a more forward sound but for me lacked any three dimensionality. Could I find a center speaker that satisfied both of my preferences? In comes the B&W HTM2! I had a Def Tech 8040 center hooked up when I received my HTM2. I've had the Def Tech since it was new in 2006 so I am very familiar with its sonic signature. I did a direct A/B comparison using the same front end and all I can say is..."WOW" what a difference, night and day, when I switched to the HTM2! Clarity, soundstage, imaging, dynamics, voice detail ...everything just opened up like a sonic veil had been lifted. The midrange/nautilus tweeter combination is beyond description, the base effect is so tight, present and visceral. Some people call the tweeter harsh. I have found it to be anything but. Yes, on poorly recorded source material and on inferior components it will reveal the flaws. If you are listening to MP3's through a music server...well...get ready for your ears to hurt. But play high quality lossless music, super audio cd's or cd's on a high quality transport and you will be, yourself, transported. Now when I say "high quality" components let me put it in perspective. There are many people out there who go crazy and many times break the bank and buy ridiculously expensive amplifiers and preamps to drive B&W speakers like Classe and Krell. While it is great if you can afford it, down here in the real world amidst us mortals it's not always feasible. The good news is you just don't have to spend that much money to drive B&W to perfection. My system consists of a Pioneer Elite VSX52 being used as a preamplifier, two (2) Marantz MM9000 5 channel, 150 watt THX certified amps which I am using to bi-amp my front stage (Two 703's and a B&W HTM2 for center duty), two Marantz MA6100's bi-amped at 360 watts powering my now passive B&W ASW750 subwoofer. My sources are a Denon DVD2910 SACD player and a Rotel RCC 945 cd player. Used I paid $200 for the Pioneer Elite, $400 each for the MM9000's, $220 for the 6100's, $40 for the Denon and $125 for the Rotel. That's $1385 paid used for equipment that retailed for $6000! How does it all sound??Well I've compared it to my buddies system consists of the B&W 802's, HTM1 center being driven by a Krell 2250 and a B&K multi-channel, a $20k system and I'll tell you what...his is "better"...but not by much!

Bottom line...if you can find a HTM2 on the used market at a reasonable price you really can't go wrong. It is, in my opinion, B&W's best price to performance center speaker offering "ever"...period.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Penny31 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 17, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I actually received this center channel by a misunderstanding on the seller's part. I had intended on purchasing the 2 matching HTM2 full range monitors but ended up with this instead. Obviously I was somewhat dismayed when it arrived because I had assumed I had gotten the best deal in history by purchasing the matching monitors for $525. Be that as it may, I am a huge Center Channel hobbyist and fully convinced it is the most important speaker in a Home Theater (next to the subwoofer, possibly).

The HTM2 had been fully broken-in by the time it arrived on my door step so once it was plugged in (classically bi-amped using 150 watts per amp/fully stable) she was ready to sing. I took her for a test drive straigt away and I haven't looked back since. As with many of the reviewers here I am in total agreement that little gem needs very good components and ancillaries to fully reach it's immense potential. Don't throw this speaker in with Best Buy bought Fronts and a $450 HK receiver and expect it wail. That will not happen.

Currently I am using an Onkyo PR-SC885P Preamp (with all the trimmings) and a pair of 75 lbs. 7 channel/150 watts per channel amplifiers. Panasonic DMP-BD-30 Blu-Ray, Toshiba A-35 HD DVD Player, OPPO OPDV971H used as a CD Player, XBox 360, Wii, etc... This sort of componentry will help ensure quality playback from the HTM2.

Now for the adjectives; precise, great extension, flawless, effortless (when properly amped), invisible and commanding. I know everyone on these forums say: "For $uch and $uch amount of money, nothing touches it.' Well, in this particular case that stupid statement happens to be true. If anyone reading this has the opportunity to pick one up @ a reasonable price; DO IT! Pound for pound, and dollar for dollar; this is possibly one of the finest pieces of gear B&W has ever made. That's really saying something. I've listened, at great lengths to the Nautilus lines, Genelec, Dynaudio, Dali and several others who are purported to have the finest Center Channels the industry has ever seen and I am not kidding you this speaker holds it's ground with them.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $525.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon.com



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dynaquest1 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I had used Polk Audio RT200i's for a couple years when I had a chance to switch to a full B&W surround setup: CDM-7NT mains, CNT center, 601S rears with an Aperion Sub. I was immediately hooked on B&W's. So much so that I immediately commenced a quest to upgrade to B&W Nautilus series mains. After focusing on the more expensive Nautilus 803s and 804s, I jumped at an eBay auction for N805's, a B&W ASW-2500 700W sub and this HTM2 center (the center is just a Nautilas 805 on its side) . Got the whole set for $2500.00.

I'm absolutely in love with this setup...especially the 805s and the HTM2. I drive them with a SONY "ES" DA777ES Receiver (120W/ch) and find that this receiver's power is much, much more than adequate. How does the HTM2 sound? I'm not going to comment on soundstage, openness, brightness, muddiness, imaging and all the other cute words some reviewers here insist on using. All these factors are determined as much by the media you are playing, your amplification equipment and the characteristics of your personal listeming environment. In my family room these 805's, with the matching HTM2 center sound just awesome...but in your room they will sound different...surely still awesome, but different.

I've used the following brands of speakers through the years: Sansui, Klipsh, Bose, Yamaha, Wharfedale and Polk Audio. To my ears, on my equipment and in my listening room, these 805s/HTM2 sound better than any speakers I've owned. Am I an "audiophile"? No. I don't want to spend enough money on audio equipment.to rate that title. However, I like good stuff and these4 B&W's, to me, certainly qualify as good stuff.

How do the 805s/HTM2 look? Well....I have yet to have a neighbor or friend come into my family room without immediately noticing them and demanding to hear them while they wipe the drool off their chins...yes, they are visually unique and gorgeous!!

My only possibly negative comment is that the HTM2 is pretty big for a center speaker. though it works fine in my current house, I'm moving to Texas this Summer and am a little concerned about its placement in whatever home I buy there.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



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

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2004

Bottom Line:   
WOW, this is a great speaker. Dialogue is clear, cannot say enough good things. I upgraded from the HTM7 series. BIG step up.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Oakville Audio



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

Date Reviewed: December 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Beautiful! For the price this speaker can not be beat. This is quite possibly the best, most accurate center channel in its price class that I have ever heard. Flawless sound, wonderful aesthetics! I worked as an installer at a B&W dealership for some time and had ample amounts of time to listen to this unit. I absolutely fell in love with it! I personally have a CC6 S2 but when I have the capital to afford it I will buy one and not look back.

Now to the "bad" stuff. This speaker is demanding in the power department. Do not try to run it with a small amplifier or you will be sorry. A good stand also helps to really bring out the detail and bass clarity. Last but not least use a good speaker cable, this unit really needs one to shine. I know these things aren't bad, but don't expect a great performance with a $500 receiver and some monster cable

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001




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