B&W 802D Floorstanding Speakers

2/5 (1 Reviews)


Product Description

  • Free-mounted diamond dome tweeter
  • Kevlar brand fibre cone FST midrange
  • Rohacell cone bass
  • Frequency response: 34Hz – 28kHz ±3dB on reference axis


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User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by MCCC3 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I am a life-long fan of B&W, and I have enjoyed other speaker models that B&W has produced in the past, but to my disappointment, I could not believe my ears:

I visited a high-end audio dealer in Edmond, OK. In their store was plush, high-end Classe components and also carried my favorite brand, McIntosh. These 802D were driven by Classe components, and I brought in a sample CD of the artist, Israel (brother Iz) Kamakawiwo'ole from Hawaii, with the song "Hawai'i 78'. If anyone is familiar with the artist 'Iz', he has a silky smooth tenor voice. When I heard his voice it sounded extremely muffled. It was as though he was singing through a towel.

When I first listened, I was excited by accurate low bass tones from the drum, and later when the bass guitar came in I was pleasantly surprised to hear these small 8 inch bass drivers reproduce some very low end extension....very solid bass. But when I heard the voice, it seemed so muffled. I asked if there was any EQ added, and the saleman responded, "no". He told me about the diamond material of the tweeter, the reknown midrange driver...etc...

Even at the beginning of the song, when the acoustic guitar started, there is a portion of the sound track in which a person can hear a string buzz sharply against the fret. I did not even notice it on these speakers.

I tried another song, "Flying with Angels" by Na Leo, and her voice, which normally stands out (I'm referencing to headphones), seemed so muffled and subdued, I was shocked. The guitar strings that normally sound bright and clean were dull and lifeless. I requested the volume to be increased (about 10 db) hoping it was just underdriven, but no improvement.

It sounded as though the midrange driver was blown out, and the tweeter was attenuated. It sounded to my ear as though the left-over voice material that I could hear was rolling off into the woofers. Needless to say that imaging shouldn't even be mentioned. If the high frequency content is lacking, how can you comment on sound stage or imaging?

The listening room was heavily dampened by carpet, drapes, and soft furniture. With a room that is nearly free of reflections, imaging should really stand out from the source.

My wife is not an audiophile, but she asked after listening earnestly, "would you really spend that much money on something so dull?" No, I would not.

I have always enjoyed B&W products, and perhaps the blame could have gone into the staging of these speakers. But this is the first time I have ever been disappointed in a B&W product. I was also surprised to hear from other reviews that this speaker seemed bright, or maybe a little too bright. This too could be a clue that what I experienced was an anomoly.

So perhaps what I heard was not a fair audition, but it certainly has not lived up to my expectations of previous products from B&W.

Make sure you do your own homework before purchasing, and compare known music material to a quality set of headphones. Take note: your environement is always your weakest link to fidelity, and perhaps that is what I encountered. (But I don't think so...I think it was the speakers, or they were not set up correctly.)



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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010




Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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