B&W Matrix 805 Floorstanding Speakers

4.68/5 (37 Reviews) MSRP : $1600.00


Product Description

2-Way Bookshelf Speakers - 6.5" Woofer and 1" Tweeter


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Reviews 1 - 5 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: August 5, 2002

Bottom Line:   
The 805 was my first step into the high end audio world, after owning a variety of huge roaring surround systems. Purchased both because of limited space but also the wish to try something "new and improved" i got rid of all the noisy surround equipment, and got me an Onkyo M508, An Onkyo DX-706 and a set of Matrix 805.
These little babies will NEVER leave my sight again! The size sets a natural limit as to how much punch they will deliver, but in a small room this will hardly be a problem - they deliver the music as it was meant to be. Super silky and smooth high and bass as tight as the bum on Kylie, this speaker keeps me up during the wee hours just to listen to my old Dire Straits and Pink Floyd CD´s. Furthermore im very satisfied with the way they handle my amp, the monumental Onkyo M508...incredibly smooth and with surprisingly good bang for the buck. This is, IMHO, at the same time one of the few weaknesses of these speakers, it takes a grown-up amp to release their magic. Hand them some decent power and a stable CD mechanism and thy cup will runneth over:-).

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Hifiklubben Denmark



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

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Well, I'll tell ya, having purchased dozens of highend speakers, and going to many stereo shows and lsitening to hundreds, I have finally quenched my thirst for true high end sound, the B&Ws make good recording come alive, and since I am saying this after owning all kinds of planar and elctrostativ speakers, thats not such an easy task. these speakers will make anyone a true believer that good sound can be gotten in the home, its funny that for 20 years I avoided buying them, because everyone else said how good B&W was. I heard the Matrix 801s some years ago when they came out, ans at $5000 I could only wish. But along comes a used pair , and viola!!! Magic in the home. If you can get a pair of these for what I paid run don't walk, I might never give them up unless my brain is wired directly to the music in 3-d

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   audiogon



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

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have only owned these speakers for about a month, but am already in love with them! They just have this spine-tingling presence, great stereo- and depth imaging and natural reproduction of sound that totally blew me away. I auditioned the new B&W CDM1 NT speakers at a local shop and they sounded great for the money. Then I saw these speakers second-hand for less than half the price of the new CDM1 NT. Matrix 805 reproduces more intimate details, sound a bit more open and natural and the bass is more tight, refined and somewhat deeper. Suffice to say, these speakers offer unbeatable value and sound for little money.

Matrix 805 excels mainly in classical music, jazz, classical/progressive rock, complex electronic music with lots of transients and subtle details. If you listen to mostly flat sounding and poorly produced contemporary pop music stay clear of these speakers! I tried listening to Cranberries, Radiohead, Abba etc. and they all sounded distorted, unnatural and zero depth and stereo-image.

The midrange and Nautilus tweeter are the closest to the sound of electrostatic speakers regarding openness, transparency and imaging i have heard so far from dynamic speakers. I have not had the opportunity to listen to the new Nautilus 805 that has replaced Matrix 805, but it is more than three times as expensive as well!

My system at this moment:

Marantz CD6000 OSE LE cd player
NAD C370 integrated amplifier
Supra EFF-ISL analog interrconnect
Reference Audio flat standard 2.5 mm2 (I don't believe expensive speaker cables results in hearable sound improvements, at least compared to the approx. 1-2 percent distortion even the best speakers have)

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Second hand, private



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Cem a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I own the Matrix 805s for about 2 years (baought second hand, made in 1992) and this two yrs went by trying to find the best position for them in my living room (6.5x3.6m) Finally putting them against the long wall, 75cm away from the back wall on 60cm solid (home made)stands is the best location.
I am still amazed of the sound from this small, rock-hard-enclosure.
Bi-amped with my Arcam Alpha 9/9P I got even better imaging.
CD player: Arcam Alpha 8SE.
Very musical

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Local dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Kim a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 6, 2001

Bottom Line:   
A qualified review of a speaker should be made not within a few weeks of purchase, but after long-term usage. It takes time for high quality speakers to be "burnt in", for them to settle into its new environment, and for the listener to adjust his/her audio components. I've had my 805s now for almost 7 years and only after listening to the 805 demonstration model for four years and comparing them to literally hundreds of other models overseas and in the USA. I was an ardent Bose owner for over 20 years until I first heard B&W 11 years ago. Once I saved to purchase the 805s, I promptly dumped Bose and never looked back -- there simply was no comparison -- like comparing the quality of baseball between MLB and the Little Leagues, the quality automotives of a Mercedes (or BMW) with the Yugo, or the beauty of the Blue Diamond to the $5 Wal Mart imitation. Over the years these speakers have converted no less than a dozen hard-core Bose owners to true believers of musical fidelity and harder-core B&W owners. Two of them, within several minutes of listening to their own CDs on my system, called their wives and told them that the Bose were going and that they were buying B&Ws! And, they've never looked back either!

For its type (book shelf), category (high end) and price ($1600 retail) the 805s are simply the best speakers in the world -- and even bests many full-range, high and mid range (and all mass market), and more expensive models. What is so good about them? I'll focus on its particular strengths to the types of music it excels, namely: classical, jazz, new age, and vocals; also, traditional and modern Japanese, Korean and Chinese music. Ever sat in a piano bar and listened to a singer and/or pianist performing? Well, that is the experience you will get from the 805s. Ever sat in the National Theater in WaDC and listened to a symphony or opera? Well, that is the experience you will get from the 805s. Ever sat in a jazz hall and got totally engrossed in the vocals? Well, the 805s gives you that experience as well. So sweet are these speakers that you can close your eyes and it instanteously transports you to that piano bar, that concert hall, and that jazz hall. So clear that you can hear every breathe of the singer, the guitarist strumming his guitar, and the pianist striking the keys. Close your eyes and you can visually pick out where the locations of every secion in the orchestra! So alive are these speakers that it will give you a listening experience that you will never forget. Magical, sensational, alive, joyous musical experience...what more can I say?

Unless I win the lottery, marry a rich lady, or suddenly inherit millions I shall never part with these speakers (should any of these situations occur, I would purchase the B&W 800N series). They have given me almost 7 years of total musical bliss and they shall be doing so for at least another 20.

Here is my 2 Channel System:
Speakers: B&W Matrix 805
Amplifiers: Rotel RMB 100
Control Amplifier: Nakamichi CA-5II
CD: Onkyo Integra DX-C909 CD Changer, and Rotel CD Drive
RD980 and its digital processor the RDP980
Cassette: Nakamichi 1.5
Cables and Interconnects: Monster
Surge Protector: Panamax Max 1500

Now that the new Nautilus models have replaced the Matrix series, the 805s can be had for about half on the used market. I would not hesitate for a moment to buy them. My highest recommendation for the best speakers in its class on this planet!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Overseas B&W Distributor




Reviews 1 - 5 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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