B&W DM303 Bookshelf Speakers

DM303

The tweeter uses tapering tube loading, first used in the original Nautilus. This ensures far greater absorption of unwanted radiation away from the rear of the diaphragm and results in a cleaner, more focussed and natural high frequency sound. The bass/midrange driver uses a cone of woven glass fibre, which functions in a similar fashion to Kevlar. The crossover components use air core inductors for lowest distortion and plastic film capacitors for minimal signal degradation. The front baffle is moulded in inert micra filled polypropylene, which has a subtly curved outline and is dimpled to echo the theme of Flowport at the back; itself elegantly combined with easy-access terminal panel that can accept all common terminations.

User Reviews (55)

Showing 1-10 of 55  
mike   AudioPhile [Nov 04, 2013]

the best ever built by small boxes by Bowers & W. Do not pay more for modern cacjas. Look for this series

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 09, 2007]
Strength:

Pretty much the only bookshelf speaker that I tried worthy of listening to for a long time. Great imaging and wonderful mids for the price. I see many complain about the bass performance, however I find it to be very satisfactory when properly positioned (about a foot from the wall).

Weakness:

None at this price.

Amazing value!

I must admit, I like B&W sound in general, and just upgraded to Nautilus 805, hence the below may be a bit biased.

System:
Amp: Sophia Electric Baby
Source: Jolida CD100
Interconnects: Monster M1000
Speaker Wire: Hand-braided CAT5e

Experience:
For my ears, the setup I had before the upgrade to 805's was almost perfect for the price. I have tested many speakers with my setup to find a good solution, interchanging cables and source several times and nothing sounded close to DM303 even at double the price.

I listen to Jazz mostly, though for my reference I use Monster Blues CD. It has a good range of instrumental and vocal performances and is well recorded and mastered.

I feel that DM303 are the only speakers in the price range that allow for discussion of headroom, separation, sound stage, transparency, etc. Everything else, again, in this price range, is either "I can hear some things", or "I can't hear some things."

I loved the sound of these speakers for more than a year, but decided to try 805 (not the S) with my setup and unfortunately it spoiled my experience forever. Apparently 805 is the absolute perfect match for my setup, because even more expensive or newer models from B&W just don't sound as good here and surprisingly, DM303 is the closest in match even though they are almost $2,000 cheaper!

I think B&W did an excellent job producing a speaker for audio connoisseurs on a budget. It really is a great stepping stone for anyone wandering into an Audiophile territory. DM303's really let you enjoy music and don't break your bank at the same time. I recommend these to anyone looking for a serious system on a budget.

One more note: These speakers, as are many other great speakers, are sensitive to placement and room. To judge them accurately one would have to audition them for some time and play with positioning, cabling and amplification. It really can make a drastic difference and can make or break your experience.



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
namho   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 16, 2007]
Strength:

Everything except bass type of musics.
Crystal clear highs and accurate mid..

Weakness:

None.

I must say this speaker is great speaker for the price.
I bought on sale for $199 pair brand new.
I did lots of research and I saw many good comments on dm303.
I listened to both 601 s3 and dm303 and I liked the way dm303 sounded better.
601 had better mid/voice and highs but 303 sounded more clear and sparkling.
dm303 sounded so lively compare to 601 which sounded more calm...
I bought this speaker for my office and I love how it performs.
Best speaker for the price.

Similar Products Used: Infinity Overture 1.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Danny   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 16, 2007]
Strength:

Clarity.. Voice.. Accurate highs.. Finish..Price..
Great for Acoustic, pops, jazz, anything but the bass type of musics..

Weakness:

None..for this price.

This is my very first B&W and I must say I am amazed with the sound quality.
I did lots of review for budget bookshelf speakers for my office but not skipping the sound quality. I narrowed down to B&W dm601 s3 and dm303. I tried both speakers before I bought and I liked dm303 better. dm601 s3 had better mid/voice and high tones but somehow sound was not lively and sparkling as dm303. Dm303 sounded little harsh on beginning but as I played everyday for last 2weeks, sound got much better.
It seemed like more I use it sound just keep getting better.
I must say this speaker is Great buy for office or small apartments.
Especially I bought for $199 per pair. ( new ) Can't beat it.

Similar Products Used: Infinity Overture 1
Yamaha Ns-637 3way speakers

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RH Customs   Audio Enthusiast [May 16, 2006]
Strength:

Tight clean bass
Excellent Vocals
Dynamic Details

Weakness:

The only on that I can say is that they don't go super low. Then that is why these are Mni-Monitors not Floor standing Speakers. So other than that there are NO weaknesses as long as you purchase the matching sub ASW 300.

These are by far the best speakers I have ever heard in this prices range. Everything from vocals, bass, and details of every part of music is tight and crisp. For movies these bring out every detail. The best thing is these do not make sound muddy or make music bland.

RH

Similar Products Used: Cerwin Vega, Infinity, Polk, and Klipsch
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tamills   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 2005]
Strength:

Accurate tone. beautiful highs. Good soundstage. Great pricevalue.

Weakness:

None at this price.

I bought these to be the rears on a home theater system that was based on a pair of B&W 602S2s that had been my stereo speakers. The salesman had initially tried to talk me into a pair of 601s, but I was sceptical of the need for them as rears. I am more than happy with the 303s. In fact if I had to do it all over again, I would choose a 303 series system for the whole home theater. The 303s now do double duty as the rears on the home theater, as well as the stereo speakers on the system I have set up in my office. They are being driven by a Marantz PM7000 integrated amp. that puts out 95W per channel. As primary speakers in a small room, I don't think you can beat the perfomance for anything close to this price. In fact I have compared them against my 602s, and other than bass, I think they are equal in sound quality, with the 303s actually having more accurate bass for as low as they go. On well recorded music, the detail they produce, particularly in the upper range is amazing. The only weakness is in some detail on certain instruments like drums where on a better speaker you can hear the "wisp and rasp" of a snare drum tone, the 303s produce a single sound. This is a minor issue that I only notice when listening against my B&W 705s; but they also cost five times the price. In the end, if I had to listen to only these speakers the rest of my life, I would still be well pleased.

Similar Products Used: B&W 602 B&W 705
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
stressfactor   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 29, 2003]
Strength:

Uncolored sound Clarity and detail Imaging Very efficient

Weakness:

The bass is not that low, but considering its a bookshelf its impressive.

I came across the DM303's accidentally when shopping for front speakers. Im a student so I had a tight budget. Listened to the usaual stuff, Bose, Infinity, and the Energy Take 5.2, Polk RM6600. None seemed impressive. Finaly I decided to go listen to the B&W's after sitting in the listening room for 10 minutes my wife turned to me and said "buy these, or I will buy them myself". The 303's produced clear detailed sound and a wide enough soundstage for my apartment. The bass is also amazing for their size and price. Imaging was also impressive especially on vocals. When I got them home the first night I stayed up until 2am listening to my old cds, because I was hearing things on them I had not heard before. Initially they were a little harsh in the higher frequencies, but some wall treatments helped reduced the shrill. I would recommend the 303s to anyone on a budget. I owened them for 11 months, eventually I upgraded to the 600 S3 which is smaller than the 303, but a little more detailed for $50 extra. I still think the 303s are an excellent value. I have a Harman Kardon AVR120 receiver and the sound is smooth enough for my needs.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
cjarrettgsu   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 29, 2003]
Strength:

Clean exposing mids clear, pronounced highs good value

Weakness:

lack bass

My system is modest compared to most true audiophiles. My speakers are pretty good, but my receiver is where I lose points. I have a pair of B&W dm303's run as my center channel, MB Quart Quart Three's as my main towers, a pair of Bose 201's as my rears, and a B&W ASW 300 as my subwoofer. I use a Kenwood vr407 as my receiver. I use monster cable to connect everything. Overall, I enjoy these speakers as a center channel speaker. The dms voice match pretty cleanly with the quarts, which was a nice suprise. Laying them side by side on their sides makes a pretty large center channel speaker and really spreads the sound across my viewing area. I replaced a Bose VCS-10 with these speakers. This definately sounds better than the bose. More bass and the highs are more crisp, especially in dd and dts. As a stereo speaker, I like the Quarts better, but they still sound very good. The tweeter is louder and more tinny sounding in the dm's than in the quarts. The quarts were more expensive, which could explain why they sound better. I compared the dms to my dads bose301s and everything about the dms was better. The dms picked up mids that the bose didnt even know were recorded. The tweeter completely outshined the whole upper range of the bose. At the same price the dms are a much better speaker. I would recommend these speakers to not only buyers on a budget but for people that like a good sounding speaker for much cheaper than what they sound like.

Similar Products Used: Bose VCS-10 Bose 201/301 MB Quart Quart Three DM303
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ModestCargo   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 28, 2003]

First of all, my system specs: Kenwood KA-6100 Int Amp (80WPC) PlayStation 2 as DVD/CD Player Sony TC-FX25 Casette Deck Sansui Belt Drive Turntable As you can see, I have a pretty modest system. Well, anyway, I was on a budget, and needed speakers for my bedroom, so I went to Premier Audio and auditioned this speaker alongside the B&W DM602s and a few others. There was no question in my mind that I wanted the B&Ws, just which one? The DM303s lack the bass that you can feel in the pit of your stomach, and don't have as tight bass either. They don't have nearly as much soundstage. I just couldn't afford the 601s at the moment. Then the salesperson told me of their "upgrade" policy! You have one year to trade in your pair of speakers (you get 100% of their original value back!) and pay the difference to get a higher model. I bought the 303s right then and there and about 6 months later went and got the 601s. The 303s are still an amazing speaker, and I reccomend them to all my froinds who need good speakers on a budget.

Similar Products Used: B&W DM601s
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Audioaddiction   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 10, 2003]
Strength:

Sweet highs, good volume (ie you can turn em up loud) The sonus fabers go no where near as loud,

Weakness:

Less detail than some No very 3d, but great for what they are, a budget speaker.

damn what a difference! The sound is more pure exciting and involving. The silver maestro is also a good cable and only a bit less good than the Q10. The q10 provided slightly more bass and soundstage, but for the difference in money between the two, not really worth it, especially with my system. Finally I now know waht was bugging me for the last year. Cambridge audio interconnects. I have also used the black ones (about £60)and they were no better.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 55  

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