B&W Nautilus HTM2 Center Channels

Nautilus HTM2

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

User Reviews (26)

Showing 1-10 of 26  
pdmonty1965   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 23, 2015]

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Penny31   AudioPhile [Mar 17, 2008]
Strength:

Get's real low and immediately can get real high. Immaculate masculine and feminine voice reproduction. Looks real presentable as well.

Weakness:

Proper components are an absolute MUST!

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.

Similar Products Used: Various B&W products, Dali, Dynaudio, LSA, Def Tech, Klipsch, and Martin Logan.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dynaquest1   Audio Enthusiast [May 20, 2006]
Strength:

Crystal clear home theater vocals!!!

Weakness:

Beautiful but big.

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.

Similar Products Used: Bose, Yamaha, Polk Audio, Wharfedale
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
normancj   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 04, 2004]
Strength:

Clarity, precision, looks, very compact.

Weakness:

none

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

Similar Products Used: B&W HTM7
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
  Audio Enthusiast [Dec 02, 2003]
Strength:

Beautiful in looks and performance. A real bargain for the price.

Weakness:

Needs good "back up" items such as a stong amp and good cables.

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

Similar Products Used: Polk, Monitor Audio, Klipsh.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rob   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 21, 2003]
Strength:

Everything

My search is OVER!! After many,many speaker combo in my system, The HTM2 is the best Center speaker under $2K. Stop playing around and but this speaker!!I have the 805's up front and now the HTM, what a combo!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tony   Casual Listener [Jul 07, 2002]
Strength:

Everything

Weakness:

None

Beautifully designed and sounds great. Clear and efficient.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
William Cooper   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2002]
Strength:

Awesome clarity and soundstage. A speaker of fine furnitue quality as all of the B&W line.

Weakness:

None

I purcased the HTM2 as an upgrade to the CC6S2 which I was not happy with. The difference is astounding! The HTM2 could easily overshadow lesser front left and right mains. I have 804Ns that seem to be a perfect match although I wish I had room for the 802s.By the way my HTMS is the red cherry finish as my 804s...simply beautiful. The best center channel available!!

Similar Products Used: B&W CC6S2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Soundz   AudioPhile [Feb 09, 2002]
Strength:

Detail, imaging, soundstage!

Weakness:

NONE!

I cant get over the level of detail this center channel provides! This is my 5th Center channel in 3 years because I am so picky and just couldn''t find happiness, until now. I don''t know if I believe in break in periods or not on speakers but this is only 2 weeks old and if it''s true that it''s only going to get better I cant wait to see but I dont see how this is possible. I was leaning towards the HTM1 but when I heard them side by side the difference didn''t warrant double the price tag, besides I put the money on the fronts instead for music. This is the best money I have ever spent on speakers! The clarity and detail is astounding!

Similar Products Used: Infinity Interlude, Klipsch R-7''s, Paradigm Studio 100''s which I sold to buy these, B&W CDM 9''s, Dynoaudio....
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mark   Audio Enthusiast [May 08, 2000]
Strength:

The clarity.

Weakness:

Cannot find any.

I recently put up a review of the LCR6S2 and I was impressed until I finally noticed the off axis problem that a fellow audio enthusiast had explained. Anyway, I had got such a good deal on the HTMII I just had to purchase it. This is what anyone would enjoy if looking for a center speaker. I tested a lot of centers and had different types of problems. This one you have to hear to believe.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 26  

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