B&W Matrix 805 Floorstanding Speakers

Matrix 805

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

User Reviews (37)

Showing 1-10 of 37  
Linde   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 05, 2002]
Strength:

Great stereo perspective, acoustic instruments and voices sound extremely crisp and precisely reproduced. Very tight and fast bass.

Weakness:

Could use a bit of deep bass, but not a real problem if used in smaller rooms. They age, and eventually i´ll have to trash them:-(

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:-).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bbchem   AudioPhile [Jun 15, 2002]
Strength:

UNBELIEVABLE SOUND STAGE, AIR DETAIL AND IMAGING

Weakness:

NONE

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

Similar Products Used: MARTIN LOGAN CLS, TRIANGLE TITUS, PROAC TABLETTE,APOGEE SLANT 6, MAGGIES 2.7,VANDERSTEEN, AUDIO CONCEPTS, DBX, POLK,TOTEM,TANNOY,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter Akerlund   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 10, 2002]
Strength:

- Wide and deep soundstage for its size - Natural and accurate reproduction of orchestral/acoustical timbres - Voices sound extremely present and natural - Excels in classical music, jazz, singer/songwriter music with mostly acoustical instruments - Cheap since it has been discontinued for a while. Impossible to find more accurate/natural sounding speakers in this price range. Perhaps only Dynaudio''s best bookshelf speakers bought second hand are in the same league and price range as B&W Matrix 805.

Weakness:

- Limited bass response (natural due to small size of cabinet and no dedicated woofer as in larger matrix models) - Poorly produced recordings sound AWFUL, which I see as an advantage, since high fidelity is what matters

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)

Similar Products Used: My first real pair of Hifi speakers although i have auditioned loads of speakers like: Martin Logan Prodigy (cheaper to buy a new car than to buy these!) JMLab Cobalt series B&W CDM1NT,CDM7NT Dyna
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Angel Ramirez   an Audiophile [Sep 10, 1997]

I am very rigorous at testing speakers, I have a dedicated room treated for echo and with diffusors.
I auditioned the 805V and found that the LF response is articulate and well defined, the amount of LF energy is perfect to my taste. High frequency is at the same category as LF. Midrange has some colorations compared to good headphones but it is hard to notice without a reference.

The speaker puts a very good soundstage with simple materials, with more complicated material like full orchestra the sound gets a bit busy and lacks energy. Heavy metal miss the "heavy" part. But voices are clear and a tad palpable.

The speaker is very well made and design, the tuned port of this model does not leaks any midrange (like all the other low cost B&Ws I tested) also there is not wind noise at frequncies below the responce curve.

I tested this speaker with a variety of amplifiers and Sources: Krell, Sonic Frontiers, and Conrad Johnson. The CJ amplifier gave the speaker the biggest sound, the SF was not bad, and the Krell was much better that other solid state amplifiers that I have tried, detailed, but still bright. I liked better the Conrad Jonhson.

The Sources were; California Audio Labs, Marantz, Enlightened Audio Designs, and Meridian. All did a good job. I go for the EAD.

Other speakers compared were also B&W, Martin Logan, and Wharfedale. The little 805V was always the overall best.

Cables is another thing I wanted to verify... final selection Kimber 8TC.

I found that small differences like cables can only be heard if the acoustic allows it. I tested different cables changing the room or just sitting position and in most cases I could not hear any difference. But in some arrangaments the differences are large enought for my wife to tell.

The result of my experiments were that my brother me and one friend all are happy owners of 805Vs. We all disagree in what amplifier is best but we all agreed in buying and keeping the 805Vs. (the V is for vertical model)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
DISARO' STEFANO   Audiophile [Jan 16, 2000]

Personalmente ritengo le 805 dei diffusori eccellenti, anche se difficili da abbinare con le altre elettroniche. Infatti, proprio per le loro caratteristiche di trasparenza, sono in grado di mettere in evidenza qualsiasi difetto della sorgente o dell'amplificazione. Io stesso ho avuto dei problemi in merito. Una volta ben abbinate, si rivelano delle casse straordinarie con una naturalezza nel suono che le fa sparire. La musica sembra essere nell'aria.
Probabilmente, una persona non allenata all'ascolto, rimarrebbe stupita dal fatto che le 805 non abbiamo alcun aspetto particolare. Nè dei bassi da far vibrare i muri, ne alti graffianti. Ma a me piacciono proprio perchè sono così: perchè non ci sono. Ascolto la musica, non le casse.
A livello di amplificazione molti le ritengono molto esigenti: io le piloto con un amplificatore di solo 25 watt ma di grande raffinatezza. Certo, forse manca un pò di velocità e dinamica, ma la profondità, la larghezza,l'aria della musica ci sono tutte.
Se gli Abbey Road Studio di Londra li adoperano come monitor, ci sarà pur qualche motivo.......

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Ferrell   an Audiophile [Mar 02, 1997]

These are fine-sounding speakers, typical BW 800 series sound, somewhat soft and weet. Bass only fair, need a subwoofer. Quite listenable, all who have heard them have been impressed. Won't play real loud. The more you can get rid of near reflections, the more 3-d the sound (as with most speakers), but this does increase the softness. I'm not considering replacing them any time soon.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
James Wong   Audiophile [Mar 23, 2000]
Strength:

3D-soundstaging,flat bass response down to 40Hz, sensitive.

Weakness:

Forward tribble,sound too thin in vocals

Amazing small speakers, big soundstaging for this size!
Play orchestral music with perfact sounh imaging, powerfull
bass.Track 18 from RR/LXO TEST CD,805s can punch with it low bass(my room is 12.4wx17.5lx10.5h).
It every sensitive with the speakerstand.Toning the speaker spike up and down in whatever way, 805s will sound differentlly.I use it around 3 years and I still get improved sound when I tone it once!

Geat speakers like 805s alway need some time do tone.
trust me!

Similar Products Used: Compare with dynaudio1.1, totem 1, Proac Tabblattle 50 signature,AE 1 Signature,etc
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 21, 1999]
Strength:

Big clear sound for such a small box.

Weakness:

Bass

Can't add to much to what has already been said. I found the bass detail a little light, but my stands are not of the same class (the ones made for the 600 series). But, no complaints really. If you can find a pair used, buy them.

Similar Products Used: Matrix 804, DM602, DM601
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Gerd   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 17, 2000]
Strength:

very analytical, dynamic

Weakness:

flat, not very musical

I'm around looking for some new speakers since 2 Months now.
I've heard many speakers. Because of the good test results, I also heard the Nautilus 805 with some very expensive components (2 Krell Monoblocks, Krell Preamp, Burmester CD Player).

They are very dynamic and precise Speakers but they are not "musical" and also I think they sound a little bit flat.

They was very good in performing good produced Pop Songs and also Classik. Then I heard some acustical live reccordings and I was very disapointed in the end.

If you have the possibility, you should compare the Nautilus 805 to some active Linn Keilidh speakers. In my opinion, the Linn speakers are in every way better and also much musical.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Ben Tan   an Audio Enthusiast [Nov 12, 1997]

Look no further if you want outstanding soundstaging and crisp vocals. This pair of speakers absolutely changed my opinion of B&W speakers being
a manufacturer of "high-end" products just to complete their product range.
These speakers shine in my 13X15 ft room and bass is (contrary to popular belief) not at all shy. MUST BE PLACED ON SAND FILLED STANDS! That's the key, I believe, to tightening up the bass and bringing out the full balanced sound spectrum of the 805s. Placement is important but not critical. The 805s are not too fussy with amps, and I'm using an Audiolab setup to drive them. Looking for Pass Labs amps in the near future to bring out the best of its musicality.
For $1600, these speakers are an absolute steal. Audition them after you've looked at everything else, and you'll probably agree with me. Beats the competition that costs many times as much.....hands down...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 37  

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