Bowers & Wilkins 705 User Manual
£900 per pair 01903 221500q www.bwspeakers.com
Classy standmount with external tweeter and advanced enclosure
The most obvious similarity between B&W’s earlier
replaced) and the 705 is the external
The external tweeter provides wide distribution for the high frequencies, while also creating appropriate time alignment between the two drivers. Below the 25mm alloy dome tweeter is a 165mm
that might well leave the bass end a little light and dry. However, as usual it’s worth experimenting with positioning, as rooms vary dramatically, and some wall reinforcement might well be preferred in some cases here.
Given the ingredients, it’s hardly surprising that this is no
–one might describe it as a Kylie bottom end
–small, but beautifully formed.
The midband has a little extra emphasis, as
has the lower treble, while the presence – typically of B&W’s models – is slightly restrained. While the net result is not strictly neutral, it’s a clever compromise that avoids aggressiveness but preserves good detail, alongside a notably wide dynamic range and good expression. A crucial contributing factor is that the top end has a sweetness and delicacy normally associated with more costly models, and this all adds up to a speaker that’s both informative and easy to listen to at the same time.
That, above all, distinguishes this speaker. It’s always inviting and very easy to enjoy, does very little wrong and most things rather well. Ultimately it’s a very fine compromise, which, after all, is what the art of speaker design is all about. HFC
The first thing one notices with this 705 is the sort of
freedom from ‘boxy’ colorations that’s uncommon at any price, and which could probably give B&W’s more costly Nautilus 805 quite a run for its money. It’s solid evidence that standmounts
offer their own advantages.
The 705 is really best kept clear of walls, in order to take advantage of its
fine midband clarity, superior stereo imaging and wide dispersion, even though
B&W’s claim for 89dB sensitivity seems well founded, and is accompanied by a relatively benign impedance characteristic that stays mostly above 6 ohms and never falls below 5 ohms, with just the merest hint of perturbation at 1kHz. The port here is tuned to around 41Hz, and its output seems well damped.
The overall tonal balance looks well enough ordered, though it could have been smoother and is not without certain obvious characteristics. The midband is a shade prominent,
The 705’s crossover point is at 2kHz electrically speaking, though the actual acoustic transition is close to 3.5kHz. The
HOW IT COMPARES
2] Bass extension
4] Overall frequency balance>>20% 5] Response smoothness>>10%
Sensitivity @ 1m/2.83V
Est. bass extension
SOUND >> 86%
This pretty little standmount is
always inviting and very easy
to enjoy. It lacks some bass
weight and welly, but is
otherwise a very good
compromise, with a fine
BUILD >> 90%
freedom from boxiness and a
sweet and open top end.
VALUE >> 84%
OVERALL SCORE >> 86%