B&W 683S2 for entery level speakers

What is your opinion re. Bowers and Wilkins 683S2 speakers? I am not an audiophile but I liked this pair when I listened to them. The reviews are generally very positive but I wanted to check if there is anything better at this price range
I've never listened to them, but I can tell you I have a brand new (still in unopened manufactures carton) pair of JBL S412P speakers that are certainly comparable. I'm willing to sell the pair for less than what I see the cost of the B&Ws are. Read the extensive reviews on the Internet of happy owners of these JBLs. If your interested you can contact me off board at erp50@juno.com. Thanks.
I've had mine a little over two weeks now. They are great speakers. They are big speakers and play big. The sound is very detailed, resolved and dynamic. At their retail price of $1650 they are hard to beat.

I shopped for speakers for two years before going with the 683S2. There are many wonderful speakers out there. I demoed and enjoyed speakers from PSB (T6), Klipsch (RP280), Golden Ear (Triton 7), Monitor Audio (Silver 8), KEF (LS50, R500), to name a few.

As far as something better in their price range, I don't think there is one, just different sound. All the speakers I demoed were enjoyable, each had their own presentation.

If I hadn't gone with the B&Ws I would have went with the Monitor Audio Silver 8. They retail for $2,000-$2,200. Ultimately I preferred the bass and the treble of the 683S2 over the Silver 8. The mids of the Silver 8 were outstanding.

Listen to all you can with your music that you are familiar with. You'll find one that clicks with you. There is a reason you liked the 683S2. They are an excellent speaker. After you get a chance to hear a few others you'll find out if they are the ones for you.

Good luck with your speaker search.


Before you spend your hard earned $ have a LONG look at the Sonus Faber Toy Tower.WAYYYYYY better than the tin can tweeter B&W in every category & yes I know this for fact as I have owned both the 601S2 & 603S2's.

I found your reply very interesting since I currently have the Triton Sevens and have been considering adding the 682S2s to my system. Would you be so kind to comment on the subjective sonic differences you heard between these two speakers? Thanks.

i am of the option that your money will go farther with Revel, PSB, Kef, Dynaudio etc.

I started out with the 703s which is a nicer version (no longer made) of the 683S2. They wore on me after awhile. They lack bass and the Mids wore out my ears. Nothing wrong with liking and buying the B&Ws. They are made well and will last. Just demo some other brands first.

The GE Triton 7 is a great speaker. I really enjoyed them. The ribbon tweeter is excellent. I really liked the mids and the bass as well.

Compared to the 683S2 the Triton 7s have a slightly more distant perspective of the music. That would be the biggest difference between the two. Both speakers have excellent detail, resolution, and tone. Both create an excellent soundstage. Both are very dynamic but I would give the edge to the 683S2

I preferred the bass of the 683S2. In fact I preferred the bass of the 683S2 to any of the other speakers I demoed. The bass tone of the 683S2 is, for me, remarkable.

Bottom line is I believe both speakers are great. They offer good value and exceptional sound. It boils down to presenting the music differently from each other.

Some info that might be helpful: my room is large (26fx23fx8-11f ceiling). I'm using an Arcam FMJ A19 50watt integrated.

Hope this info helps.


Thanks everyone, I should mention that the speakers will be placed very close to the wall. This rules out the speakers with port in the back. Also the 683S2 currently go for about $1600 a pair at best buy, some of the alternatives mentioned are more expensive it seems.
What size room are these going in? And are they also close to the side wall, as well as the back wall, or is there room to get them out into free space?
it's a rather large room, they won't be close to the side wall but within a ft of the wall behind them
OP is the room acoustically treated?The B&W's already have a tipped up presentation,if the room is bright or hard your gonna hear it.Also what electronics are you using?If I may suggest a used pair of Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home can probably be found in your budget range.They are front ported 2 1/2 way(same as B&W) & with enough power will fill a large room with glorious sound.Also please take note.I have owned & lived with :B&W DM 601S2,DM603S2,Paradigm Studio 40S3,Monitor Audio Silver RS6,Dynaudio Audience 42,52SE & Focus 140 before graduating to Sonus Faber.Even the Chinese built Veneer series will provide a more musically satisfying presentation,especially if the room is hard or bright.JMOFWiW,YMMV.

A bit more info on the 683S2. It is a three-way speaker. It was introduced last year. It replaced the 683 that B&W produced for seven years. It has a new tweeter from the line of speakers above it, the CM series. It uses the Kevlar FST midrange cone that the TOtL 800 Diamond (just recently replaced by the 800D3) series uses. It also has new 6.5"woofers. The build quality is excellent.

I hope you get a chance to listen to them. If you read the reviews from Steroephile, What HiFi, and HiFi Choice you will get a good description of the sound of the 683S2.

Another speaker that is a good value and sounds great for its retail price of $1200/pr is the Klipsch RP280f. Klipsch has it on sale now for $838/pr, an outstanding value. The Klipsch are a bite bright and foward but have a balanced lively sound and play big.


Yes, I understand the B&W are 3-way speakers. I was actually looking at Klipsch reference premier too (2-way) , but they are rear-ported and need a subwoofer too.
I was concerned about rear ports as well. My speakers are ten inches off the front wall and that puts the drivers and port two feet off the front wall. If you are concerned the Klipsch would need a sub in your room, I think the other choices would need one as well.

One option that might give you the bass your looking for and is front ported is the PSB X2T. It's getting excellent reviews. If it would have been accessible to me I would have tried to audition it.
I listened to a few more speakers, one other option that caught my ear! was the Martin Logan motion 40, they are a bit more expensive than the B&W's but the cabinet build felt better and they also sounded a bit more clear when playing busy rock tracks with vocals. 

does anyone have these ? 
The MLs look like they'rear ported.  Weren't you trying to avoid that?

true, but they sounded good so I may be able to place them about a ft. from the wall and add a sub 
After listening to alternatives including ML and Sonus Faber I went with the B&W's. they sounded the best in this range IMO. thanks everyone 
Congratulations, speedmaster20d. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I've had them a month now. They just keep getting better. I haven't enjoyed music on my home system this much in years.