B&W 802S Versus 803d3 with subwoofer


MEANT TO TYPE 802s versus 805d3.

I am thinking of downgrading my life and am considering selling my 802S pair for the 805d3 pair plus subwoofer.

Just wondering what experience you have? Are there noticeable quality differences?

Any input!
Subwoofers are the devil’s own children. Well done they can be glorious, but otherwise are real prissy beasts to integrate correctly.

What I think makes the most important difference to music and movie lovers is the quality of the auto-calibration, if any. JL right now has what I consider the best.

If you are going to get some average sub without an excellent room EQ I strongly encourage you to forego that and instead stick with full-range speakers.

On the other hand, if you find yourself with curiosity, time and energy, you can go another route.

Also, if you can get them, bass traps are really helpful in making rooms more speaker and sub friendly.


FWIW, I just got a subwoofer to integrate with my B&W N804s. I think you have to take room size and room treatment into consideration when considering a sub. Also, consider whether you'll be listening mostly to music (sealed sub) or using it mostly for HT (ported sub). I run my speakers full range and then have the sub cross-over to fill in the low bass. It has really improved the sound of my system dramatically. Based on the specs of the N805d3s, I would guess that your cross-over would be set somewhere around 50Hz, but you'll have to play around with cross-over, phase delay and volume in order to integrate the sub seamlessly. It can be a bit of a PIA, but once you've got the right settings, it's glorious. If you do get a sub, I would suggest getting one from either Rythmik, Hsu, SVS, REL, or JL. I bought a Rythmik L12 and am a very happy camper. Keep us posted on your progress.
I have demoed both these speakers in the same room and own two subs in my main system (not b&w). The 802s would be an easy choice for me. Small speakers and subs don't mix for me. But large speakers and subs are awesome. Matching the power band from the subs to small speakers is tricky and easy on large speakers. 

While tye the bass on the 802s is nice and powerful it is still not detailed or strong down low like a good sub and I would add subs down the road... but that is me.