I have not heard the Shearwaters, but own the M20s. The M20s are excellent speakers: neutral, extended highs, good midbass, detailed. I've got mine 18" from the back wall--no problems in my room, but my room is fairly large and well damped, so YMMV. The M20s just seem to get better every time I upgrade my associated equipment (cables, pre/amp, etc.).
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