The Bowers & Wilkins 606s walked off with What The spark wears? prime speaker award in 2021. The stand mounters got the nod, as a result, they offered the most effective performance per pound magnitude relation of any speaker we to tend to test last year. thus, it comes as one thing of a surprise that they’ve simply been replaced — particularly as they were introduced solely at the tail finish of 2019. Why thus soon? Well, the 600 vary is currently twenty-five years recent. To mark the day, B&W has determined to upgrade the core models — the baby 607s, the ground standing 603s, HTM6 center, and therefore, the 606s on check here — going away the prevailing 3 subwoofers untouched. Here is, the Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 Anniversary Edition 2021.
Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 Anniversary Edition 2021: Design
On paper, the low-keyed nature of the revisions leaves the U.S. underwhelmed considering the importance of the day of remembrance. Cosmetically, the quantity to the addition of AN oak end to travel in conjunction with the prevailing black and white choices, And an inscription on the speaker system surround to mark the day of remembrance standing. The only performance-related modification is AN upgraded crossover that currently options better-quality capacitors, a number of that were originally seen within the recently proclaimed and a lot of premium 700 Signature series.
Everything else remains unchanged from the previous generation; a check through the specifications shows no technical changes within the least — sensitivity, frequency response, power handling, all keep constant. Let’s be clear though, that isn’t a nasty issue, as testified by the 606’s 2020 Product of the Year Award win. The 606 S2 cupboard is nicely-created and appears very sensible within the new oak end. We tend to compare it with a sample of the last model, and therefore, the new one marks little revolution regarding match and end.
Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 Anniversary Edition 2021: Sound
Given the modest nature of the engineering changes, we tend to be expecting a lot of a distinction within the sound. We tend to be wrong. Whereas retentive a loosely similar sonic character, the 606 S2 days of remembrance Editions prove considerably additional capable than their predecessors. The biggest variations square measure detected within the bass. The remake is such a lot additional precise and controlled during this region. On AN initial listen it’d be simple to conclude that the older model has additional weight during this space, however, given time it becomes clear that the S2s square measure cleaner, additional perceptive, and have notably additional punch.
Listen to the self-titled track from The Scott’s and also the enhancements square measure obvious, with the remake is delivering tougher touch, additionally stratified lows. The previous model sounds tumid and blurred as compared. The additional management at low frequencies helps regular drive and lightness. Move up the frequency varies and also steps, up in articulation and clarity square measure hanging. Voices return through with bigger subtlety, and it’s easier to listen to changes in intonation and phrasing. Series two offers a clearer read of the recording and sounds additional balanced overall.
The variations between the speakers square measure even as stark after we play The Road OST from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. The title track contains a thin piano gap, and we’re curst simply what proportion additional outlined and open the new speaker’s sound. Their presentation is tauter, and a bit additional forward than the originals, however additionally sounds additional natural and clear. Tonally, there’s been a shift far from what currently appears like a rather over-blown bass and to a fault wealthy lower mid-range to one thing additional neutral.
We alter to Bizet’s Carmen and love the manner the 606 S2s square measure such a lot of additional dynamic. They produce a sound filled with control and don’t struggle within the face of large-scale crescendos. As the music builds, these speakers have the temperament and organization to stay things in check. They seldom sound rattled or stressed despite However, difficulty things get. Along with the improved muscle, we’re finding it easier to trace low-level instrumental strands and obtain fine detail. The new model conveys instrumental textures with the additional ability and locates instruments at intervals of the sound stage with bigger stability.
Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 Anniversary Edition 2021: Compatibility
While the front is fairly compact, this remains a reasonably deep speaker at 30 cm, that the smaller 607 models may be a much better selection if you’re stuck for the area. The drive unit combination, unchanged after all, is vastly capable and well-proven. The speaker system could be a 25 mm bolstered atomic number 13 domes, and here it’s combined with a 165 mm Continuum-coned mid/bass driver. There’s a rear-firing mark reflex port to tune the lows, although there are foam bungs to dam it if bass starts to dominate. Ideally, you must place the speakers a minimum of 50 cm into the area, and well off from facet walls if attainable. Use the bungs on condition that you have got to as a result of things sound less natural and fluid with them inserted into the speakers.
Slight fishing towards the listening position helps to fix up the stereo image. Any stand mounter is heavily dependent on its support, thus it pays to take into account durable stands. B&W makes a fanatical possibility is known as the STAV24 and its sensible price at £119 ($199, AU$345). We use the 606 S2s with a variety of apparatus, from our reference set-up of Naim ND555/555 postscript DR music streamer and Burmese 088/911 Mk3 electronic equipment throughout to Marantz’s additional value applicable CD6007/PM6007 electronic equipment and electronic equipment combination, and therefore, the speakers work well with it all.
Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 Anniversary Edition 2021: Verdict
The original 606s square measure fine speakers, however, these restructure are clearly higher across the board. Considering the comparatively minor engineering changes that are a true surprise — however, a completely pleasant one.
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