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B&W 707 S2 Speaker Review


As an audiophile who has dabbled in both high-end and entry-level setups, I decided to go for the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 for my desktop. I’ve had these speakers for a considerable amount of time, and in this review of the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2, I intend to cover the various facets of their performance, including build quality, sound characteristics, and some potential downsides that new buyers should be aware of.

Build and Finish

The first thing that struck me about the B&W 707 S2 was their aesthetic appeal and robust build quality. I opted for the piano black finish, and it did not disappoint. The speakers have a high-quality, glossy finish that adds a touch of elegance to any room. Their sturdy construction reflects the premium engineering that Bowers & Wilkins are known for. Given the solid feel and sophisticated look, these speakers are genuinely eye-catching and are likely to become a focal point in their setting.

High Frequency Performance

The most noteworthy aspect of the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 is arguably their exceptional high-frequency performance. Thanks to the carbon tweeter, the level of detail in the upper frequencies is remarkable. Voices and instruments such as pianos and violins come through with extraordinary clarity and precision. It’s evident that Bowers & Wilkins have leveraged their extensive experience in this area, and the result is an impressive an high-frequency response that tends to stand out in various listening conditions.

Midrange Clarity

The mid frequencies on the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 are excellent, especially when it comes to vocal clarity. This makes them particularly suitable for music genres heavily reliant on vocals or intricate instrumentation. Even at lower volumes, the clarity in the midrange remains intact, making it possible to appreciate nuances without straining. Despite this, I did find them to be a bit subdued compared to some of their competitors. This can be either a pro or a con depending on listener preference, but personally, I found the mids clear and satisfying.

Low Frequency Response

When it comes to bass, the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 hold their own quite well. I paired mine with an SVS SB-1000 Pro subwoofer, which provided a fuller, more enveloping bass experience. Comparatively, the bass was much better than the Klipsch RP-500M and Monitor Audio Bronze 1 that I auditioned alongside these speakers. The 707 S2s manage to deliver low frequencies that are deeper and more defined, but they demand substantial power to perform at their best.

B&W 707 S2 Bookshelf Speaker

Power Demands and Amplification

One crucial point to note is that the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 require a potent amplifier to bring out their full potential. Personally, I tested these speakers with several amplifiers, including a Marantz PM5004 and a NAD C375BEE. While the Marantz had only 35 watts per channel and struggled to drive the speakers appropriately, the NAD C375BEE, with its 150 watts per channel, did a commendable job. The definitive factor here is the damping factor rather than raw power output. My Hegel H95, despite being only 60 watts per channel, with a damping factor of 2000, provided a balanced and rich soundscape.

Soundstage and Imaging

These speakers excel when it comes to soundstage and imaging. The Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 offers a wide soundstage with excellent transparency, although the depth could be better. Instrument separation is also first-rate, and the off-axis performance allows for a consistent listening experience regardless of the position. This attribute makes these speakers particularly suited for both desktop use and more traditional home audio setups.

Quality Control Issues

Now, while the sound quality and build are impressive, my experience has not been without its hiccups. I initially received a pair where one speaker produced a vibrating noise at certain frequencies, specifically when playing a piano. I had to purchase another pair, and frustratingly, one of the new speakers had the same issue. It’s quite disappointing considering the reputation of Bowers & Wilkins, and it serves as a reminder that quality control can be an issue, even with high-end products.

Comparisons with Other Speakers

When comparing the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 to other speakers in a similar price range, they certainly have their advantages, particularly in high-frequency detail and low-frequency performance. A direct comparison with the KEF LS50 reveals that while the 707 S2 offers better bass and brighter highs, the KEF LS50 remains warmer and more forgiving for long listening sessions. The ELAC Carina also perform similarly in mids and lows but lack the brightness and detail in the highs, possibly making them more suited for near-field listening without fatigue. The choice ultimately boils down to personal preference and intended use.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • High-quality finish and construction
    • Exceptional high-frequency detail
    • Clear and detailed mid frequencies
    • Deep and well-defined bass performance
    • Wide soundstage and excellent instrument separation
  • Cons:
    • Demands a powerful amplifier to perform at its best
    • Quality control issues encountered
    • Mid frequencies can be a bit subdued for some tastes
    • High frequencies may cause listening fatigue in near-field use


In conclusion, the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 are phenomenal speakers with a few caveats. Their build quality and finish are top-notch, and the sound characteristics are largely exceptional, with crisp highs and deep lows. However, they demand a powerful amplifier to show their true potential, and quality control can be an issue. If you’re prepared to invest in a capable amplifier and possibly deal with some initial quality control hurdles, the 707 S2 can deliver an outstanding audio experience that holds its own against competitors in the same category.

Overall, I can recommend the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 to discerning listeners who prioritize detail and clarity, provided they are aware of the aforementioned concerns. This Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 review aims to offer a balanced perspective based on my personal experience, and I hope it proves helpful to anyone considering these speakers.

If you seek a speaker that stands out in both performance and aesthetics within its price range, the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 will undoubtedly catch your attention. However, do approach with some caution due to the potential inconsistencies in quality control.

Bass Response
Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 stands out in the bass department. The bass is deep and defined without being overpowering. Compared to similar speakers from Klipsch and Monitor Audio, it performs better in terms of depth and clarity.
Treble Detail
The treble detail on these speakers is impressive. The carbon tweeter does an excellent job of delivering crisp and clear high frequencies. It’s an area where these speakers really shine, offering detail that even those with less trained ears can appreciate.
Midrange Clarity
Midrange clarity is another strength of the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2. Voices come through distinctly and instruments are well separated. While some users found the midrange to be a bit on the subdued side, overall it performs admirably.
These speakers are beautifully constructed with a high-quality finish. The piano black version, in particular, is visually stunning. However, they might demand a bit more power to get the best sound out of them, which could be a consideration for some setups.
Sound Quality
Overall, the sound quality of these speakers is excellent. They offer a wide soundstage and excellent instrument separation. The downside comes with the requirement for a quality amplifier to truly make them shine, otherwise, they may sound flat.
Value for Money
Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 is not a cheap pair of speakers by any means, but considering the sound quality and performance, they are considered a good investment. However, it's worth noting that some users did experience quality control issues which might require returns or exchanges.
Total Score
Rating Summary
The Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 speakers offer a powerhouse of performance wrapped in a sleek, high-quality design. We found their value for money to be fairly good, especially considering the kind of sound quality they deliver. The bass response is impressively deep and clear, a step ahead of many other speakers in its league. Where these speakers really shine though, are in the highs - the treble detail is phenomenal, thanks to the carbon tweeters, making every high frequency element stand out with clarity and precision. Midrange clarity is also quite good, delivering voices and instrumentals with great separation and detail. The overall sound quality is highly commendable, offering transparency and a wide soundstage that suits both music and gaming. One caveat is that these speakers demand a powerful and high-quality amplifier to reach their full potential, otherwise they might sound a bit underwhelming. The design is elegant and modern, with a beautiful finish that adds a touch of luxury to any setup. Nonetheless, we did encounter some quality control issues, so there's a slight risk of needing to exchange or return defective units. All things considered, the Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 speakers can be a fantastic addition to a serious audio enthusiast's collection, provided you have the amplifier to match.