search expand

Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2 Bookshelf Speakers Review

Sound Quality: Precision and Clarity

The B&W 685 S2 stands out for its exceptional sound quality. Its most notable feature is the precise and tight bass that hits low and loud without any boominess, a characteristic often preferred in bookshelf speakers over tower variants. The highs are crisp but never harsh, allowing for extended listening sessions without any fatigue. The overall sound is remarkably neutral and true to the original recording, which is a testament to its uncolored sound production.

Integration with Audio Systems: A Harmonious Match

My setup includes a NAD 375BEE integrated amp, which drives the 685s2 with ease and authority. This pairing has been so effective that I found no further need for a subwoofer in my stereo setup. The speakers handle both loud and whisper-level volumes with equal finesse, demonstrating their versatility. They have also performed admirably when driven by my tube amp, further showcasing their remarkable adaptability.

Design and Build: Practical yet Elegant

In terms of design, the B&W 685 S2 speakers exhibit a practical elegance. They are considerably deeper than other models I’ve encountered, which might be a consideration for those with space constraints. However, they are designed to be mounted on stands, which, although sold separately, complement their aesthetic well.

Dali Zensor 7 Speaker

Value for Money: A Worthy Investment

When it comes to value, these speakers are undoubtedly a significant investment. Their performance and quality justify the price, especially when considering their longevity and the enjoyment they bring. The 685 S2s are more expensive than some alternatives, but their superior sound quality makes this an investment that I believe will pay off over time.


  • Exceptional sound quality with tight and accurate bass.
  • Crisp highs and balanced mids, highs, and lows.
  • Neutral, uncolored sound that stays true to original recordings.
  • Versatile with different volume levels and audio setups.
  • Elegant design suitable for stand mounting.


  • More expensive compared to some other bookshelf speakers.
  • Considerable depth might not suit all spaces.
  • Lacks the bass depth that some might expect, potentially necessitating a subwoofer in larger rooms.

In conclusion, the B&W 685 S2 speakers have been a delightful addition to my audio setup. They offer a blend of precision, clarity, and versatility that is hard to find in other models within this price range. Whether used for music or home cinema, these speakers have consistently delivered a high-quality audio experience, making them a highly recommended choice for any audiophile.