Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Loudspeaker

Magical Musical Tour

Equipment report
Bowers & Wilkins 702 S2
Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Loudspeaker

Specs & Pricing

Type: Two-way, stand-mounted loudspeaker
Driver complement: 6.5" woofer/midrange, 1" dome tweeter
Loading: Rear-firing port
Frequency response: 50Hz–28kHz +/–3dB (–6dB at 45Hz and 33kHz)
Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance: 8 ohms (3.7 ohms minimum)
Dimensions: 7.8" x 16" x 11.9"
Weight: 20.5 lbs. each
Price: $2500/pr.

54 Concord St.
North Reading , MA 01864
(978) 664-2870

Equipment and Setup

The system used for this review was quite simple, and I’ll make the point at the outset that the equipment has to live around my family and me, not we around it.

The speakers were placed in the positions I use for my Magico V2s, and the only tweak that was performed was the use of the outer ring foam port plug. These foam plugs have a removable “core,” and I used them with their cores removed. Used in this way, the port ceased to be a distracting element. Later, simple measurements showed that this use of the foam plugs significantly smoothed (in my room!) the high-30Hz to 60Hz region.

The electronics were primarily either the Devialet 200 integrated amplifier, or the (never available for sale in the U.S.) Eclipse TD-A502 integrated amplifier using a transformer. I briefly tried the Rotel RA-1572 integrated amplifier, but felt as though its performance was not up to the high standards of the 705 S2s. I used the little TD-A502 (a product from the mid-to-late 2000s) because it’s fun-sounding, sold for less than 900 pounds sterling, and is only 30 watts per channel. Its 30 watts were enough in my circumstance with the 705s. Explosive midrange is the strength of this amplifier. Plus, its top-mounted LEDs light around the large volume control to project what looks like a lotus flower on your ceiling.

The analog source was the Acoustic Signature Wow XL, with its companion TA-700 ’arm and MM3 moving-magnet cartridge (modified Ortofon 2M Black). This was set up for me by Fidelis AV, Acoustic Signature’s distributor in New Hampshire. The phonostage was the Sutherland KC vibe ($895). All this analog front end did is reliably and beautifully play back my records. What a pleasure.

The digital front end is built around a C.A.P.S. Lagoon server with Red Wine outboard battery power supply. I have never owned a CD player or transport. I run JRiver playback software and the computer is operated headless via Splashtop on my iPad. Music is stored on a Synology DS1512+. Computer runs WyWires Platinum USB either directly to the Devialet or to a Chord Electronics Qute HD when using other electronics.