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post #1 of 38 Old 12-27-2015, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
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2.1 B&W 685 S2 help

Hello, I just recently found this forum and I tried to read as much as possible but things seem to get more and more complicated. I have a sintoamplifier from Onkyo, specifically the TX-NR646, that came with a set of 5.1 speakers, the normal/average ones you get pretty much in the all-in-one systems. They do a good job for my needs but since I listen to a lot of music I've considered adding a 2.1 setup mainly for music listening. Throughout next year I would like to expand from a 2.1 to a 5.1 and thus replace all the speakers but for now I only want 2 front speakers and a subwoofer that are good for music. I don't want to spend huge amounts of money, I'm just looking for some entry-level decent speakers, therefore I've set my budget to around 500 euro. My intention is to get the speakers now and sometime next month a subwoofer. My room is roughly 20 m² so it's not big. Looking around I've found the B&W 685 S2 which seem like a good choice but I don't really know anything about speakers, maybe I could get something cheaper that does the job equally good. Should I get bookshelf ones or floorstanding? For example I've found the Wharfedale Diamond 10.6 for a good price but I get the feeling that they may be too much for my room. Also, speakers must be chosen based on the music genres you listen to or it's not an important factor to consider?
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post #2 of 38 Old 12-27-2015, 08:03 AM
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You really need to go out and have a listen. Bookshelves could be fine for your room, but there are a lot of good bookshelf speakers. I like my 685's. You may like something else entirely.
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post #3 of 38 Old 12-27-2015, 12:17 PM
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What's your budget? The 685s are great but there are many options in that price range.

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post #4 of 38 Old 12-27-2015, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crimguy View Post
You really need to go out and have a listen. Bookshelves could be fine for your room, but there are a lot of good bookshelf speakers. I like my 685's. You may like something else entirely.
I don't have the time nor the patience to go around stores; I'm sure whatever I buy will be a different world when compared to the included speakers I have right now.

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What's your budget? The 685s are great but there are many options in that price range.
500 euro is the limit I set for the speakers and 350 for the sub but I could spend another 100 euro if really needed. I've had a look on some online store and most of the times I find floorstanding speakers from Klipsch, Canton, Wharfedale, JBL and Indiana Line, are they any good? xD
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Wharfedale is a good low cost alternative to the 685S2 depending on the model. They have a polite treble but IMHO the midrange is not as good as B&W. Canton and JBL are good options as well. What models are you looking at specifically? If available, I can heartily recommend the JBL Studio 530.

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Wharfedale is a good low cost alternative to the 685S2 depending on the model. They have a polite treble but IMHO the midrange is not as good as B&W. Canton and JBL are good options as well. What models are you looking at specifically? If available, I can heartily recommend the JBL Studio 530.
I barely know what treble and midrange mean xD. My knowledge on the subject is really, really poor. I wasn't looking at anything in particular I just searched for speakers and those are the brands that are showing the most in the results but they are floorstanding almost all of them. For example I've found the Canton GLE 470, JBL Arena 170, JBL ES80, Wharfedale Diamond 10.6. Them JBL Studio 530 look really sexy and they cost only 398 euro, are they good for music? Do they need a sub right away or I can get away without one for the moment and buy it next month?
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post #7 of 38 Old 12-27-2015, 04:17 PM
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I barely know what treble and midrange mean xD. My knowledge on the subject is really, really poor. I wasn't looking at anything in particular I just searched for speakers and those are the brands that are showing the most in the results but they are floorstanding almost all of them. For example I've found the Canton GLE 470, JBL Arena 170, JBL ES80, Wharfedale Diamond 10.6. Them JBL Studio 530 look really sexy and they cost only 398 euro, are they good for music? Do they need a sub right away or I can get away without one for the moment and buy it next month?
The JBL Studio 530s are excellent for music. They are adequate without a sub. If you can add one later when finances allow you would have a nice 2.1 system.
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post #8 of 38 Old 12-27-2015, 04:19 PM
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685. KEF Q300. The R100 is sometimes on sale too. I hear great things about the Focal Aria line. All are probably at the limit of your speaker budget. Wharfedale may be a great alternative for you as well.

My preferences run toward KEF and B&W.
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The JBL Studio 530s are excellent for music. They are adequate without a sub. If you can add one later when finances allow you would have a nice 2.1 system.
I've read some reviews and they are all positive, for the price I'm really considering buying these. As for the sub do could you give me some advice? Any I should look at in particular?

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685. KEF Q300. The R100 is sometimes on sale too. I hear great things about the Focal Aria line. All are probably at the limit of your speaker budget. Wharfedale may be a great alternative for you as well.

My preferences run toward KEF and B&W.
I've only found the Q300 but they cost 700 or more and it's a bit over what I'm willing to spend. Someone recommended me the Dali Ikon 1 MK2 but I can't find these either here in Italy... really sad that it's so hard to find speakers in my country.
Would there be a big difference in sound between the B&W 685 S2 and the JBL 530 to justify the 100 euro of difference? Which one of the two would be better suited for music listening? For now I'm leaning more towards the JBLs since they are cheaper and they seem to perform well even without a sub. I don't want overwhelming bass but I don't know if the 685 perform well in this category.
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I've read some reviews and they are all positive, for the price I'm really considering buying these. As for the sub do could you give me some advice? Any I should look at in particular?



I've only found the Q300 but they cost 700 or more and it's a bit over what I'm willing to spend. Someone recommended me the Dali Ikon 1 MK2 but I can't find these either here in Italy... really sad that it's so hard to find speakers in my country.
Would there be a big difference in sound between the B&W 685 S2 and the JBL 530 to justify the 100 euro of difference? Which one of the two would be better suited for music listening? For now I'm leaning more towards the JBLs since they are cheaper and they seem to perform well even without a sub. I don't want overwhelming bass but I don't know if the 685 perform well in this category.
It's difficult for me to say if one is better than the other (B&W 685 vs JBL 530). They are very different but regarding bass they both offer similar performance.

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post #11 of 38 Old 12-28-2015, 11:06 AM
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B&W 685 S2 will provide the most neutral sound. This means no exaggeration of some musical tones over others. For example, treble (higher pitch sounds) can be boosted to give more bite, more snap to cymbals. However, you will probably notice that violins, flutes and even female voices sound too sharp, almost shrill. The more evenly balanced the sound is the more natural everything will sound. Now, not everyone likes this. Maybe you want some exaggeration depending on the music you're playing. I can apply that sort of boost with Bass and Treble controls on the amplifier/receiver or, since my entire music collection has been copied onto a spare hard drive on my computer, i can use the equalizer tone controls in Windows Media Player to give a little "boom" and "ting" to my Reggae music, etc.
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Those JBL's sound very cool. Never heard them before. That said I agree that the 685s are pretty neutral, at least mine are (I have the first generation).

Which reminds me - you can get some awesome deals in the used market. I got my speakers in 2014 for $600. Used I've seen them for under $350.
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post #13 of 38 Old 12-28-2015, 04:14 PM
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In my earlier post I stated that it was difficult to say which one of the speakers being considered is better. Both are great but different. I happen to currently own B&W speakers and have had the 685S1 and 683S2 speakers in the past. I really enjoy them but I'm not sure I would describe them as 100% neutral. The JBLs I would consider neutral but that's just my opinion.
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post #14 of 38 Old 12-28-2015, 11:19 PM
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If you aren't planning to audition - I'd pick the ones you like the look of best and fit your price point best.

Also - read a lot of reviews. I have found that if I read a lot of reviews on a speaker, and the people that like the speaker seem to talk about their music like I do, or like the same music, or seem to like "warm" or "cool" or "snappy" sound - the same as you'd like your sound, and also like the speaker, then you probably will too.

Example - I auditioned B&W and Monitor Audio. Both sounded great. But the B&W really seemed to envelop me in the kind of sound I like - classical symphonic, romantic era music, choir music, 80s and 90s alternative rock. They were warm, cozy, and I liked that. When I listen to music - it is to relax.

Well, people that reviewed the B&W 683s, and LIKED them, seemed to like what I liked. Liked a warm, enveloping, relaxing sound. They seemed to like similar music. Since I identified with the reviewers that preferred the B&W, I figured I'd like the speakers too. And I did.

With the Monitor Audio, reviewers talked more about jazz and pop, lively single vocals. They talked more about using their music to invigorate them, add energy to the room, and get them hopping. Not as much what I use my music for. I didn't identify as well with the reviewers that liked Monitor Audio. And so I figured I wouldn't prefer there speakers. And that was true.

Now, I did a lot of reading before I auditioned. When I auditioned, the results matched pretty well with what I expected. Both speakers were great (B&W 600 S2 series, Monitor Silver series) but I liked the B&W better, like I figured I would. One could say it was placebo effect, but I like to think that I identified with people that liked B&W, and being more like those people, also liked them...

I would expect the JBLs to be quite neutral. JBL does theaters and studios for the most part, and I believe they are known for neutrality and doing their best to disappear and just present the material, whatever it is. B&W are more for audiophiles that tend to relax to their music and want a warmer sound that will downplay any harshness, even if it was present in the material - at least that's my impression.

So think about the type of person you are. But what you'll probably find if you are not a critical music listener, is that you'll get one or the other, get it positioned right, and really like it - so I am with you on focusing on price point and the look you like - and read reviews and see who you "identify" with best.
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post #15 of 38 Old 12-29-2015, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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B&W 685 S2 will provide the most neutral sound. This means no exaggeration of some musical tones over others. For example, treble (higher pitch sounds) can be boosted to give more bite, more snap to cymbals. However, you will probably notice that violins, flutes and even female voices sound too sharp, almost shrill. The more evenly balanced the sound is the more natural everything will sound. Now, not everyone likes this. Maybe you want some exaggeration depending on the music you're playing. I can apply that sort of boost with Bass and Treble controls on the amplifier/receiver or, since my entire music collection has been copied onto a spare hard drive on my computer, i can use the equalizer tone controls in Windows Media Player to give a little "boom" and "ting" to my Reggae music, etc.
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In my earlier post I stated that it was difficult to say which one of the speakers being considered is better. Both are great but different. I happen to currently own B&W speakers and have had the 685S1 and 683S2 speakers in the past. I really enjoy them but I'm not sure I would describe them as 100% neutral. The JBLs I would consider neutral but that's just my opinion.
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If you aren't planning to audition - I'd pick the ones you like the look of best and fit your price point best.

Also - read a lot of reviews. I have found that if I read a lot of reviews on a speaker, and the people that like the speaker seem to talk about their music like I do, or like the same music, or seem to like "warm" or "cool" or "snappy" sound - the same as you'd like your sound, and also like the speaker, then you probably will too.

Example - I auditioned B&W and Monitor Audio. Both sounded great. But the B&W really seemed to envelop me in the kind of sound I like - classical symphonic, romantic era music, choir music, 80s and 90s alternative rock. They were warm, cozy, and I liked that. When I listen to music - it is to relax.

Well, people that reviewed the B&W 683s, and LIKED them, seemed to like what I liked. Liked a warm, enveloping, relaxing sound. They seemed to like similar music. Since I identified with the reviewers that preferred the B&W, I figured I'd like the speakers too. And I did.

With the Monitor Audio, reviewers talked more about jazz and pop, lively single vocals. They talked more about using their music to invigorate them, add energy to the room, and get them hopping. Not as much what I use my music for. I didn't identify as well with the reviewers that liked Monitor Audio. And so I figured I wouldn't prefer there speakers. And that was true.

Now, I did a lot of reading before I auditioned. When I auditioned, the results matched pretty well with what I expected. Both speakers were great (B&W 600 S2 series, Monitor Silver series) but I liked the B&W better, like I figured I would. One could say it was placebo effect, but I like to think that I identified with people that liked B&W, and being more like those people, also liked them...

I would expect the JBLs to be quite neutral. JBL does theaters and studios for the most part, and I believe they are known for neutrality and doing their best to disappear and just present the material, whatever it is. B&W are more for audiophiles that tend to relax to their music and want a warmer sound that will downplay any harshness, even if it was present in the material - at least that's my impression.

So think about the type of person you are. But what you'll probably find if you are not a critical music listener, is that you'll get one or the other, get it positioned right, and really like it - so I am with you on focusing on price point and the look you like - and read reviews and see who you "identify" with best.
I wouldn't say I'm looking for the most neutral sound possible, I want something that sounds warm, natural and "deep", not extremely bright, but I'm not exactly an expert on the subject so I think any decent speaker would sound good to my ears even if it's too dark or too bright. I think @danielrg described accurately what I mean with the word "enveloping". I listen mostly to modern music, be it djent, melodic death metal, trance, edm, pop, rock etc. I've made a list with speakers that fit into the limits of my budget:

Klipsch RP-160M
B&W 685 S2
JBL Studio 530
JBL ES80
Indiana Line Tesi 560
Indiana Line Tesi 542
Canton GLE 496
Wharfedale Diamond 10.6
Dali Zensor 3

If I go by looks I like the Klipsch and the B&W the most. The 530 look strange but cool, I hate them and like them at the same time. The others look "normal" . Some of them are floorstanding so I guess it would be wiser to exclude them since my room is smallish. Considering the genres I listen to which between the 530, 160M and 685 S2 would be a better fit? I've read that Klipsch speakers tend to be bright so I don't know if should eliminate them from the list or if they'd still do good with the kind of music I listen to.
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So I actually own a pair of 685 S2's with a definitive supercube and love the sound of the 2.1 setup. Luckily your receiver is bi-ampable as well. If I could choose again, I'd end up with the 685s. Honestly they're hard to beat and sound great. I've been debating going into some Sonus Faber Venere 1.5's but just don't hear the difference for the more money.

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post #17 of 38 Old 12-29-2015, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giabuto View Post
I wouldn't say I'm looking for the most neutral sound possible, I want something that sounds warm, natural and "deep", not extremely bright, but I'm not exactly an expert on the subject so I think any decent speaker would sound good to my ears even if it's too dark or too bright. I think @danielrg described accurately what I mean with the word "enveloping". I listen mostly to modern music, be it djent, melodic death metal, trance, edm, pop, rock etc. I've made a list with speakers that fit into the limits of my budget:

Klipsch RP-160M
B&W 685 S2
JBL Studio 530
JBL ES80
Indiana Line Tesi 560
Indiana Line Tesi 542
Canton GLE 496
Wharfedale Diamond 10.6
Dali Zensor 3

If I go by looks I like the Klipsch and the B&W the most. The 530 look strange but cool, I hate them and like them at the same time. The others look "normal" . Some of them are floorstanding so I guess it would be wiser to exclude them since my room is smallish. Considering the genres I listen to which between the 530, 160M and 685 S2 would be a better fit? I've read that Klipsch speakers tend to be bright so I don't know if should eliminate them from the list or if they'd still do good with the kind of music I listen to.
FWIW, guy here just dumped his 685s for the JBL 530s.

https://www.avsforum.com/showthread.php?p=39623210

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post #18 of 38 Old 12-29-2015, 09:31 AM
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I wouldn't say I'm looking for the most neutral sound possible, I want something that sounds warm, natural and "deep", not extremely bright, but I'm not exactly an expert on the subject so I think any decent speaker would sound good to my ears even if it's too dark or too bright. I think @danielrg described accurately what I mean with the word "enveloping". I listen mostly to modern music, be it djent, melodic death metal, trance, edm, pop, rock etc. I've made a list with speakers that fit into the limits of my budget:

Klipsch RP-160M
B&W 685 S2
JBL Studio 530
JBL ES80
Indiana Line Tesi 560
Indiana Line Tesi 542
Canton GLE 496
Wharfedale Diamond 10.6
Dali Zensor 3

If I go by looks I like the Klipsch and the B&W the most. The 530 look strange but cool, I hate them and like them at the same time. The others look "normal" . Some of them are floorstanding so I guess it would be wiser to exclude them since my room is smallish. Considering the genres I listen to which between the 530, 160M and 685 S2 would be a better fit? I've read that Klipsch speakers tend to be bright so I don't know if should eliminate them from the list or if they'd still do good with the kind of music I listen to.
It sounds like you prefer a slightly warmer speaker. The Wharfedale and B&W would certainly fall in that camp. As I said before, the B&W IMHO is better than the Wharfedale. I'm not a big fan of the Klipsch horn tweeters but other people like them. To me, they're more appropriate for HT applications. B&W is only sold by authorized dealers and not online (unless used). Not sure if that is a factor in your case. Also, you might consider in-home auditions and order from places that offer a good return policy.
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It sounds like you prefer a slightly warmer speaker. The Wharfedale and B&W would certainly fall in that camp. As I said before, the B&W IMHO is better than the Wharfedale. I'm not a big fan of the Klipsch horn tweeters but other people like them. To me, they're more appropriate for HT applications. B&W is only sold by authorized dealers and not online (unless used). Not sure if that is a factor in your case. Also, you might consider in-home auditions and order from places that offer a good return policy.
Think I'm gonna go with the B&W and I'll buy the sub in february. I've also asked for an opinion on an italian forum and I'm awaiting for replies, I'm probably not gonna change my mind but who knows. I'm gonna resurrect this thread in a month seeing as I'm gonna need help in choosing a sub. Thank you all for the help and Happy new year, since it's almost upon us xD.
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post #21 of 38 Old 12-29-2015, 01:22 PM
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Think I'm gonna go with the B&W and I'll buy the sub in february. I've also asked for an opinion on an italian forum and I'm awaiting for replies, I'm probably not gonna change my mind but who knows. I'm gonna resurrect this thread in a month seeing as I'm gonna need help in choosing a sub. Thank you all for the help and Happy new year, since it's almost upon us xD.
I agree. Good choice and I hope that they meet your expectations. Happy New Year.

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post #22 of 38 Old 12-30-2015, 12:20 AM
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If you can place the B&Ws about 22" - 24" out from the wall it will allow them to produce a clean, tight punchy bass. Closer to the wall gives a richer bass sound. Depending on your room size it may be enough for you, although a larger room will definitely benefit from adding a subwoofer.
Remember to give the B&Ws (and many other good speakers) a break-in period before full evaluation of their sound. If you're away during the day leave FM radio station playing at low volume. After 100 hours or so of music, TV and movie sound, etc. they should be sounding very good indeed.
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post #23 of 38 Old 12-30-2015, 11:28 PM
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Think I'm gonna go with the B&W and I'll buy the sub in february. I've also asked for an opinion on an italian forum and I'm awaiting for replies, I'm probably not gonna change my mind but who knows. I'm gonna resurrect this thread in a month seeing as I'm gonna need help in choosing a sub. Thank you all for the help and Happy new year, since it's almost upon us xD.
I hope you enjoy them. I'm really liking my 683 S2 setup (with an SVS SB2000 subwoofer). I've been tinkering with them and their positioning trying to get the best soundstage. Yesterday I listened to a great CD with the lights off- when off the room is pitch black.

I have a remote control for the lights so I'd listen to an instrument and try to point to the instrument in the sound stage or the voice or various different sounds - then I'd turn on the lights and see where I was pointing or if I was pointing at a speaker - in almost all cases I was pointing somewhere between the speakers... that was satisfying, if a little corny

Let us know how you like the 685s. Warm and enveloping describes them well.

Here's a thread on the 600 S2 series of speakers as well, there's some discussions on the 685 S2 series, as well as links to several different reviews.

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I hope you enjoy them. I'm really liking my 683 S2 setup (with an SVS SB2000 subwoofer). I've been tinkering with them and their positioning trying to get the best soundstage. Yesterday I listened to a great CD with the lights off- when off the room is pitch black.

I have a remote control for the lights so I'd listen to an instrument and try to point to the instrument in the sound stage or the voice or various different sounds - then I'd turn on the lights and see where I was pointing or if I was pointing at a speaker - in almost all cases I was pointing somewhere between the speakers... that was satisfying, if a little corny

Let us know how you like the 685s. Warm and enveloping describes them well.

Here's a thread on the 600 S2 series of speakers as well, there's some discussions on the 685 S2 series, as well as links to several different reviews.
I went to a store in Rome 2 days ago which has the 685, I had a listen and all I can say is they sounded amazing, like the best sound to have ever graced my ears. I'm gonna place the order on the first day of the next week. Quick question though, how are the 684 S2? Much better than the 685 or they aren't woth the extra money?
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post #25 of 38 Old 01-01-2016, 04:35 PM
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I went to a store in Rome 2 days ago which has the 685, I had a listen and all I can say is they sounded amazing, like the best sound to have ever graced my ears. I'm gonna place the order on the first day of the next week. Quick question though, how are the 684 S2? Much better than the 685 or they aren't woth the extra money?
From what I've read - they are a very slight upgrade in some ways, not as nice in others.

The 684 can get louder and handle more wattage, though not by a huge amount. They are floorstanding, so you don't have to purchase stands. The 685 speakers actually have better bass response between 50 and 70 Hz, so the 685s cover the bass better, they just don't go quite as loud.

If having a floorstander isn't important, or you don't listen really loud, I would think the 685 would be the best bet for you.
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From what I've read - they are a very slight upgrade in some ways, not as nice in others.

The 684 can get louder and handle more wattage, though not by a huge amount. They are floorstanding, so you don't have to purchase stands. The 685 speakers actually have better bass response between 50 and 70 Hz, so the 685s cover the bass better, they just don't go quite as loud.

If having a floorstander isn't important, or you don't listen really loud, I would think the 685 would be the best bet for you.
I second that. Stick with the 685 S2. Get them set up right, break'em in and live with them for a while. If you decide you must have more gut-crunching bass then add a fast, punchy subwoofer.
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Originally Posted by Giabuto View Post
Think I'm gonna go with the B&W and I'll buy the sub in february. I've also asked for an opinion on an italian forum and I'm awaiting for replies, I'm probably not gonna change my mind but who knows. I'm gonna resurrect this thread in a month seeing as I'm gonna need help in choosing a sub. Thank you all for the help and Happy new year, since it's almost upon us xD.
Great choice! Just a heads up too I have a set of 683's S2 up for sale in the classified area!

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post #28 of 38 Old 01-02-2016, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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From what I've read - they are a very slight upgrade in some ways, not as nice in others.

The 684 can get louder and handle more wattage, though not by a huge amount. They are floorstanding, so you don't have to purchase stands. The 685 speakers actually have better bass response between 50 and 70 Hz, so the 685s cover the bass better, they just don't go quite as loud.

If having a floorstander isn't important, or you don't listen really loud, I would think the 685 would be the best bet for you.
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I second that. Stick with the 685 S2. Get them set up right, break'em in and live with them for a while. If you decide you must have more gut-crunching bass then add a fast, punchy subwoofer.
How about the 683? I could go up with the budget if they are worth it. This store also sells the Diamond series speakers from Wharfedale, they have a similar price as the B&W though they do cost a bit less. The Diamond 230 and 240 look like good speakers on paper. How would they compare to the 684 S2 and 685 S2? I'd love to have floorstanding speakers, they look more "serious" xD, not that I don't like bookshelf speakers, on the contrary xD, but I usually don't really listen to loud volumes, not to say that I don't turn the volume up sometimes xD. At the moment my decision hasn't changed, I'm just trying to see what I can get with more money. Is the Diamond series more for movies or for music? Other speakers that picked my interest are the Focal 714/716. I apologize for asking so many things even though I did make a choice which I don't want to change xD. Oh, and I'm gonna get a sub regardeless if I end up getting floorstanding speakers or the 685 S2.
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post #29 of 38 Old 01-02-2016, 05:51 AM
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The 685 S2's are great. I bought some for rears and for kicks unhooked my CM10S2's and used the 685's as fronts. I was shocked they did so great as fronts with my SVS SB12 NSD.

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post #30 of 38 Old 01-02-2016, 12:21 PM
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How about the 683? I could go up with the budget if they are worth it. This store also sells the Diamond series speakers from Wharfedale, they have a similar price as the B&W though they do cost a bit less. The Diamond 230 and 240 look like good speakers on paper. How would they compare to the 684 S2 and 685 S2? I'd love to have floorstanding speakers, they look more "serious" xD, not that I don't like bookshelf speakers, on the contrary xD, but I usually don't really listen to loud volumes, not to say that I don't turn the volume up sometimes xD. At the moment my decision hasn't changed, I'm just trying to see what I can get with more money. Is the Diamond series more for movies or for music? Other speakers that picked my interest are the Focal 714/716. I apologize for asking so many things even though I did make a choice which I don't want to change xD. Oh, and I'm gonna get a sub regardeless if I end up getting floorstanding speakers or the 685 S2.
My thoughts - 685 S2s would be plenty for your room with a subwoofer. At about 220 square feet (sq ft being a United States dweller) - how high are your ceilings? I'm guessing 8-9 feet would make the room about 2000 cubit feet. Not a tiny room, but not large either.

If you want to be able to get really really loud in that room, the 683 S2 speakers could do that... also the FST midrange is an upgrade from the 685, but pretty subtle, not sure it's worth 2x if you don't need the volume. If you have to buy nice stands for the 685s that should be considered when comparing price. The 683s can go to low volumes and sound good in both my setup and in various reviews I have read.

I haven't heard Focal or Wharfdale - though I have only read that the B&W tend to edge out the Wharfdale in most reviews. Also - have the Wharfdale's been redesigned recently? I found some comparisons to Wharfdale diamond series and 685 S1, the 685s were generally preferred but it was close. With the 685 S2, they sound better than the S1s (as stated in a number of reviews), so it would make the 685s more likely a winner over the Wharfdale in listening tests.

Again with a sub in that size room, I would think the 685 S2 vs the 683 S2 would be a pretty small difference for music - not sure it's worth the upgrade. But the 683s WOULD work and sound great. I don't believe they are oversized either, just maybe overkill.

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