Reviews in for the new 600 Series

Bowers & Wilkins 683 speakers

Experts around the world are wowed by performance that brings the best in audio to everyone.

The new Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series dramatically improves on the existing, award-winning range’s legendary combination of outstanding value and exemplary audio performance. But don’t just take our word for it. Reviews of our new 683 floorstanders are coming in, and we’re delighted to see that the experts are once again impressed.

What Hi-Fi has already given five stars to our “hugely entertaining” new 685. Now it has bestowed the same rating to the 683, complementing the floorstanding speaker’s large soundstage, clarity, subtlety and strength.

“We’re not entirely sure how B&W has managed to achieve this stunning performance, but it’s surely due to careful engineering… A very strong and versatile performance; another winner for Bowers & Wilkins,” say the experts at What Hi-Fi.

Hi-Fi Choice magazine is also highly complimentary: “A fine pair of floorstanders with an enjoyable, detailed and insightful sound of its very own… you really must audition B&W’s 683 S2 if you seek a serious speaker at this price.”

And in a five-star review, Home Cinema Choice magazine declares: “The scale of the 683 Theatre’s sound and its sheer dynamism, the speed of rise time, the deeply capable musicality of the main speakers and the tremendous aplomb and power of the small 10in subwoofer, all combine to make it absurd value for money.”

Reviewers around the world are also lauding the new 683. For example, German site audio.de rates it highly, declaring that the inexpensive 600 Series has been thoroughly revised. It highlights the new Decoupled Double Dome tweeter and says that the benefits for the top-of-the-range 683 are particularly clear.

Find out more about the 600 series.

8 Comments

  • Jerry De La O says:

    Will the 683 speakers be available in white?

  • Patrick Crawford says:

    I bought the B&W 686 pair at Magnolia here in LA and they have never really had any umph. Sometimes they sounded okay. Other times they were barely audible to me or my guests. I wonder if anyone else has had this issue and or has any fixes? Thanks

  • Dan Klang says:

    I have gone through 4 different generations of your speakers and presently have 803s2 series — just prior to these I had 703 series
    I have recommended them many times to friends and they always come back pleased
    I have never been disappointed in any of them
    Will try to get to a place to listen but I am probably unwilling to give up my present units

  • Russell Gambino says:

    a question , really…. i hope that’s alright—
    what is the brand of gear pictured ^ with your excellent floor standing speakers ? i have had a pair of series 2, 602′s and an LCR6, also s2, paired with 601 s2′s for about 12 years now and love them .. all ! thinking about a gear upgrade, from the Marantz rec. i have been using , so ——
    there you have it. thanks in advance ! cheers to all @ B&W !
    –RJG

  • Bowers & Wilkins says:

    They are available in white but not in all countries unfortunately.

  • Richard says:

    Hi Patrick, what are you using to power the B&Ws and what are the characteristics of your room?

    My first set of B&W speakers was a 5.1 system, the generation of 600 series right before these, they sounded great running through a Marantz SR5005. Marantz has the Audyssey self-correcting system which had those babies sounding what I felt was excellent for the money.

    I never felt they lacked power, but you may have them underpowered if you feel they they have no “umph”. Also, the room is critical, I had my system in a large living room in which the acoustics sucked…and they sounded just okay…but never lacked “umph”. After moving the system into a much more acoustically friendly smaller spare bedroom, the sound really came to life, there was a lot less reflection and it was like an entirely new system.

    So it could be your power, it could be your room, if you list some details here, I am sure many people can offer some helpful hints.

  • Alex says:

    Hi Patrick and Richard,

    I have to second Richard’s comments. I have a pair of DM602S2 that I have had since new, I bought them when they first were released (1999?). They have plenty of umph, but they need a decent amplifier stage to really bring out there best qualities. They also needed along time to run in, particularly in order to settle the tweeters. They are of course using different technologies, however, in my opinion they still sound fantastic despite there modest original price. I have run these speakers in many environments and through a myriad of different amplifiers. I have also compared them to many other speakers over the years, particularly in studio environments where I worked for some time. I have to say that they are fantastic value for money, and blow many speakers that cost twice as much away in terms of timbre, dynamics and sound stage. I have never run them with a sub and they are a staple at home for listening to music. About there only drawback is the lack of low end, and I mean very low end, say from 90Hz down. Other than that they absolutely slam.

    Most likely your issue is the room first, and possibly the amplifier second. You also should try them with good quality reproduction viz. CDs played on a good quality player and/or high definition computer audio. They are not forgiving of poor quality reproduction, and give away any faults in your signal chain. Though from what you have said, I would say that your problem lies in the room acoustics. Try moving them around the room, and change your own listening position. If you can, try some bass absorption in the corners, particularly behind the speakers. Also run them on decent quality and heavy stands. A good stand, the right distance from the wall, and a good listening position, can really make a huge difference in any system–from basic all the way up to high end.

    Let us know how you fair.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  • Amit Sharma says:

    After months and months of research (onpaper specs and Online reviews) i got a chance to audition the 683s with my own Amplifier and content.
    My Setup: Harmon Kardon HK 990 (150W/Channel 8 Ohms, 300W/Channel 4 Ohms)
    Pioneer LX55 Blue Ray Player.
    Paradigm DSP 3200 SUB.

    Being new to the world of expensive Music Equipment i wanted to get a feel first,
    so while going for the best Amp in first attempt i decided to play safe with speakers and bought the Yamaha NS777 speakers.
    (Huge in appearance and very very low on performance) I always knew this isn’t what i wanted..
    i kept doing my research and my fabulous experience with the Paradigm DSP SUB almost pushed me to buy the Reference Studio 60 (within my range) without audition.
    I heard a lot about the B&Ws on the net and as soon as i got a chance i went for the audition.
    The Dealer allowed me to take my own AMP and i carried my music along.

    Here is my experience:-
    I was specifically looking for good mid and high range. I listened to the 685 S2 first. They sounded better than the Yamahas but not what i wanted
    so i persuaded myself to increase my budget and listened to the 683s. Right from the word go they sounded great.
    Though i did not like the bass response (actually there was no bass at all) but the sound engineer explained how the room was setup for sound clarity and not loud noise.
    so i shifted my focus to the details. I listened to all my CDs and as the speakers were brand new they kept getting better with time.
    I listened to almost all varieties of Indian and western music and Boy what level of details i could get. I decided immediately to get a pair of 683.
    Fabulous mid and high range and (Yes… the bass was great when i listened to them at home, The Tabla sounded amazing)
    i am feeling excited and cant stop listening, Happy to buy the 683s. These speakers not only proved themselves but justified my decision to buy the HArmon KArdon (Amazing AMP).
    OK let me get back to listening :-)

    Cheers !! B&W great speakers.

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