CNET First Look
The Bowers and Wilkins CM1 speakers look greatThe Bowers and Wilkins CM1 S2 speakers look great and sound terrific but aren't the best choice for punk rockers.
[MUSIC] If you've been interested in AV for a while and are looking to upgrade your sound quality the best way to do that is to trade up for a good receiver and speakers. Hi I'm Ty Pendlebury and to my mind the most consistent speaker manufactures is British firm Bowers and Wilkins who offer options from 300 dollars all the way up to 60 thousand. The Bowers and Wilkins CM1S2 system was the more affordable though not cheap end of the companies range, at $1100 a pair. These speakers are an upgrade on the original CM1's and offer a number of improvements including, a new concentric ring tweeter and a tweeter cover to support those inquisitive fingers. This speaker features a five-inch Kevlar driver and comes in this beautiful piano-black finish, though rosenut and white are also availability. These are ported in the rear and, unlike the original version, are missing a wall-mount attachment. Well, you can use these with a receiver like our current favorite, the $500 Sony STR-DN1050. The better your amplification, the better. Aim for between $800 and $1,000, if you can. If you're a fan of Bowers & Wilkins sound quality, which some detractors might describe as dark or less excitable in the mid-range, then you'll likely enjoy the same 1-S-2s. It's true it does liven things up as well as adding a little more detail of the speakers, such as the original B&W 685. But despite it's size it's still capable of decent bass weight. So, with the wrong material such as sibilant rock music, the tweeters can be overwhelming. And adding a subwoofer could help offset this by filling in the missing low end. At this price, though, there are plenty of other options, including monitor audio and PSB. Though none are quite as pretty. If you want that same tweeter plus a larger cabinet and a cheaper price. The $700 B&W 685 F2's should be pretty hard to beat.