Bowers & Wilkins has released the follow-up to the award-winning 685 S2, the 606, and it has some surprises up its sleeve.
Most obviously, the company has finally brought its proprietary Continuum speaker material to the 606.
That iconic yellow kevlar has been replaced with a 6.5-inch silver cone.
In addition, the one-inch aluminum twitter is decoupled from the cabinet, to reduce resonance.
The box is the same size as before, a little over a foot high but is ported at the rear which can help with the bass response.
However with all this new tech inside it seems the build stage isn't quite as good as the speakers that preceded it.
For example, the plastic driver's around felt a little loose.
And while I'm nit picking, the pint on the front was a slightly different color than on the rest of the box.
I did like the magnetic grills though.
As a result of the driver changes, the BMW's sound more forward than before.
And I'd suggest using laid back electronics from Rants, Denim, or Sony.
The continuum driver at rear port mean that the B&Ws do have more bass than the previous 685.
But the speakers aren't the rock and roll monsters you might have been hoping for.
The speakers have better transparency than before and a great sound stage.
Suits jazz, blues and folk.
Rock and dance, especially modern stuff can sound a little too grainy on vocals in particular.
And complex music can sound a little thin, especially at lower volumes.
But with it's exciting nature, home theatre is where the speaker shines, with excellent dialogue reproduction.
While the move to the Continuum Driver is welcome, these aren't the jack of all trades speakers you'd expect from the 600 Series.
Plus, they're more expensive than before at $800 US.
The Bowers and Wilkins 606 is still a good loudspeaker but not as impressive as the model it replaces.
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