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  1. #1


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    B&W 702 S2 First Impressions

    I had to make a run to my closest Best Buy store Saturday evening. My wife was having an issue with her phone so I ran it by there to see if they could help. Sadly they couldn't but the trip wasn't a total loss.

    Just before leaving the store I decided to walk over to the Magnolia section where they have some of their nicer audio gear. Sitting right on either side of a nice OLED display were a pair of Bowers & Wilkins new 702 S2 floor standing speakers.

    Name:  B&W 702-Series-2.jpg
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    The 702 S2 is the top of the new 700 series line. It's a three-way ported design that sports a 1 inch Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency driver, a 6 inch Continuum cone FST midrange, and three 6.5 inch Aerofoil profile bass drivers. The 700 line comes in a white and Rosenut finish, but the ones that I saw were in hi-gloss black.

    I didn't even try to photograph them with my aging smart phone's camera as it would not do them justice. The fit and finish were spectacular and easily one of the best-looking speakers that I have demoed in a while. However, looks don't make good speakers.

    I didn't have much listening time but what I did hear was impressive. The source was a Panasonic Blu-ray player running through Pioneer Elite AVR, the SCLX801 if memory serves. Sorry, I was looking at the speakers. I have no idea how the Pioneer Elite was setup, but I assume it was in full auto setup with no real tweaking or audio calibration done. Keeping this in mind, and where I was, I made some initial impressions about the 702 S2s.

    What I did notice was a very nice neutral sound especially in the highs, midrange, and mid base. The demo disc was mostly acoustic Jazz and a little Blues, both of which I think make for good demo music. Vocals sounded very natural as did the instrumentation on each track. The bass was a little lacking for my taste, but as I stated, I am sure the AVR might not be setup to be the best for two-channel audio. I did check to make sure that there wasn't a sub or other surround speakers running during my mini demo.

    All in all, I was fairly impressed with what I saw and heard. It makes me want to go back with my own music and spend some time with the speakers, closed doors, and with the Pioneer Elite remote in hand.

    Here's a bit more information about the driver complement on the 702 S2 from the speaker's product page.
    http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speake...es/702-S2.html

    Solid Body tweeter
    Milled from a solid block of aluminium, the solid body tweeter housing design creates an acoustically optimised housing for the tweeter – one that’s exceptionally inert and resistant to resonances.

    Carbon Dome™ tweeter
    Carbon Dome tweeters are a brand new technology purpose-built for the 700 Series. Delivering a dramatic improvement on the aluminium double-dome tweeter, they raise the breakup threshold to 47kHz, for pinpoint imaging accuracy and detail.

    Continuum™ Cone
    First introduced with the 800 Series Diamond, the Continuum cone represents the biggest step-change in midrange performance since Kevlar. Its woven, coated material provides highly controlled break-up, resulting in a more open, neutral midrange.

    Decoupled midrange
    The midrange driver in the floor-standers feature a decoupled design, adapted from a similar system in the 800 Series Diamond. Decoupling reduces cabinet colouration, and boosts midrange clarity.
    They retail for around $4500 a pair. It's not exactly cheap, but they are also not made of "Unobtanium" either.

    Have you heard the new 702 S2? I know we have some guys with really nice speakers here. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TrippleJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Houston
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    Nice review. Too pricey for me but I am sure some folks will get them.
    Main:
    Samsung UN75F8000 LED TV, NAD T-777 (7.2 Receiver), Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player, Sony PS4 Gaming Console, Panamax MR-5100 Surge Protection, 7 Paradigm Reference series 8" in ceiling speakers (AMS-150R) - 30 degree tilting speakers, 2 Paradigm SE Subs. Pictures here.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by TrippleJ View Post
    Nice review. Too pricey for me but I am sure some folks will get them.
    If you have a Magnolia near, it's free to "kick the tires".

  4. #4
    Moderator jerrich's Avatar
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    Can you compare them to GoldenEars at Magnolia?
    JR

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by jerrich View Post
    Can you compare them to GoldenEars at Magnolia?
    JR
    Magnolia doesn't carry GoldenEar, at least the ones in my area do not. I think Sandy sticks to independent retailers.

    Since you have the Triton Twos, I would be especially interested in hearing your thoughts.

  6. #6
    Moderator jerrich's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    IMO, they are scary good and I don't even have the latest version. Combined with my HSU sub, they are all I could ever want. The combo will play lower than I can hear and several times higher than my ears can hear, but my mids are still pretty good. Any more and I would be deep into diminishing returns for the $$$.
    JR

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by jerrich View Post
    IMO, they are scary good and I don't even have the latest version. Combined with my HSU sub, they are all I could ever want. The combo will play lower than I can hear and several times higher than my ears can hear, but my mids are still pretty good. Any more and I would be deep into diminishing returns for the $$$.
    JR
    I agree with you and the Two+ are supposed to be even better than the Twos that I heard at CEDIA.

    Still, I love seeing new speaker models, particularly from a manufacturer with the history that Bowers & Wilkins has.

  8. #8
    Owner-Publisher Jerry Del Colliano's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    West Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    5,709


    I heard these at CEDIA in a private suite - off site.

    VERY GOOD.

    They compare in many ways to the $30,000 800 Dv3. No diamond tweeter. Different tapered midrange material but same basic design.

    This is a KILLER $4,500 speaker!

  9. #9


    Whoever reviews them for HTR, needs to fly me in for the demo.

  10. #10


    702s2 not nearly the best 700 series not nearly the best 700 series spkr

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    I had to make a run to my closest Best Buy store Saturday evening. My wife was having an issue with her phone so I ran it by there to see if they could help. Sadly they couldn't but the trip wasn't a total loss.

    Just before leaving the store I decided to walk over to the Magnolia section where they have some of their nicer audio gear. Sitting right on either side of a nice OLED display were a pair of Bowers & Wilkins new 702 S2 floor standing speakers.

    Name:  B&W 702-Series-2.jpg
Views: 1944
Size:  15.5 KB

    The 702 S2 is the top of the new 700 series line. It's a three-way ported design that sports a 1 inch Decoupled Carbon Dome high-frequency driver, a 6 inch Continuum cone FST midrange, and three 6.5 inch Aerofoil profile bass drivers. The 700 line comes in a white and Rosenut finish, but the ones that I saw were in hi-gloss black.

    I didn't even try to photograph them with my aging smart phone's camera as it would not do them justice. The fit and finish were spectacular and easily one of the best-looking speakers that I have demoed in a while. However, looks don't make good speakers.

    I didn't have much listening time but what I did hear was impressive. The source was a Panasonic Blu-ray player running through Pioneer Elite AVR, the SCLX801 if memory serves. Sorry, I was looking at the speakers. I have no idea how the Pioneer Elite was setup, but I assume it was in full auto setup with no real tweaking or audio calibration done. Keeping this in mind, and where I was, I made some initial impressions about the 702 S2s.

    What I did notice was a very nice neutral sound especially in the highs, midrange, and mid base. The demo disc was mostly acoustic Jazz and a little Blues, both of which I think make for good demo music. Vocals sounded very natural as did the instrumentation on each track. The bass was a little lacking for my taste, but as I stated, I am sure the AVR might not be setup to be the best for two-channel audio. I did check to make sure that there wasn't a sub or other surround speakers running during my mini demo.

    All in all, I was fairly impressed with what I saw and heard. It makes me want to go back with my own music and spend some time with the speakers, closed doors, and with the Pioneer Elite remote in hand.

    Here's a bit more information about the driver complement on the 702 S2 from the speaker's product page.
    http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speake...es/702-S2.html



    They retail for around $4500 a pair. It's not exactly cheap, but they are also not made of "Unobtanium" either.

    Have you heard the new 702 S2? I know we have some guys with really nice speakers here. I would love to hear your thoughts.
    The 705 is vastly better in all sonic respects - including the bass, if you buy one of B&W's many subs. It even costs about the same or less. Yes you will need to make space for a sub & get some cables (the very best are not required) but it is absolutely the way to go. Buying them w/o the subs is an excellent way to ease yourself into the cost as well until extra funds are available. It produces excellent bass to 45hz in a reasonably efficient speaker so its not as if you'd be suffering unduly in the interim. That's almost as much as the 704 floor stander with a considerably better midrange & high end. The 705 is really the star of the range & most reviewers are saying so. It really does sound like a not so poor mans version of the 805 sharing the same midrange driver as it does. The new carbon tweeter encased in aluminum really does sound more like a diamond tweeter then you'd imagine thus showcased. This is from someone with beryllium tweeters. To listen is to be convinced. Buy before B&W reacts to the bargain they are by doing what audio co.'s always do when that happens - raise the price.

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