New Speakers: Bowers & Wilkins CM5


After looking for the last year, I finally pulled the trigger with Annie’s help. There’s nothing wrong with my current setup—for my condo, it’s perfectly fine for movies… but recently, I’ve found myself listening to more music via Spotify.

Luchsahya polochnaja akustika

After listening to my dad’s speakers (old Boston Acoustic bookshelves and a velodyne sub), I started to understand what makes a really good system. I didn’t realize it, but my dad is a big time audiophile. Here are the tips I’ve picked up from him over the years:

1) Good speakers can last you a lifetime. The heavier, the better.

2) Two bookshelves (with a 6.5″ woofers) and a subwoofer is typically better than having two giant towers or dozens of speakers.

3) Bi-amping speakers and driving as much power to them is the secret to better sound. Use individual amplifiers to power the L/R speakers.

4) Positioning your speakers in a room will change the sound. This includes setting up the height of the speakers—tweeters should be at ear level. The distance between the speakers and viewing position should look like an equilateral triangle.

5) And lastly, the room should have as much soft materials as possible, like rugs, curtains, pillows, etc. You want to reduce the amount of sound bouncing against the walls.


I test drove to dozens of speakers, but the CM5s were my favorite. There are certainly more obscure speakers out there that perform better for the price, but probably won’t hold their value like a B&W. There’s just something elegant about the yellow kevlar cone.

The model below, 675, were half the price… but lacked mid-tones. The model above, 805, sounded awesome, but were twice the price. I decided that I’d rather buy higher quality amplifiers for the CM5 instead of dropping everything into the bookshelves.

Anyway, I’m really happy with these speakers. I’ll post a photo of my setup as soon as I pick some stands out.

Here’s my old post about the 805s vs Diamonds vs CM5s.

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