What Hi-Fi (UK)
B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition
Tweaking a class-leading series has made these the best standmounters at this price
We would ask Bowers & Wilkins to forgive us if we’d not quite expected as much as it has achieved with its Anniversary Edition speakers.
On the face of it, the changes that have been made in the transition from the 607 standmounts to these 607 S2 Anniversary Edition versions might appear minimal. A cynic may even suggest the alterations are barely enough to stick a 25th birthday badge on them. Besides, how much more performance could B&W really hope to eke out of the already class-leading 600 series?
So we’d understand if you still require some convincing. Nevertheless, the B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition, just like their larger, 2020 Award-winning 606 S2 Anniversary Edition siblings, are a huge step forward – and the best bookshelf speakers we’ve heard at this price.
You won’t find many clues as to what has been changed simply from a glance – certainly not with the grilles left on. There is a new inscription on the tweeters’ aluminium surrounds, but otherwise the 607 S2 look more or less identical to the model they replace.
Aesthetically, these 30cm-tall speakers are dominated by the 13cm silver Continuum drive units, which trickled down to the last-gen 600 series and replaced those iconic yellow Kevlar cones the company had previously used for decades. Above it is still the same 25mm decoupled dome tweeter, too.
The change, however, lies in the crossover network’s upgraded capacitors. Some of these have been specially treated by component specialist
Mundorf and are also used in B&W’S more premium 700 series.
Even if you are one of those people who find themselves able to fawn over a capacitor, we still doubt you’d assume them to make as much difference as they evidently do. There is no great difference in character; the 607 S2 Anniversary Edition take little time to show their enthusiasm, dealing out a performance with plenty of gusto.
That confidence also remains echoed by a frequency response happy to reach high and low into treble and bass. They aren’t shy to exhibit their rich tone throughout the range, nor are they worried about stretching too far. In fact, the 607 S2’s bass response is one area in which we hear a significant improvement: it doesn’t go lower than before, but it is more agile.
There is more detail across the rest of the frequency range too, but also greater clarity and deeper, better-defined textures. We thought these Anniversary Edition’s predecessors were talented in this regard, but side by side it’s as if the old speakers deliver a vocal line that slinks away while the new pair’s rendition hangs in the air like a mist.
It’s a tightening that has affected every aspect of these speakers’ performance, including timing and dynamic expression. It doesn’t quite sound as though the musicians are in the room with us – after all, these are still modestly priced stereo speakers in the grand scheme of things – but there is a more live quality to the way the new 607 places emphasis on leading notes and picks rhythms from any percussion.
Certainly these are no less snappy than the previously class-leading speakers they replace.
Insightful and engaging
This is a cleaner, more insightful and overall more engaging performance from a pair of speakers that were already among the best you could buy for their outlay. The older versions would have remained on top of the tree, had they not been knocked off by the 607 S2 Anniversary Edition. But when you have both pairs in the same listening room, it’s difficult to go back to the originals.
If you’re currently looking for a pair of lower-midrange speakers and the B&W 606 S2 are just out of your budget range, then these are a superb option – and a pair of speakers worthy of celebrating any silver anniversary.