Most HiFi enthusiasts would have heard of the world-renowned Bowers and Wilkins. And probably associate the HiFi brand with high-end speakers, but B&W does make affordable loudspeakers. One of them will be the Bowers and Wilkins 685.
These are versatile speakers and if you are currently in search of a receiver for them then please continue to read on. After learning more about the Bowers and Wilkins 685, we will be listing out the best receivers to match them.
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Strengths of Bowers and Wilkins 685 Loudspeakers
This is a pair of bookshelf speakers and will be ideal for small listening rooms. We know Bowers and Wilkins 685s are not difficult to drive just by looking at their specs. They require amplifier power of between 25 Watts to 100 Watts with an impedance of only 8 Ohms. This gives us plenty of receiver options to choose from. The front-firing bass port makes it easier to position the B&W 685 since we don’t really need to worry about the back walls reinforcing the low-end reproduction of the stand-mounters by much.
The bass performance of the Bowers and Wilkins 685 is surprisingly punchy. Which is kind of unexpected from a bookshelf speaker with a 6.5″ midbass driver. Still, if you want deeper and more powerful bass reproductions, you should add an active subwoofer. The soundstage projected by the Bowers and Wilkins 685 speakers is impressive as well. There is a good level of music details and the stereo imaging is accurate. If only the overall sound reproduction is slightly more coherent, this would have made these bookshelf speakers better.
They are fun to listen to, their energetic performance makes them versatile bookshelf speakers. Meaning you can use the Bowers and Wilkins 685 for both home theater and music listening use. Among the bookshelf speakers of a similar price range, the Bowers and Wilkins 685s are still able to stand their ground. Not to mention, they are really a good choice to go for too. All you need now is to choose the receivers which you think will match well with the B&W 685. You can check out the list of the best receivers to go for below and take your pick.
The Best Receivers for B&W 685
The Denon AVR-S970H is one of the best receivers to partner up with your Bowers and Wilkins 685. It is an 8K 7.2 channel AV receiver with a plethora of features that will give you amazing value for your money. This Denon AV receiver has no issue driving the Bowers and Wilkins 685 bookshelf speakers. It has 90 Watts at 8 Ohm with 2 channels driven. Denon AVR-S970H doesn’t play down the lively performance of the B&W 685 and it is not bad for music playbacks too.
For Bowers and Wilkins 685 owners who listen to a lot of music but still prefer using an AV receiver. The Marantz NR1510 will be an ideal AV receiver choice for you. It is not as powerful as the Denon AVR-S970H. Even so, at 50W into 8 Ohms (with 2ch driven), the NR1510 still has enough amplifier power to drive the 685 stand-mounters. The warmth and refinement of the Marantz AV receiver keep the Bowers and Wilkins 685 speakers from sounding too excited. It also lowers the attack of the speakers by a little.
The Yamaha RX-V4A is an amazing all-rounder AV receiver to match your Bowers and Wilkins 685 bookshelf speakers. For an entry-level receiver, the RX-V4A does a good job of delivering music and gives the user plenty of excitement when it comes to home theater performance. The punchy performance of the B&W 685 works well with the Yamaha AV receiver. When it comes to music presentation, the B&W bookshelf speakers help to expand the space of the soundstage by quite a bit.
The Marantz NR1200 is one of the best stereo receivers to go with the Bowers and Wilkins 685 speakers. It has a slim profile, making the Marantz 2-channel receiver great for small listening rooms with limited space. This stereo receiver also allows you to connect up to 2 active subwoofers for even more impactful and deeper bass performance. The Marantz NR1200 receiver has no problem driving the Bowers and Wilkins 685 speakers. All thanks to its power output of 75 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms, up to 150 Watts into 6 Ohms (1 channel driven).
If you are looking for an integrated amplifier with loads of features and a very modest price tag. The Denon PMA-600NE is an excellent option to go for. It has a power output of 70 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms which is sufficient to drive the Bowers and Wilkins 685 stand-mounters. There is a built-in DAC which you can use to playback high-resolution music. For B&W 685 owners who are into vinyl, you will be delighted to know that the Denon PMA-600NE has a MM Phono Equalizer.
For listeners who have very limited space or are setting up a desktop sound system. Perhaps you might want to check out the NAD D3045. It is a small and low-profile integrated amplifier that you can sit upright, saving you tons of space on your desktop. The NAD D3045 may be small but it can still drive your Bowers and Wilkins 685 speakers efficiently. There is a plethora of features at your disposal such as a built-in Digital-to-Analog converter, Bluetooth wireless connection, and more.
Before you begin choosing a receiver for your Bowers and Wilkins 685 speakers, you should work out your requirements first. For instance, if you watch a lot of movies then you might want to go with an AV receiver. We have taken the price points into consideration when listing these receivers so feel free to check them all out.