Bowers and Wilkins 707S2 Magnificent Minis

By Rob Johnson

After hearing Jeff’s praises of the D705 s2, I appreciated the chance to put some ear time on their smallest bookshelf speaker in B&W’s 700 series lineup, the D707 s2.

These diminutive marvels feature many of the same trickle-down technologies of larger D705 s2. Despite the strong family resemblance, a few key differences set the 705 and 707 apart. First, all the musical joy of the 707 emerges from a much smaller enclosure measuring 11 inches tall (280mm), 10.2 inches deep (260mm), and 6.5 inches (165mm) wide. While the drivers feature the same materials and construction as the 705, the 707 sports a 5-inch midrange/woofer rather than the 6-inch version used in the 705.

The 705’s tweeter is placed atop the cabinet like the classic 805 design, decoupling it from the main enclosure. The 707, in contrast, builds the tweeter into the cabinet body giving the speaker a more traditional look. The 707’s un-isolated tweeter placement leaves it exposed to a bit of cabinet vibration. As such, the 707’s alternate design sacrifices a bit of HF nuance compared with their larger siblings. But at a price of $1,250 per pair for the 707s, compared with the 705’s $2,500 price tag, one cannot expect everything for a fraction of the price.

While the voicing remains very similar to their larger 700 series brethren, the 707’s modest cabinet size cannot reproduce bass frequencies in the lowest registers. According to B&W, the speakers experience roll-off below 50Hz. Those seeking bowel-rumbling bass levels should pair the speakers with a subwoofer or two. However, the 707 speakers pack a surprising punch for their diminutive size. Frequencies the speakers are designed to handle register with beauty and a high degree of realism. Bass never lacks punchiness; rock and electronica retain the excitement of the recording.

Like the 705, the 707’s two-way design includes a double set of five-way binding posts for those who want to bi-wire or bi-amp. The included jumpers do an excellent job though, and I expect the vast majority of 707 owners will connect these speakers to a single amp with a single set of speaker cables. In your listening space, experimenting with the binding posts is a worthwhile investment. With the jumpers in place, try connecting both speaker cables to the lower binding posts. Give it a listen, then try connecting to the top set. Heck, why not also try one cable connected to a top post, with the other on the opposite bottom post? While the sound does not change dramatically in these three scenarios, you may prefer the subtle difference of one configuration over the others.

Sound-wise, the 707’s voice remains just slightly to the forgiving side of neutral, but not at all slow or syrupy. The characteristic makes long listening sessions a pleasure, without ear fatigue. B&W’s newest tweeters give the 707 plenty of high-frequency detail without unpleasant stridency and sibilance.

The 707 performance defies its price tag. Some listeners will choose them as great sounding, and cost-effective surround speakers for a home theater application. However, those choosing the 707 as a stereo pair of speakers – in a smaller-sized listening space – will not be disappointed at their prowess.

Kudos to B&W for offering budget-conscious audio fans a speaker with exceptional components and wonderful sonics. The D707 S2 speakers demonstrate B&W’s commitment to putting great sound within easy financial reach of those who prioritize music in their lives.

The Bowers and Wilkins 707S2

MSRP:  $1,250/pair