Sunday, April 10, 2011
Speakers Head-to-Head - Bowers & Wilkins B&W DM12 VS KEF 103.2
I thought I'd use this new loft stereo system as a comparison bed for bookshelf speakers. First up - B&W vs KEF.
I love these little B&W Dm12 speakers. Love them so much, in fact, that I hated to pit them against the KEF 103.2 because I knew they would inevitably pale by comparison. I was [sigh] right.
Once again, the openness of the KEF 103.2 soundstage exceeds any other small speaker I've listened to, including these. In the case of the B&W DM12, however, the difference is not night and day.
In fact, while most music I played sounded better on the KEFs, Karen Carpenter's close-miked vocals of "Close to You" sounded too brilliant and harsh on the KEFs, but much more controlled and mellow on the B&Ws. "Infinite Arms" from Band of Horses revealed fewer differences between these two speakers. Both reproduced the sounds with similar sonic characteristics. Still, the fact is, when I closed my eyes, the B&W still sounded "boxy," and with the KEFs, the box disappeared, to leave only the vocals and instruments.
In all fairness, the B&W DM12 and KEF 103.2 are not the same size, and, of course, the cabinet size has impact on the sonic qualities of all speakers.
That being considered, the B&W DM12 is an excellent mid-sized bookshelf speaker and fully-worthy of consideration if you ever get the chance to purchase a pair.
Have any experience with either of these speakers? Chime on in :)