With our formal evaluation of the Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) CM8 nearly complete, we were looking forward to sharing our experience with these fine speakers via our formal review. Our excitement was cut short, however, when B&W gave us a call and suggested we might want to hold off. If we were willing to remain patient, B&W said, we would get a shot at a first look and listen to a revamped version of the CM8, the new CM8 Series 2. Though it was hard to imagine the CM8 could be improved upon in any significant way without adding significant cost, we opted to hold out for the refreshed version.
Our patience was rewarded.
B&W has revamped its entire CM speaker line by tweaking the crossover here, altering the tweeter there, and making some small but effective aesthetic changes as well. The result is a line of speakers that offers an even more handsome return on a buyer’s investment. Specific to the modestly-sized CM8 S2 floorstanding speaker are changes to the tweeter design and implementation, some crossover work with upgraded capacitors, and a removal of fixtures from the speakers’ front baffle.
As you’ll see in our video, the original model already looked especially attractive with its grill removed, but with the face-lift, B&W has given any CM8 S2 owner a few more reasons to beam with pride. As for sound quality, the improvements may not be readily apparent to casual listeners, but a careful A/B comparison does reveal some of the new crossover and tweeter design benefits, never mind that the tweeter is simply much safer from prying hands than it was before.
We’ll dish up all the juicy sonic details in our full review, but for now we’ll say this: If you were already considering the CM8 as the anchor of your new sound system, then a step over to the $2400/pair CM8 S2 is a no-brainer.