The Wow Factor - 405 Magazine

The Wow Factor

A gadget enthusiast takes a quick, critical look at speakers’ ability to deliver the wow factor to the home theater experience.

The Wow Factor is The Difference Between Theater-Quality Sound And Sound so Real You Feel Like You Are Actually There. So let’s talk about one piece of that kind of experience: the speakers.

I recently had a chance to visit with Russell Kim, owner of Audio Dimensions, and was able to audition a couple of speaker systems with him.

The Bower & Wilkins Custom Theatre 700 Series is unbelievably transparent, producing a level of sound that makes the speakers disappear. You feel like you are listening to real life, not a home theater system. This particular system consisted of three CT7.4 LCRS front speakers, a CTSW15 subwoofer with amp and CT7.5 LCRS speakers for the surround, driven by a class A amplifier. We watched a little of “Avatar” during the “train your dragon” scene. I could feel the air move with each beat of the dragon’s wings. This system was impressive.

If built-in speakers are not for you, Bower & Wilkins has the 600 series freestanding speaker system. Two of the floor-standing 683s, the HTM61 center channel, the 685 rear channel and two ASW 610XP subwoofers do a very fine job at a more mid-range price point.

I auditioned another system from our local Best Buy, looking at a home theater setup from Klipsch. They also have Bose and Polk Audio systems on display, but I chose the RF-62 II home theater system.

The Klipsch system has a very nice sound and works well for a more modest price. The system includes two RF-62 II floor-standing speakers, two RS-52 II surround speakers, a SW-112 subwoofer and RC-62 II center speaker.

All of these systems have a very clear un-colored sound with a near flat frequency response. Any one of these systems would work great for your home theater or for playing music, and all have that “wow factor” when you hear them. I’ve owned the 600 series from Bower & Wilkins and the RF series from Klipsch. Give them a listen.

I want to add a word about the Bower & Wilkins headphones. I bought a pair last month and I love them. They are the best sounding headphones I’ve ever heard. Retail price is $300 and they were worth every penny.