Anybody using B&W805 D3 thoughts re compatibility with Naim

Hi I am hoping to audition these soon - I am wondering what the general consensus was … I am concerned this speaker may be very bright sounding on Naim equipment…

I auditioned these earlier in the year with a Nova expecting the purchase to be all but a formality as I’ve had B&W virtually all my life. I only managed a brief listen as to me they were, as you suggest, just too bright. I couldn’t envisage really enjoying them for any extended period of time. I know there are many variables to consider and other systems, environments and ears will differ, but these weren’t for me.

I heard them in a brief audition between them and Focal Kanta 1’s. I could live with them but your point above holds true. So many variables… Funny though in general B&W don’t seem to get much love in this forum. Somewhere I read that B&W’s are tuned for the North American audience whatever that means.

The only B&W I have ever owned was IIRC the CC5 centre speaker. I chose this to match tonally with the Royd Edens I was using at the time (in what was then the system hiding in my ‘man cave’). Did the shop audition by using the CC5 on right channel, and a Royd on the left channel, with a Nait1 as amplification. Of the speakers I tried, the CC5 came closest to a match. Of course, the Royd Edens are a bit on the bright side, but they worked very well in my study.

As an aside, the dealer liked my Nait1 so much that he bought it off me for his own personal use, after a conversation in which I said it was surplus to my needs! My daughters’ Naits had already been gifted to them by me.

@Richieroo I have a pair of the older B&W 805N

I purchased these SH from a local dealer about 3 years ago, like all B&W they need to have a tight control, I first had on 200 then 300 non DR and now 300DR,

they are very, very good - focus, sound stadge - right from bass through to the higher treble, my only concern is the amount of £££ I am going to have to spend to replace them in time - with your system they should shine, the 805 are very happy with the 300DR!

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I didn’t notice your system either. When I heard them, they were paired with a Nova. I agree with @Antz, with your system I’m sure they’d be fantastic! The dealership where I heard them said they sell B&W/Naim quite often.

Thanks all … I am under no illusion that the room will have a profound effect. My little PMC’s are brightish and I think the B&Ws will be similar tonally…the pmc’s are fabulous but I have to use a little room correction…at 58hz. Right at the peak port tuning frequency. I hoping the B&Ws with a much lower port tuning might avoid exciting the room…i will try a demo pair and feed back.

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I preferred dynaudio contour 20; neutral, less bright, deeper bass.

I recall that @Harry owns B&W speakers and loves them, but I forget which ones. Maybe 803’s. Or 802’s.

Loved my Royd Edens. :blush:

I have a local friend who has just gone from 803s to 802s and loves them (he has nd555, 552 and since gone to 500 amp too - from 300). He claims he will spend no more :joy: Geoff Coleman of acoustica is a B&W fan

I have to confess though that I greatly prefer my SL2s - both before and after going active

Whilst I agree that B&Ws don’t seem hugely popular in this parish, there are some of us who are very happy with the combination. I’ve had my 804Ss for a while now, and they sound wonderful. The one thing that is often said about B&Ws is that they need a firm grip, i.e. an amp with lots of watts and lots of control. Although Naim amps are not ludicrously over-specced on paper in Watt terms, there seems to be a case of Naim Watts being worth more than other manufacturers’, but you might take that with a pinch of salt.

The other slightly interesting thing is that B&W specifically recommend looking at an amp’s handling, specifically whether the power delivered doubles when the impedance halves (so, if an amp can deliver 50W to an 8 ohm load, does it deliver 100W to a 4 ohm load and so on). I seem to remember that Naim amps don’t quite manage this, but who cares if it sounds good and is safe, eh?

Final point is that a number of respected Naim dealers are also B&W dealers, Sound Organisation (York) and Audience (Bath) being two I know well.


We have the 802D. The 803D worked a treat in our lounge too. We started out with 252/300/802D, then went to 552/300, later adding a 500. The speakers took everything we threw at them without protest.

We heard the previous generation 805D on the end of a 500 system at the dealer. It was impressive. Naturally, they didn’t have the kind of power and scale that we were looking for, but they were musical, transparent and not bright. Like any speaker, they like an amp with enough muscle to keep them tightly controlled. On the end of a Naim amp, which uses proper big Watts, the 805D seemed to be really enjoying itself.

Also, like any other speaker, room matching is all. We had been consistently disappointed by a succession of B&W models down the years which didn’t seem well voiced and couldn’t seem to get on in our room when we home auditioned. We couldn’t have been less interested in the last generation of 800 speakers. Our dealer had to shove us into a pair of them under protest. He knew something we didn’t. Good dealers make all the difference.


Don’t worry, I’m a fan as well (older pair of CM6 s2). I’m actually eyeing a pair of 805 D3’s once I get everything else right.

I have been listening to some You-tube clips for these speakers - they can appear to sound very analytical - and dynamic…

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I’m a fan too of B&W Loudspeakers, a big benefit is that my wife seems to like the looks of them. Unfortunately, I had to move my CM5S2’s too far in the room to avoid bass boom. These are rear ported loudspeakers as well as your CM6S2’s.

I do have that itch to try 805’s at least once in my life …

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Really loved the 805s which could hold its own against speakers costing 10 times its price

I still miss mine sometimes but since selling them and moving to Dynaudio which is more neutral… Dynaudio are also good speakers

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I used to use B&W with an Arcam system and gave them a go when I bought a Nova. Ended up with Dynaudio S40. I thought the S40s had a better balance.

Even on YouTube they appear to have great focus and a timbre that just steers a touch on the sterile side of neutral … they make the ATC SCM40 seem dull and slightly merky… I am quite excited at the prospect of demoing these speakers…

Please let us know your thoughts once you get to hear them. I’m pretty sure they will be amazing with your source/pre/amp