If you’re short on time and just want the highlights of this article, here it is:
The Bowers & Wilkins M-1 is a great option for those looking for a stylish, compact bookshelf speaker. Its matte black finish gives it a sleek, modern look, and its range of positioning options makes it suitable for use in a variety of settings. Additionally, the pre-wired arm support makes it easy to connect the speaker to the amplifier and a range of adjustments allows it to be used as a center channel speaker.
The sound quality of the M-1 is quite good, but there is definitely room for improvement. I would like to see a more robust bass presence, as well as more clarity and detail throughout the range. Additionally, the tweeter tube could be tweaked to take away more of the unwanted resonance.
Overall, I think the Bowers & Wilkins M-1 is capable of producing good sound quality and is a great choice for those looking for a stylish, compact bookshelf speaker. However, it is not suitable for those looking for a speaker with robust bass and clarity, and some users may find the M-1 to be too small and limited in its range of adjustments.
Now let’s get to its bolts and nuts.
Bowers & Wilkins M-1 Review: Sound quality
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
The sound quality performance you'll end up getting from a speaker will always depend on your room acoustics - particularly room dimensions and speaker positions.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is also why it's not unusual to see completely different reviews of the same speaker.
In one case the speaker might be placed in a sweet spot inside the room and hence the user might be satisfied. In other cases the same speaker might be ill placed and hence user might even have returned it.
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The point most people miss here is that it mostly isn't even about the engineering behind the speaker itself. It's about where you place the speaker inside which room.
So, in order to solve this problem, I've partnered with Acoustics and Audio Engineering PhD Andrea Cicero from AC Acustica and created Soundton - a simple, 2D, browser accessible online speaker placement calculator.
With Soundton, now there's a way to figure the sound quality of most speakers before you buy them.
Read more about its working principles at soundton.com.
The end colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) acoustics.