Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2 Reviewed!

Friday, 24 August 2018 |


The Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2 stereo loudspeakers are one of the most prized speaker in our showroom. Enjoy your music with these Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series 685 S2 2-way loudspeakers. The 685 S2 incorporates decoupled double dome tweeters, as found in the award-winning CM10 speaker. The dual-layer design combines a thin aluminium dome for lightness and a thicker aluminium ring for rigidity, for greater clarity. The tweeter is also kept physically separate from the main cabinet in its own cavity with a ring of gel cushioning it from vibrations. This improves imaging and dispersion for a more natural, spacious treble.

As well as a decoupled, double dome aluminium tweeter, the two-way 685 S2 features a full-range 6.5-inch driver constructed from woven Kevlar and using Anti-Resonance Plug dustcaps, as seen in high-end Bowers & Wilkins speakers. The result is stunning audio quality from a highly versatile smaller speaker.

What the expert have to say -

SoundStage - February 2017
"Anyone looking for an easy entry into the audiophile world would be well served by the Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2. For a $699/pair speaker, it hits most of the high-end high points: precise imaging, refined detail, ample dynamics. And for the speaker’s modest size, its bass extension is impressive."

Cnet – October 2014
"Whether you listen to death metal or nature documentaries, the Bowers and Wilkins B&W 685 S2s are an astoundingly good set of speakers and an excellent deal at this price level."

What H-iFi - May 2014
"A superb pair of speakers that are hugely thrilling, these 685s are an update worth waiting for."

What Hifi Awards 2015
"The 685 S2s have fended off competition for a second year. These are hugely talented and enjoyable speakers, and a definite step up from their predecessors."
"Stereo speakers - Product of the year" "Best standmounter £400 - £800"

What HiFi Group Test Winner - April 2015
"The B&Ws remain unmatched when it comes to dynamics, bass depth and punch, and they have the subtlety and control to support that immensely captivating sound. They're just so much fun to listen to, and that's what makes us keep coming back to them. The 685 S2s are the undeniable champions."

S&I Verdict –
You simply cannot go wrong when choosing this bookshelf speaker. Punchy, refined and entertaining sound, deep rich bass, the 685 S2 will help make your home stereo system or cinema system sound incredible. A leader in it’s class.




EISA STEREO SYSTEM 2018-2019 MARANTZ ND8006/PM8006

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 |



The  Marantz PM8006 and ND8006 streamer/integrated amplifier combination recently picked up a 'Best Product' award at this year's EISA Awards. S&I proudly stock Marantz!



From EISA – “Offering great performance at the price, the ND8006/PM8006 streamer/integrated amplifier combination plays pretty much any music format from any source. The ND8006 spins CDs and streams via AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Tidal, Deezer and more. Meanwhile, HEOS compatibility allows it to play in a multiroom set-up with matching products. It sports multiple digital inputs with 192kHz/32-bit conversion via an ESS DAC, and the unit is sprinkled with hi-fi goodies including Marantz’s selectable digital filters. The partnering PM8006 amp boasts 70W per channel, sports proprietary HDAM op-amps and a double-shielded toroidal transformer. A special mention goes to its exceptional phono stage. It’s a classic combination.”

Marantz PM8006 and ND8006 explored -

PM8006

A beautiful performing INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER

  • The PM8006 is designed as a pure analogue integrated amplifier, built for performance with 70W of amplification per channel output to drive a wide range of speakers with ease. To reassert the Marantz commitment to support all music lovers, it features an all-new Marantz designed moving magnet phono stage, designed to deliver the lowest noise and purest signal from your favourite records.
  • The Marantz Music Phono EQ stage is one of the most advanced of its kind, removing any need for buyers to consider upgrading the amplifier with an external phono preamp: making its début in the PM8006, it combines Marantz Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules along with JFETs (Junction gate Field-Effect Transistors) in the input stage, raising impedance so the signal path can be simplified by the removal of coupling capacitors. Its two-stage amplification handles the tiny signal levels produced by cartridges with minimal distortion.
  • Integrated Current Feedback Amplifier with 2x 70W / 8 ohm rms
  • Newly designed electric volume circuit
  • Exceptional Marantz Musical Phono EQ stage
  • Marantz proprietary HDAM-SA3 circuits
  • Triple layer bottom plate
  • Gold Plated Inputs/Outputs incl. Phono (MM) input
  • Double shielded Toroidal Transformer and high quality customized components
  • High quality, original Marantz SPKT-1+ Speaker Terminals (A / B switchable)
  • Available in black or silver-gold
  • Shop here 

ND8006

NETWORK CD PLAYER WITH DAC-MODE

  • The ND8006 is built to meet all the requirements of the modern digital music listener, bringing together functions usually requiring two or three separate audio components. Based on the successful NA8005 and SA8005 models, but featuring a complete re-think of features and audio design, it combines a CD player with a digital sources hub offering playback from home network, local USB storage, online sources such as streaming services and Internet radio, HEOS multiroom support and DAC functionality allowing the direct connection of computers and other devices.
  • It’s also futureproofed, accepting file formats all the way up to 11.2Mhz quad-DSD and 384kHz/32-bit PCM, and additionally features both Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth to play music from portable devices.
  • High quality CD, CD-R/RW (MP3/WMA) playback
  • Audiophile 192kHz/32bit D/A conversion (ESS9016) and dual crystal clock
  • Marantz proprietary HDAM-SA2 circuits
  • Full discrete headphone amplifier with HDAM-SA2 and gain control
  • Double shielded toroidal transformer, double layered bottom plate and rigid feet
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band support
  • Built-in HEOS Wireless Multi-Room Audio Technology
  • AirPlay, Bluetooth, Internet Radio, Spotify Connect, Amazon Music, TIDAL, Deezer and more
  • 2x optical, coaxial and USB type B digital inputs with noise isolation circuit
  • Support of WAV, MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, ALAC file playback via USB devices
  • 1x optical, coaxial digital outputs; variable and fixed RCA analogue outputs; RS232
  • Available in black or silver-gold
  • Shop here 

We are delighted with this well deserved award. This stereo combo delivers renowned Marantz sound. When you combine the PM8006 with the ND8006 CD & Network Player you get excellent music quality from literally unlimited music sources. Both available from S&I.



Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-280F

Wednesday, 15 August 2018 |



Want to raise your standard of listening? Today, S&I wants to explore floorstanding speakers and, particularly, the Reference Premiere RP-280F, from one of the world’s best speaker companies, Klipsch.

These powerful floorstanders are the largest speakers in Klipsch's Reference Premiere Series, producing cinematic sound from two8" Cerametallic™ woofers and a Hybrid Tractrix® Horn. It can fill a larger room with theatre-quality sound with minimal effort - immersing you in the ultimate listening experience.

Product Highlights:

  • frequency response: 32-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • impedance: 8 ohms compatible
  • sensitivity: 98 dB
  • power handling: up to 150 watts RMS (600 watts peak)
  • 90° x 90° Hybrid Cross-Section Tractrix® horn with 1" LTS (Linear Travel Suspension) titanium diaphragm tweeter
  • two 8" Cerametallic™ cone woofers with rigid titanium voice coil formers
  • bass-reflex design
  • rear-firing Tractrix port provides fast, efficient airflow from the cabinet for clear, powerful bass
  • magnetically attached grille for a clean, streamlined look
  • durable polymer veneer finish
  • dual binding post speaker terminals for bi-amping or bi-wiring
  • built-in MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) base for increased speaker stability

Reviews-

The RP-280F towers make you want to listen to more music, which is the most crucial quality for a speaker to possess. All the characteristics of a great speaker are present in abundance, including precise imaging, wide dynamic range, crystal clarity, and transparent neutrality.
Caleb Denison | Digital Trends

Discover for yourself the effortless, dynamic sound that's made Klipsch loudspeakers a big Crutchfield customer favorite for years. So go ahead and grab a couple of these beasts, crank 'em up, and prepare to batten down the hatches.
Dave Bar/Crutchfield

We know there is a lot to choose from when it comes to speakers, which is why a word of advice straight from the horse’s mouth (www.klipsch.com) is valuable:

  • If you want the best sound experience, it’s better to buy speakers of the same make or model line.
  • Floor-standing speakers are a great way to kick-off building the audio system of your dreams.
  • Floor-standing speakers, like the Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-280F, remain the go-to power houses when it comes to surround sound.
  • Shop around and listen to how sets of speakers actually sound together before buying. Speakers are an investment and can bring you years of pleasure, so don’t rush into it. Make sure that you get what suits your needs.

S&I Verdict - The new Reference Premiere RP-280F is for both real home theatres as well as for more traditional living rooms when it comes to exciting, thrilling and highly detailed movie sound. The speakers sound awesome across the board with enthralling dynamics and audiophile sound quality. Raise the bar with speakers that speak your language. It’s time to tune up your sound system with Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-280F floor-standing speakers. Available from both our stores or shop online.


Find us at the showroom

Menlyn Branch:
Shop LF106 Menlyn Park
Corner Atterbury and Lois
Menlo Park Pretoria
Sandton Branch:
Shop L19 Michelangelo Towers
Maude Street Sandton














Denon AVRX4400H 9.2 Channel Home Theatre Receiver reviewed

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 |


AVForums badges are only awarded to products which reach or exceed certain levels of testing criteria and are thus an objective indicator of how well a product performs.

AV Forums said;
"The remote app operates in conjunction with the HEOS app, allowing you to move seamlessly from one to the other. This is a nice touch, allowing you to easily control all the functions on your X4400H using the remote app and also use the receiver as part of the HEOS multiroom system. All you need to do is switch into the HEOS app by pressing the icon at the top, allowing you to control all the devices in your multiroom system. We remain impressed by Denon's remote apps and, like the receiver itself, they are well designed and intuitive to use."

"The X4400H is as feature-packed an AV receiver as you're ever likely to see, with just about every audio and video format covered."

"When we moved on to lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks, the results were even more impressive. The 5.1-channel soundtrack for the film Interstellar uses plenty of dynamic range to surprise the audience, often going from very quiet to very loud in an instant. The X4300 handled these transitions well, proving extremely responsive, whilst other scenes allowed the soundtrack to use all the speakers to surround the viewer in the audio environment. When we switched to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which has an excellent 7.1-channel mix, the results were even better. The brilliantly conceived opening sequence is a masterclass in sound design with the breathing of the apes, the falling rain, the sound of movement in the trees and choral music all mixed together. The soundtrack slowly builds and when the hunt begins, the entire sound field burst into life and the Denon handled the change in dynamic range extremely well."

"Finally, we moved on to stereo and multi-channel music and the X4400 proved equally as adept in this area with a pleasing degree of musicality."

"Ultimately the X4400H is simply a great all-rounder that is sure to please anyone looking for an assured and fun AV receiver."

"The design, build quality and connections are excellent and the extensive features all work extremely well, with HEOS in particular being a useful addition. The Denon AVR-X4400H certainly does enough to compete with similarly priced AV receivers, making it worthy of recommendation"

Available from S&I. Give us a call or visit us at either branch to experience this award winning Denon AV Receiver for yourself.

Sound & Image Menlyn 012 368-1440
Sound & Image Sandton 011 884 5165

Shop here