First review of B&W 801 D4 in Hi Fi News

Worldwide exclusive first review and scoop in Hi Fi News.
I have not read it yet, but the score is the highest I have seen in the magazine : 92%

My house is full of much loved BMW speakers, I am a long, long time fan.
Sadly, those diamond tweeters are like razor blades in my ears. I can’t be alone in this regard.

On this subject, we will have to agree to disagree again.
I have the 800 D2s and they will probably never leave my house.

The 800 diamonds are used in some of the greatest recording studios in the world: Abbey Road, Skywalker Sound, etc.

The D3s have been the reference of Paul Miller since they came out. They used to be Kal Robinson’s reference as well.

De gustibus et coloribus, non disputandum … What matters, is that we all enjoy our system and, more importantly, our beloved music. We are privileged and blessed, let’s never forget that.


The 800 D’s I can and do enjoy. The 805’s make me want to turn it down to ease the shouting.

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I demo’d the 805D4 last weekend at HiFi Sound. Different looking speaker. Massive port on the front - biggest port I’ve ever seen on a bookshelf speaker, certainly for a front-facing port anyway. Not only that, port appears to generally maintain diameter all the way to back of speaker and easy to see all the way in - little distracting visually, frankly. Midrange protrudes from cabinet with grill - initially I thought it was a Fyne Audio speaker from across the room based on how the midrange driver looked (the tweeter gave it away as I approached, of course). Sonically, about what I expected.

Agree that is a very high score for HiFi News, but there have been many that have topped it. Off top of head, Wilson Alexandria XLF scored 94%, which is substantially higher on their scale where it is pretty rare to even top 90%. Well maybe not “many” have topped 92 as I off-the-cuff remarked above, but a few anyway. Great score though, agreed. I am oddly attracted to HiFi News method of rating versus any other magazine. Really like the numeric percentile, fwiw

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I ended taking magazine ratings seriously regarding sound quality around 1990…still too late :wink:

Yeah, can’t argue with that. Wouldn’t base a purchasing decision on a mag review, that’s for sure. That’s why I studiously demo as much new gear as I can in showrooms and pit current offerings head to head against one another in the same room. Only way to know how things sound relative to one another. When you’ve done enough of that, you can extrapolate to how it is likely to sound in your room with your gear, and take it for a home demo if you like (if you have good relationships with the dealers)

I did listen to a pair of B&W 801D4’s today, and they did sound VERY nice. I only had enough time to hear the basic tone of the speaker with female vocals, and did not have time to play other music, but what I did hear was impressively clean and smooth. They were driven by 450 watt Parasound monoblocks fed by a Classe preamp.