B&W 607 S2 Anniversary vs. KEF R3 Meta

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
$800 $2200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 6.50” × 9.13”
300mm × 165mm × 232mm
16.70” × 7.90” × 13.50”
424mm × 201mm × 343mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
52-28,000 Hz 58-28,000 Hz
ASR Score
3.2 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
5.3 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In a sonic showdown, the Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers deliver lush, articulate sound with a rich heritage—a testament to B&W's meticulous engineering. Celebrating decades of acoustic refinement, these compact marvels punch above their weight. Meanwhile, KEF's R3 Meta bookshelf speakers embody innovation with their Uni-Q driver array, offering astonishingly clear and spacious imaging. With the Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), KEF promises reduced distortion for a purer listening experience. Both contenders offer distinct strengths: B&W's emotive warmth versus KEF's technological prowess and precision. Choosing between them is a matter of personal taste and auditory ambition.

Speaker Comparison

In the world of high-fidelity audio, where every nuance and detail of sound is scrutinized, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) and KEF stand as two iconic brands known for their contributions to audiophile-grade listening experiences. Both have a storied history of innovation and excellence, and their respective offerings, the B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition and the KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers, continue that legacy. With each laying claim to their unique approach to sound reproduction, let's delve into what sets these two apart and what makes each special.

Design Philosophy and Build Quality

The B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers showcase the brand's commitment to refined aesthetics coupled with technological advancements. Their compact stature belies the solid construction and meticulous attention to detail, such as the improved crossovers in the Anniversary Edition. Conversely, KEF's R3 Meta, part of the lauded R Series, features the unmistakable Uni-Q driver array which positions the tweeter in the acoustic center of the midrange cone. This endeavor towards a point-source audio solution is KEF's bold statement on achieving coherent and time-aligned sound.

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers
B&W 607 S2 Anniversary arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Characteristics and Performance

Sound signature is perhaps the most subjective yet crucial aspect when comparing these two bookshelf titans. The 607 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers boast a lively and energetic sound that brings a sense of excitement to the listening experience. Their Continuum cone technology helps in delivering pristine, nuanced midrange that B&W is praised for. The KEF R3 Meta speakers, on the other hand, take advantage of the Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) that absorbs 99% of unwanted sound from the rear of the tweeter, thus reducing distortion and enabling a purer, more natural performance.

When it comes to bass response, despite their smaller size, the 607 S2s punch above their weight, offering a surprising amount of low-end heft for their class. KEF's R3 Metas counter with a more authoritative and controlled bass, likely due to the larger dedicated bass driver and the design efficiencies from the Uni-Q driver which allows for better integration across frequencies.

KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF R3 Meta arrow (at Amazon.com)

Room Integration and Versatility

Both speakers are designed with home integration in mind, but they cater to slightly different environments. The 607 S2's smaller footprint makes them a natural choice for cozier spaces or as part of a larger multi-channel home theater setup. They shine even when placed close to a wall, thanks to B&W's Flowport technology. The KEF R3 Metas, with their more substantial size and the unique demands of the Uni-Q driver, might require a bit more room to breathe and optimal positioning to fully exploit their capabilities. Each rewards careful placement with a soundstage that is both expansive and impressively three-dimensional.

In terms of versatility, the 607 S2 Anniversary Editions are quite forgiving when it comes to amplification, making them a great starting point for those new to the hi-fi community or those with a modest system. The R3 Metas, while not overtly demanding, do benefit from a higher caliber of ancillary equipment, meaning they can scale up as the rest of the system evolves, possibly making them a long-term investment for those who plan to upgrade over time.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, both the Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition and the KEF R3 Meta bookshelf speakers offer exemplary audio experiences that speak to the heart of what enthusiasts seek: a truthful and engaging rendition of their favorite music. The 607 S2s are the daredevils, with an energetic presentation that's hard not to love, while the R3 Metas are the refined scholars, offering a masterclass in sound accuracy and detail. The best choice hinges on personal taste, room characteristics, and system synergy—factors that are as individual as the listeners themselves.

So, whether you're swayed by the punchy dynamism of the 607 S2 Anniversary Editions or the sophisticated and meticulously crafted sound of the KEF R3 Metas, one thing is clear: both speakers uphold the values of their storied manufacturers and promise to deliver countless hours of auditory bliss. In the end, the unique magic of music is rendered beautifully through either choice, and that's the ultimate victory for any audiophile.

Check Current Prices:

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers
Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers
KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.