Published On: December 31, 2021

Best Bookshelf Speaker of the Year: Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4

Published On: December 31, 2021
Last Updated on: January 11, 2022
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Best Bookshelf Speaker of the Year: Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4

Hear every nuance in your favorite music and every detail in your favorite movie's soundtrack. This is the bookshelf model of the 800 Series D4 and it is a true gem.

Best Bookshelf Speaker of the Year: Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4

By Author: Mark Henninger
I’m an AV enthusiast, equipment reviewer, photographer, videographer and drone pilot. I’m also a THX-trained video calibrator with extensive experience reviewing consumer displays including TVS, projectors, monitors and smartphones.

Striking in every way, the Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 is a masterpiece. It's the sort of product only an industry leader with deep roots in the art and knowledge of their craft, and experience to back it up, can pull off. It's a speaker that takes what was already highly refined—the 805 D3—and pushes performance to another level, achieving the exquisite.

When reading the specifications of this superb speaker, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a tower. The anechoic response of 42 Hz to 20 kHz (+/- 3dB) combines with a perfectly reasonable sensitivity of 88 dB. Featuring an 8-ohm nominal impedance that drops to an amplifier-friendly minimum of 4.6 ohms, these are not even difficult speakers to drive, and the recommended power is between 50 W and 120 W.

While the 805 D4 is certainly a superb choice for a two-channel system, this is Home Theater Review, so one of the criteria for selection is that the speaker is part of a larger line that accommodates surround sound. The Bowers and Wilkins 800 Series Diamond gives you that flexibility, with three tower models and two center-channel models, in addition to the 805 D4. But within the line, the 805 D4 is the only bookshelf model, and it is a spectacular specimen.

Coming soon, HTR will feature a full review of the 805 D4.


See 805 D4 at Bowers & Wilkins

Hear every nuance in your favorite music and every detail in your favorite movie's soundtrack. This is the bookshelf model of the 800 Series D4 and it is a true gem. 5f1f5787 805 d4 bookshelf of the year image


  • Steven
    2022-12-25 13:51:56

    I commented there wasn’t a difference before. I have to retract that previous statement with extensive side by side testing. It’s a big difference. I highly recommend the D4

  • Steven
    2022-05-07 05:23:54

    i myself own the 805 D3IHAVE ALSO AUDTIONED THE 805 d4. I think between the 2 there is improvement of 10-13% in the sonic characteristics . Not worth the upgrade . If you are coming from the D2 generation or prior i say the improvement is 40- 60 % Thats worth it.

  • Mark Henninger
    2022-01-06 14:56:26

    You are correct and I appreciate the heads up. I will edit accordingly, I guess that's not the secret sauce to this speaker's sound, lol.

  • R J
    2022-01-06 12:30:32

    The new 805 D4 still uses the traditional spider-type suspension. The new type suspension is used on the 804 D4 models on up.

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