Bowers & Wilkins LM1 Satellite Loudspeaker Reviewed

Bowers & Wilkins LM1 Satellite Loudspeaker Reviewed

The LM1 is Bowers & Wilkins' budget model, but like the luxury brand that it is, B&W shows panache even with their lower priced speakers. They still possess B&W's signature sound which sounds "rich and warm" and "surprisingly robust." It excels in the midrange, "providing ample amounts of detail and texture that are of equal importance for music or movie listening..."

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Bowers & Wilkins, known better as B&W Loudspeakers, are responsible for some of the finest-sounding and arguably the most elegantly designed loudspeakers on the planet. From the legendary Nautilus Loudspeaker on down, Bowers & Wilkins has built their brand on excellence. While it's not uncommon for a luxury brand to venture into budget waters, none do it with quite the panache of Bowers & Wilkinsand the LM1 loudspeaker reviewed here.

Additional Resources
Read a review of the reference level B&W Natutilus 805 Loudspeakers.
Read more small and bookshelf audiophile speaker reviews here.
Learn more about affordable audiophile speakers at AudiophileReview.com's bookshelf speaker page.

The LM1, or Leisure Monitor 1, retails for $175 ($875 for an all-LM1 surround sound system) apiece. It looks as if it stepped from an exhibit at MOMA. The LM1 is Bowers & Wilkins through and through, with its extruded tweeter giving the LM1 a sort of mini-802 feel. The LM1 comes in a wide variety of colors, which include Pearl White, Black, Silver, Turquoise (yes, Turquoise) and Burgundy Red, each of which are exquisite and add to the LM1's stylistic and décor-friendly flair.

The LM1 features a single one-inch tweeter, resting above a five-inch bass/midrange driver. The LM1 has a reported frequency response of 75Hz-20kHz, so a sub is required for full-range performance, but not to worry, for there are three subs in the LM1 family that fill the bill perfectly. The LM1 is rather efficient at 91dB and carries a rather benign eight-ohm load, making it an ideal speaker for a receiver-based home theater. Out of the box, the LM1 is table or wall-mountable-ready and comes with the necessary hardware for each situation.

Read more about the High Points, the Low Points, on Page 2 . . .

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High Points

  • The LM1 is surprisingly robust, providing copious amounts of output when needed, which is shocking, considering its diminutive size.
  • The LM1 posses Bowers & Wilkins' signature sound, which is composed, rich and warm, though a touch dry, making it rather ideal for extended listening sessions using a wide variety of source material.
  • The midrange is where the LM1 excels, providing ample amounts of detail and texture that are of equal importance for music or movie listening.
  • By no means full-range, the LM1 has a bit of bass impact that, when tailored to the right sub, will sound more like a full-range speaker than a satellite/subwoofer combo.
  • Dynamically, the LM1 is capable of feats its tiny size shouldn't be able to produce. In terms of soundstage, the wide dispersion tweeter makes the LM1 an imaging champion.
  • The LM1s look rather stunning when mounted on a wall flanking a flat panel display. Think of them as functional jewelry for your HDTV.

Low Points

  • Though surprisingly affordable, the LM1s are going to require an additional investment in a subwoofer, which drives the total cost of ownership up a bit.
  • The LM1s are so sexy when wall-mounted that you're probably going to want to run your speaker cables behind the wall so as not to spoil the looks.
  • Speaking of speaker cables, the LM1's binding posts are adequate and about par for the course, given the LM1's size, but your garden hose reference cables or even Monster Cable need not apply.

Conclusion
The LM1 is among the best values in home theater in when it comes to small satellite speakers. It is far more stylish and easier to integrate into the home than most of the competition and, with the exception of a perhaps two other vendors, sounds vastly superior to anything you can buy today in its class. If you've been longing for that Bowers & Wilkins sound, but don't quite have the cheese for even their entry-level line of products, the LM1 is the absolute way to go.

Check out our gallery of Expensive Speakers below . . .

Additional Resources
Read a review of the reference level B&W Natutilus 805 Loudspeakers.
Read more small and bookshelf audiophile speaker reviews here.
Learn more about affordable audiophile speakers at AudiophileReview.com's bookshelf speaker page.

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