B&W CM9 vs. KEF R500

To Doug Schneider,

I am in the market for new floorstanding speakers and until I read your informational review on KEF's R500, I was looking primarily at Bowers and Wilkins' CM9. It seems the CM9s are really crisp and warm, but lack some bass. After reading your review, I will be auditioning the R500, but I will like your opinion on which you think sounds better.

Charles Oke

Good question! But here’s the problem: Although I was exceptionally well-versed with B&W’s lineup in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, I don’t know the speakers well enough anymore, since the company rarely sends in products for review. As a result, I can only say that I’ve seen the CM9 (at audio shows), but have never heard it. Too bad, really, because I would like to know what it sounds like.

That said, keep the CM9 on your shopping list because it might well be very good, but don’t buy anything until you hear the R500, R700, or R900 from KEF. I know all of them are extremely good (our GoodSound! senior editor, Hans Wetzel, just bought a pair of R900s and loves them), they don’t lack bass relative to their sizes, and are the ones to beat at their respective prices. . . . Doug Schneider