Build Quality 4
Sound Quality 5
Features 5
Value for Money 4

We sat down with the Boenicke W8 loudspeakers to see if these stunning looking speakers to live up to their reputation..

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Boenicke W8 Loudspeakers

The Boenicke W8 is a small floor standing loudspeaker from Swiss designer Sven Boenicke. When I say small I really mean small as this tiny speaker is only 776mm tall and only 114mm wide.  Given its price of almost £6,000 and the swing base feet are another £1250 it would be really easy to dismiss these speakers as being grossly overpriced however thankfully I have never based anything on looks or size and to do so with these speakers would be a colossal mistake.

Sven Boenicke has been designing loudspeakers for more than 20 years and to say his speakers are unusual would be a serious understatement. The cabinet internally is a work of art with a CNC machined series of ports and channels creating a complex labyrinth in which Sven has tuned the speaker. Even the drivers are unusual with a 3” wideband tweeter, a custom made paper 4” mid range unit and a 6.5 “ long throw bass driver tuned down to 28Hzs (yes 28Hz) with no crossover. There is even a 13mm rear firing supertweeter.

By now you are starting to see what I meant in the opening paragraphs when I said don’t judge this diminutive speaker on outward appearance or size.

Features

 

The Boenicke W8 speakers are available in a number of finishes, all real wood veneers including cherry, walnut, ash and oak. There are two very high quality WBT connectors on the back of the speakers which will accept both 4mm banana plugs and also spades.  ( no bi wiring required).  You can use standard feet which consist of adjustable self pad footers or the Swingbases which consist of a bronze/steel roller baring at the front with the rear is suspended on hanging springs which completely decouple the speaker from the floor. Although the swing bases may seem expensive they are in my opinion well worth the outlay with their sonic benefits.

 

Sound

The sound quality is in a word simply amazing. The soundstage is huge which for a speaker this size simply makes no sense. The bass is sensational, it goes so low and again you cannot believe you are listening to such a small speaker, it puts many larger speakers to shame. The imaging and three dimensional soundstage is first class as is the air and space around vocalists and instruments. Yet this is a very musical speaker with no sense of hardness and excellent detail retrieval.  As I mentioned in the previous paragraph the sound bases enhance the speakers performance to a huge degree. If I had to try and put this into perspective I would say the speakers are at least 25{6806edec008b3c44af7a20f06579e4309e0b66af22fa80c5fd353ed1ebf7407a} better in every area of their performance with the swing bases. You will however need to be carful with your choice of amplifier with this speaker as it is very insensitive and has a very difficult impedance. Therefore definitely no valve amplifiers and a very serious solid state amplifier is required. The Gold Note integrated amplifier I was using is 125 watts in 8ohms and 250watts into 4ohms and at times I felt I was pushing it very hard so to get the most out of these speakers you need a powerful amplifier.  However with a decent amplifier there is no doubt that these are a great speaker and I given their compact dimensions they are going to be very wife friendly indeed. Always a great selling point. 

Overall

Overall its very hard to criticise these little speakers, they look good are very compact and wife friendly and they sound great. They are very musical and the soundstage they create is simply huge so its so hard to believe its even possible given their size. My only small gripes are that they don’t look as impressive as other six thousand pound speakers and to get the best out of them you need a very good amplifier terms of something that has serious current delivery as well as decent watts per channel. But that is really nit picking as I was blown away by their performance and they are a speaker that I would seriously consider if I owned a different amplifier. Believe me thats high praise. Highly recommended.

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