Bowers and Wilkins HTM2 Diamond Center Channel Speaker
Bowers and Wilkins is easily the best-known name in the speaker game, and their 800D lives up to it. Anyone looking for wholly neutral, incredibly detailed sound will never be disappointed by B&W's top shelf, and their latest HTM2 center channel is no exception. Producing a clean, airy, neutral sound, the HTM2 takes detail to a new level, beating everything in this list except ML's Stage X and KEF's 204/2c. The HTM2 does suffer from some midrange shoutiness/harshness at its limits, and of course proper floor speakers and subs will be required to produce more of the sound to minimize distortion and grain from the center channel, but with its accompanying 800D setup, this is rarely a problem. B&W's house sound may be a touch bright for some; the HTM2 puts most of its power into mids, as a center channel should, but unlike most centers, it incorporates a separate tweeter for extra crispness. This extra detail is usually a welcome addition for critical listening involved in producing and mastering, which is what B&W advertises the 800D series for, but those looking for a home theater system with enveloping, smooth sound may be a little surprised by the extra treble. It certainly doesn't hinder detail or dynamics, but the sound is definitely brighter and more airy than most listeners will prefer for movies. True audiophiles and audio professionals, on the other hand, will likely be pleased with the slightly more aggressive sound, and those ready for the extra brightness will likely prefer these to other offerings in this list.