B&W 805 D3 loudspeaker Lab Report

As by far the smallest model in the 800 Series Diamond range, the 805 D3 is forced to compromise sensitivity and/or bass extension relative to its larger siblings. As with previous incarnations of the 805, it does both. B&W claims 88dB but our measured pink noise result of 87.1dB suggests that this is somewhat optimistic. It’s broadly in line, though, with previous versions. As for bass extension, our diffraction-corrected nearfield measurement suggests a figure of 47Hz (–6dB re. 200Hz) as opposed to the 44Hz and 45Hz for the 805S [HFN Dec ’06] and 805 Diamond [HFN Jul ’10], respectively. The latter are all better than the 57Hz we measured for the 804 D3 [HFN Sep ’17] but well short of the larger 802/800 D3s [HFN Dec ’15/Oct ’16]. This is with the port open, of course, and with the optional foam bung in place the –6dB bass roll-off increases to 66Hz, making this a useful means of controlling bass excess in-room.


Response shows a slightly depressed mid but lifted presence/treble. It is better balanced off-axis


Cabinet resonances are very well controlled and only mild driver modes are visible in the treble

Forward frequency responses, measured at 1m on the tweeter axis show a shallow dip centred on 1.5kHz [Graph 1] after which the output rises by about 6dB to 10kHz, although this will be tamed by listening a little off-axis. Response errors of ±4.3dB and ±4.5dB, are on the high side as a result. So too is a pair matching error of ±1.6dB over the same 200Hz-20kHz frequency range, but below 14kHz the figure was an impressive ±0.6dB. Minimum impedance is 4.5ohm (4.6ohm is specified) with quite large impedance phase angles. Nevertheless, these result in a minimum EPDR of a moderate 2.4ohm at 111Hz, so the 805 D3 rates as relatively easy to drive. Only low-level, well-damped treble resonances are visible in the cumulative decay spectrum [Graph 2].KH

Sensitivity (SPL/1m/2.83Vrms – Mean/IEC/Music): 88.7dB / 87.1dB / 86.7dB
Impedance modulus min/max (20Hz–20kHz): 4.5ohm @ 20kHz / 57.8ohm @ 28Hz
Impedance phase min/max (20Hz–20kHz): –57°> @ 34Hz / 61° @ 23Hz
Pair matching/Response Error (200Hz–20kHz): ±1.6dB / ±4.3dB / ±4.5dB
LF/HF extension (–6dB ref 200Hz/10kHz): 47Hz / 21.2kHz/18.9kHz
THD 100Hz/1kHz/10kHz (for 90dB SPL/1m): 0.8% / 1.4% / <0.1%
Dimensions (HWD) / Weight:  424x238x345mm / 13kg
Price: £4500

B&W Group Ltd
West Sussex
Supplied by: B&W Group Ltd
0800 232 1513