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Estado de conservação: 9/10


B&W Nautilus HTM2 Center Channel Speaker

  • One 1" Metal Dome Tweeter, One 6 1/2" Kevlar Min-Bass Driver, Ported Enclosure
  • Impedance8 Ohms Nominal
  • MFR56 Hz - 20 kHz ± 2 dB
  • Dimensions11" H x  19" W x 11 1/4" D 
  • Weight21 Pounds



The HTM2 is the less expensive of the two center channel speakers in the Nautilus line, omitting two bass drivers and having a smaller cabinet than the HTM1. But practically speaking, from the standpoint of home theater, the disadvantages of having a limited low-end extension versus the cost of the product may be a reasonable tradeoff to many consumers.  And after having spent some time with the HTM2, I can't image what more anyone could want out of a center channel speaker.

Aesthetically, the HTM2 more closely resembles a work of art rather than a conventional speaker.  With a high arched back, slim profile, rounded edges, and of course the tweeter on top, B&W has gotten far away from that black box template that many manufacturers are using today.  Removing the grille reveals a bright yellow mid/bass driver with a 3.5" flared port opposite a silver B&W logo.  On the back, the four shielded binding posts are of top quality, and, unlike B&W's 600 series, they include special spade connectors for bi-wiring instead of the conventional gold plated jumpers. The HTM2 is a quality made speaker, from the research that went into designing it, to the acoustically dead housing that eliminates cabinet noise.  The grille is solidly constructed with an MDF inner surround that curves outward and is covered with a tightly stretched, acoustically transparent cloth.  Although there was little difference in the sound with the grille on or off, most of these tests were done without the grille, because the speaker just looks prettier that way.

Technically, the driver array is very unique for a center channel speaker.  Instead of the more common arrangement of Woofer-Tweeter-Woofer (MTM), the HTM2 has its single 6.5" woofer centered with the tweeter in a separate "taper tube" enclosure directly above.  According to B&W, this is to assure that the "output is both time aligned to the other drive units and is minimally affected by diffraction effects at the cabinet's edges" and is one of those stolen concepts from the Nautilus speakers.  The results are better off-axis response and the elimination of internal reflections that are detrimental to sound.

I set the unit on top of my Sony Trinitron TV and bi-wired it according to the manual's diagram.  The binding posts are constructed with spades in mind, but they will accept banana plugs if you remove the small plugs that are there to begin with (European electrical code requires the plugs be there). Along with the high quality jumpers, B&W includes a cleaning cloth and a lab test that shows how much this speaker deviates from 0 dB reference standard. I suspect that most of the HTM2's graphs are as flat as the one I received. B&W also recommends a 15 hour break in time, so to be fair I put on some wideband pink noise and set the volume to 85 dB.

The most important duty of any center channel speaker is to present dialogue accurately and therefore understandably.  In a bad theater (home or otherwise) the dialogue blends in with the musical score and becomes hard to comprehend.  Deep voices become bloated, treble sound is painful, and the seats left and right of center are dialogue-vacuums.

The overall performance of the HTM2 is very accurate. Voices sounded smooth, which is critical for a center channel speaker, rather than chesty which usually muddies up male dialogue.  David Duchovny's raspy voice from "The X-Files" DVD has the tendency to sound nasal, like he has a cold.  Played through the HTM2, dialogue sounded clean, not overly heavy or boomy and most importantly, it was never harsh.  The fast paced screaming between "Mulder" and "Scully" during the first few scenes was clear and understandable. Each syllable was definite without blending together.  The speaker performed admirably, adding none of the usual bass that clumps up inferior speakers.

Though the HTM2 does have its share of bass output, with a frequency response rating of  -3 dB at 49 Hz, and usable bass output to 38 Hz, it could hold its own as a large (full range) speaker, although I would definitely suggest a good subwoofer to handle the lower octave.

At the higher end of the frequency response, the treble was smooth, rolling off around 19 kHz to -3 dB at 22 kHz.  The opening scene from "The X-Files" features an alien screech that needs to be startling but not painful. This scene has the tendency to hurt some ears at higher volume levels.  I was expecting to hear some jagged treble as the HTM2 uses a metal tweeter, but to my surprise, the high end was very soft.  The only sound heard was the alien, not the speaker construction.  In fact I had a hard time detecting any distortion even at volume levels in excess of 100 dB.

The off-axis response was the best I have ever heard, even from extreme wide positions.  People sitting on the floor to the far right will hear the same thing as being heard from the sweet spot.  And since some of us don't have the luxury of a professional installation, off-axis response is crucial to any amateur home theater presentation.

On 5.1 channel music, the HTM2 had a wide-open soundstage, but not to say it sounded airy.  The violins from Mozart's Symphony No 35 (EMI classics) were smooth rather than harsh.  There was no audible sign of fatigue at high volume levels where the presentation remained constant.  This speaker is the perfect match for DTS CDs where the wider frequency range can be fully experienced.


Escala de classificação

Novo – Item lacrado na caixa.

Demo – Item tirado da caixa apenas para demonstração aos clientes pela equipe da HIFICLUB. Não foi utilizado ou manuseado por clientes. O item está em perfeito estado estético e de funcionamento. Não sofreu qualquer reparo ou modificação. Usado como demo pelo tempo máximo de 3 meses.

9/10 – Item praticamente novo e com pouco uso. Estado geral excelente. Item em perfeito funcionamento. Não sofreu qualquer reparo ou modificação.

8/10 – Item em muito bom estado. Numa vistoria minuciosa, é possível encontrar alguns detalhes estéticos, como sutis marcas de uso. Pode apresentar um pequeno risco, mas, nunca em áreas mais visíveis do item, como a parte da frente de um aparelho ou caixa de som.

7/10 – Item em bom estado. É, visivelmente, um item usado, porém, bem cuidado. Pode ter marcas ou riscos, no entanto, nunca em áreas mais visíveis.

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