Monitor Audio Bronze BX2

Tested at £250
100100
5

Best stereo speakers £200-£350, Awards 2012. The BX2s are quite an achievement and some of the most engaging speakers you can buy at this money

Comments

some professionals told me these speakers were good for pop rock

modern mucics with a lot of bass and treble

so can you have the original sound of the cd?

good for jazz vocal too?

 

do you know if the bass sounds are realist and good? b,c, e , f on the bass

 

are the only good for the price or really awesome?

The BX2 are really good for the money. But, of course, if you spend more better is available.

Got them for my CD and PM5004 setup. The sound was incredible. Jazz and classical are on the right field.

I`ve had many very good medium priced separates for over 40 years and due to lack of space I needed a small hifi for my new home.I`ve partnered these speakers with a new Marantz M-CR603 that I`d bought with a view to playing music from my Macbook Pro my wifes Iphone and my own Samsung Galaxy G3.I have to say what a fabulous system!!The sound from the speakers is exemplary,tight bass sweet treble and very detailed...couldn`t have asked for such a brilliant compromise...10/10 !

These are a brilliant match for my Marantz CD6003 CD player and Marantz PM6003 amplifier. The really helpful staff at Harrow Audio patiently let me listen to a wide range of speakers and I can only apologise to them for the fact that in the end I settled for the least expensive ones.

They just sounded wonderful with the latest Marantz equipment, particularly at low volume. And they did not disappoint when I got them home. Over the past 30 years I have owned speakers that cost more than twice as much as these but did not sound this good - at least to my ears.

 

Just bought these for my Arcam Solo Mini and very good they are too - but the tweeter seems rather directional which can affect clarity depending on how you're seated. I suspect it's the grill which MA should consider removing.

And don't let anyone tell you that they're better than, for example, B&W 685s - they're not as they don't have the detail, clarity and scale to match.

Still I'm quite happy with them; their unfussy positioning, easy drive and punch suit my low power Arcam well, and for the money they are great speakers. I wholeheartedly recommend them at this price level.

Hi.I have bought a pioneer vsx-922-k and now i need speakers .Will the bronze bx2 go with this amplifier ,wanted them for fronts ,for surround bx-fx ,bx for centre and bxw-10 for bass.I would use them 50-50 for music and movies.Room size 4x4 m.Had a cambridge s70 floorstanders for a few days and they were not really good had to take them back ,sound was flat needed to turn volume up to hear anything.I want the sound to be good when listening to music with low volume too.Was thinking also about Tannoy mercury v4 ,and q acoustic 2010i or 2020i for fronts.Would any of this speakers go with my amplifier ? I know I need to go an try to listen to this speakers and that is what I am gonna do  but I would like to know what you guys thinking .

I ordered a pair of these for a friend (along with some Marantz gear) and had them in the house for a week or so before he picked them up. Just out of interest I hooked them up to my Arcam Alpha 9 pre/power combo and the Arcam alpha 9 cd player.

(I am currently using Acoustic Energy AE120's  and although the system is quite old it has been fully serviced and sounds great)

Anyway, the BX2's were nothing short of stunning. I heard a lot of detail in the music that I hadn't heard before, the bass was tight and the music really well presented. I was considering downsizing my floor standers at some point and the BX2's are where my money's going. They really are great value for money.

These are replacing a pair of diamond 10.2's. And straight out of the box cold they really really impressed me. They look so beautiful as well. Yes it's love !

I just bought it today. Paired it with my new Yamaha Aventage RX A810 (bought this today as well Embarassed). I was amazed. While taking the audition at richersounds, It did sound better than Wharfedale Diamond 10.1.

Thanks to Monitor Audio. It really worth extra £100 over Diamonds.

Apologies I have now found many threads on this subject and now assume BX2's are generally favoured over 2020i's. If I run 4 speakers from 603 will I single wire?

Original message:

Is there a noticeable improvement in pairing these with the MCR 603 over the Q2020i's?

There is not much to separate their prices if bought as a bundle.

I want to run 4 speakers and already have some Mordaunt Avant 902's which are fine as bookshelf speakers in the smaller room but thought I'd treat myself to some new ones. If they are placed on the floor do they need stands? I listen to mainly classical and jazz particularly saxophone.

Thankyou for any advice.


the BX2's are the best £250 i have ever spent and work very well with my TEAC A600, i demo'd the BX2 against the Castle Knight 2's which are another amazing speaker on a setup of marantz pm6004 and cd6003 and project debut 2 loved the whole set up, due to my budget i walked away very happy with my BX2 if I had the money I would have had the PM6004 and the Castles. would recommend these to anyone

Would these go ok with a Marantz PM6004?

Yes, no problem at all, they'd be a great choice.

Great thanks!

in simple terms. buy them. they are outstanding speakers for the money. if your budget is like me and most of us you will not get a better speaker.. i pair mine with a nad 304 and since buying them I have had the most pleasurable listening experience of my life.. Others including whifi will give you the techie low down but from a normal everyday user i cannot recommend these speakers enough.. they look fantastic, sound better, easy to place and the foward firing bass port helps with that. You will be listening to music you have not played in a while just to hear the difference. 240 pounds very well spent in my view. hope that helps anyone deciding on to buy or not.. well dont Monitor Audio a brilliant product.

Fabulous speakers for the money, great for any budget to mid range system. I bought these to replace a pair of the excellent B&W 704 floorstanders as a move to a smaller living room meant the B&W were just that bit too big. Considering these cost me only £165 second hand I have to say they really do impress. The clarity and resolution is fantastic and as long as you place them far enough apart the stereo image is great. Comparing them to the much more expensive 704's (£1400 new) they lack a bit of "feeling" and don't create the same extensive soundstage. But for the money they are seriously good and I can thoroughly recommend them. I'm using them with a Roksan Kandy II amp, Inca Design, Katana CD and Pro-Ject Debut III record player and even in this company they don't seem like the budget speaker the price tag suggest that they are. These should be on the top of your audition list.

Hi There - Planning to buy this speaker. I've already bought Denon PMA 355 amps. Pl provide your comments and suggestions.

 

 

EDITED BY MODS: DUPLICATE POST

Great speakers! Richer Sounds in Exeter kindly allowed me to exchange my muddy-sounding Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's, and although these cost £90 more they are definitely worth every single penny!

I'm using the BX2s with Marantz CD6003 and PM6003 electronics, on Atacama Nexus 6 stands, and connected up using QED XT Evolution speaker cable.  

I'm very impressed with these speakers.  They are a significant development on the previous BR2 model, offering significantly more midrange clarity where the older design could occasionally sound a bit congested.  The BX2s serve up a detailed sound with a wide soundstage and just the right combination of warmth and openess. 

They require a good couple of weeks to run in.  Initially they were a little lightweight at the bass end, but after a good 30 hours use this has changed and they have plenty of weight for the wide range of music I listen to from orchestral works through folk and progressive rock to artists like Katy B and Alice Gold.  What they do avoid very well, however, is the tendency to boom and sound overblown which blights a lot of otherwise capable budget speakers.  The MAs are more controlled than affordable B&W models (including the 686, 685 and CM1) and all the better for it.

I have found they benefit from patience with positioning, but then this applies to most speaker designs.  They compare very favourably with my other favourite affordable speaker, the Mordaunt-Short Aviano2, and I actually found the MAs to be superior in respect of bass agility and mid-range resolution.  Vocals really do live and breathe through these speakers!

I got these to replace a set of Sony SSf6000 connected to a harman Kardon HK3490,  absolutely brilliant speaker they have a much better soundstage, can be a bit bass light compaired to the Sony's as they were very bass heavy and they were a floorstander, but that dosen't bother me as i have a sub to give the low end punch when required. 

BACKGROUND

I have these coupled with a Marantz M-CR603.

Bought as replacements for my capable but ageing Wharfdale Diamond 8.1’s.

My music tastes are very varied and I usually listen to music at low to medium volume levels. I use these for music only, they are not used as surround sound TV speakers.

My room is 3.5M x 8M and these are placed on stands at one end.

I wouldn’t consider myself an audiophile but I do listen to a Naim set up regularly so am accustomed to high end hi-fi and wanted something that could replicate a little of that detail when back at home. Discrete speakers, no mountain of hifi separates in a corner, a combination that looks good and delivers were my aims.

 

POSITIONING

Positioning is important, back to the wall can result in a little boom (reduced by the supplied port bungs) but ultimately more dependent upon where you are in the room, reducing as you move further away. I’m happy to have these back to the wall with the port bungs in as in common with most people prefer to have my speakers positioned more discretely, after all how many people have the space or want to have speakers plonked in the middle of the room? In this respect they are easy partners.

 

SPEAKER REVIEW

On first play the BX2’s sounded detailed, open and clear but lacking in warmth compared to my Diamond’s. No surprise from a fresh out of the box speaker.

They are well made, slender but deep. Nothing exceptional to look at but not offensive either. I like the magnetic grills, front facing bass ports and port bungs.

The level of detail, openness, clarity, soundstage, timing and attack these Monitor Audio’s are capable is very impressive - for those reasons I understand why these were awarded What Hi-Fi product of the year. With the right music at the right volume they can provoke a real WOW - I often have people look up or be mildly startled by the sound thrown out by the BX2’s. If you like acoustic music you will love these as the music is really allowed to breathe and revealed in all its glory, there’s a purity and transparency in the sound that I’ve only heard in much more expensive speakers, they peel back the layers of detail, unearthing new sounds and revealing every tiny subtlety in a raw and naked way. Vocals, guitar, piano, trumpet, clarinet, sax and most instruments all sing with a pleasing openness and enjoyable purity that enables you to not just hear the instruments but actually picture them, and furthermore see exactly where they’re positioned in the arrangement. An audition of Bullets by Tunng reveals every breath between sections, every coming together and separating of lips, and every tongue movement around the words, you can sense how close to the microphone the artist is as he sings - it’s a bit like HDTV for audio - very refreshing. The BX2’s are also capable with rock, pop and classical - in fact they handle almost anything pretty well - I am rarely anything less than pleased but never more so than with acoustic and jazz. They are a good all round speaker that can go louder than I ever need without distortion.

There’s bass on offer but you do need to crank them up a bit to get them to punch – at lower listening levels the bass needs help, dare I say it I have had to use the tone/bass controls to warm up the sound and fill things out at low volumes. Whizz the volume control clockwise a little and it all takes off, sounding like a different speaker as everything comes alive and the punchy, well controlled bass accompanies all that lovely layered detail skipping along to most things you throw at them, without losing the delicacy further up the range. The Gorilaz’ Stylo is a pleasure to listen to, strong, deep, punchy, perfectly controlled bass shows that the BX2’s can deliver given the right input and if you’re in doubt about how low these can go then The Cinematic Orchestra’s Awakening of a Woman will put you straight. In fairness the bass is helped by being back against the wall and my listening position, but close your eyes and you’d never believe such slender cabinets could thump the way they do. I’ve only heard them start to loose their grip with very complicated music where there’s a lot going on in the upper bass range, not that this should put you off at this price range most speakers fall down a little here - generally they are very composed and separate frequencies very well.

Timing is excellent but can border on being a little too precise, other speakers may deliver more natural rhythm, these are more clinical in this department but this has more to do with the Marantz pairing than the speakers themselves, other amplifiers may wield less tight control over proceedings and allow a little more toe-tapping natural funk (something Naim are outstanding at so perhaps I am spoilt in comparison).

OK so all good so far... lots of positive comments... well yes... detail, clarity, openness, purity and soundstage are all fantastic attributes but these don’t always make for the most balanced speaker or the most easy to listen to. The BX2’s don’t present you with the music they throw it at you - splendid for that attention grabbing rendition but this can be a little tiresome over long periods of time, depending on what you’re listening to. They are not the most laid back speaker - they constantly demand that your ears pay attention. They are not a relaxed or natural speaker and still sound a tad ‘dry’ to my ears - the superb mids, upper mids and treble aren’t always sufficiently matched by warmer tones lower down in the mid-bass and upper-bass range. Maybe it’s too much to expect a speaker at this price to deliver all this flawlessly, or perhaps the wonderful mid-range simply outshines the capable but less forthright mid/upper-bass ranges. I miss the warmer tones of my old Wharfdales - although I think if I switched back to them the loss of detail and clarity would soon leave me pining for the explicit performance of the Monitors - it’s no contest really. There’s sort of a catch 22 with these - as another reviewer said, ‘Wow, the detail’ can sometimes become ‘Ouch, the detail’ - I guess it depends on your mood and just how much you’re prepared to put in on the deal. When you first crank them up the BX’2’s can sound brassy (but never harsh or tinny) that takes some getting used, although it has to be said I recorded a friend’s gig and the BX2’s accurately reproduced the brassy, unprocessed sound you get with live music - in this respect they restored and brought back to life the honesty so often lost in professionally produced music which can often end up over-filtered and tamed. Again it’s a double edged sword. I would also like a little more musicality, although I suspect this has much more to do with the clinical sounding Marantz, I don’t doubt that the BX2’s have it in them.

Much of the above edginess calms down after about an hour of listening, but it does take these speakers about an hour and a half to warm up and be at their best. I tend to leave them running for a while before I want to listen to them. Once warmed up most of that brassiness melts away, there’s a little warmth in the lower end and the sound is altogether smoother, although compared to some other speakers these will always lean towards the drier end of the scale. I have had them 3 months now and despite regular use they haven’t mellowed that much and still need a good hour to warm up.

 

CONCLUSION

Despite my some of my criticisms there’s plenty to recommend. You have to remember that this is a speaker that can be had for £225. All day I listen to a Naim set up which can handle absolutely anything thrown at it, is capable of delivering an exceptionally detailed, refined and thrilling sound with stunning rhythm but given that my CR603/BX2 combination cost 1/10th the price it’s a very positive endorsement to say that I still really enjoy coming home and listening to this ‘budget’ speaker that can entertain in the way it does.

The BX2s are a bit like a cold shower, they’ll make the music feel alive and stimulate your senses, you’ll get used to them and appreciate the benefits they deliver but that won’t stop you pining for a warm bath on a cold day.

It’s all about what you listen to, what you’re looking for when you listen to it and the mood you’re in. For me I wanted a speaker that revealed the detail, excelled in the mid range and speakers that would make my old music new again. That’s exactly what these do... not perfect but any small shortcomings are forgiven when they give you a sound that you really don’t have the right to hear at this price.

Pair sensibly and they might work for you too but you really must audition these first.

Thanks! Best review of these speakers I have read by far.

I have had mine for about 18 months I use them with the Onkyo tx8050 IMO

Another serious bargain! Got both for £515 including wireless dongle used with 422 strandOFC sounds exactly as you describe could not have articulated my feelings as you obviously can.

Thanks again

I have these paired with my Yamaha 667 and they sound great! Only have the fronts at the moment. My room can't really accommodate the bxfx though so I'm looking to use bx1 as the surrounds

Just curious, what did you use to mount them to the wall?

I'd stick with an all-Monitor Audio BX2 package JanTel, as then the rears and centre speakers will tonally match with the front left and right.

You can win a complete BX2 AV surround speaker package in our latest competition. Might be worth a shot!

http://www.whathifi.com/win/

We used the Marantz PM6000 and CD6000.

What would you be using them for, if you've already got a B&W MT-30 package?

Better to ask in Forums, slimfilter � you'll get more responses.

I'd have no problem using these with the Marantz.

Way to go BX2, thanx team.

Hi! You said in the "Top Tip" in the mag review that...."they're good enough to work with �500 seperates." Dare I ask which �500 seperates you partnered them with? Thanks.

Any ideas how well these would fit into an existing B&W MT-30 Home Cinema system (driven by a Yamaha RX-V667 amp)?

I've currently got a 7.1 setup using the B&Ws and a pair of Gales at the front. It's working pretty well and integrates well, but I'm looking for some better bookshelf speakers to replace the Gales.

NB - the MT-30 package is really nice but lacks a certain amount of punch and excitement with music (IMHO).

NB - I bought them and they work really well with my existing setup, if anyone was wondering.

In this month's mag it mentions avoid using these with bright electronics, what would be your view on pairing these with my Marantz CR502 given the mag review on the Marantz said to be careful when matching speakers to avoid over-clinical sound? I'm looking at these, Lektor 2's, or Diamond 10.1, unless any other thoughts for a �250 budget - I'm currently using Tannoy F1 customs

How dot they compare against the old BR series?

Only had a pair of these 2 days, very impressed with the tight deep bass for their size and detail is excellent. Using them with denon m37 to replace diamond 9.1's. They are a definite improvement, I Highly recommend them.

OK...right now I am a bit disappointed. As far as aesthetics are concerned (which I'm not that bothered by in relation to audio)...who thought poorly colour matched plastic strips across the top were a good idea? YUK.

Soundwise, I'm using Arcam Alpha 7se, Arcam Delta 90 amp...all 'old' gear, I realise, but hardly renowned for harshness (and fantastic with B&W 602's)...

Currently experiencing painfully hard mid and harsh upper mid. OK, the detail is impressive but 'scale'? hmm...not so sure.

What's going on?

will they perform with Pioneer VSX D814 amplifier?

I bought these speakers a while ago and i have to say they are outstanding. I have the home cinema package from the BX2's in Walnut colour.

I have a Denon 1910 amp with it.

They are awsome. Sound really really good and i can't turn up the volume to the maximum. (not because the speakers can't handle !) I just don't want to blow the flat. However they need to be driven a little loud. On low wolume it sound like any other speakers. But when you give a little more power, they will open up and a huge amount of detail with hit you (on home cinema and stereo too).

I bought in Sweden the whole package for 14000 sek.

It's really worth it. I can suggest to everyone!!!

Attila from Gothenburg, Sweden

just auditioned these, they sounded fine but the older BR2's are far superior in every way in my humble opinion. Worth a listen though, might be more to others tastes.

"Picky with system matching"

Here's what I have (all from What Hifi reviews!)

Onkyo TX-NR708 amp

Atacama Nexus 6 stands

QED Evolution speaker cable

Will these BX2s fit in OK??

What would you use for rears (currently a couple of old Gale 2i)??

Best centre speaker to fit in??

Room mainly used for music but movies at weekends to an LG plasma

Thanks

Terry

Thanks Andy!

Already entered the competition - what a nice win that would be?

Terry

(From Padova, Italy, 13 Jan 2011)

I bought these a 6 weeks ago from an online supplier in Genova for 280 euros.  I'd done lots of research using What Hifi and Amazon, but I never had the opportunity to hear them before ordering them.  At first they were on shelves at about 1m height and were already a huge improvement on my Kenwood mini system.  For reasons of space, I have to wall mount them, so bought new stronger wall brackets.  My amp is a new Denon M38.  I bought speaker cable from my local shop (thick copper, about 2 euro/metre) and I have bi-wired the speakers. (I know all this is not perfection;  I write the details to show the circumstances in which I use these speakers are being used.)

All I can say is that they are an absolute joy to me.  I am a classical musician, and have about 3000 cds of orchestral, choral, operatic and chamber music.  Since I set up the new system I've been playing my favourite cds and each time I hear things that I never heard before.  The sound is wonderfully clear right across the range.  Organ music is fantastically punchy and clear, orchestral music is rich and full of detail.

You may gather that I've bought my hifi so that I can enjoy my music more, I'm not a hifi freak, but at the same time, my new system has made me understand after many years what a great pleasure mid-range hi-fi can be.

I can recommend these speakers without reservation.

I'm seriously thinking about buying these speakers as a replacement for my old Mission 701 pair - would they work with a Marantz CD63SE CD player and Denon PMA-255UK amp?  My preferences are for these Monitor speakers, or the B&W 685 pair.  Would appreciate any advice or suggestions!

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