Bowers & Wilkins Mini Theatre range has been going for a few years now, but still time and time again it is considered one of the finest home cinema packages you can get your hands on. There are two basic versions, one with the ASW608 subwoofer and one with the PV1D subwoofer. Each contains five of the amazingly small yet powerful M-1 satellite speakers.
You can optionally add extra M-1 speakers to turn them into a 6.1 or 7.1 package, and you can also add speakers stands if you wish to floor stand the M-1 speakers. However, they come with their own desk top or wall brackets so you can mount them in a variety of ways out of the box.
This is the B&W MT-50 package which contains five M-1 speakers and the ASW608 subwoofer. Despite the incredible reputation of its more expensive sibling the MT-60D package this package more than holds its own. In fact, it has picked up yet another award to win Product of the Year for Best style package £1000-£1400 in the 2013 What Hi-Fi awards - beating a huge amount of competition from more recent upstarts.
So why is this package so popular? It is largely down to Bowers & Wilkins attention to detail and their fine musical and movie ears. The integration between the speakers and subwoofer is key, and the sound is so well integrated you will struggle to even tell there is a subwoofer at work here. They partner well with a range of AV receivers although have a tendency to prefer the slightly softer sounds of the Onkyo or Denon over perhaps Sony or Yamaha.
The soundstage is rendered impressively and you'll find the top and mid range performs excellently. The subwoofer is probably the weakest link in the chain here but only marginally so. The ASW608 doesn't quite drop to the same levels as some other subwoofers so some details and grunt are left out, but it is minimal and within the context of the overall package (and price) is largely irrelevant.
Of course, going up to the MT-60D package elminates that issue, but accordingly adds to the price. We therefore think this is a well balanced package in terms of both price and performance and would suggest this is one of the finest on the market. We'd even sacrifice the quality of an AV receiver to push this into budget - if you were looking at a package of around £1500 including a receiver and cabling, do whatever you can to squeeze these speakers in!
|This product is collection only||Yes|
|Speaker Configuration||Five speakers and subwoofer|
|Speaker Type||Bookshelf, Satellite, Stand Mount, Wall mounted|
|Speaker power handling||20-100W|
|Nominal Impedance||8 ohms|
|Subwoofer speaker type||Forward firing|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||114 x 248 x 162 mm (in upright position)|
|Subwoofer dimensions (W x H x D)||260 x 260 x 330 mm|
|Net weight||2.3 kg inc table top stand|
|Subwoofer net weight||8.85 kg|