Price (RRP): $2,594
Manufacturer: Bowers & Wilkins
The MT-25 system is from the influential English speaker maker Bowers and Wilkins (B&W). The ‘MT’ stands for Mini Theatre, which suggests something of compromise and plastic, but one glance at this system belied that. The five identical satellites particularly screamed quality, from the glimpse of the 25 mm metal dome ‘Nautilus’ tweeter through the weave of the metal grille, through to the well-built stand.
The satellites are bass-reflex units with a port on the rear to support the operation of the 100 mm bass driver. The shape is interestingly sculpted, and the stand is attached with an adjustable ball joint so you can point the speaker in your preferred direction. If you like, you can have the centre channel satellite horizontal rather than vertical, and wall mounting brackets are included.
Wiring the speaker up to the terminals in the stand was a tricky affair because of fiddly Allen head screws. You should be careful if you have digital amplifiers in your receiver because the satellites’ negative terminals are connected electrically to the stands. Digital amplifiers have live negative terminals and may short out.
The subwoofer is a 200mm unit in what seems to be a conventional box, but turns out to be a fully sealed enclosure. With decent power on tap and a moderate volume, this allows the unit to produce usable bass all the way down to 23 hertz, which is the best bass extension of the units here.
But the subwoofer was also good for high levels, and proved to be a good match for the satellite speakers.
B&W seems to have mastered the art of producing excellent sound from small enclosures. There was plenty of volume available, despite the fairly low sensitivity of the satellites, thanks to their ability to absorb lots of power. For best performance, these satellites demand a receiver with decent power output.
For stereo imaging, meanwhile, this system was rather like having a particularly fine set of full sized – and quite expensive – high fidelity loudspeakers in my office.