- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 10 March 2014
Conclusions about the B&W CM10 Speakers
The B&W CM10s are like a Black Diamond ski slope: capable of bringing out the absolute best in those that go down it, but also exposing all weaknesses. Fed with high quality content they deliver great realism and detail. The saxophone on "So What" has never been presented in my listening room as well as it has from the CM10s.
Pass them overly compressed, dynamic limited material and they are unforgiving. The lower-quality content comes across in just that way: bright, harsh, and abrasive. The honesty of the CM10s is unrelenting and you must be prepared to properly feed the beast.
Do I fault the CM10 for being brutally honest? No, I can't blame it for the faults of the recording engineers that come before it. Thinking back to my first pair of B&Ws, all my favorite recordings from then still sound wonderful on the CM10s. The B&W voicing still appeals to my ears and lets me sit back and enjoy the wonderful music. When I pull out my favorite albums from the 15 years since then is when I begin to shy away.
My feeling on the CM10 break down to what you listen to. If you listen to modern alternative, pop, or rock music that is mastered too loudly and isn't on vinyl, you're probably not going to love the CM10. Like a sports car that wants premium gas, it won't perform well with that. If you listen to more classic rock, jazz, classical, or other well-recorded music you won't need to worry. The CM10 will sound wonderful and show off what it can do. It isn't the speaker that best matches my musical tastes, but it might be in line with yours.