Standing just 293 mm tall and 104 mm wide, the W5 SE doesn’t impose itself on any listening space. Once you listen, you’ll be hooked on just how big the little W5 sounds.
Boasting just 2.8 L of cabinet volume, the W5 SE really shouldn’t fill your listening space with such grace and ease. Punchy bass comes from a driver capable of 18.5 mm of excursion. A liquid and lucid midrange with an accurate top end emanates from our 3’’widebander made to spec just for Boenicke Audio. The ambient rear tweeter complements the main drive units and augmented by premium silk-wrapped Litz hookup wiring and WBT NextGen binding posts, this is a very grown-up little speaker.
Expect the usual Boenicke soundstaging as breathtaking as any vast landscape, a liquid midrange, accurate tone and harmonics which combine to connect you to your music in a way that defies what you thought possible.
“To say that the W5 blew our minds would be putting it criminally mild…”
SRAJAN EBAEN, 6MOONS.COM
“…highly recommend the Boenicke Audio W5… these are the most impressive small speakers I’ve heard in a long, long while.”
SUJESH PAVITHRAN, AUDIOFI.NET
“Long story short, the unique W5s are the best monitors I’ve had the pleasure of familiarising myself with thus far…”
DAVID GRZYB, HIFIKNIGHTS.COM
“Many larger speakers cannot compete with these W5. Thanks for selling them to me !!”
“…really fabulous imaging is what I am getting with loads of detail and texture to the instruments…”
STUART AND LINETTE SMITH, HIFI PIG.COM
“So glad I was able to get over the mental block of paying big speaker price for a small speaker. It is the audio equivalent of the Tardis time travel machine.”
JOSHUA JACOBSON, ESTONIA
“There might be quite few people out there being reserved and sceptical about the actual potency of W5 based on their size. Yet, upon first few notes strike things change dramatically…”
MATEJ ISAK, MONOANDSTEREO.COM
“I have just experienced Swiss happiness in a box, and i’m emotionally shaken and just moved to tears…”
THOMAS HELLELAND HOMME, NORWAY
“Sometimes you hear a speaker that redefines what you believed possible: A paradigm shift. How good are the W5SE+? Well, I purchased a pair…”
DAVID GRAHAM, WHOLE NOTE DISTRIBUTION
Boenicke Audio’s goal was simple yet ambitious: To build beautiful loudspeakers that bring the experience of the live musical performance to your home.
We are very privileged that Sven started to make his own music recordings in the early nineties. With the help of one or two splendid minds, he managed to create and build something we would call the most radical, perhaps best sounding 8-channel recording chain in the world. In the last 20 years Sven has recorded close to 300 venues and concerts, many of them with live audiences. Each recording was made in environments such as concert halls, churches and other buildings. Instead of being in the control room of a recording studio, Sven was always present in the sound-field of the original music from beginning to end (Technicians who consider their memory of the sound in the control room as their true reference will have a problem judging the absolute level of quality of a sound referenced by the original sound in the field, because they were never in the field but always just listen to either headphones or speakers).
Sven has the ability to remember sounds in a photographic way. He can see the harmonic texture of sound as color in his mind’s eye. By means of storing a tightly matching corresponding color in his memory he can vividly recall his experience in the sound-field of these incredible live performances, even months later.
Sven uses the remembered concert hall reality as the reference, nothing else, to ensure the tuning and sonic balance of every BOENICKE product is life-like.
Against the overwhelming number of brands in today’s hifi market (some say 20,000 worldwide!), Boenicke have closely scrutinised each of their products by asking of themselves,”does anyone really need this?” So they have grown Boenicke Audio slowly organically. They don’t focus on number of sales but product quality and relevance.
Despite so many loudspeakers in today’s market, they all roughly break down into three main categories.
First category: This is the loudspeaker being “re-invented” time and again as your basic bass-reflex MDF box with foam damping, dome tweeter, one or two cone drivers on a perpendicular front baffle, plastic-based lacquer coating, spikes and a standard crossover.
Many even big speaker houses no longer possess real in-house engineering skills. They must outsource to third parties who don’t have a genuine emotional link to the finished product. They’re just contractors for hire. This is a fact and the main reason Boenicke believe why in so many ways, the hifi market has become so cookie-cutter impersonal.
This paint-by-numbers protocol without real passion leads to a situation where a product’s retail value becomes paramount. Now it is more about buying and selling (possible only if 99% of all gear is interchangeable) than finding an excellent product to keep for many years of pleasure and satisfaction.
Twenty years ago there might have been fewer models with ‘perfect’ piano gloss lacquer but there were more which gave us an opportunity to discover and hear the actual designer’s handwriting. The ratio between what you see and what you get has never been as deceptive and superficial as is the case with many of today’s loudspeakers.
Boenicke Audio’s goal and deepest wish is to conceive of, design, build and then market products which do it all the other way. They are determined to create products that far exceed what meets the eye, which reflect an honest way of living based on accurate perceptions. In short, Boenicke absolutely couldn’t bring themselves to sell you another loudspeaker in this first category of me-too MDF boxes.
Second category: The second category of loudspeakers are the brands for whom ‘less is more’ is true. They use better-sounding enclosure materials or build dipoles that sometimes use no enclosure at all. Whether they are unique or not, these brands create loudspeakers of actual merit.
Third category: The third category goes a step further to do things no one else does. These loudspeakers boost playback quality by adding certain elements to the signal path, enclosure, drivers or any other part of the speaker. In doing so, they create loudspeakers with true identities and unique selling propositions. In this category there are very few speaker houses and we are deeply convinced that Boenicke Audio is its leader and only true contender.
Sven Boenicke, founder, head and owner of Boenicke Audio, performs the acoustic design of everything we sell. That’s what brings it all to life with one coherent voice and vision.
All products carrying his name bear his uncompromised handwriting which we consider key to create a truly outstanding product and playback experience.
Sven makes all final decisions. It’s never the case that opposing interests from different departments within the company undermine the vision, unity and final quality of any product.
The finance department for example will never forbid the use of superb but costly tuning parts or enclosures milled from solid wood. Of course there are many other reasons why Boenicke Audio speakers are truly unique and exceptional. We are one of less than a handful of companies who build their loudspeakers from solid wood. There is much Internet gossip that solid wood speakers are always built as resonating structures to try and imitate musical instruments. If someone took an actual look at the cross sections of Boenickes CNC-milled enclosures, they’d be quickly disabused of that notion. Boenicke enclosures very clearly are not designed to act as resonating bodies. On the contrary, we try to make our enclosures as solid and non-resonant as possible.
“So why then use natural wood?” The answer is very simple. First, if you mount a driver to a certain mass such as solid wood, MDF or aluminium, the inherent properties of that material will strongly affect how the driver sounds. This is a fact either virtually nobody seems to know about it or cares to respect for its consequences when designing a driver or loudspeaker.
Almost all driver manufacturers know that using an aluminium phase plug can help to move heat out of the magnet system and eliminate the little echoic chamber behind the dust cap. Compared to a wooden phase plug, aluminium simply adds a gross coloration. That’s because to the human ear, aluminium is a highly colouredmaterial. Second, there is no such thing as a 100% non-resonant enclosure. To some degree, sound energy will always dissipate from the enclosure itself.
It seems evident that a body of solid wood with a thin coating of oil will resonate in a more natural way than the same body made from MDF then coated in shiny impervious plastic proudly sold as polyester lacquer.
Our W13 is a perfect example of the benefits of solid wood enclosures. The W13 is heavy and extremely non resonant. Solid wood’s low degree of inner damping with only minimal amounts of extremely hard glue allows the speaker to reproduce music with so much true light in the harmonic structure of each tone that you first must hear it to even understand it. This is something we haven’t heard from any other speaker brand regardless of price.
Do you know any other manufacturer who uses the wide variety of tuning devices we do especially in our SE and even more our SE+ versions?
Do you know of another manufacturer who tests each individual driver for its correct sonic (not marked!) orientation? How about elite LessLoss C-MARC™ internal cabling?
Each of these items and tuning devices represents a gain in playback quality which we assure you is well and truly audible. If you leave out just one, or for example replace the terminals with inferior ones to save money, that speaker no longer operates on the same level. One or two small changes might not seem dramatic but for better or worse, it all accumulates.
We agree that all this would be for naught if each model wasn’t masterfully tuned and balanced in the end. To ensure that every speaker is perfectly tuned, we have a method that is as individual and phenomenal as the products themselves are.
We are very privileged that Sven started to make his own recordings in the early nineties.
Technicians who deem their memory of the control room sound their reference will always have a problem when judging the absolute sound quality in the field. They never were in the field in the first place. They always only listened through their headphones or monitor speakers locked into a control room.
Like synaesthesia, Sven can photographically remember sound. He can see its harmonic texture as colour. By storing that colour in his memory, he can vividly recall his experience in the acoustic sound field of incredible live performances even months later.
Each Boenicke speaker in its development stage is fine-tuned with his own recordings. The same holds true for our electronics, cables and power distribution solutions. Sven uses his recall of the concert hall reality as the only valid reference to ensure the tuning and sonic balance of all Boenicke products. From time to time we demonstrate this process to interested parties. In 2010 during a Vienna show exhibit for example, we performed live music and played back the recording over our system immediately afterwards.
We’re happy if we get somewhere in the vicinity of 90% of the original sound. That’s a value which most professionals would dismiss as an abstract impossibility.
At Boenicke Audio, coming very close to the original sound is not an illusion or pipe dream. It’s an achievable goal and actual promise to our customers. And even though we have already achieved this goal, we won’t stop working on an even better experience of the beauty of reproduced music in your home.
Each model in Boenicke Audio’s W family of speakers shares the same intrinsic DNA and construction using only the finest natural components.
The ‘W’ designates solid wood and each model is available in a variety of species like oak, ash, walnut and cherry.
Every speaker cabinet is carefully formed as two individual clam-shell halves whose interiors are routed out by precision CNC cutters before being joined to create the final structure. Regardless of model or cost, the cabinet concept remains unchanged.
We do not believe in simplifying our complex cabinets as our range becomes more affordable. Instead, we work to the principle that a range of speakers must share the very same foundation and follow the very same vision.
Wherever possible, the drive units are shared across models and all our speakers feature: A unique electromechanical 8 cm parallel spiral resonator, orientation-optimised stranded Litz hookup wiring wrapped in silk, WBT NextGen binding posts andan ambient rear tweeter.
Perhaps the W models’ greatest achievement is their ability to go beyond the usual hifi trickery and draw you deep into your music, connecting you emotionally to truly Feel It All.