Home  Donate  New  Search  Gallery  Reviews  How-To  Books  Links  Workshops  About  Contact

B&W 802
Matrix Series 3 (1990s)

© KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Please help KenRockwell..com

B&W 802

B&W Matrix 802 Series 3 in English walnut (two 7" Cobex woofers, 4" Kevlar midrange, 1" metal dome tweeter, 40.9 x 11.8 x 14.6"/1,040 x 300 x 370 mm HWD, 70 lb/32 kg each, about $1,250/pair used). I got mine at this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay).

December 2013       All Reviews    Audio Reviews    B&W Reviews

B&W 802 Series 3

B&W Matrix 802 Series 3 in English walnut.


B&W 802 frequecy response

Frequency response standing in half space at 1 meter at midrange driver height, no Bass Alignment Filter.


B&W 802 frequecy response

Low-frequency response detail, standing in half space at 1 meter at woofer height, without Bass Alignment Filter.


B&W 802 frequecy response

Frequency response in-room at 1 meter.


B&W 802 THD at 100 dB

Bass response with and without Bass Alignment Filter. (16 - 100 Hz, upper trace with filter, lower trace without. )


B&W 802 THD at 100 dB

Bass response with ASW 800 subwoofer (top), without subwoofer but with Bass Alignment Filter (middle) and 802 alone, bottom. (16 - 100 Hz. )


B&W 802 THD at 100 dB

Bass response with ASW 800 subwoofer. (16 - 100 Hz. )


B&W 802 THD at 100 dB

THD at about 79 dB SPL. (900mV input, or about 132 mW into 6.1 Ω.)


B&W 802 THD at 100 dB

Impedance magnitude and phase angle.


B&W 802 THD at 100 dB

Impedance magnitude and phase angle, 10 - 100 Hz.


B&W 802 equalizer frequecy response

Frequency response of Technics SH-8065 when set to make the B&W 802s to sound best at arm's length at 110º total when amplified with a McIntosh MC240. (No bass alignment filter.)

SH-8065 settings:

16, 20 Hz: flat

25 Hz: +12 dB

31.5 Hz: +7 dB

40 Hz: -7 dB

50 Hz: -10 dB

63 Hz: -8.5 dB

80 Hz: -8 dB

100 Hz: -6 dB

125 ~ 500 Hz: flat

630 Hz: -2 dB

800 Hz: -3 dB

1 kHz: -1 dB

1.25 kHz: -1 dB

1.6 kHz ~ 2.5 kHz: flat

3.15 kHz: -3 dB

4 kHz: -1.5 dB

5 kHz: -6 dB

6.3 kHz: -7 dB

8 kHz: -3.5 dB

10 kHz ~ 25 kHz: flat


Needs environmental controls

Series 2 used same vent as seen here, but different terminals. Vent was updated on series 3 models after the sample shown here.

Sit far back in a big room or buy more furniture
Boomy around a few hundred Hz - probably my room
Ok angled away in master br

6.13 ohms 50-3k (2.48 V is 1W, 2.828V is 1.305 Watts or 1.16 dBW).

3.8 ohms DC

84.5 -86.2 dBA (85.35 avg) at 2.04v pink noise filtered 50-3khz

88.9 dBA at 2.83v (equals 87.7 dBA at 1W or 79.9 dBA at 1 V) pink noise filtered 50-3khz

Pkg materiel lasts

Kevlar was Invented for midrange

Placement critical

No casters

Easier to tip over

23 Hz minimum excursion,

More chuffing than tone below that

Keep away from CRT

Don't reverse lower grills

Sound bar
Why not use a small tv?


Base Thread Pitch

There are four M6 (6mm maximum thread outer diameter x 1.0mm pitch) threaded inserts on the bottom to attach the rubber floor bumpers or spikes included above.

They are 22.2mm deep.




Introduction         top


Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio
I use these stores. I can't vouch for ads below.

The B&W 802 is a real hundred-pound subwoofer which enjoys reproducing the deepest bass and infrasonics with ease. It's not a typically wimpy vented-box initiation that poops out as soon as the bass makes it into real subwoofer territory below 30 Hz.

The B&W 802 loves to get down and dirty, cleanly reproducing the lowest, loudest musical fundamentals and infrasonics without strain. It's far better than boomy imitaitons which wheeze more than putting out any real deep bass.

I prefer crossing this woofer in below 40 Hz to reproduce only the lowest bass when used with with decent full-range speakers like the B&W 802. For the 802, bass guitars are trivial; standard 4-string bass guitars and stand-up basses don't even play as deeply as 40 Hz; the 802 kicks in and gets busy below where the basses usually stop!

The 802 is built like a tank. Its curved sides don't vibrate to the touch when the woofer cone is moving a half-inch or more in and out.

The woofer cone looks like paper, but it's actually paper and kevlar, and it feels more like cardboard than just paper.

Bass will hole up and get very strong I spots

Bass is half the music

Use low xover freq

Max boost at 16 cps A EQ

Top vibrates a little, none on sides


Silent amp

Really does flap pants
Loves getting down and dirty
Louder deeper
Finds the fundamental

No doubling

Built in Crossover integrates well all by itself with other spkrs full range. Use apt preamp's dual outputs or a splitter cable.

No resonance, just thuds

100db at 1m outside on ground at gain at 9 o'clock and 100mV

90db at 100Hz at 10mV at 1m at center

20hz at 100mV at center gain knocks off grille and distorts. 31mv ok 100db. 56 distorted 105db.

Doesn't need no stinking corner reinforcement

0w off
2.2w srby
20.7w idle
22w playing reasonably or even loudly
550w or more on subsonic tones
Will blow the breaker at 15A

1038.53 close A in corner
1040.59 A and B curves
1045.06 close, away from corner
1045.50 A and B


1102 2m

Move 4' if 180° off at 60 cps

Paper cone? More like sheet wood!

Big thuds
Big happy bottom

Good auto power detect, just turns on relay without delay or thumps

Four position power switch

Momentary lapse/dogs of war

Easy addition if you set to 40hz internal

Package marked wrong way to open

6' flexible two conductor power cord

Input overloads at less than 1 VRMS at 20cps in A



Specifications         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More



15" (380mm).

Paper/Kevlar cone


Frequnty Response

Frequancy Range: 14 - 140 Hz at -6dB.

Frequancy Respnoise: 18 - 110 Hz ±3 dB.


Internal Amplifier

Power output: 1 kW (1,000 watts).

SNR: > 90 dB.


Internal Crossovers

Low pass: 12 dB/octave, 40-180 Hz continuously variable.

High pass: 18 dB/octave, fixed at 80 Hz.



20.8 x 22.1 x 20.6 inches HWD, including front grille and rear controls but excluing any screw-in feet or spikes.

529 x 562 x 522 millmeters HWD, including front grille and rear controls but excluing any screw-in feet or spikes.


99 pounds (45 kg).

Packed shipping weight: 108 poiunds (49 kg).

Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More



Compared         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More



Usage         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More



Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

It's fun, s


If you've found all the time, effort and expense I put into researching and sharing all this, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.



More Information         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More


B&W's 802 flyer

B&W's 802 users manual

A review from 2003


Help me help you         top

I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.

The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!

If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.

As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!


Thanks for reading!



Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


Home  Donate  New  Search  Gallery  Reviews  How-To  Books  Links  Workshops  About  Contact

October 2013