Featured Subwoofer Reviews
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The SVS PB13-Ultra subwoofer is among the best subwoofers we’ve tested. With a 1000 watt amplifier and 13.5” high excursion driver, it’s built well, and has tons of output & configurability options.
The Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX is a moderately large 12” ported powered subwoofer with a built in 350 watt rated amplifier. We found it to be an overachiever earning our “Large Room” Bassaholic rating.
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If you're a regular reader of Audioholics, you're probably aware of the fact that if you want deep, powerful bass, you're going to need a big beefy subwoofer (or two...or four) to get the job done. So what happens if you still want respectable bass output, but you need something with an invisible footprint? Meet the Triad InWall Bronze 4 Slim Sub. Built to order in the US, is Triad's latest offering the answer to interior decorators and audiophiles dreams alike? Read on to find out what we think.
REL may not be a name that the majority of Audioholics are familiar with, but they are a big player in Europe. REL was founded in the U.K. in 1990 by Richard Edmund Lord (R. E. L.) with the mission of reproducing bass with unparalleled fidelity, and is distributed in the U.S. by Sumiko Audio (who is responsible for the U.S. distribution of brands such as Sonus Faber an Pro-ject, among others). Today we are taking a glimpse at the R-528SE subwoofer which made its debut at CES 2013. The REL R-528SE features one 12" active and one 12" passive driver with a 500 watt internal amplifier. Priced at $2799, inquiring minds want to know, does REL's latest offering have what it takes to make it in today's competitive market? Read on to find out more.
Revel is rounding out their Ultima2 loudspeaker series with a new flagship subwoofer, the Rhythm2. With an MSRP of $10,000 the Rhythm2 does not come cheap, but it isn't built cheaply either. The unit features a dual voice coil 18” aluminum cast-frame driver powered by two amplifiers with a total of 2,000 watts RMS (4,000 watts peak). The driver itself has a 4” diameter voice coil and approximately 1” Xmax. All of that fits into a relatively small 24.6” H x 27.9” W x 28.1” D package and weighs 177lbs. Revel's real claim to fame with the Rhythm2 is the built in EQ, which can be used to overcome 10 different room modes from 20-400Hz. Additionally, the EQ works not only on the sub, but on the pre-outs for your main speakers too, allowing for perfect bass whether it is coming from your sub or speakers. Still, even with the big driver, powerful amp, and EQ options, we question if the Rhythm2 can really compete with the other high dollar subwoofers on the market. Read on for a full analysis.
Funk Audio, a relative newcomer in the ID subwoofer marketplace, has just put its competition in checkmate. The Funk Audio 18.2 subwoofer is their latest and most advanced subwoofer design. It was designed to provide the ultimate in power, sound quality, and output, in a package so compact the amplification system has to be separate from the subwoofer itself. In Power Level Two configuration, will pump 9,600 watts into the dual 18" drivers (if you have enough wall current) allowing you to hit an ear drum busting 125 dB (2 meter GP). This is the kind of sub that will surely shatter Grandpa Simpsons teeth. With dual 4.5" voice coils, 44lb neodymium motor structures and 3" pk-pk excursion custom built drivers we have little reason to doubt the output claims of this subwoofer. Do you want us to review this beast? Let us know in the forums.
MartinLogan announced two brand new flagship subwoofers at the 2013 CES show this year. The BalancedForce 210 and 212 models are slated to replace their current top of the line subwoofers, the Depth and Descent. They also recently announced the Dynamo 1500X, the replacement of their Grotto subwoofer. All together, this means that MartinLogan's top three subwoofers are all being replaced with new models. The bass was tactile, imaging was great, and the sound was natural. All in all, many of the qualities we liked in our review of the MartinLogan Theos, made better.
Power Sound Audio's newest offering, the XS30, is the big brother to the XS15. There is a lot to be excited about with this new subwoofer. The XS30 is equipped with a pair of dual opposed 15" woofers which can deliver two inches of peak to peak throw; bluntly, the XS30 can move a heck of a lot of air, which is important for delivering prodigious output levels and digging deep. Next on the check list is a 725W RMS/1450W Peak Bash amplifier sporting DSP (digital signal processing) control, soft limiting protection, and <1W standby mode among other niceties. The cabinet is of course not skimped on, with 1.75" thick MDF driver baffles and 1" thick walls, as well as a brace to keep the enclosure free of unwanted resonances/vibration, which consequently the dual opposed design should also help with. Of course, given that the XS30 isn't the size of a refrigerator, you also have something that can be reasonably integrated into the decor of many rooms. We have very high expectations for the Power Sound Audio XS30.
The SubSeries125 is PSB's newest entry-level subwoofer, with an MSRP of $449. The SubSeries125 is designed for shoppers who are on a budget and are looking for a pretty compact unit. At 9 5/8” W x 12 1/8” H x 15 5/8” D it should easily fit in any room. It has an 8" front-firing Polypropylene driver and slotted port with 25W RMS and 160W dynamic power amplifier. It is rated with a -3dB point of 35Hz, so it doesn't dig very low. It also lacks features found on some of the similarly priced competition, like DSP control, EQ, or 12v trigger. Overall, this subwoofer looks like a good fit in PSB's lineup but might lack some of the performance found in Internet Direct alternatives.
Upstart home audio company Power Sound Audio’s entry into the internet direct subwoofer arena a few months ago with the PowerX line of subwoofers has been accompanied by lots of speculation and excitement. Their middle model in the PowerX line, the XV15 subwoofer, is a large 15” down firing vented unit weighing in at a substantial 92lbs, with a 500 watt class D BASH amplifier, heavily flared Aero-port, black sand textured finish, heavy duty U.S. made driver and a 5 year comprehensive warranty. Additionally the PowerX line is assembled in the U.S. from U.S. made components with the exception of the amplifier. Somehow the price for the XV15 is held to just $799 and that includes shipping. We found that the XV15 sounded clean, composed and dynamic with music, while possessing extension well below 20Hz in room with plenty of headroom to make its presence felt in a large space on movie night. Even more important than the impressive parts list of the XV15 is the manner in which those parts are tuned to work together in a well rounded finished system. Highly recommended.
The Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D is a relatively compact (15.5” in^3) 650 watt powered subwoofer with one active and dual 12” passive drivers. Aesthetically, the Bravus II 12D is the best looking subwoofer we’ve seen for under $1k. Thanks to its strong amp and well executed passive radiator system, the Bravus II 12D is able to achieve real output down to 25Hz not typical of similar sized sealed or ported enclosures. Though it lacks some of the bells and whistles of competitor designs, it makes up for it with solid performance earning our “Large Room” Bassaholic rating. At $899 delivered to your door in a premium high gloss finish with a risk free 30 day trial period, we highly recommend you give it a try!