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2010 Subwoofer Shootout Room Size Recommendation Comparison

by July 22, 2011


Based on our new Subwoofer Room Size Protocol for determining subwoofer room size capability, we went back to our 2010 Subwoofer Shootout and tabulated the data below to see how each model ranked. 

Since our original CEA measurements were done at 1 meter distance, no correction factor was needed to convert the SPL data from 1 meter groundplane to 4 meter 1/8th freespace. 

Recall that in order for each sub to get our Bassaholic recommendation, it must be able to produce at least: 117dB @ 25Hz and at least 123dB between 31.5Hz to 63Hz. 

Manufacturer Funky Audio Rythmik Audio HSU Research SV Sound
Model FW12.x FV-15HP VTF-15H PB12-Plus DSP
Retail Price $1,750 $1,199 $879 $1,199
Dimensions (H x W x D) 24" x 14.5" x 24" 24" x 18" x 25" 25" x 18" x 26" 21" x 19" x 25"
20Hz 116 dB 113.5 dB 111.1 dB 114.4 dB
25Hz 121.3 dB 119 dB 113.8 dB 117 dB
32Hz 121.4 dB 123.8 dB 117.6 dB 119 dB
40Hz 123 dB 126 dB 119.4 dB 121.4 dB
50Hz 122.9 dB 125.9 dB 119.5 dB 122.8 dB
63Hz 122.1 dB 125.7 dB 119.7 dB 122.8 dB
Room Size Recommendation LArge

All of the subs in this shootout earned our Large Bassaholic Recommendation except the Rythmik Audio FV-15HP subwoofer which earned our Extreme Bassaholic rating.  In actuality the SVS PB12-Plus DSP and Funky Audio FW12.x borderline passes our Bassaholic requirement falling shy only a couple of dB above 25Hz.  These subs both have significantly more output than the HSU VTF-15H, especially below 25Hz which is important to note when making a decision based solely on output capability despite the similar room size recommendation.

If an end user is considering any of these subs other than the Rythmik and wishes to reach the 123dB reference level in a very large room, they are advised to purchase two of their chosen sub. Unfortunately this would make the purchase more costly than a single Rythmik sub but having dual subs does provide the benefit of more even bass distribution in the room if care is taken for proper placement.

Corner loading both subs in the same corner would provide a net gain of +6dB across the entire subwoofer's usable frequency range (20Hz to 63Hz).  But we rarely recommend doing this as it doesn't take advantage of modal averaging.  Positioning the subs optimally in the room to achieve a smoother response with less seat to seat variation will result in much less than a +6dB increase in net output, but something we recommend if your goal is to have the best bass response for all of your seats, not just the money seat. 

The reader is reminded that SPL output data, while useful in determining how loudly a product will play, doesn't indicate how the product will actually sound, especially in your listening environment.  It is important to read the commentary in each of our reviews to understand all of the associated strengths and weaknesses of each product to determine which one is right for your needs.  The results here show that the costlier products give you more than just cosmetic upgrades. Though, these are all great subwoofers in their own respects and would likely provide satisfactory results for even the most discriminating Bassaholic.


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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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