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B&W ASW 610XP Subwoofer Conclusion

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B&W’s ASW 610XP has some of the best parts and build quality that I have seen on any subwoofer. The attention to detail and design execution are first rate and the ASW 610XP is built like tank. I am a little iffy on the finish. I loved the look and texture of it, but it seems easy to mark simply by touching it. Also the pint sized B&W did very well in many performance metrics including the group delay, upper range extension, and response flatness when kept at a reasonable volume level. It could easily be crossed over as high as 170Hz.

The main limitation of the ASW 610XP is that it just does not have a lot of output. It simply is incapable of delivering loud home theater dynamics in a room such as mine. I don’t want to sound like a broken record here but output and deep bass headroom is casualty number one when making a subwoofer this small and at barely 1.4cu ft external, I’d call the ASW 610XP down right miniature. Case in point I literally tucked the ASW 610XP under one arm to carry it out onto the test site. Yes there is more to a subwoofer or any speaker than sheer output obviously, but at some point that does come into consideration, like with home theater playback in a large room for example. You might think that I’m lambasting the ASW 610XP here. I’m not. This is more of a general comment on tiny subwoofers not the ASW 610XP in particular. Any subwoofer this size with a single 10” driver is going to have difficulties providing adequate output for serious home theater playback in anything other than a small room or near field. It’s the simple physics of the situation. The ASW 610XP has output commensurate with a subwoofer of this size and design.

What the ASW 610XP does do well is just about everything else other than dish rattling and couch shaking. It sounds great with music and should be an excellent match for a smaller space or crossed over to bass shy, small mains. If you must have something unobtrusive that blends in to your décor or fits into the smallest available nook, this sub will do that in spades. The ASW 610XP does carry a price tag of $1,199 but for that you do get a subwoofer that is very small, lightweight and packs seriously high quality components, with a generous warranty thrown in. As long as you aren’t pushing it too hard it also sounds excellent. I can’t really recommend the B&W ASW 610XP for you dedicated home theater bass heads out there, but it could be a good fit for those with a small condo, or apartment, or a very difficult to please spouse, those with limited placement options, without the space for a bigger subwoofer, a small two channel set-up, or a near field application. To audition this or other B&W products, locate a dealer in your area, or for more product information, contact Bowers & Wilkins

The B&W ASW 610XP receives the Audioholics Bassoholic Small room rating, which means that this sub is recommended as maintaining adequate headroom in spaces smaller than 1,500 cubic feet and/or for users who usually listen at a moderate to low volume level. For further information in how we make these recommendations see the full article here.

See: Audioholics Subwoofer Room Size Rating Protocol

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B&W ASW 610XP Review
MSRP: $1,199

B&W Group North America
Phone: +1 (978) 664 2870
E-mail: [email protected]
B&W Retailer Locater
www.bowers-wilkins.com

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Bass ExtensionStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStarStar
FeaturesStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStar

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Attached Files

Recent Forum Posts:

gene posts on October 21, 2011 15:03
kevon27, post: 837082
This just shows sometimes price does not match performance. $1200 bucks seems to be for the B&W branding.. But hey, wise sub shoppers will by pass this and seek better performing subs at more attractive prices

It's interesting to me that this sub has about the exact same output capabilities of the Emotiva Ultra Sub 12. B&W seemed to really eek out a lot of performance out of a small enclosure with a 10" driver, but it certainly doesn't come cheap.
kevon27 posts on October 21, 2011 15:00
This just shows sometimes price does not match performance. $1200 bucks seems to be for the B&W branding.. But hey, wise sub shoppers will by pass this and seek better performing subs at more attractive prices
smurphy522 posts on October 21, 2011 08:45
A very “revealing” review - typical of this site. Not typical of past B&W product reviews from other sources (i.e. print publications).

Any chance for a review of their flagship DB1?
allargon posts on October 20, 2011 22:47
The specs (and price) are similar to the Dayton Titanic MKIII 15. However, I bet the B&W is more musical than the Dayton.

For that $1k though, I'd probably skip both the B&W and the Dayton (I spent way less on my Dayton.) and audition the Hsu ULS-15 instead. (15Hz for a sealed sub!)
nickboros posts on October 20, 2011 16:30
It is good to see an honest review of a sub such as this. In most other print magazines this sub would be reviewed as part of a 5.1 system I'm sure that the B&W speaker system would come highly recommended. But, for $1200 you can get much more of a sub for your money, even if the small size is a requirement. Those same print magazines, I've seen review $3000 to $4000 subs that don't have the output and extension of say the SVS Ultra 13 and again the reviewer may highly recommend it as part of a 5.1 speaker system.
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