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Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D Subwoofer Conclusion

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Aperion 12D HeroI really liked Aperion’s 12D. In many ways it is quite different from a lot of its competitor products and includes design choices that make a lot of practical sense. For example instead of adding in extra “features” and bells and whistles into the subwoofer and amplifier, which increases cost and are often of limited practical use, Aperion actively promotes that they removed these to streamline the product and keep costs down. Of course you may sometimes wish you had a remote for it, or built in auto-eq, or a nifty lcd display to look at, but the result of leaving these types of things out in favor of more performance for less dollars is a powerful argument. I also am a fan of the passive radiator approach. It keeps the cabinet smaller than possible with a port but provides the output advantages of a bass reflex versus a sealed system. At 15.5” cubed with another 1.5” for the feet to raise the driver off of the ground the 12D is what I consider a very small or compact subwoofer, not quite in the micro class but significantly smaller than most other bass reflex 12” units. My main issue with tiny subwoofers is that often they sound...well...tiny and bass is supposed to be BIG sounding. Due to the strong amp and passive radiator design the 12D is able to bend the rules a bit and provide strong output down to 25Hz in room from a small cabinet and more upper bass punch than I had expected. I could occasionally tell that the deepest bass content was missing from movies but otherwise the 12D did very well and especially so with music. Sonically the 12D performs. Aesthetically in my opinion it is hands down the best looking subwoofer I have seen for under $1,000. The gloss piano black finish is beautiful, the dual recessed grilles give a symmetric appearance and the Aperion badging is classy.  If there were a rating for spousal acceptance the 12D would get the top marks easily. I only have one gripe with the 12D and that is that it will produce some grumbles from the drivers if pushed really hard near 20Hz. Hopefully Aperion will address this with a change to the high pass filter in the amplifier.

At $899 delivered the Aperion Bravus II 12D is very reasonably priced, but not the cheapest subwoofer around. It is small, but not the smallest, not the loudest, or the deepest extending subwoofer around either, but what it does offer is a compelling mix of size, looks, output and price, not found in this particular combination very often. Aperion has produced a real contender in the small sub market. Highly recommended.

The Aperion Bravus II 12D just barely manages to squeak past the required output thresholds and receives the Audioholics Bassaholic Large Room rating, which means that this sub is recommended as maintaining adequate headroom in rooms or spaces of between 3,000 to 5,000 cubic feet and/or for users who usually listen at moderate volume levels. The 12D is the smallest and lightest subwoofer to be able to pass the requirements for the large room rating so far. 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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Aperion Bravus II 12D Review
Aperion Audio

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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 AccuracyStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStarStar
FeaturesStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStar
Attached Files

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Recent Forum Posts:

pbc posts on November 15, 2012 17:58
It's nice to finally see a real review of the Aperion subs. I've been wondering about how the 12D performed for ages as it looked like a potentially good “compact size” recommendation.

Looking at the build quality, driver complement (i.e., one 12“ driver plus two 12” rads), and amp power, that's not a bad price for the performance provided and box size.
shadyJ posts on November 11, 2012 18:44
theJman, post: 921826
You mean the one were you said "If there is an issue shown in the waterfall it will usually show up in the group delay chart or vice versa"? If so, that's what actually prompted my original post.

The ‘usually will show up’ part is a bit of a concern, but the biggest issue I guess is the waterfall is easier for me to read/decipher. That, along with the distortion and compression tests, are usually the first ones I look at, because combined I think they give a good picture of the basic functionality of the sub.

Maybe Ricci will put those up at his data-bass website, if he adds the Aperion data there.
theJman posts on November 11, 2012 14:39
Ricci, post: 921733
See my comment about the waterfall and group delay above.

You mean the one were you said "If there is an issue shown in the waterfall it will usually show up in the group delay chart or vice versa"? If so, that's what actually prompted my original post.

The ‘usually will show up’ part is a bit of a concern, but the biggest issue I guess is the waterfall is easier for me to read/decipher. That, along with the distortion and compression tests, are usually the first ones I look at, because combined I think they give a good picture of the basic functionality of the sub.
Steve81 posts on November 11, 2012 11:45
3db, post: 921761
I don't know what all the excitement is about this sub. I think its performance for the money is not all that great…If given my choices, I would take the Outlaw over the Aperion.

Sure, if you can fit the Outlaw, it's a much better option. But keep in mind, the Aperion is a 15.5" cube. For what it is, it performs quite well.
3db posts on November 11, 2012 11:28
I don't know what all the excitement is about this sub. I think its performance for the money is not all that great. The PSB300 fro $100 more has a much flatter frequency response and digs a little deeper. Its finish is not nearly as nice I will admit.

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