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JL Audio IWS-SYS-108/208 In-wall Subwoofer Preview



  • Product Name: IWS-SYS-108 and IWS-SYS-208 In-wall Subwoofer
  • Manufacturer: JL Audio
  • Review Date: December 28, 2017 16:00
  • MSRP: $2,100 IWS-SYS-108, $3,200 IWS-SYS-208
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

  • Enclosure Type: Ported Enclosure 
  • Driver(s): 8-inch (nominal diameter)
  • Effective Piston Area: 31.62 sq. in. (0.0204 sq. m.) for each woofer
  • Effective Displacement: 47.5 cu. in. (0.78 liters) for each woofer
  • Amplifier Power: 300W RMS short-term (IWS-SYS-108), 600W RMS short-term (IWS-SYS-208)
  • Amplifier Dimensions (HxWxD): 1.75 in. x 16.84 in. x 13.63 in. (44 mm x 428 mm x 346 mm)
  • Amplifier Net Weight: 13.5 lbs. (6.12 kg)
  • Enclosure Dimensions (HxWxD): 61.63 in. x 14 in. x 3.25 in. (1,565 mm x 355 mm x 83 mm)
  • Cabinet Finish: Black Texture-Coated
  • Wall Opening Dimensions (HxW): 9.75 in. x 9.75 in. (248 mm x 248 mm)
  • Grille Dimensions (HxW): 10.50 in. x 10.50 in. (267 mm x 267 mm)
  • Grille Finish: White (paintable)

With a premise that customers should never have to lower their expectations for sound quality when selecting an in-wall subwoofer, JL Audio released two new in wall subwoofers, the IWS-SYS-108 and IWS-SYS-208.  These two in-wall subwoofers are JL Audio’s newest 8-inch Fathom IWS systems. The two models join JL Audio’s previous 13.5-inch driver models in the Fathom IWS lineup. We've been big fans of JL Audio Fathom box subwoofers but for those that don't have floor space, let's take a closer look at their in-wall offerings to see if they are viable.

jl audio IWS-SYS-108 and IWS-SYS-208 woofer.jpg

The new subs built in JL Audio’s Miramar, Florida factory feature a compact enclosure designed to utilize extensive architectural techniques to improve rigidity, while maintaining a minimal footprint to facilitate installation in more applications. 

We are excited about the potential of the 8-inch in-wall subwoofer solution in our growing line of architectural audio solutions. This model has a very small grille opening that will please customers looking for a visually unobtrusive solution, while still capable of delivering true JL Audio sub-bass performance.

Andy Oxenhorn, President of JL Audio

JL Audio used a unique port design which vents through a slot located at the perimeter of the driver mount. Inside the enclosure is an all-new, long-excursion, 8-inch thin-line woofer, designed and built specifically by JL Audio for these subs.

jl audio IWS-SYS-108 and IWS-SYS-208 woofer side.jpgjl audio IWS-SYS-108 and IWS-SYS-208 amplifier.jpg

The IWS-SYS-108 is driven by a 300 watt rack-mountable DSP/amplifier and the IWS-SYS-208 is driven by a 600 watt DSP/amplifier. A complete set of Fathom signal processing features are in the amplifier, including a powerful, 18-band Digital Automatic Room Optimization (D.A.R.O.) system, and a true 2-way crossover with high-pass outputs, all accessible via an easy-to-use, menu-driven interface and LCD display.

Note: You will need your own calibration microphone for D.A.R.O. functionality or you can purchase one separately from JL Audio.

The 8-inch Fathom IWS systems are designed to be smaller and easier to integrate than JL Audio’s larger in-wall Fathoms, fitting in a standard, 16-inch, on-center stud opening.  The grilles should accommodate most common drywall thicknesses, and can be easily painted to match the wall.

These in-wall subs appear to incorporate all of the hallmarks that make JL Audio subwoofers such a force to be reckon with in the high performance home theater marketplace. If you're tight on space and can tuck a couple of these into your walls, they should reward your tactile senses while not causing a war with your spouse.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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