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Recent Subwoofers Reviews

Atlantic Technology SB-900DF Downfiring Subwoofer Preview

Atlantic Technology SB-900DF Downfiring Subwoofer Preview

Are you going to run out and replace one of your reference subs with the Atlantic Technology SB-900DF? No. But it would make a fine "first sub" for a newbie looking to take their real steps into home theater. With a -3dB low point of 32Hz, a downfiring 8" driver and port, and a reasonable size, the SB-900DF is a respectable offering. Considering the $349 MSRP, it becomes very attractive. The downfiring nature makes placement easy, the extension is reasonable enough to impress most people, and the price won't break the budget. This a sub to remember when your friends are looking to put together their first system.

The Atlantic Tech SB900DF would make a fine first sub for a newbie to HT. With a -3dB low point of 32Hz, a downfiring 8" driver and port, and a reasonable size, the SB-900DF is a respectable offering.

— March 05, 2012 05:00 in Subwoofer Reviews

EMPtek ES1010i Subwoofer Review

EMPtek ES1010i Subwoofer Review

The EMP ES1010i subwoofer is a compact dual 10” ported sub with 250 watt amplifier combining beautiful aesthetics with competent performance. NO this sub won’t win any output or extension wars. If that is your primary goal, then look elsewhere, but also realize you will likely be getting a large pedestrian black box with little to no WAF at this price point (and even possibly higher). The ES1010i does deliver solid bass performance at a modest price without requiring a forklift to move it or without occupying too much precious floor space since it’s taller than it is deep. It blends perfectly with their matching E5Tti or E55Ti towers, but can also work extremely well with small satellite speakers due to its rather extended upper frequency response. $499 delivered to your door with a generous 30 day return policy seems about right to me and I surely hope you agree if you’re looking to add some boom with style to your system.

The EMP ES1010i is a dual 10” 250 watt ported compact subwoofer combining beautiful aesthetics with competent performance. Free 30 day trial makes it a risk free recommended purchase.

— March 04, 2012 19:00 in Subwoofer Reviews

Velodyne EQ-Max 15 Subwoofer Review

Velodyne EQ-Max 15 Subwoofer Review

Velodyne's EQ-Max line arguably offers the most bang for the buck out of the current Velodyne roster with a plethora of upscale basic features similar to those found on their higher end lines and missing from other manufacturers subwoofers. The largest model the EQ-Max 15 at $879 is the least expensive Velodyne model to offer a 15" driver. The reinforced fiber cone driver is housed in a large 21"x19"x21.5" enclosure with a vinyl finish that has a pleasing dark brown wood grain character to it. The removable grille bucks the typical square trend and is instead contoured towards the bottom around the driver which further enhances the appearance. The driver is vented from the bottom of the enclosure via a pair of 3" diameter ports and the whole system is powered by a 750 watt rated class D amplifier. Additional features of the EQ-Max line include: Remote control, 4 user selectable EQ presets, speaker level inputs and outputs and auto room EQ with a supplied microphone. It's no surprise that the EQ-Max 15 had a powerful presence with movies due to the vented alignment and 15" driver, but extra deep extension is not its forte. That being the case the EQ-Max 15 achieved the Audioholics Medium Room rating. Powerful and dynamic music playback is where the EQ-Max 15 really excelled and judging from some of the objective measurements, it is easy to see why. Feature laden and DSP operated via remote control from the comfort of your seat, the EQ-Max 15 certainly has a lot to offer.

This a review of the Velodyne EQ-Max 15 (MSRP: $879) 750 watt 15” bottom ported powered subwoofer featuring DSP to contour the sound and a remote control for easier setup and adjustability.

— February 26, 2012 21:00 in Subwoofer Reviews

SVS PB12-NSD Subwoofer Review

SVS PB12-NSD Subwoofer Review

SVS has long been known for high performance subwoofers and the PB12-NSD while the most cost effective vented subwoofer in the current line up, still musters up a hefty amount of room filling bass. (Also offered is the PC12-NSD cylinder version which is said to have nearly identical performance.) Tipping the scales at 66lbs the heart of the PB12-NSD is a quality 12" long throw, aluminum cone driver vented through a 4" diameter flared port, all housed in a large, well braced, black vinyl wrapped enclosure, which happens to be the only finish option available. The brains of the operation come from a 400 watt version of SVS's Sledge amplifier platform. This combination available shipped to your home for $769, provides extension with authority to 20Hz and perhaps a bit lower in some rooms. Build, performance and parts quality for this price range were all found to be exceptional. While the PB12-NSD is short on finish options and may not have some of the extra bells and whistles offered by other subwoofers on the market, what it does do very well is the task of producing accurate and powerful bass with depth and finese that most other subs in this price range cannot match, as evidenced by the PB12-NSD achieving the Audioholics Large Room rating. At the end of the day that is what a subwoofer is supposed to do and the PB12-NSD does not disappoint.

The SVS PB12-NSD is a 12” 400 watt powered subwoofer with true 20Hz extension and solid performance. At $769 shipped to your door, it’s a hard to beat this high quality and value product.

— February 05, 2012 20:05 in Subwoofer Reviews

Velodyne Digital Drive Plus 18 (DD18+) Subwoofer Review

Velodyne Digital Drive Plus 18 (DD18+) Subwoofer Review

Velodyne's Digital Drive series is legendary for its technologically advanced sealed designs, active servo control and high fidelity, low distortion output. If the DD18+ is any indication Velodyne has significantly raised the bar with the new "Plus" series over the previous Digital Drive subwoofers. Greatly increased output headroom, better cosmetics and fit and finish being a few major areas impacted. Velodyne has also packed an extreme amount of hardware into the unit with on board EQ, remote control and more connection possibilities that seen on most any other subwoofer. The DD18+ achieved our Audioholics “Extreme Room” rating and is the first sealed subwoofer to do so. It was also the recipient of our 2011 Subwoofer Product of the Year Award. This new found sense of might comes at no cost to fidelity as the DD18+ exhibited the excellent sonic reproduction typical of Velodyne's sealed servo subwoofers and was utterly unflappable no matter what was asked of it. The new curved side panel cabinet design is more robust and the review unit looked absolutely fabulous in the gloss black finish. All of this technology, attention to detail and overall high quality does of course carry a very hefty sticker with it. $4,999 msrp is a lot of money but if it is within your budget you can be assured that you are buying one of the finest subwoofer systems available.

Velodyne’s new DD18+ subwoofer represents an engineering marvel in design & performance as seen in this review. The DD18+ earns our “Extreme Room” size rating and 2011 Product of the Year award.

— December 18, 2011 08:00 in Subwoofer Reviews

Paradigm Monitor SUB 12 Preview

Paradigm Monitor SUB 12 Preview

The new Monitor SUBs from Paradigm, headed up by the SUB 12, look to provide impressive performance for the money. For $999 you can get the 12" SUB 12 with a 16Hz low point. For $849 you can get the 10" SUB 10 with a low point of 17Hz or for $699 the SUB 8 with a 19Hz low point. All of these sound like great values. You'll have to give up speaker level inputs and custom finishes but, and we reiterate, UNDER 20HZ performance! That's an incredible value for the money. We can't wait to get one of these on our test bench to verify their performance claims.

The new Monitor SUBs from Paradigm, headed up by the SUB 12, look to provide impressive, deep performance for the money. For $999 you can get the 12" SUB 12 with a 16Hz low point.

— November 10, 2011 04:35 in Subwoofer Reviews

Emotiva X-Ref 10 Subwoofer Review

Emotiva X-Ref 10 Subwoofer Review

Emotiva has once again proved with their new X-Ref 10 that they can design a subwoofer with the same no-nonsense rugged build quality they do with their amplifiers.  You simply cannot break this sub no matter how hard you drive it.  The X-Ref 10 is a beautifully-crafted, potent, and compact subwoofer with many useful features including an adjustable PEQ to ensure you get the best performance out of your subwoofer when integrating it into your room.  Take your time to set this baby up and utilize all of its features.  It will reward you with good clean bass that well engineered sealed subs are known for.  Emotiva’s free shipping and generous 30 day return policy makes this value sub a no brainer if you’re in the market for a high performance sub in a compact footprint to please your significant other.  The Emotiva X-Ref 10 achieves the Audioholics Bassoholic “Small” room rating, which means that this sub is recommended as maintaining adequate headroom in small sized spaces less than or equal to 1,500 cubic feet and/or users who usually listen at a moderate volume level.

The Emotiva X-Ref 10 is a small sealed 10” subwoofer packing lots of performance and sound quality into a small box at an affordable price.  It earns our “Small Room” Bassaholic rating.

— November 08, 2011 15:15 in Subwoofer Reviews

Thiel Universal SmartSub USS Preview

Thiel Universal SmartSub USS Preview

The Thiel Universal SmartSub USS looks to be a very capable 10" sub. If some of the performance claims are to be believed, the $1990 price tag may be quite the bargain. Getting a single 10" driver to play cleanly down to 20Hz at meaningful output levels is quite the achievement. Anything lower would be amazing. While we have doubts as to how well their SmartSub room correction system actually works, the theory is sound. We'd be very interested to see it in action - especially if we could place it in a traditional, sealed theater versus one that has one or more openings.

The Thiel Universal SmartSub USS looks to be a very capable 10" sub. If some of the performance claims are to be believed, the $1990 price tag may be quite the bargain.

— November 01, 2011 22:55 in Subwoofer Reviews

SVS PB13-Ultra Subwoofer Review

SVS PB13-Ultra Subwoofer Review

The SVS PB13-Ultra subwoofer is among the best subwoofers we’ve ever tested. It features a 1000 watt Sledge amplifier and proprietary 13.5” high excursion driver. From its top notch cabinetry and components to its earth shattering performance, there is little NOT to like about this subwoofer (other than its sheer size and weight). The PB13-Ultra subwoofer received our coveted “Extreme” Bassaholic rating thanks to its massive output capabilities all the way down to the lowest audible octave. The PB13-Ultra displayed excellent distortion performance even when driven near its limits, and the well executed limiting and compressor circuits ensure that the product is virtually bulletproof. It had no trouble putting out plenty of high quality bass in our rather tough to fill theater room and always sounded composed during the listening sessions. The PB13-Ultra is a very powerful subwoofer that is competently engineered, heavily built, bulletproof, high tech and high output, possessing true extension to below 20Hz and a ton of configurability options. It’s a clear winner!

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.

— October 28, 2011 09:25 in Subwoofer Reviews

B&W ASW 610XP Subwoofer Review

B&W ASW 610XP Subwoofer Review

The B&W ASW 610XP sealed powered subwoofer system utilizes a high quality Kevlar/pulp resin 10” driver powered by a 500 watt class D amplifier. Carrying an $1,199 retail price, this sub sports impressive parts quality, built in user adjustable EQ, and manages to deliver quality bass out of a very small enclosure. We found the ASW 610XP to be very musical and best suited for supplementation of bass shy speakers, or small listening venues. The attention to detail and design execution are first rate and this sub is built like tank. The ASW 610XP receives our Bassoholics “Small Room” recommendation. Being the smallest and lightest subwoofer yet tested via our new subwoofer measurement protocol, it is no surprise that it isn't an SPL champion, but the B&W sub does offer good performance from very minimal space.

The B&W ASW 610XP is a sealed 10” 500watt subwoofer with a compact footprint, impeccable build quality and forte for music. Its size limits its overall output earning our Small Room Bassaholic rating.

— October 20, 2011 08:00 in Subwoofer Reviews

Definitive Technology Wire-less Ready SuperCube Subwoofers Preview

Definitive Technology Wire-less Ready SuperCube Subwoofers Preview

For the price, the new SC4000 and SC6000 SuperCube subs from Definitive Technology are quite enticing. While we wait with baited breath specifications on their performance, we love that they are basically a cubic foot box with a driver, two radiators, and a HUGE amp. The whole idea makes us want to grunt and beat our chests like gorillas. We can't wait to learn (and hear) more about these subs.

For the price, the new SC4000 and SC6000 SuperCube subs from Definitive Technology are quite enticing. We love that they are basically a cubic foot box with a driver, two radiators, and a HUGE amp.

— September 12, 2011 05:50 in Subwoofer Reviews

RBH Sound S-10 & S-12 Subwoofers Preview

RBH Sound S-10 & S-12 Subwoofers Preview

RBH Sound revealed two new powered subwoofers the S-10 and S-12 as part of their new S-series of products. The S-10 and S-12 both incorporate RBH Sound’s proprietary aluminum cone technology in a 10" and 12" version. Both models utilize feature-laden, high-efficiency, class D amplifiers that facilitate easier installation and configuration with any audio system, regardless of the room or surround processor. These are value driven products providing consumers the legendary RBH Sound at more down to Earth prices with the S-10 retailing for $499 and the S-12 for $699.

RBH Sound introduced two high value subwoofers, the S-10 and S-12 both featuring RBH's proprietary Aluminum cone technology.

— September 09, 2011 21:55 in Subwoofer Reviews

Velodyne Digital Servo-10 Subwoofer Preview

Velodyne Digital Servo-10 Subwoofer Preview

Velodyne introduced its newest subwoofer, the new Digital Servo-10 (DS-10). The DS-10 is a sub that comes in right behind the company's Digital Drive (DD) series in terms of pricing and performance and is built to put out as much powerful and musical bass as possible within a smaller-sized, space-optimized enclosure. The DS-10 comes built with a cabinet-grade satin black finish. The driver is equally beautiful, but for different reasons (to those who are so enamored with technology). It's a 10-inch Kevlar–reinforced model with a ginormous 19.3 lbs. magnet structure and 3” dual tandem multi-layer voice coil. The basket is die-cast aluminum and everything is driven by an impressive 1250 watt RMS (3000 watts dynamic) ERS Class-D amplifier that claims 97% efficiency. As if that weren't enough, the sub includes Velodyne's patented Digital High Gain Servo (HGS) system that adjusts cone movement at a frequency of 16kHz (16,000 times a second). This is designed to lower distortion below 1% (or below what is considered audible. Everything is controlled by a high speed DSP processor.

Velodyne introduced its newest subwoofer, the new Digital Servo-10 (DS-10). The DS-10 is a sub that comes in right behind the company's Digital Drive (DD) series in terms of pricing and performance.

— September 07, 2011 19:40 in Subwoofer Reviews

Velodyne Digital Drive DD-15+ Subwoofer Review

Velodyne Digital Drive DD-15+ Subwoofer Review

Based on our exhaustive testing, it's clear that Velodyne's new Digital Drive Plus series of subs deliver as promised and even exceed some of their own output claims made to us. You stick a robust 15" driver in an inert sealed enclosure with a hulking power amp and masterful servo and compressor, and you've got the recipe for good subwoofing which very few sealed competitors can compete with both in sheer output and pristine fidelity. The DD-15+ has proven to be a worthy successor to the venerable DD-15 that started the whole Digital Drive series nearly 8 years ago. The hefty price tag is about the only downside to this fabulous product, and the end user must decide if it's worth forking over the cash to don the Velodyne name in their theater room. If I were their competition, I'd be worried that Velodyne has just put most of them in checkmate with this very impressive line of well engineered Digital Drive Plus subwoofers. Highly recommended!

Our review of the Velodyne DD-15+ directly compares its performance to the original DD-15 and gives an overview of the fabulous performance and setup flexibility this sub has to offer.

— June 09, 2011 16:05 in Subwoofer Reviews