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Thiel Audio Smartsub 1.12 Subwoofer Preview



  • Product Name: Smartsub 1.12
  • Manufacturer: Thiel Audio
  • Review Date: March 06, 2016 11:00
  • MSRP: $$4,999 (estimated)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

  • 12-inch aluminum driver
  • 1250-watt Class D amp.
  • Rated to play 6dB down at 16 Hz
  • Available in rosewood veneer or black gloss.

With all the secrecy before the release of Thiel’s new SmartSub 1.12 subwoofer at CES last month in Las Vegas, we knew we were in for something big.  It’s not every day that a subwoofer release is quiet beforehand considering what the product is designed for, but Thiel Audio really made noise when they showcased their new sub at CES and we finally got a look at it in person. This latest generation smartsub from Thiel will feature an app-based control and advanced room correction. Featuring a THIEL long excursion 12-inch driver and DSP-controlled 1250 watt amplifier this sub should have more than enough precision boom for most home audiophiles. 

SmartSub 1.jpg     SmartSub 2.jpg

One of the most intriguing features of this sub is its new acoustic room correcting software.  To overcome acoustically challenging rooms, the Smartsub has an acoustic correction algorithm rather than a passive crossover designed to precisely adjust onboard parametric equalization for challenging rooms.

The app-based control is designed to connect with your Wi-Fi network so you can access six sound mode presets via your smartphone or tablet.  With the ability to match these presets to your favorite music, movies, or gaming systems, Thiel’s Smartsub 1.12 is a versatile premium sub that packs quite a punch.

 Thiel Audio Smartsub 1.12 Subwoofer YouTube Overview

Thiel's SmartSub technology delivers PC control software, enabling access to control of advanced settings such as low and high-pass filter adjustments, phase adjustments, 5-Band Parametric EQ and SmartSubTM XT Auto EQ parameters in the SmartSub app. The most commonly used features of the subwoofer are available to all users via a basic infrared (IR) remote control (included). The IR remote provides control of system power, volume, muting, input source, and sound mode. The front of the sub also has a display to help with fine tuning and adjusting to your personal preferences.

At the heart of the Thiel SmartSub 1.12 is a long-excursion 12-inch woofer featuring a rigid cast frame and an aluminum cone designed to deliver an enormous peak-to-peak stroke.  Thiel employed an energy efficient DSP-controlled switching amplifier, designed to deliver 1250 watts of continuous power. This amplifier has been engineered for performance and reliability, utilizing an onboard digital signal processor (DSP) to monitor the signal and keep the amplifier and 12-inch driver running optimally during playback while preventing either from being overdriven.



Does it Deliver the Goods?

Although it was tough to get a quality listen on the floor at CES nothing we heard goes against what the sub looks like; a premium 12" with plenty of output and full feature set with built in room correction, perfect for the two-channel folks who want to seriously augment their low-end, but don't have an AVR with an advanced room correction system. It's also a very fine looking sub available in rosewood veneer or black gloss that seemed well constructed. We also like the ability and flexibility of either wired or wireless connectivity to the audio system.

But like everything in the audio industry looks can be deceiving, we’ll have to take some benchmarks on this sub when we get one in our testing area to see if it produces bass as well as Thiel claims.  It will be available this spring, but will it be worth the price (estimated to be just under $5k) as soon as we know, you’ll know.

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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