While many AV components, like TVs and Blu-ray players, keep getting smaller, subwoofers keep getting bigger. A decade ago a 12” subwoofer was considered large but in the world of 15” and even dual 18” drivers those now seem quaint in comparison. In 2016 SVS joined the world of larger subwoofers by introducing models with a 16” driver. The SVS SB16-Ultra is a sealed 16” subwoofer that includes room correction features and Bluetooth support. With a powerful 1500 watt amplifier and a beautiful piano black finish, the SB16-Ultra delivers more than enough deep, powerful, tight bass for all but the largest rooms. (more…)
Review Types Archives: Subwoofers
Reviews of Subwoofers
The JL Audio Fathom f112 has been highly praised in the audio community and the new version 2 arrives with some solid updates. Chief among them is the updated room calibration system. The Fathom subwoofers have a built-in system called D.A.R.O. or Digital Automatic Room Optimization. The previous models employed an analog system known as A.R.O. which is limited to a single frequency. Moving to the digital domain has allowed the JL Audio engineers the ability to equalize with 18 bands. The new version also employs an updated driver and better amp capable of more output with lower distortion.
These are some of the best subwoofers money can buy. They are compact, especially given the amount of bass they output, and beautifully constructed. Bass output is clean with tons of impact. The new D.A.R.O. is easy to run and does an excellent job at smoothing out bass response. If you are looking to build a reference quality home theater, a pair of JL Audio Fathom f112v2’s should be your foundation. (more…)
Paradigm has released two subwoofers in its Reference Collection Prestige Series, the 1000SW and 2000SW. In for review is the smaller 1000SW which features a 1000 watt amp and 12” driver compared to the 2000SW’s 2000 watt amp and 15” driver. Each Prestige Series subwoofer includes the Paradigm PBK (Perfect Bass Kit) for automated room tuning and optimal bass performance.
Solid construction, a great looking design, and powerful bass you can hear and feel translate into a top performing subwoofer. The extra investment pays off when you hear how tight and detailed the low end sonics are from the Paradigm Prestige 1000SW. (more…)
SVS has revamped their cylinder series of subwoofers with the new PC-2000: a 34” tall, downward firing room shaker. About the only thing in common with its predecessors is the cylindrical cabinet design. The PC-2000 features a new 12” driver from their 2000 series, 500 watt Sledge STA-500D Class D amp, and a rear firing port. Propping up this new design are the elastomer feet of the SoundPath Isolation System. These decouple the subwoofer cabinet from the floor, allowing for better bass performance.
There are many Internet Direct subwoofer companies around today. They have been one of the most successful areas of audio and home theater to transition to the direct sales model. A recent addition to this group is Power Sound Audio. While Power Sound Audio may be new to the scene, the forces behind it are not. Tom Vodhanel was the director of R&D at SVS, long the most successful online subwoofer company. Jim Farina is also from SVS who took over R&D after Tom left.
Last year I bought and reviewed the SVS Sound PB-1000 subwoofer, a 10” woofer in a ported box that performs extremely well for a price of $500. It has done an admirable job filling those lower octaves in my home theater for almost a year now. At the 2014 CES, SVS was there to introduce two new subwoofers with 12” drivers: The PB-2000 and the SB-2000. Since I own the PB-1000, I wanted to see how it would stack up to the PB-2000.
In my 2,000+ cubic foot home theater room, the two match-up well for music, with there being distinct but overall subtle differences. With movies, there is no contest as the PB-2000 blows away the PB-1000 on low-frequency effects. For my money, the PB-2000 delivers performance that is hard to beat and will satisfy all but the most demanding bass heads.
A quiet, peaceful dinner in the middle of Zero Dark Thirty is suddenly interrupted by a surprise car bomb. Tables and chairs fly around the room as shrapnel fills the air. Characters are dazed and confused as chaos surrounds everyone. The scene on-screen certainly surprised you, but did it jar you awake and out of your seat? Without a subwoofer to shake your room as that bomb explodes, you remained a passive observer, watching safely from the couch. You need a subwoofer to pull you into that hotel dining room and make you feel that concussive blast.