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This Year’s Subwoofers Feature Aesthetic and Performance Improvements

Leading up to and at CEDIA EXPO in September, there were a spate of new subwoofer products introductions featuring décor-friendly styling, dual drivers, and new price points.

Leading up to and at CEDIA EXPO in September, there were a spate of new subwoofer products introductions featuring décor-friendly styling, dual drivers, and new price points. Here’s an editor’s selection of some of the more noteworthy subs that were designed to offer optimum low-frequency performance.

Responding to consumer trend toward smaller, more powerful home theater subwoofers, the new Sunfire XTEQ series from Core Brands includes three models that produce up to 3,000 watts of bass from 16 to 100 Hz using diametrically opposing drivers, one active, and one passive radiator. The 8-inch XTEQ8, 10-inch XTEQ10, and 12-inch XTEQ12 are housed in enclosures barely bigger than the size of the woofer diameter, with the XTEQ12 measuring just 13.5 inches wide x 13.5 inches high x 13.5 inches deep. Each model leverages Sunfire’s exclusive Tracking Down Converter amplifier design. The drivers all feature the latest improvements of Sunfire’s High Back-emf design, and to best accommodate the longer “throw” of the XTEQ woofers, all feature Sunfire’s Asymmetrical Cardioid Surround design.

Introduced alongside its P5 compact companion speaker, the P12 is Procella Audio’s most compact active subwoofer. It is built around a 12-inch long-throw professional audio subwoofer driver with a 65 mm voice coil. Its integrated class-D power amplifier delivers a total of 350 watts to produce a maximum output of 116 dB at 50 Hz, with extension to well below 25 Hz. Single balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs are provided, with an unbalanced RCA connector for linking multiple subwoofers. Switchable room settings optimize the subwoofer’s response for room boundary conditions, with positions for placement against a wall and for corner placement.

Artison will soon ship its first freestanding subwoofer– the RCC Nano 1. Measuring only 7.5 x 8 x 9 inches, including feet and grilles, this compact 300-watt sub has the piston area of an oversized 8-inch woofer. Outfitted with variable crossovers and dual-active 6.5-inch, long-throw aluminum drivers, the Nano 1 can deliver omnidirectional low-frequency sound waves in any room or zone, regardless of placement. It also incorporates Artison’s reactance cancelling (vibration free) design, which insures not only frequency response, but also secure placement. Constructed of 6061 T6 Aluminum, the Nano’s enclosure is both rigid and thin.

The new Proficient Protege line has been tuned to produce up to 10 dB more output than the previous Proficient sub line but from a similar size and form factor. The line includes the FS8 8-inch, the FS10 10-inch, and the FS12 12-inch sub. All three models will begin shipping February 2015. A key improvement with the new Protege subwoofers is the use of high-powered Class D amplifiers, which deliver 200 to 300 watts RMS power, depending on the model, but run cool and do not require bulky external heat sinks. To handle the output of these amplifiers, the subs utilize woofers with pulp fiber and polypropylene composite cones. The woofers are stiff enough to reproduce fast bass transients accurately yet its natural damping properties control and reduce cone breakup modes and distortion.

Sound Solutions, the exclusive U.S. distributor of Wharfedale loudspeakers, is now shipping the Jade Series subwoofers in the U.S. Wharfedale’s Jade 10 and Jade 8 subwoofers each feature dual drivers for powerful, articulate bass and offer a full range of adjustments via their remote controls to achieve optimum performance in any home theater or stereo music system and room. The Jade 10 features dual 10-inch woofers and a built-in 500-watt amplifier, and the Jade 8 has dual 8-inch woofers and a built-in 350-watt amplifier. The subwoofers employ a dual-woofer arrangement in which the high-excursion, long-throw woofers are mounted opposite each other and mechanically reinforce each other’s motion. Jade Series subwoofers are available in Rosewood Cherry, Vintage Cherry and Black Oak veneer.

SVS’s original cylinder subwoofer form factor has been reborn and outfitted with new isolation feet, modern styling and the company’s 2000 Series subwoofer technology. With a footprint measuring just 16.5 inches in diameter, the PC-2000 delivers more bass performance per square-inch of floor space. Standing 34 inches tall, the PC-2000 uses vertical height to achieve a generous enclosure volume, despite the small footprint. Interchangeable black ash or piano gloss top caps give the subwoofer design flexibility to match a range of décors. It is also the first SVS subwoofer to come standard with the SoundPath Isolation System. The elastomer feet decouple and isolate the PC-2000 from the floor, resulting in tighter and cleaner sounding bass, and less room rattle. Inside, the PC-2000 boasts a 12-inch down-firing 2000-series driver.

Triad Speakers is expanding its lineup with both an InRoom and OnWall Bronze SlimSub. Built upon the performance merits of the popular InWall Bronze/4 SlimSub, the new models create a Bronze SlimSub Series that consists of three models in total. Taking up little to no floor space, the InRoom Bronze SlimSub is really two subs in one. Standing upright at 4.3 inches deep, it takes up almost no floor space. When laid down (requiring just 5.1-inches of height clearance) it becomes a down-firing subwoofer that can be hidden under furniture. Measuring merely 4.4 inches from the wall and available in custom colors, each of the Triad SlimSubs utilizes a proprietary long-throw 10-inch aluminum driver. All provide deep bass at high volumes, achieving a maximum output of 108 dB from 40-80 Hz with a bass extension of -3dB at 28 Hz.