Introduction to Subwoofer Reviews
Subwoofers are dedicated bass speakers, reproducing only the lowest bass, generally from the threshold of audibility (~20Hz) to between 80 and 160Hz. Because lower frequencies require more relative power, sub-woofers are almost always active, or self powered, designs (passive sub-woofers exist but are rare). There is tremendous latitude in sub-woofer design. Some favour a very small cabinet and make up for it by incorporating enormous amplification and driver throw, while others will produce similar results using massive cabinets with equally large drivers and relatively conservative amplification. All contemporary powered sub-woofers will including line-level connections (as oppose to speaker level) and in addition to gain adjustment most will have their own lowpass filter (which should be defeatable) as well as phase adjustment. Advanced models will have their own room compensation (aka EQ) system.