Just as with speakers, size matters with subwoofers. Pint-size subs can make bass, and the best mini subs can deliver fairly deep bass, but the volume capability, bass quality, and definition of baby subs can never match what you can get out of something like the $449 Hsu Research VTF-1 MK2 sub I reviewed on this blog last year. That bruiser measures 18x14x17 inches, and has a down-firing 10-inch woofer and a 200-watt amplifier. It's the best under-$500 home theater and music sub I've heard, but I was curious about Hsu's $699 VTF-3 MK4 monster, to … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Sony MDR-R10: The world's best headphone?
- The top 10 reasons why music is compressed.
- Compare your favorite albums in the Dynamic Range Database.
Regular Cheapskate readers know of my fondness for sound bars, which supplant the usually sucky speakers built into HDTVs with bigger, better, forward-facing audio.
One gripe with most bars, however, is the lack of bass. Another: price. Typically, these babies ain't cheap, especially if you opt for one with a subwoofer.
Exception! For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Vizio VSB210WS sound bar and wireless subwoofer for $84.99, shipped (plus sales tax where applicable). It originally sold for $349, currently lists for $259.99, and sells elsewhere for as much as $227.
Before … Read more
Subwoofers are used in most home theater systems, but subs can also radically improve the sound of stereo systems -- and not just the ones with small speakers. Subs can provide a foundation to the sound that few speakers can muster on their own. So adding a sub is not just about adding more and deeper bass; rather, a properly integrated subwoofer can improve the overall sound of the system.
The No. 1 question I get from readers is something along the lines of "What's the best speaker?" Some readers include a price range, which is a huge help, but there are a lot of factors that should be considered when selecting a speaker. Or to be more precise, a speaker system.
Speakers "play" the room, so room size and acoustics should be taken into consideration when buying speakers. The pair of 8-inch tall speakers that might sound great in a 10-by-12-foot bedroom probably won't cut it in a 25-by-40-foot living room, where you … Read more
The real audio power comes from the low end, the bass. When you feel the rumble in your chest, that's bass.
Most of us want this at home, but with myriad subwoofers out there -- and even more specs and sizes -- what's the best choice? Though the simple "the biggest, most powerful you can afford" is easy to say, the correct answer is little more complex.… Read more
This is an update of a deal I wrote about last year. Hopefully it won't sell out as quickly this time!
Looking to add a decent sound system to your laptop, or even an HDTV? When you're doing an end run around tiny, tinny built-in speakers, there's nowhere to go but up.
Today only, and while supplies last, Overrunz.com has the refurbished Logitech Z313 2.1-channel speaker system for $24.99, plus $5 for shipping. It sells elsewhere for at least $40, and new for $50.
This 25-watt system includes two satellite speakers and a subwoofer. … Read more
I'm not a big fan of really small subwoofers. Not that the little ones can't make deep bass -- the best of today's mini subs can deliver lots of low-end oomph, but the quality of the bass won't be anything to write home about. The bass is usually sloppy and poorly defined, so individual bass notes blur together. That's not such a big problem when reproducing the sound of explosions and special effects, but most small subs are less adept with music.
I worked as a high-end audio salesman for 16 years and spent another 16 reviewing audio products. Here's what I learned: The very best gear is always expensive. Sure, there are occasional examples of affordable products that are remarkable, but they never get remotely close to what true high-end gear can offer. Beyond price the main thing that separates high-end companies from mass-market brands is high-end designers are all about maximizing performance. Mainstream audio companies rarely try to make the best possible sounding gear. They know that features, wireless connectivity, styling, compact size, cheap pricing, marketing, distribution, etc. -- … Read more
The best I can say about most cheap subwoofers is they make bass. The bass won't be the deepest, most powerful, or the clearest, or blend all that well with most speakers, but all subs make bass. Better subs, like the $449 Hsu Research VTF-1 MK2, generate deeper, less distorted sound, so you can actually hear distinct bass notes, and can play louder and fill larger rooms better than most cheap subs.