Pros: space efficient, inexpensive, flexible configuration, wired remote control
Cons: cannot shatter windows
Okay, a subwoofer cannot blast away kidney stones. But I did get your attention, didn't I?
The KSC-SW1 is a self-contained subwoofer with an included amplifier. It is rated at 160W, which is relatively weak for subwoofers. Obviously, it is not intended for large SUVs, or people who want to shatter windows with their stereos. This self-contained subwoofer is perfect for smaller cars, like a Miata.
I mounted my subwoofer right behind the driver's seat. Since I am short, there is actually plenty of space between the seat. The slim profile of this unit fits very comfortably into that tiny space (that no other subwoofer can fit). Because the subwoofer is right at my waist level, I can actually *feel* the beat propagating from my waist to the rest of my body.
Why mount a big and high power subwoofer in the trunk, when you can mount a smaller one right next to you?
Despite the relatively low power rating, this subwoofer makes a huge difference in terms of bass reproduction. Because my Miata also has a loud exhaust, the difference is even more important. The output of the KSC-SW1 is quite clean without distortion or rattling.
Installing this self-contained subwoofer cannot be easier. You do need to run the fused power wire directly to the battery terminal. Connecting the built-in amplifier to your stereo is quite simple. You can use the line-in port if your stereo has line-out jacks. Otherwise, you can tap the wires feeding the speakers. This is particularly easy because my Miata comes with headrest speakers, and the wiring is literally right next to the subwoofer.
Because the subwoofer connects to the car battery directly, you need to connect a sense wire to a signal that is off when the ignition is off. I connected mine to the antenna power signal. This signal is on when the stereo is on, and it is off when the stereo is off, even when ignition is on. This part is also really easy for me because the powered antenna is right next to the battery.
The subwoofer comes with a wired remote control. It can control the phase of the subwoofer, volume and cross over point. Many reviewers find the remote control not very useful. I actually appreciate the remote control. Particularly, I change the crossover and volume depending on whether I can driving locally or on the highway. When I drive locally, I only need the volume to be at 50%, and the crossover to be at halfway. On the highway, I crank the volume up to 75% to 80%, and the crossover all the way to 120Hz.
This subwoofer is not for everyone, and does not make everyone happy. However, it is *perfect* for my application.