Great for use in my apartment
Dec 22, 2008 (Updated Dec 22, 2008)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
My review of the Sony SA-W2500 Powered Subwoofer:
Recommend this product?
I had the product information link to the Sony web site here, but the Epinions GUI editor complained that the link was too long, and wouldn't allow me to continue. So, I recommend you go to http://www.Sony.com, then search for SA-W2500.
Info from Epinions:
I NEED MORE BASS!
My Klipsch speakers are sweet for mid-range and highs. My Cerwin Vega center channel is great for voice and presence. My Sony SSBs are great for rear surrounds. All lack when it comes to low-end bass. (See links below for my reviews of these speakers).
DON'T WANT TO UPSET THE NEIGHBORS (Not too much, anyway)!
Being in an apartment for the last thirteen months, I have had neighbors come and go. Some neighbors seem to have a lot of money to spend on subwoofers, and they seem to like to play them very loud at odd hours, which I find extremely annoying. Me - I tend to be a little more considerate of my neighbors, so although a big Klipsch 15" powered sub with remote appealed to my male ego "bigger, more expensive, badder, louder, more boom, ho ho ho", I thought about how I had survived these 45 years without a sub, so I need not go he-man ape crazy on my first one.
In reality, all I wanted to do was fill in some of the lower bass for surround sound, and not as much, for music. My main planned usage was for the sub to augment audio from movies and Hi-Def cable television. While at the local Best Buy last week, trying to determine how best to spend a store gift certificate, I checked out the Sony SA-W2500 10" 100-watt powered subwoofer. After some 45 minutes of waiting for the overworked underpaid store associate to hook the unit up and demo it for me (with only the Sony SSB-1000's connected - see link below to my review), I purchased this subwoofer at Best Buy for $99 without hesitation.
The combination of the SSB-1000s and the SA-W2500 sounded fantastic! Best Buy didn't have the SSB-1000s in stock, so I went across the street to Circuit City and took advantage of their price match guarantee for those.
OUT OF THE BOX:
The subwoofer came securely packaged, wrapped in paper wrap, seated in form-fitted styrofoam. As expected, fit and finish was perfect, not a scratch anywhere, no gummy tape residue, no foam peanuts or crumbs to have to clean up.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX:
The box contained packaging material, the subwoofer appliance with attached power cord, assorted manufacturer's literature, and a thin RCA cable to connect the subwoofer to my amplifier pre-out. I opted to use a high-quality shielded cable instead of the supplied el-cheapo.
Dimensions: 11 7/16 x 13 3/4 x 16 3/8"
Weight: 22 lb
External Finish: Fake wood grain - black
The woofer is covered by a black mesh removable grill. The grill is difficult to remove; removal requires finesse instead of brute force.
Video Shielded: Yes
This subwoofer is located in an open corner of my apartment's walk-through living room (approximate size: 14x14').
Currently my living room contains the following audio / video equipment and speakers:
- 1 pair: Klipsch Heresy II: http://www.epinions.com/content_218394168964
- 1 pair: Klipsch RF-25: http://www.epinions.com/content_217615339140
- 1 pair: Sony SS-B1000: http://www.epinions.com/content_455326076548
- 1 unit: Cerwin Vega HT-CTR Center Channel
- 1 unit: Sony SA-W2500 - 10" 100-watt powered subwoofer
I drive these speakers with my Pioneer VSX-1015TX 7.1 receiver:
A Sony DVP-NS55P DVD Player feeds audio and video to the Pioneer receiver.
A Sony KDFE50A10 50 in. HDTV LCD TV feeds television audio signals to the Pioneer receiver.
I like loud music. I enjoy quality sound more than I like loud music. For movie viewing and surround sound, I now enjoy the added entertainment provided by the appropriate low rumble of deep bass. My movie preferences run the gamut, and include action, adventure, sci-fi, horror, comedy, documentary, etc.
My musical preferences include blues, classic rock, modern country, big-band, orchestra, classical, etc.
The Sony SA-W2500 features a user-configurable auto-power-saving mode. It will sense the presence of incoming signal, and power itself on and off as appropriate. You can also turn it off and on manually if you prefer, using the almost-unreachable power button located on the back side near the far rear bottom of the unit. For some people, connecting the unit to a strategically placed surge power strip could prove very useful as an alternative to the awkward power button.
In addition to the line-level inputs, speaker-level inputs are also provided.
There are knobs on the back of the unit, near the top, to allow adjustment for frequency response and output level.
On the front of the unit, in the center near the top, a small LED glows red when the subwoofer is in standby mode, and green when it is active. This light is barely noticeable and is unobtrusive for watching movies in the dark.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Frequency Response: Subwoofer- 28Hz-200Hz
Maximum Power Handling: 100W (6 ohms, 80 Hz, 10% THD)
- In Operation: 70W
- In Standby: less then .3W
DIALING IT IN:
At first I was a little disappointed by my perceived lack of output from this subwoofer. I expected the unit to rock my world, rattle pictures off the walls, shake the windows, wake the neighbors. The unit simply refused to do any of this.
I used the knobs on the back of the unit to adjust the frequency response and output levels in numerous combinations. After some experimentation, I had managed some minor improvements, but disappointment remained.
An idea struck me: isolate the subwoofer, then adjust it. My Pioneer AV receiver allows me to turn off all connected speakers while the subwoofer pre-out remains active. Sweet. Once I was able to listen to the subwoofer by itself, the adjustments were then much more noticeable. In short order I had the unit dialed in to my listening environment and tastes. Of course, during this experiential phase, I did manage to figure out how to rattle walls and floors a bit, and provide some deep rumble. I also figured out how to make the subwoofer flutter and warble a bit, and decided I didn't like that, so I dialed it out.
MY USAGE EXPERIENCE:
After several day's usage, I find that I am quite happy with the output of this subwoofer. I can definitely notice a warmer presence to movies and music. The deeper richer feel of deep bass is readily apparent during scenes with huge objects, like dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, or the Titanic looming ominously close. During action-packed scenes in the movie Transformers, the deeper bass enriched the viewing experience, and drew me in closer to the on-screen mayhem.
Yesterday I switched the TV channel to HD Net, and they were playing a Kenny G concert. I am not a fan of Kenny G, but at this particular point, they were featuring percussionists, one conventional drummer, one bongos player, and one guy playing a sole bass drum. For comparison, during the percussion piece, I repeatedly powered off and on the subwoofer, and made various adjustments, to better learn and understand what the appliance could offer me. I have to say that I was very impressed with the enhancements offered by the Sony SA-W2500 subwoofer. I actually had to back off on my volume levels in concern for the emotional well-being of my neighbors.
BANG FOR THE BUCK:
Hey, I want a Klipsch subwoofer, too! This one would do quite nicely:
However, I don't have $1300 to spend; nor do I have a large space to put it in; nor do I have a house in the middle of five acres to isolate my neighbors from my noise.
Yes, I did compromise. I spent $99 on a low-end 10" Sony subwoofer. And I am happy with my purchase decision. If your goal is to shake the house or make this thing fart-fart-fart to rap music (not dissin' rap music, just the farty sounds that some folks seem to enjoy from subwoofers playing rap), then this subwoofer is not for you. If you want to compliment and enhance your listening experience in a smaller area on a lighter budget, this subwoofer is worthy of your consideration.
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Amount Paid (US$): 99
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