Originally Posted by rnatalli
Overall design is what matters with a subwoofer. A few questions:
What are your listening habits? % HT vs % Music
How loud do you listen to your system?
How large is your room?
What's your max budget?
With all that, forum members can make some specific recommendations.
1) I watch movies rarely. I watch broadcast HDTV more frequently (but still not a whole lot, averaging less than an hour a day) but I really don't know how much of what I watch has 5.1 audio and what fraction of that puts anything significant in the .1 channel. I don't need or want the house to shake, but I do want to hear what should be there in the audio mix.
I listen to music most days, primarily jazz. Sometimes I stream KCSM-FM over the internet at a paltry 64 kbps.
2) I'm not sure how to answer the loudness question accurately. I don't have a sound meter. I would guess I listen at softer levels than most people on this forum. I don't "crank it." Someone in the same room speaking at normal volume can usually be heard over the music.
3) The room is 12' wide and about 16' deep, with the back wall partially missing and open to other rooms. The sub will have to go near the front-right corner, under a desk, on hardwood. I realize this is not ideal, but there it is. Also, for WAF-related reasons the sub should probably be black and its dimensions should be no more than 17" x 25" and no more than 19" (23" in a pinch) tall.
4) It's not a question of budget so much as of value. This will be my first sub and I don't want to spend much more than $200 to start. Maybe later I decide to spend more when I know what I'm doing. That was my strategy when I purchased my low-end Polk RM7-Center channel speaker. (I guess I should be saving up for an Infinity Kappa Video to match my Emit-R tweeters, but I'm not at that stage yet.)
Then again, I strongly considered snapping up a used Mirage BPS-400 for twice that amount, even though it would have been too big for my 17"x25" space. I also strongly considered a new BIC V1020 or V1220 but decided I could probably do better.