Emotiva Basx S8 versus JBL 550p Subwoofers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Emotiva Basx S8 versus JBL 550p Subwoofers

Which one is better?
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post #2 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 03:01 PM
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Good question -- while the Emotiva seems to be a good sub with some nice controlled bass, I would be surprised if it could match the spl, punch, and depth of the JBL.
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post #3 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billionaire View Post
Which one is better?
I would think the BasX10 vs JBL 550 would be a more apt comparison. Any JBL 550 owners chime in yet as to how they like their subs?

A bit curious myself.
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post #4 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Right now the Emotiva S8 costs $200 and the JBL 550p costs $189.
Emotiva S8: 8", 150 watt RMS, 28hz
JBL 550p: 10", 300 watt RMS, 27hz, sealed
Someone on Amazon said the cheapest JBL subs are worthless but the 550p is decent for the $189 discounted price, but for the $600 regular price you can get far better subs.
I was wondering about a comparison of the quality of the sound between the two subs.
I can't tell at all about how good a sub sounds from a video on youtube since I don't even have a sub right now. They all just sound like highly distorted noise on youtube.
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post #5 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 04:02 PM
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I'd give the edge to the JBL just from specs. Eight inch subwoofers are barely subwoofers.

If you only have $200 to spend, the JBL looks like a nice deal, though I'd recommend waiting until you can save up $500-$600 at minimum and get a nice powerful 12" from Hsu, Rythmik, or SVS.

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post #6 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 04:14 PM
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The JBL weighs 29 lbs more -- has more power and a better box -- a powerful driver -- and should hit the bass notes with more authority, even the low notes. Just because some subs can hit around the same notes, it does not mean they will be equal. Even the Pioneer 8 inch sub hits 29 hz
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post #7 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I went ahead and ordered the JBL 550p for $189. At this price I couldn't resist. I have a bit of sentimental attachment to JBL. I will let you guys know what I think of it. The Emotiva S8 sub arrived today, but if I like the JBL one, I will return it. I could always upgrade to a ~$600 sub later. It seems to me like you guys want really powerful subs for slamming home theaters, but I just need one that sounds pretty good, at least for now.
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post #8 of 72 Old 09-01-2017, 06:38 PM
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For music in a small room, the Emotiva S8 is surprisingly good.

For HT in a larger room, I'd be surprised if the S8 can punch with the JBL.

@Billionaire , I'd love if you could do a comparison, since you have both for now...
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post #9 of 72 Old 09-02-2017, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billionaire View Post
I went ahead and ordered the JBL 550p for $189. At this price I couldn't resist. I have a bit of sentimental attachment to JBL. I will let you guys know what I think of it. The Emotiva S8 sub arrived today, but if I like the JBL one, I will return it. I could always upgrade to a ~$600 sub later. It seems to me like you guys want really powerful subs for slamming home theaters, but I just need one that sounds pretty good, at least for now.
Coming from no sub, even a Bic F-12 is a huge upgrade. The Bas-X8 will work well in small rom with limited placement options. The JBL has a larger driver, twice the power, has a similar frequency range and is cheaper than the X8. I'm interested to hear which one will actually sound better.

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post #10 of 72 Old 09-02-2017, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billionaire View Post
I went ahead and ordered the JBL 550p for $189. At this price I couldn't resist. I have a bit of sentimental attachment to JBL. I will let you guys know what I think of it. The Emotiva S8 sub arrived today, but if I like the JBL one, I will return it. I could always upgrade to a ~$600 sub later. It seems to me like you guys want really powerful subs for slamming home theaters, but I just need one that sounds pretty good, at least for now.
Looking forward to your comparison.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #11 of 72 Old 09-05-2017, 09:54 AM
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The BasX S8 is surprisingly good for the size/price.

For my budget/room size it was perfect. My living room is (IIRC) 11x18 and the Emotiva provides good, low bass at the volumes I use. It's downward firing and that gives, effectively, four different orientations for the sub. Mine is turned so the port is sideways. Works very well considering the sub is longer front-to-back and turned sideways it sticks out less from the wall. There's a door that, when opened, just touches the back of the sub and the sub has the length of the door for its port.

The sub is basically an innocuous black cube near the door. I don't even notice it (and, importantly, neither does my wife) unless the movie/tv show has some bass to it. I am favorably impressed for $200.
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post #12 of 72 Old 09-05-2017, 01:58 PM
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Oh, absolutely. For its price and size, the basx8 is excellent. Its small, attractive and unobtrusive, and packs plenty punch. It is better by far than any sub that a person with a htib or soundbar/sub system would be used to, and I have never heard mine sound anything less than great. I couldn't imagine anyone considering it weak, and its very versatile.
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post #13 of 72 Old 09-05-2017, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuteTibiImperes View Post
Eight inch subwoofers are barely subwoofers.
In most cases larger and more powerful is preferable to an 8" sub. However, you should give the Basx S8 a listen. You may find it is a good solution in many solutions. You don't need a 12 gauge to knock squirrels off the bird feeder; a BB gun works just fine
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post #14 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 08:04 AM
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In most cases larger and more powerful is preferable to an 8" sub. However, you should give the Basx S8 a listen. You may find it is a good solution in many solutions. You don't need a 12 gauge to knock squirrels of the bird feeder; a BB gun works just fine
I have the cherry finished JBL SUB 550P - bought it to 'enhance' my NHT SuperOne 2.1's - paid $289 from Amazon - and thought I stole it! I had little to compare it with - an old Sony 10" and my former best 'sub' - a Polk PSW-505 - which I retired when I opened the JBL's box - real quality! It sounds better than it looks, too. It uses the sealed enclosure, giving it an acoustic suspension 'sound' - a la the NHT's - a perfect aural match & enhancement. Now it is connected to my only 2.1 designed amp - my Onkyo TX-8020 - in a 2.1 HT in my bonus room. The L&R's are Klipsch R-15M's. It's wasted there!

Obviously, I'd get a black JBL SUB 550P... for $189... in a minute! Heck, I might just order one...
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post #15 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Stainz View Post
I have the cherry finished JBL SUB 550P - bought it to 'enhance' my NHT SuperOne 2.1's - paid $289 from Amazon - and thought I stole it! I had little to compare it with - an old Sony 10" and my former best 'sub' - a Polk PSW-505 - which I retired when I opened the JBL's box - real quality! It sounds better than it looks, too. It uses the sealed enclosure, giving it an acoustic suspension 'sound' - a la the NHT's - a perfect aural match & enhancement. Now it is connected to my only 2.1 designed amp - my Onkyo TX-8020 - in a 2.1 HT in my bonus room. The L&R's are Klipsch R-15M's. It's wasted there!

Obviously, I'd get a black JBL SUB 550P... for $189... in a minute! Heck, I might just order one...
It sounds like quite a deal and is an obvious choice at that price. However, those bargains don't last forever. I think you should go for 2.2 before it's too late

Enjoy!!
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post #16 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 09:01 AM
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I just received my 550p yesterday. Gonna let it play for the day, but my first impression is this thing is heavy for a smallish box. Driver looks quality. Played the first hour or so and I'm a little let down so far. I know it needs to break in, but so far I like my dynamo 300 better in the music room. My plan was to try one and order another if I like it...
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post #17 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by murphy_5 View Post
I just received my 550p yesterday. Gonna let it play for the day, but my first impression is this thing is heavy for a smallish box. Driver looks quality. Played the first hour or so and I'm a little let down so far. I know it needs to break in, but so far I like my dynamo 300 better in the music room. My plan was to try one and order another if I like it...
Give it a couple of days -- and check all your settings
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post #18 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 09:29 AM
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Give it a couple of days -- and check all your settings
x2 .. even my lousy bic got tons better after a couple of days .. play some avengers/ marvel comic type movies with the gain turned up a little
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post #19 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by murphy_5 View Post
I just received my 550p yesterday. Gonna let it play for the day, but my first impression is this thing is heavy for a smallish box. Driver looks quality. Played the first hour or so and I'm a little let down so far. I know it needs to break in, but so far I like my dynamo 300 better in the music room. My plan was to try one and order another if I like it...
Turn off all Audyssey (or whatever settings) on the receiver for the review period. Play with manual settings and physical placement. Just because it was a good position for a previous sub, does not mean it's a good position for this sub. Start from scratch without preconceived notions!
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post #20 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 11:01 AM
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Turn off all Audyssey (or whatever settings) on the receiver for the review period. Play with manual settings and physical placement. Just because it was a good position for a previous sub, does not mean it's a good position for this sub. Start from scratch without preconceived notions!
+1

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post #21 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 11:04 AM
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Just because it was a good position for a previous sub, does not mean it's a good position for this sub.
Especially since the ML is a vented sub and this JBL is a sealed sub...each design probably has very different room interactions.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #22 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by murphy_5 View Post
I just received my 550p yesterday. Gonna let it play for the day, but my first impression is this thing is heavy for a smallish box. Driver looks quality. Played the first hour or so and I'm a little let down so far. I know it needs to break in, but so far I like my dynamo 300 better in the music room. My plan was to try one and order another if I like it...
Interesting the $199 at NewEgg Dynamo 300 only claims 32hz extension from its 8" driver and 75 watt amp.

That's half the power of the BasX S8 which claims, (reasonably in my view), 28hz extension.

I say reasonably because my 50 watt Yamaha SW012 sub hits its claimed 28hz in my room before falling of a cliff and it is 3 feet from any wall.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #23 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by murphy_5 View Post
I just received my 550p yesterday. Gonna let it play for the day, but my first impression is this thing is heavy for a smallish box. Driver looks quality. Played the first hour or so and I'm a little let down so far. I know it needs to break in, but so far I like my dynamo 300 better in the music room. My plan was to try one and order another if I like it...
I'm not one to give advice on subs (actually more likely to ask for help with them), but once you get it set up nice, maybe try some low frequency sweeps on it, just to get an idea if it hits where it's supposed to. If you want to be exact, use a spl meter (app should do), but ears should be fine for a general idea. It could be useful to some folks here, as well as yourself... make sure the thing does what it's supposed to. And if not, maybe try it in a different location.
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post #24 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 12:01 PM
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I got this recently and am very impressed by its build quality. It sounds wonderful as well ... Value wise, JBL has hit this one off the park! Being sealed, it seems to blend a lot better in my room with the bookshelves than the other ported ones i've had here. While it is rated till 27hz, with room gain it goes a lot lower. I've tested klipsch reference sub in the same place, and JBL is way way better.
While emotiva makes excellent stuff, i can't see S8 besting the JBL.
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post #25 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cacophonix View Post
I got this recently and am very impressed by its build quality. It sounds wonderful as well ... Value wise, JBL has hit this one off the park! Being sealed, it seems to blend a lot better in my room with the bookshelves than the other ported ones i've had here. While it is rated till 27hz, with room gain it goes a lot lower. I've tested klipsch reference sub in the same place, and JBL is way way better.
While emotiva makes excellent stuff, i can't see S8 besting the JBL.
I've always had sealed subs in my main HT room; a tiny minority here on AVS.

Some folks, especially those who like the sound of a so so ported sub, (ie. a big 40-50hz peak), actually don't like sealed subs at all.

They love that boom.

Mind you a well designed ported sub doesn't exhibit that behavior but my dearly departed friend thought his tiny HTIB "subwoofer" was better than my DD15!

https://www.cnet.com/products/velodyne-dd-15/specs/

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I haven't given up on it yet Gonna let it properly break in for a few days then sub crawl it around till I find its home...although I have an idea where the two best places will be. I'm gonna treat it like I have no idea where that is. We shall see. Billionaire any feedback yet?

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post #27 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cacophonix View Post
I got this recently and am very impressed by its build quality. It sounds wonderful as well ... Value wise, JBL has hit this one off the park! Being sealed, it seems to blend a lot better in my room with the bookshelves than the other ported ones i've had here. While it is rated till 27hz, with room gain it goes a lot lower. I've tested klipsch reference sub in the same place, and JBL is way way better.
While emotiva makes excellent stuff, i can't see S8 besting the JBL.
I wouldn't expect the S8 to best the JBL that is larger, more powerful, and has an MSRP 3 times higher. The S10 and S12 are probably closer in capability and typical selling price. You found quite a bargain. Enjoy your quality low notes

Edited to change "low end" to "deep notes" Obviously the JBL will add some great bass to the system

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post #28 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 06:15 PM
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I've always had sealed subs in my main HT room; a tiny minority here on AVS.

Some folks, especially those who like the sound of a so so ported sub, (ie. a big 40-50hz peak), actually don't like sealed subs at all.

They love that boom.

Mind you a well designed ported sub doesn't exhibit that behavior but my dearly departed friend thought his tiny HTIB "subwoofer" was better than my DD15!

https://www.cnet.com/products/velodyne-dd-15/specs/
I agree ... i personally greatly prefer the sound of a sealed sub. While i appreciate extension/boom as much as the next person, in my home, nothing beats a sealed sub. Factor in the room gain, it just seems to blend very well with my 2 channel setup.

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I wouldn't expect the S8 to best the JBL that is larger, more powerful, and has an MSRP 3 times higher. The S10 and S12 are probably closer in capability and typical selling price. You found quite a bargain. Enjoy your quality low notes

Edited to change "low end" to "deep notes" Obviously the JBL will add some great bass to the system
I've built several subs for myself and others, and none come close to what JBL can offer at this price. Again, i'm talking about the $189 that it is selling for these days. I mean ... a 10" dayton reference costs ~$100 or so. Add another $120 for the 300w yung amp. And before you factor in the cost of MDF, finishing supplies and elbow grease, you are already over what this sells for. The cheapest sub i was able to build for my friend cost us close to $300 (10" dayton titanic mk4 w/300w yung in a 2.0 cu ft slot ported sub) and does not feel as sturdy as this one!! I mean , its nuts! If there is anything that sounds better than this at this price, or $50 more ... i'd be very very interested in it. I'd strongly urge folks to jump on this, and get it. Try it at your place, and worst case, you can return it to amazon. I'm tempted to dissemble the sub and see how it is constructed!
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post #29 of 72 Old 09-06-2017, 07:26 PM
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I'm tempted to dissemble the sub and see how it is constructed!
Yes, post some pictures of the inside
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post #30 of 72 Old 09-07-2017, 08:06 AM
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Yes, post some pictures of the inside
That's the first thing I noticed was how heavy it was, gotta be some legit construction to it. Let's see some pics of the inside!
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