Sunday, August 21, 2016

RE Audio SXX 10 Inch Car Audio Subwoofer Review

I tend to be a bit of a bass head.  I like a lot of bass.  When it comes to car audio, that means that you need a subwoofer.  Car subwoofers come in all different sizes and power handling ratings.  The higher the power handling, the louder the potential output.  If you are looking for one of the best, it needs to be able to handle a lot of power.  A company well known for manufacturing impressive car subwoofers is RE Audio.  And up for review today is their Re Audio SXX 10 inch subwoofer.

Features and specs:
·  Dual Composite 2-piece Cone
·  Rubatek Foam Surround
·  Cast Aluminum Basket
·  Tork-Tite Terminal
·  3 " 8-layer Aluminum Voice Coil
·  FEA Optimized Motor Structure
·  Triple Stack Magnets
·  Progressive Spiders
·  Wrap around Rubber Gasket
·  Nominal Impedance: Dual 2 or 4 Ohm
·  Power Handling: 1000 W (RMS)

The RE Audio SXX subwoofer came in a nice looking color printed box with photos and specs of the subwoofer. The subwoofer sat well protected in custom molded Styrofoam. Although it wasn’t really needed, as the RE Audio SXX is very solidly built. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal with some foam and polypropylene. The magnet is large and the black cast metal basket is actually shallower than expected. The polypropylene cone is well secured to the beefy foam surround. Quality of materials used was very good. And the fit and finish was equally impressive. The terminals use a hex key. It isn’t as simple as a push terminal, but you will know you have a solid connection. Also included is the owner’s manual.

For the listening tests, I wanted something challenging from different genres.  And I decided to go more old school.  ZZ Top is a classic, so we used their song Gimme All Your Lovin, along with New Order Blue Monday, which is also a hard hitter.  And of course a subwoofer challenge wouldn't be complete without using a bass disk.  For that I also turned to old school Techmaster PB: Activate, and Time To Jam.  Last but not least I also wanted something for the more pure audiophiles, so that all bases are covered.  For that task we included Also Sprach Zarathustra.  It's most popular for the intro scene of 2001 A Space Odyssey.  

The listening tests were done in both sealed and ported.  We went with a 1.50 cu ft sealed enclosure, and a 1.75 cu ft ported enclosure.  Since the listening tests were done using both sealed and ported, there were the two different tests.  And each test was done in two parts.  The first part was for output with an SPL meter, and the 2nd part was done for sound quality.  With there being a wide range of cabin gains, depending on the vehicle you have, we did the listening evaluation in our test room.  Just keep in mind with these SPL numbers, that they will be even higher in your vehicle due to the cabin gain.  Now with all that said, lets get it on!

The first test was with the sealed enclosure.  Part A was just to measure peak song output.  ZZ Top: Gimme All Your Lovin reached up to 102 db.  New Order: Blue Monday went up to 111db.  Techmaster PB: Activate, and Time To Jam reached up to 119db.  Last but not least, Also Sprach Zarathustra got up to 100db.  

Part B of the sealed enclosure test was all about listening.  ZZ Top: Gimme All Your Lovin, the beats were clean with
 really good impact and lots of authority.  New Order: Blue Monday, the beats were really tight with knock the wind out of your chest jackhammer type of punch.  They also lad lots of depth with good output.  Techmaster PB: Activate, and Time To Jam, the bass was really deep with lots of well controlled excursion!  Not only was it really loud, but it was clean doing so!  Also Sprach Zarathustra, provided nice sustained low end extension that was smooth yet deep.  It also provided nice resolution of the mallet on the tympani.

Now is the ported enclosure test for the RE Audio SXX subwoofer.  Part A for the output showed ZZ Top: Gimme All Your Lovin, reached 101db.  New Order: Blue Monday got up to 113db.  Techmaster PB: Activate and Time To Jam, got to 122db.  Then Also Sprach Zarathustra achieved 103db.

Part B of the ported enclosure test for the RE Audio SXX subwoofer was back to listening.  ZZ Top: Gimme All Your Lovin, had really nice depth with lots of authority.  Bass beats were also nice and tight with in your chest impact.  New Order: Blue Monday, yielded very tight in your chest beats that didn't miss a beat.  Timing was right on and not muddy.  The motor controlled the cone very well, giving clean deep bass.  Techmaster PB: Activate and Time To Jam, is always a big test for any subwoofer, yet this one handled it in spades.  There was tons of excursion that was well controlled and not sloppy.  It hit hard, and did so very well.  Also Sprach Zarathustra provided nice smooth sustained low rumble that was extremely deep yet with ok output doing so.  And there was good resolution, being able to hear the mallets on the tympani pad.

I love a good hard hitting sub.  And the RE Audio SXX 10 inch subwoofer delivered in spades.  Not only was it extremely loud and clean doing so, it was also very musical with good resolution.  It was more musical than I expected from a sub designed for as much output as the RE Audio SXX sub does.  If you want a sub that can handle a ton of power, and you have the amplifier power for it, the RE Audio SXX sub should be on your short list.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the RE Audio SXX subwoofer has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at  Reference gear used in the review included Kenwood DNN990HD receiver, Audiocontrol DQSX Electronic EQ and Crossover, Vibe Audio Black Death Bass 1 Class GH subwoofer amp, Install Bay 100 Amp Power supply.