B&W Launches New Subwoofers
Few action movie fans would argue with that. The company has responded to the home cinema challenge with three new active subs: the ASW300, the ASW600, and the ASW650. All three apply "B&W core technologies to the specialized task of low-frequency reproduction at sizes and price levels that cover a broad spectrum of high-performance audio needs." In other words, these affordable bass boxes rock.
The biggest of the bunch, the ASW650, sports a single, high-output 12" woofer. The 600 has a 10", and the 300 an 8" driver, respectively. All of the drivers are made using a paper/Kevlar composite cone material developed at B&W's Steyning Research Centre. The composite is said to offer incredible stiffness-to-mass ratio and exceptional strength - which translates to higher output levels with lower distortion. The new subwoofers also benefit from B&W research into low-turbulence porting, the result being a dimpled port construction ("FlowPort") said to reduce port noise to inaudible levels.
The subs have active second-order low-pass filters for fast, tight response to the most demanding soundtracks. Internal amplification is augmented by a "bass overload suppression" system and a "smart amplifier" feature that further reduce distortion. Available amp power ranges from 200 watts for the ASW600 to 100 watts for the 300.
The subs' floor-firing FlowPorts allow placement near walls or corners. Inputs include line-level and speaker-level, with an 80Hz crossover point for the high-pass output. Level and slope contour controls allow you to achieve the best compromise between bass extension and output level, and all the new B&W subwoofers have signal sensing circuitry for auto on/off operation. The two larger subs are available in black ash or light oak; the ASW300 is available in black ash or maple woodgrain. They should arrive at B&W dealers this month, with suggested retail prices of $700 for the AWS650, $500 for the ASW600, and $350 for the ASW300.