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206 of 210 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound, excellent value
If you're thinking about buying a subwoofer, it is unlikely that you are a garden variety movie fan or lover of music. People looking for subwoofers usually already have a decent system, but know that there is something lacking.

When it came for me to buy one, three factors weighed in my decision: power, brand, and (of course) price. I've grown up with what I...
Published on September 4, 2007 by J. Bakker

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133 of 161 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Get What You Pay For
I'm no pretentious audiophile, but I love my movies and my music. I gave this sub a shot based on the reviews and the fact that I was on a REAL tight budget; I'm going to have to split with the crowd on this one: If all you want is RUMBLE, then this is the ticket. It is literally a Boom box. HOWEVER, a subwoofer is not just supposed to make the walls shake - it's supposed...
Published on July 7, 2008 by Ainsley Campbell


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206 of 210 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound, excellent value, September 4, 2007
By 
J. Bakker (Mt. Pleasant, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
If you're thinking about buying a subwoofer, it is unlikely that you are a garden variety movie fan or lover of music. People looking for subwoofers usually already have a decent system, but know that there is something lacking.

When it came for me to buy one, three factors weighed in my decision: power, brand, and (of course) price. I've grown up with what I have always believed to be a 'healthy skepticism' when it comes to Sony products. My father had an early generation (1990ish) 5.0 Sony 250 Watt surround amp that performed extremely poorly in just about every function. The only advantage it had over his earlier (1978) Rotel non-tube amp is that it had multiple component inputs. The sound quality of the 50 Watt rated Rotel amp blew the Sony out of the water.

In my search for a subwoofer, I was surprised to find so many good reviews of the Sony line. I was looking for a better name than Sony, but when I compared prices, I was compelled to give the Sony at least a listen. Comparable subs by Velodyne and others were far more expensive (double the cost of the Sony or more). Listening to the Sony at the stereo shop, I must say that I was extremely impressed.

Is the Sony sound as good as the Velodyne or other high end subwoofers that cost 2-3 times as much as the Sony? Of course not, but I quickly discovered that difference in sound quality was not at all closely related to the difference in price.

Keep in mind that this is one of Sony's smallest and lightest subs (only 25 lbs), but once I brought it home and hooked it up to my 6.1 surround system and configured the frequency and volume on the back of the sub, it seamlessly expanded the low end range of my system for music and movie playback. Before I learned (by experimenting with them) how to adjust the levels on the back of the sub, it was quite boomy and there was a bit of a gap between the low end on the six surround speakers and where the sub picked up. When I made the appropriate adjustments, by trial and error, I found that this sub is an extremely versatile fit for my home. My family room is 17'x14', and the back opens into a 10'x15' living room, and the sub easily fills the room. When I crank the system for rock and roll music and movies, the sub has no problem keeping up and is easily capable of playing more loudly than is safe or enjoyable.

Would I have liked a bigger sub made by a better brand? Sure, but this one does the job (and then some) admirably, and for less than half the cost. This sub gets 4 stars as a product, but I gave it 5 because of the extremely good value. If you have a big budget and can afford to spend what it would take to buy a speaker that actually sounds better than one of these Sony subs, go for it, you will not be disappointed. On the other hand, if you would rather spend less on a sub and still get excellent power and sound quality, this is as good as it gets without spending several hundred dollars.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genuine Audio Bargain, January 6, 2008
This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
Why use a $100 mass market subwoofer in an audiophile-quality system? Because the Sony SA-W2500...when positioned and adjusted correctly...sounds far, far better than its modest price would suggest. The 100 watt amplifier is adequate for reasonable listening levels and the 10" woofer is light enough to respond instantly and accurately to transients. The trick to realizing audiophile sound from this cheap black box is simple: discretion. For precise bass reinforcement with exemplary recordings (e.g. Vanska/Minnesota Orchestra's Beethoven 9th on BIS SACD), the subwoofer needs to stand away from the wall and be positioned at a slight angle...the frequency response needs to be limited to about 50 Hz...and the output level of the sub needs to be matched to the output of the mains. I recommend Chesky's Gold Stereo & Surround Sound Setup CD for this purpose (either with one's "golden ears" or a SPL meter). What one gets...assuming that the mains are doing their share of the work...is "you are there" string bass and kettle drum dynamics that are quite breathtaking. It's possible to spend very much more on a subwoofer...but the difference in cost between a big ticket box and the Sony SA-W2500 might be better applied toward the cost of a state-of-the-art preamplifier.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great ".1" - Almost Overkill, May 25, 2007
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This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
This piece completes my 5.1 system, all Sony. This thing can overpower the rest of the system, but sounds GREAT once it's dialed in. Power saver feature and active adjustable amp and crossover are key. I'm using the sub input with the amp set to about 2/3 and the crossover blocking some of the higher frequencies from coming through it. Music is great, movies are even better.
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133 of 161 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Get What You Pay For, July 7, 2008
This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
I'm no pretentious audiophile, but I love my movies and my music. I gave this sub a shot based on the reviews and the fact that I was on a REAL tight budget; I'm going to have to split with the crowd on this one: If all you want is RUMBLE, then this is the ticket. It is literally a Boom box. HOWEVER, a subwoofer is not just supposed to make the walls shake - it's supposed to accurately reproduce low frequency sound. this is important for listening to music. The Sony did not do this for me. I played with the crossover settings, volume, and placement. I ended up leaving it on extremely low settings because all it was good for was rumbling. It was not tight, and did not really fill in low frequencies until cranked - which of course just meant lots of boom boom boom.

If all you want is cheap rumble for your HT then this may work, but if you also want accurate, tight bass for your music (and really, a decent sub should be able to do both), then look elsewhere.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MONSTER BASS!!!, November 11, 2007
This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
Just so you know. . . my home theater system includes: a Sony 51-inch WEGA high-definition TV, a Sony STR-DG910 7.1-channel home theater receiver, a Sony DVP-NS77H upscaling DVD player, a pair of Sony SSF-5000 floor speakers, one Sony SSC-N5000 center channel speaker, one Sony SA-W2500 150-watt subwoofer, and a pair of Sony SSB-1000 bookshelf speakers for the surrounds. Everything is Sony. Everything works with one remote control, which came with the receiver. (My review is based on these components being used together, which is why I'm including all this info.)
The Sony SA-W2500 subwoofer has excellent low-frequency performance and was extremely easy to set up - one RCA jack cable from my receiver to the sub, then plug it in to a wall socket. Presto!!! It's fairly small in size for a sub. The box seems well-constructed and robust, and it's not inordinately heavy. My only complaint is that there is a rattle somewhere in the subwoofer box at certain frequencies, and I can't find it - very annoying - but I will track it down eventually, I hope. Focusing in the right amount of bass took some time as I listened to several movies while adjusting the crossover and volume settings, tweaking the bass EQ on my receiver, and also moving the sub around the room to different locations. But the final results were definitely worth the time. No distortion (just that rattle). Fat low-end sound that you can feel. My neighbors are probably ticked off. Plenty of power for a small or medium-size living room. Great for the price! Four stars because of that pesky rattle, otherwise this would be the perfect subwoofer for a small or moderate home theater system. Matches all my other Sony speakers. I hope this review helps you.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed!, September 4, 2007
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This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
Wow. For the price I paid for this subwoofer I couldn't be happier. Gives out a deep, rich bass that I can feel through the furniture. Easy to hook up and operate. Could not be happier with this purchase.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT, August 28, 2007
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This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
I love this subwoofer, not too big, but it has a big sound. In my system the sound is clean and distortion free with a terrific bottom end. Best of all the price is right.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good value, but might not satisfy music enthusiasts, December 27, 2008
By 
Orchid_Malevolence (Iowa, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
I purchased this subwoofer recently for use in my office because the bookshelf speakers I'm using just didn't have enough low-end extension to really be worth using by themselves (I used headphones almost constantly because of it).

The subwoofer is pretty simple. Decent build quality, no flaws in the veneer, and straightforward amplifier controls. The driver itself looks somewhat cheap (protruding tinsel leads and a cardboard dustcap), so I leave the grill on mine, but overall a fairly handsome package.

The controls are simple, but effective: Amplifier gain, crossover (no bypass), 0/180 phase switch, and a manual/auto "power save" switch. The auto sensing turn on circuit takes a bit too much to get it to turn on and shuts off too quickly, in my opinion (as well as producing a click sound when it turns on and off, which can get annoying for watching programs that don't have a lot of low frequency stuff to keep the sub busy), however turning your subwoofer output up should alleviate this.

Anyway, the sound. The woofer is rated to get down to 28hz, but let's be honest, no entry-level subwoofer at this price is going to give you honest output at that frequency. At high volume, it will certainly play a 28hz note (I got audible output down to about 26hz by playing pure tones only at high volume), however, the usable range in my room would probably be about 35hz, with strong output down to 40hz.

The output is a bit peaky - I played with a few positioning options, however I could never get rid of a couple of frequency peaks, one at about 55hz and one at about 80hz, and it would take equalization to fully correct these. However, I got it to mesh acceptably with my Infinity bookshelf speakers (5" woofers) by turning the crossover down to 60hz. After reading another review for this product, I tried someone's experimental "mod" of stuffing a t-shirt into the port, and it did indeed increase transient response and got rid of some of the woofer's boomy character. After the "mod," I turned the gain up slightly and set the crossover to 80hz. It blends much better, sounds richer, and is just more engaging to listen to.

I'm giving this subwoofer three stars, as it is a good value if you're looking to add a lower octave to bookshelf speakers for a casual listening environment, however I don't think this subwoofer would be sufficient for larger speakers. 4-6" woofers would probably be alright, but anything larger than that and this would struggle to keep up. For my uses, this is more of a stopgap. Decent performance, great price - just don't expect any miracles.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RESOLVED A WALL SPEAKER INSTALLATION DEFICIENCY!!, August 1, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
I bought this subwoofer to resolve a bass deficiency in a wall speaker installation that was made as part of a kitchen remodel. The wall speakers are JBL 8" Titanium models, but the wall enclosure had fire blocking which limited the amount of enclosure space in the stud cavities and reduced the speakers' ability to deliver musicality in the bass area.

Bass needs for the type of music played on this system isn't excessive, but it has to be 'right'. The system is used for Classic Old Time Rock & Roll and R&B amped up to dance hall levels. We also listen to light Classical a lot of the time. I installed an equalizer in the system, but it didn't help much. I bought the Sub to see if I could get the sound in the bottom end that I was looking for and I was absolutely overjoyed when I lit the Sony up.

The room (kitchen) is 300 sq. ft. with a lot of reflective surfaces and the SA-W2500 does the job admirably. The equalizer is no longer part of the system. The Harman Kardon 3380 Receiver actually runs cooler now than it did previously and the Sony doesn't heat up either. The system seems well balanced musically and is fun and non-fatiguing to listen to.

We definitely got everything that we wanted with the SA-W2500 and don't feel that we compromised in any areas...you can't say that very often about 80 bucks worth of sound equipment. There are four other sound systems in our house containing high end amps, preamps, processors and Polk speakers. This kitchen system stands right in there and competes well with them.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Affordable Boom, November 21, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer (Electronics)
Obviously, if you're a bass fanatic, you're going to want to spend a little more money for your subwoofer, but for a starter kit, this little puppy turns the rumble of passing trains, the thud of a car door closing, or a helicopter-mounted machine gun into a real life experience.

The auto detect mechanism is both very cool and slightly annoying. The woofer turns off by itself, so you don't have to reach around for the power button at all, but during movies there are slower parts, dialogue in particular, where the woofer shuts off, then click-clicks back on when an explosion or whatever is coming up. You get used to it, but it's noticable.

As for music, it takes the Beastie Boys, 2Pac, NIN, Metallica, whatever to the next level. The bass quality is probably equivalent to bullfrogs singing in a mud puddle compared to more expensive models, but if you've got nothing to compare it to, it's righteous.

On the back of the woofer there's also a bass frequency knob where you can turn it all the way down or all the way up--the idiots guide tells you to turn it all the way up and leave it there, making me wonder why it's there at all. Otherwise, for a small room, and for the price, it's perfect.
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Sony SA-W2500 Performance Line 100 Watt Subwoofer
$140.00 $97.99
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