Velodyne DB-15 Subwoofer Page 2

This sub, as advertised, goes loud and deep. The frequency response is rated down to 23Hz at -3dB, with the promise of effective wooferage to 13Hz, and in my medium-sized room it proved to be a genuine trouser-flapper. What was particularly welcome was that it didn't seem to reach the limits of its ability even when I'd pushed the level way beyond what my neighbours would tolerate. Your experience may differ, but I can't imagine many people moaning that the Velodyne DB-15 is 'too quiet.'

It's also a sub that brings a good-time feel to your movie-watching. Instead of the steely-eyed control of some sealed, big-driver rivals, this Velodyne gives off a slight feeling of flying by the seat of its 3in voice coil. That's not to says its output is loose, flabby or uncertain – there's enough engineering skill here to keep the 15in woofer in healthy check – but it's not polite either. The DB-15 attacks LFE effects with gusto. Arguably, it sometimes makes a bit too much of them, not quite nailing a transient snap.


The subwoofer's 15in polypropylene cone driver gets a four-layer voice coil and hefty magnet

That said, with the more upper-range bass of the frequent gunplay in Free Fire (Blu-ray) it sounded really fast and responsive, and this characteristic worked well when I put it to work with music. A run-through of Michael Jackson's one-two punch of Beat It and Billie Jean (Thriller, CD) benefitted from a rich bass tone and the scale it bought to drums.

Back To Basics
My reservations about the DB-15 don't really concern its performance. Rather, I feel duty-bound to point out that while the curved-corner black MDF cabinet looks smart, Velodyne's circular, flush-fit grill is a bit of an eyesore, but when you remove it, it exposes a less-than-premium finish to the cabinetry underneath. Operation and setup are also unexciting. There are more affordable subs offering remotes, a choice of preset modes or EQ, plus wireless connection potential and 12V triggers.

So from the outside, the DB-15 looks and feels a little bit basic. Thankfully its performance is anything but. Anyone who's always wanted to experience the scale of a 15in subwoofer but couldn't afford one should check this out.

HCC Verdict

Velodyne Acoustics DB-15

Price:  £1,495

We say: This subwoofer gives you a 15in driver in a cabinet that's not too big and then hammers you about the head with it. A deep, cinematic performer with an exuberant edge.

Overall: 4.5/5


DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 15in high-excursion reinforced polypropylene woofer ENCLOSURE: Sealed FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 23Hz-120Hz (+/-3dB) ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 450W (RMS); 1,000W (peak) Class AB amp REMOTE CONTROL: No DIMENSIONS: 425(w) x 445(h) x 488(d)mm WEIGHT: 23kg

FEATURES: Stereo RCA line-level input; LFE input; speaker-level input (on spring-clip terminals); 50Hz to 180Hz low-pass filter; volume and variable phase control; MDF cabinet with 2in-thick front baffle; on/off/auto power control; four-layer 3in voice coil and dual ferrite magnet motor