No home theater is complete without a subwoofer or two. It used to be that all subwoofers had to be large, unsightly black boxes that not only cost a small fortune but were made to go stand in the corner for their crimes against interior design. The days of coffee table-sized woofers are all but over as numerous compact designs have made their way to market, designs that are not only room and décor friendly but budget friendly as well - for example, the Bravus 8A powered subwoofer from Aperion Audio reviewed here.
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Aperion Audio is an Internet direct loudspeaker and electronics company based out of Portland, Oregon and their Bravus 8A subwoofer is the smallest, most affordable sub the company offers at $299. Available in your choice of cherry wood or gloss piano black finish, the Bravus 8A a compact, lifestyle oriented subwoofer that measures 15 inches high by 13 and a half inches deep and 13 and a half inches wide. The Bravus 8A has a single, downward firing, eight-inch aluminum driver that is powered by an internal 100-Watt amplifier. The Bravus 8A is a ported design, also downward firing, giving it a reported frequency response of 36Hz to 160Hz -not exactly earthquake inducing but sufficient for those who may live in apartments or have smaller home theaters. Another possible use for the Bravus 8A is to provide a bit of low-end kick to a soundbar setup like those offered by Aperion Audio, Vizio and more.
In terms of connection options the Bravus 8A has a variety of options including speaker level inputs, analog stereo inputs as well as an LFE input. There are controls for power up, phase, crossover (40 -160Hz) and level as well. Throw in some fairly robust spikes and that's the Bravus 8A in a nutshell.
In terms of sound I utilized the Bravus 8A in my bedroom system where it temporarily replaced the larger, more expensive GoldenEar ForceField 4 subwoofer. Despite being low on power and a bit more traditional in its design, the Bravus 8A more than held its own in my bedroom system. While it failed to plunge as deep as my other subwoofers, what it possessed was nothing short of spectacular and never really left me wanting for more. I was surprised how agile and frankly musical the Bravus 8A's smallish eight inch woofer with only 100-Watts behind it could be. Sure I was used to a bit more depth and dynamic slam from my other subs but when watching movies like RED (Summit) on Blu-ray, I wasn't exactly taken out of the film when the Bravus 8A was installed. My wife preferred the look of the Bravus 8A to my other subs and if I'm honest so did I. In my bedroom system, connected to my reference Onkyo receiver powering a full compliment of Noble Fidelity in-ceiling loudspeakers, I found little fault with the Bravus 8A's performance - provided I kept the volume within reason and didn't thrash it with bass heavy material just because.
Read about the high points and low points of the Bravus 8A subwoofer on Page 2.