Third from the top of its line of nine subwoofer models, the super compact ESW-M6 ($600.00/MSRP) measures 8 inches cubed, and weighs 10.1 pounds. The design incorporates three driver elements: one active 6.5-inch Black anodized aluminum cone using an inverted version of the company's patented Ribbed Elliptical Surround, along with two passive 6.5-inch Black anodized aluminum cones with an inverted Ribbed Elliptical Surround, all driven by an internal 800-watt (dynamic)/200-watt (RMS) power amplifier. The Ribbed Elliptical Surround lowers distortion and increases efficiency and excursion by changing the shape of the speaker surround to an ellipse, rather than the traditional "half roll," according to the company. The ESW-M6 provides variable controls for volume, low pass crossover (50Hz-200Hz, with a bypass), and phase (0-360 degrees), along with a power mode switch (Off/Auto/On). The unit only provides one set of inputs, on a pair of RCA jacks for which can be used for an LFE/mono signal, and no outputs. The ESW-M6 also provides a "WA Port", intended for future use. The unit's fit and finish is very good, with a nice high gloss piano black finish, snap-on grill design, and good quality connectors, a clean back panel layout, and solid set of feet.
For such a small box, the ESW-M6 delivered quite a bit of output. Even in a medium sized room, the unit provided tight and weighty bass that well complemented movies and games and, when it couldn't go lower or started running out of power, kept the side effects of such away from the experience. The sheer impact provided by the compact design was pretty impressive. As can be expected, it needed more absolute depth and intensity, but it sure hung in there even on very challenging passages. The ESW-M6 meshed very well with smaller speakers, with the variable phase control and high crossover control coming in handy when matching things up to different combinations. On music material, the ESW-M6 sounded very good with acoustic and jazz material, and lent a controlled but weighty presence to large scale classical recordings that lacked just a bit of speed. On rock and electronic tracks, it could have used some more punch, but still kept up with things well and overall provided a good complement. The ESW-M6 sounded a little better when placed closer to walls, which fattened up the sound a tad.
Click to Page 2 for The High Points, The Low Points and The Conclusion.
• The ESW-M6 provides a very high level performance for such a compact design, offering an appealing combination of depth, punch, and speed that never seemed out of place with movies, games, or music.
• The ESW-M6 sounds terrific with smaller main speakers, with its adjustment capability enabling some handy fine-tuning,
• The ESW-M6 looks great, and, of course, can be hidden virtually anywhere.
• The ESW-M6 needed more extension and slam on movies as well as rock and electronic music, and sounded a little slow on large scale classical material.
• The ESW-M6 only comes in high-gloss piano Black.