Revel Ultima SUB 30 Subwoofer Reviewed

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Revel is the flagship speaker brand for Harman International (JBL, Infinity, Mark Levinson, Lexicon) and their Ultima line is their very highest-end offering to the consumer marketplace. For low-end bass reinforcement for their speakers at the Ultima level, there is but one option, and that option is a very good one in the Revel Ultima SUB 30. Priced at $5,990, the Revel Sub 30 is towards the top of the food chain for subwoofers and, for the money, you get a lot of value.

Additional Resources
• Read more subwoofer reviews by's staff.
• Explore speaker pairing options in our Floorstanding Speaker Review section.

Revel's Ultima SUB 30 in an active subwoofer, packed with a robust 15-inch driver pointed forward, with a 15-inch passive radiator pointing towards the floor. The radiator allows the SUB 30 to breathe better and move a huge volume of air. The driver designed for the Revel Sub 30 is nothing short of incredible, with a huge magnet and a driver excursion of three full inches. Unlike the trendy small subwoofers on the market, Revel chose to put a beefy class AB 1,000-watt power amplifier inside the SUB 30, which gives a heftier, weightier sound to the woofer, compared to the dynamic but not as authoritative output you get from digital (class D) amplifiers found in lesser though expensive subwoofers.

Revel was one of the first speaker companies to offer room correction for subwoofers and it started an industry revolution. Simply put, even the most studied audiophile is unlikely to be able to properly set up and tune a subwoofer to a room to the level that a professional acoustician can achieve. With that said, I have had the chance to compare the results between a pro and Revel's set-up software and, while the $3,000 a day set-up was better, it was only by a small margin. Trying to set the woofer up on my own was a lost cause. Not only were there issues like room placement, but there was phase, EQ and beyond. Revel's simple set-up will take you about 30 to 60 minutes, which is longer than that of other systems, such as Sunfire and Velodyne, but it is worth the time investment. You can get deep, tight and fast bass by yourself in your listening room in less than an hour.

Read about the high points and the low points of the SUB 30 on Page 2.

HTR Product Rating for Revel Ultima SUB 30 Subwoofer

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High Points
• The power of this woofer is nothing short of impressive. It can play loudly and to subsonic depths that are perfect for movie soundtracks, yet the use of an excellent, purpose-built driver and an audiophile-grade internal power amp makes it worthy of addition into any audiophile system.
• The fit and finish of this subwoofer is excellent, comparing favorably with any on the market, including the more expensive offerings from Wilson Audio. Forget the idea of parking a big black box in the corner of your living room - the Revel Ultima SUB 30 is visually pleasing to the eye, as well as aurally pleasing to the ear.
• The room correction software is easy to use and provides meaningful results that can't be obtained with other audiophile-grade subwoofers that wrongly assume you have the tools and training to professionally tune your own high-end audiophile system.

Low Points
• Compared to other room correction systems, the Revel Ultima SUB 30 takes longer to complete, but the extra effort is worth it, especially if you are willing to test various room placements. You might be shocked to see how some of the more adventurous placements work for your system if you have the time and interest to experiment.

The Revel Ultima SUB 30 is one of the finest subwoofers money can buy. It has engineering and design behind it that most other speakers companies can only dream of affording. With the Revel Ultima SUB 30, all of the engineering, testing and development deliver you an expensive subwoofer that can rock your world for movie soundtracks with power and add the lowest register of bass to any audiophile speaker system with finesse. Any excellent pair of speakers would likely sound better with a properly tuned Revel Ultima SUB 30 in the system.

Additional Resources
• Read more subwoofer reviews by's staff.
• Explore speaker pairing options in our Floorstanding Speaker Review section.

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