Subwoofer test B&W AS2

BENEFITS: Compact subwoofer, good bass control and speed.

CLAIMS: insufficient bass depth, low power.

CONCLUSIONS: low power subwoofer limits its usage to small rooms up to 25 sq.m. m. Subwoofer is suitable for the sets with bookshelf speakers or satellites. At first glance, the musicality of the AS2 clearly outweighs its “movie” qualities. But its energetic and clear midbass will appeal to movie buffs who are not too picky about the amount of ultra-low frequencies.

B&W AS2 subwoofer

CONSTRUCTION FEATURES: AS2 was designed to help the Leisure Series speakers in movies and music, hence the compact design and sleek contours of the front panel of the unit.

The AS2 is housed in a closed MDF cabinet. Front mounted 250mm micaceous dome driver, covered by a plastic grill that follows the curved front panel profile. The built-in amplifier, equipped with Bass Overload Suppression, has 150 watts of power and operates in the B-Class.

As is the tradition in recent years, the B&W subwoofer boasts a quality selection of settings that most competitors in this price range can only envy. The complete set of controls is concentrated in a recess on the top panel, which makes access to the controls much easier. Besides the standard bass volume and low pass filter cut-off frequency settings 40-140 Hz the AS2 allows you to invert the phase, select the slope of the bass response 3 options and set the power saving mode. Rear patch panel is made of metal. It has one RCA line input, Link Out line output and universal high level input terminals.

AS2 comes in two color versions: black and silver.

B&W AS2 subwoofer sound quality

AUDIO QUALITY: the unit’s crossover seems to work only when fed to the high-level inputs, the linear input bypasses the LPF. A long ‘shelf’ on the AFC is observed only at a narrow passband of the LPF. At minimum cutoff frequency the linear range extends from 30 to 60 Hz, however, in this case the AS2 demonstrates very low sensitivity. Widening of LPF band makes the “frequency response” convex with a distinct peak at about 60 Hz. In this case the -10dB low end is 35Hz and the high end 100Hz -6dB high end at 160Hz . So, this subwoofer can be recommended for use with a bookshelf speaker or a fairly “bass-heavy” satellites, which voice the upper bass on their own.

Subwoofer gives a clear sound with emphasis on midbass. The AS2 sound is accurate it doesn’t make you feel boomy or the bass looseness. The tightness of its sound and naturalness of the main timbres are good for music playback. The subwoofer knows how to play energetically, although its character is intelligent interpretation of the bass.

In movies the subwoofer doesn’t have a really deep bass, but when faced with it AS2 doesn’t distort – a quality overload protection circuit is in action. For movie soundtracks, the subwoofer always retains control and detail and integrates well with small bookshelf speakers.

PRICE: $578.


CONGRATULATIONS: compact size of subwoofer, good control and bass speed.

CONDITIONS: insufficient depth of bass, low power.

CONCLUSIONS: low power subwoofer limits its use to small rooms up to 25 square. m. A subwoofer would be appropriate in a set with a bookshelf speaker or satellites. At first glance, the AS2’s musicality clearly wins out over its “movie” qualities. But its bouncy, clear midrange will appeal to movie buffs who aren’t too picky about that many ultralow frequencies.

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