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Niles SW8

Compact powered subwoofer, wireless-capable with optional adapters

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Item #: 190SW8
 

Review Summary

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Expected: 11/18/2014
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Our take on the Niles SW8

by Dave Bar
Niles

Why add a powered subwoofer?

A powered subwoofer gives you bass you can feel as well as hear. Our customers love the depth and impact their subs add to music and movies. We hear comments like "it brings out sounds I didn't know existed in discs I've watched a million times." Powered subwoofers aren't just for big bass that rattles your picture frames; they can also deliver tight, accurate lows. If you haven't shopped for a powered sub in a while, you might be surprised at how small they get. Look for an ultra-compact model if you want to tuck your sub away under an end table or in a corner.

Fantastic bass in less space

The Niles Audio SW8 powered subwoofer makes a great choice when you need big-bass kick with a small, décor-friendly footprint. This potent, compact sub will fill your room with bass while taking up very little space. Driven by a 300-watt amplifier, the SW8's active 8" woofer and two 8" passive radiators combine to deliver low-frequency output comparable to that of a much larger sub. Anodized aluminum cones provide added rigidity for lower distortion and better definition compared to conventional paper cone designs. Plus, this sub's versatile inputs, comprehensive controls, and convenient wireless connection options make it easy to add more bass impact wherever you need it in your home.

Read more

Installer-friendly features

The SW8 comes packed with features that make it a good choice for both critical listeners and custom installers alike. Adjustable low-pass frequency, phase, and level controls allow precise blending with your main speakers for even in-room response. You also get automated remote power turn-on via a 12-volt trigger or audio signal sensing for simplified operation. A specialized balanced input and built in CAT-5 balun permit efficient audio signal delivery over long runs of inexpensive, easy-to-use CAT-5 cable. (You'll need a second CAT-5 balun at the other end of your signal run.) Or, you can do away with the connecting cables altogether.

By adding the optional Niles SW-T and SW-R wireless transmitter and receiver, you can turn your SW8 into a wireless sub — perfect for applications where running wire is not an option. Just plug the SW-T transmitter into your receiver's subwoofer output, connect it to power, then attach the SW-R receiver to the built-in mounting port on the rear of the sub. A simple one-button setup is all it takes to pair the two together. As an added bonus, each transmitter can support up to four receivers simultaneously, allowing you to put together a killer multi-sub system.

Highlights:

  • built-in 300-watt amplifier
  • frequency response 36-200 Hz
  • 8" long-throw anodized aluminum woofer with two 8" anodized aluminum passive radiators
  • 2 gold-plated RCA line-level/LFE inputs
  • 2 gold-plated RCA line-level outputs (pass through)
  • automated turn-on via 12-volt trigger or signal sensing
  • C5-A2 port (RJ-45 connector) with built-in balun for using CAT-5 cable from a receiver or processor via an optional Niles CAT-5 balun adapter
  • wireless port for optional Niles wireless receiver connection
  • adjustable output level control
  • continuously variable 50-150 Hz low-pass crossover
  • adjustable phase control from 0 to 180 degrees
  • high-gloss piano black finish
  • compatible with the OmniMount® 30.0 ST-MP for wall or ceiling-mount applications
  • 10-9/16"W x 10-13/16"H x 13-11/16"D (with grille)
  • weight: 16.5 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Enclosure Passive Radiator
Video Shielded No
Woofer Size (inches) 8
Woofer Composition Aluminum
Firing Direction Front
Wireless Optional
Preamp-Level Inputs Yes
Speaker-Level Inputs No
Speaker-Level Outputs No
Low-Pass Crossover Freq 50-150 Hz
High-Pass Crossover Freq None
Phase Switch Yes
Amplifier Output (watts) 300
Frequency Response 36-200 Hz
Height (inches) 10-7/8
Width (inches) 10-9/16
Depth (inches) 13-3/4
Weight 16.5 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 2 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 2 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 2 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty 2 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • SW8 Powered subwoofer
  • 6' AC power cord (C7 non-polarized plug)
  • Installation Guide

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Niles Audio SW8 Powered Compact Subwoofer can deliver room-filling bass despite the compact size. The SW8 provides superior sound quality for music or home theater applications. The subwoofer has an attractive enclosure with a smudge-resistant piano black finish that is easy to clean.

Driver: The SW8 is equipped with an 8", long-throw, anodized aluminum woofer cone driver. The aluminum cone provides superior rigidity, compared to conventional paper cones. The woofer has a removable cloth-covered plastic grille.

Passive Radiator Design: The SW8 also has dual 8" anodized aluminum cone passive radiators to provide additional driver area. The combined output of the 8" driver and the two 8" passive radiators equals that of a larger single active driver. There are no grilles covering the passive radiators.

Digital Power Amplifier: The subwoofer is powered by a 300-watt (RMS) digital power amplifier (1200 watts dynamic power), which produces higher output and higher efficiency with less heat, compared to conventional analog power amps.

Line Inputs/Outputs: The SW8 features LFE and Stereo line-level (RCA) inputs. There are also unbuffered stereo pass-through line (RCA) outputs, to allow you cascade the output to up to three additional subwoofers.

Note: The Left Channel RCA input doubles as the LFE input.

C5-A2 Port: In addition to the LFE/Stereo line inputs, the SW8 has a C5-A2 port, with an RJ-45 connector, to provide the option of an easier and less expensive wire run using CAT-5 cable from the A/V receiver or surround processor to the subwoofer. This requires the optional Niles CAT-5 Balun adapter using standard CAT-5 wiring.

Wireless Ready: The SW8 features a wireless input port for connecting the optional Niles Audio SW-R Wireless Receiver. The SW-R attaches directly to the rear panel of the subwoofer. The SW-R, coupled with the SW-T Wireless Transmitter, lets you wirelessly connect the subwoofer to your receiver or surround processor when running speaker wire is not an acceptable option.

Controls: The SW8 has an adjustable frequency control with a bypass position, which eliminates low pass filtering within the subwoofer, allowing you to fully control the bass filtering with your receiver or preamp. The variable phase control (0° to 180°) allows precise phase matching with the main speakers. The rotary level control lets you dial in the right amount of bass, independent of your main speakers.

Turn-On Modes: The SW8 has a 2-way Turn-On Mode switch that lets you choose between Signal Sense and Always On. The Signal Sense mode will automatically turn on the subwoofer when it senses an audio signal, and turn off the subwoofer (standby) after a short period of time when no audio signal is detected. There is also an option to leave the subwoofer on at all times. An LED next to the switch will glow green when the subwoofer is on, and red when the subwoofer is in standby mode.

Trigger Input: A 3.5mm mini-jack is provided for connecting a 12-volt DC remote trigger cable. In the Signal Sense mode, the subwoofer will turn on automatically when a 12-volt trigger signal is present, and will enter standby mode once the trigger signal is no longer detected.

Power Requirements: The Niles Audio SW8 can operate at 100-120 volts AC, or 220-240 volts AC, 50-60 Hz, 2A. There is a Voltage Selector switch (under a protective cover) that should be set to the higher voltage setting prior to connecting to a 220-240 volt power supply.

Wall/Ceiling Mounting: The SW8 includes the option to be mounted on a wall or ceiling utilizing the OmniMount 30.0 ST-MP bracket (sold separately).

 
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Niles SW8 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Compact Sub

Written By EEWdad, snohomish, WA on Thursday, March 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Nice, small sub with wireless option. Took a couple tries to pair the wireless transmitter/receiver; however, once paired, it was solid. Compact size allows it to add sound dimension without being intrusive (important for wife acceptance factor in our living room). Good sound overall. This is the first sub I've had with a rotary phase switch, so that adds a little uncertainty as to whether it's set correctly.
Pros:
Small, wireless option, musical. Adequate output for medium sized room with vaulted ceilings. Overall it is a good value, even with the added expense for the wireless option. Only physical connection is to wall outlet.
Cons:
None - I'm satisfied.
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Add accessories for the Niles SW8

Use a high-quality subwoofer cable for bass that draws you into your movies and music. A cable is not included with this sub. See all categories & accessories

Monster Cable® 600sw Subwoofer cable (4 meters/13.2 feet)
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Niles SW-R Receiver for Niles SW-T wireless subwoofer transmitter
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Niles SW-T Wireless transmitter for select Niles powered subwoofers
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Niles C5-A2 CAT-5 stereo audio balun
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Niles C5-A2WM In-wall CAT-5 stereo audio balun
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Monster DS-500 Bulk CAT-6 cable for Ethernet connections (Sold per foot)
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AudioQuest NRG-1.5 High-quality replacement AC power cable (6 ft.)
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AudioQuest NRG-1 High-quality replacement AC power cable (6 ft.)
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IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R200Sub Monitor Stand Supports subwoofer or large single monitor
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Niles SW8, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_190SW8/Niles-SW8.html ).

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