The little subwoofer that could
When Monitor Audio visited recently, they brought along their compact Radius R380 powered subwoofer, and set it up in our large, acoustically challenged product training room. Formerly a three-car installation bay, this room makes speakers work hard to fill the space with clean sound, and it's especially tough on small speakers. To be honest, when we saw the pint-sized R380, we didn't expect to be bowled over by its sound. Boy, were we wrong!
Monitor began the demo by playing their tiny Radius R90 bookshelf speakers by themselves, which, by the way, sounded surprisingly full in our big room. But when they switched in the R380, jaws dropped. This little dynamo was kicking out tight, solid bass that effortlessly filled the room with nary a hint of strain or distortion. Heads were bobbing and feet were tapping as the sub went through its paces. If the R380 could dominate our massive room, just think how good it will sound in yours.
Moving some serious air
The keys to the R380's powerful performance are its brawny 200-watt Class D amplifier and advanced driver design. Housed inside the R380's enclosure are twin, side-firing 8" drivers working in tandem — one powered and one passive. Each cone is made from a lightweight, ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium alloy originally developed by the aerospace industry for jet engine components. This ultra-rigid material resists the bending and twisting that causes distortion while allowing the use of thinner, lighter, more responsive materials. The result is tight, fast, and tuneful bass with exceptionally high output levels.