Bowers & Wilkins DB1D
“That B&W’s new DB1D subwoofer is hugely powerful was not surprising, given its 2000W of power driving two 12-inch bass drivers. What is surprising is the accuracy of the built-in room equalisation and the versatility of other settings using an iOS/Androi
The DB range unveiled by B&W in 2017 represents the most powerful active subwoofers the company has ever produced. They are possible partners for the company’s 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers, and they use the Aerofoil cones introduced in that series, the composition of which remains, along with most of B&W’s other drivers at present, a secret, though the properties of Aerofoil are touted as ultra-stiffness combined with lightness, the perfect formula for delivering controlled and precise bass. Top of the heap in this flagship subwoofer collection is the $7900 DB1D, with not one but two 12-inch Aerofoil drivers working in opposed directions to deliver maximum output yet with the minimum of unwanted vibration within a cabinet already designed for extraordinary rigidity (and available in the same Gloss Black, Satin White and Rosenut finishes that distinguish the 800 Series D3).
That the DB1D subwoofer sounds hugely powerful was not a big surprise, because in this all-new design B&W is using 2000W of Class-D power to drive these opposed cones. What was surprising was the effect of B&W’s dedicated iOS/Android app, which replaces the usual knobs and dials to provide control over output, to offer ‘presets’, and additionally to assist users with set-up wizards and general troubleshooting. Your phone connects to the DB1D via Bluetooth.
This app goes further, able to adapt the digital preamp to deliver processing such as Dynamic EQ and particularly Room EQ which proved highly effective; we also like the fact the B&W provides a manual setting capability (again via the app) so you can over-ride the correct settings if you’d rather.
Despite the secrecy around materials, the performance matches the hype, both the manner in which this subwoofer effortlessly plumbs the depths of home cinema sound, and the relative ease with which it’s able to integrate into a stereo system (and not just alongside B&W speakers) given the versatility of its app and the digital rather than analogue processing this delivers. The DB1D is powerful, agile and innovative.
More info: www.bowers-wilkins.net
B&W Australia’s John Martin collects the DB1D Award.