Velodyne CHT-15R Subwoofer Review - Wobbly Legs

When it comes to leisure time, a lot of us enjoy playing a console game or watching a good movie. Gone are the days when the latter means leaving your house for a night out at the cinema. The preferred way of watching a movie nowadays, is at home on your LCD or plasma TV, complete with surround sound. You might be content with your set-up, but the addictive nature of wanting the best picture, and the most awe inspiring sound, will soon have you wanting to upgrade certain parts of your kit. On the sound front, a good set of speakers is essential, but to add that earth shattering bass levels of sound, that shake your booty to extreme levels, you need to look at something above the level of the sub/sat systems that are on the market today. There are plenty of subwoofers available that do a grand job, but to take things to the next level you need to move air, and here we take a look at the Velodyne CHT-15R.

There are many models available in the CHT range, the 8R, 10R, 12R, right up to the 15R on test here. Available in a range of colours, dependent on model, you can pick from black, silver or cherry finishes. The black finish on our CHT-15R is really nice, the quality is faultless. Before I kick off with the review good and proper, I should warn you, the 15R is big, not just in performance, but in physical size. It measures approximately 21x21x18 inches and weighs 75 pounds. If you need something a little more lounge friendly then you should look further down the range. All have pretty much the same features, they just differ in performance levels, especially the frequency response and power ratings.

Back to the CHT-15R, this brute packs 1,000 watts of continuous power and a 4.4 pound magnet on the speaker unit. The driver is a massive 15-inch forward firing beast, which delivers a frequency response down to a trouser shaking 23Hz. This is very very low, and the amount of air that is moved when you get powerful in-movie sound effects is quite worrying. You need to appreciate that the 15R delivers the type of movement and rumbles that you can only really experience in the best cinema set-ups... and I am referring to the cinema that you have to travel to, not a home based affair.

Setting up is really easy, and once you have calibrated the 15R with your main speaker levels, you can sit back and enjoy. The included remote control gives you access to the DSP control unit. You can remotely adjust the volume (which aids in balancing the overall sound to blend in with your main speakers), phase adjustment to further match the timbre to your speakers, mute, a night mode (which tones down the output to keep your neighbours happy), plus it gives you access to various presets. The presets available are Movies/R&B, Rock/Jazz, Classical and Games. I am not a great fan of such things, but I must admit they worked admirably. Switching to ‘Games’ seemed to add some extra punch to explosions and sound effects, whereas ‘Classical’ seemed to trim in the settings, to give a more focused and natural bass response.

If your main vice is movies, then the CHT-15R will not disappoint. Testing with the likes of Fifth Element, showed the tight, yet awesomely low frequencies that were being delivered. When you start to ‘feel’ the sound, you know that your sub is really shifting some air. The film U571 has some really loud explosions, and the 15R brought those into my test room with the type of presence I had never experienced from my home cinema system before.

In summary, if you are serious about movie watching and you want the best subwoofer money can buy, then splash your cash on a Velodyne CHT-15R, you will not be disappointed. Just remember to leave enough cash for some rubber bands to tie around your trouser legs.

Product: Velodyne CHT-15R Subwoofer
Price: £799
Supplied by: Redline Scotland Ltd
Contact: +44 (0)131 555 3922