Cerwin-Vega XLS-12S Powered Subwoofer
The XLS-12S falls into the same category as the ASW608: it is not a subwoofer designed to recreate realistic actions scenes or rumble out the deep, palpable bass notes in pipe organ or modern dance music. This is scene by many enthusiasts as a hardware limitation, and from a technical perspective it is: the XLS-12S responds with -3dB below neutrality at 38hz, which means that sounds from certain types of music will be "missing."
This becomes a benefit for those who don't want deep, rumbling, true-to-life bass response, either due to personal preference or space limitations. There are plenty of audio enthusiasts who live with nothing but a few layers of sheet rock and plywood between their systems and where their neighbors sleep, eat and raise their kids, and scores of jazz, classical, and acoustic lovers who want to relax with and listen to their music without feeling it in the chest: such music lovers are exactly who the XLS-12S is built for. It delivers excellent detail between 50-150hz, meaning that music still sounds full and well-textured, but deep, wall-rattling subbass notes are slightly muted, audible yet not powerful enough to be nauseating or intrusive. It can recreate an excellent sense of dimensionality, even without rumbling LF, and movie soundtracks still sound full and engaging. Don't let specification-obsessed enthusiasts and number-crunching wannabe-elitists lead you astray: Cerwin Vega has a quality product in the XLS-12S, and a stylish one at that, and if you're after a full sound but slightly tamer deep bass presentation, the XLS-12S is worth a look.