Missing Link in Reviews

In the world of audio research do any of you find it odd that most of today’s reviews do not include subwoofers in the overall listening experience? Think about it, a list of equipment is often provided like amplifiers, sources, cables, speakers, etc., but hardly if not ever subwoofers. 

I have come to the realization a well tuned and placed subwoofer or two enhances a system noticeably. Quite frankly, I want to know how a new piece of equipment sounds with and without a subwoofer, especially when it comes to speakers.


I recently upgraded my speakers to ATC SCM 19's. They are a closed box design that roll off quite noticeably at around 58hz. Although they sound good without a sub, it is a whole different experience when you add four subs to the mix.

To my way of thinking multiple subs should be a part of most systems that exist in normal sized rooms, with all their inherent deficiencies.


I would rather have the review describe the sound of the component with a minimalist system setup.  Keep the number of variables to a minimum.  Use the power cord the manufacturer put in the box.  Don't use added vibration control footers or platforms.  If it's a loudspeaker, don't use a subwoofer or supertweeter.  Sure the product potentially could sound better fully aftermarket tweaked out, but that's not what the manufacturer is selling.

@onhwy61 would rather have the review describe the sound of the component with a minimalist system setup. Keep the number of variables to a minimum.

Agreed. You want as few review variables as possible. It’s up to the purchaser to decide if/what additional changes they desire for their individual needs and preferences.


You are absolutely on point. The onus is on the reviewer who insist on highlighting their personal equipment and gear. 

Maybe it’s because they are reviewing a speaker or an amp or a subwoofer.  Not a whole system.  

Here is the point I think the OP was making: All systems are enhanced with the addition of subs. Many reviewers casually mention "subs are not needed" 

When I read this I know the reviewer is not so experienced. 

Bottom line-Subs always enhance the sound. The more the better. Bass counts!!

@jeffseight ,

my speakers have powered woofers which go quite low (GE Triton Refs), I do not need a sub or subs in my 16 by 18 living room. 

IMO absolutist statements about system configurations are indicative of inexperienced audiophiles.

100% depends on the room whether subs are needed.Very often the best position for the speakers for imaging and soundstage is not the best position for the bass. A speaker review ideally should mention something about that.