Outlaw Audio LFM-1EX ($649)
What's in the Box?
• Driver: 12 inches
• Rated amplifier power: 350 watts continuous
• Cabinet design: down-firing, dual ports
• Finish: matte black with smoked plexiglass insert
• Controls: level, continuously variable low-pass crossover (24 dB/octave, 40 to 180 Hz), crossover bypass, phase switch (0, 180 degrees), port mode (25-Hz maximum output, 20-Hz bass extension), power, auto-on/on
• Ins & outs: single line-level input, dual speaker-level inputs and outputs
• Warranty: 3 years
How Big Is It?
• Dimensions (WxHxD): 17 x 21.5 x 24 inches
• Cabinet volume: 5.1 cubic feet
• Footprint: 2.9 square feet
• Weight: 80 pounds
Despite being the lowest-priced subwoofer in this review, the LFM-1EX is a pretty good bruiser -- lift with your legs, never with your back. I was surprised to see a single mono line-level input. That works, but I always feel better with dual inputs. Also, there are no line-level outputs. Phase control is limited to a 0/180-degree polarity switch. This is usually sufficient, but, again, I would feel better with a continuously variable control. A Port Mode switch lets you choose 25-Hz extension with maximum output or 20-Hz bass extension. The LFM-1EX is a downward-firing sub (with bottom-mounted ports as well) and comes with substantial metal feet to raise the cabinet off the floor. The floor covering (carpet versus wood, for example) can sometimes affect the output from down-firing models. In my case, I placed the sub over clay tiles, which did not seem to have any particular effect. The low-pass crossover extended up to about 100 Hz, making blending with satellites fairly easy.
How Low Does It Go?
• Bass limit (Bass Extension mode): 20 Hz at 96 dB SPL (maximum 10% distortion)
How Big the Bang?
• Average maximum output, 25 to 62 Hz (Bass Extension mode): 106 dB SPL
• Maximum output (Bass Extension mode): 109 dB SPL at 32 Hz
• Dollars per dB: $6.12
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