Vibe has been the recipient of several recommendations for its home cinema subs, and has cultivated an enviable reputation for making ported boxes that rock, having already carved a similar niche in the automotive market.

Unique styling

The brand's subs all used to be finished in a patented crackle paint, but now you can also buy models more fitting to modern aesthetics.

The Alpha II reviewed here is finished in a pleasant Light Oak veneer (£50 more than simple black, but worth it) and has a positively Far-Eastern grade of thick lustrous lacquer all over it, making it both shiny and woody at the same time.

The silvery badge on the front drop is class, too. Underneath is a meaningful-looking speaker with branding raised upon it.

It's perhaps a bit garish down-below, in a wasted-engineering sort of a way, but you can forgive the bling for its sheer level of performance. This subwoofer has no-compromise genes.

Punchy bass

Despite a relatively low-ranking 200W amp, the Alpha II finds no difficulty in pressure-loading small rooms. This woofer rocks, rumbles, and drops, yet it holds a bassline melody with the best of them.

I love the way it can swell with a soundtrack and then quickly punch you on the nose, all the while creating standing waves dozens of feet long in the process.

When in full-flight there's no easy escape from the sonic wobble. Not a sub for those in flats and apartments, then!

Superior subwoofer

Build quality is excellent. The driver has a posh parabolic suspension built to meet the demands of LFE hooligans. Here, it's thoughtfully enclosed, and it sounds really rather good.

Pretty much anywhere in the remastered Blade Runner: Final Cut sounds wonderful with the Alpha.

Check out the sequence where Priss retrieves a boiling egg from the pan with her bare Nexus-6 hands - Vangelis' throbby music and the Blade Runner's 'retirement' weapon both hold rich depth and shocking wavefronts of power when it's asked of them.

A superior sub all-round