This latest offering from Velodyne, the CHT-15R, is only available in black. It oozes a certain self-assurance; it's upmarket and well-engineered and it knows it.
The 'R' in its name alludes to the remote control. This is small and cute enough to be a child's toy, but it's also as clever as any sub remote I've seen, boasting an impressive set of controls and some fool-proof presettings.
Hit one of the four preset buttons and you get the best application for different genres of use - Movies, Rock/R&B, Jazz/Classical and Games. The remote also has buttons to select quarter-phases, plus volume controls and mute and night settings.
The front of the sub is shiny black, the rest is black ash. Behind a removable cloth-covered grille lies the mighty fibre-reinforced 15in driver.
I did a brief test to check out the differences between the four presets.
The Games setting seemed to be about maximum thump, although it went a bit monotonic, while the Jazz/Classical was with a very low crossover point and was arguably the highest fidelity setting. R&B/Rock seemed to have a higher crossover point, and was good and loud if not as daft and brash as Games.
The Movies mode had enough muscle for all the effects and yet remained musical. I left it on Movies and played one.
I've practically cut it into a spiral of swarf with the laser beam but I found myself watching all of Robots, again... The soundtrack of this animated flick is brilliant, with a plethora of huge bass effects conveying the super-engineering world of huge trucks, swinging hammers and large metallic clangourous sounds.
It is also a beast of a film for testing 5.1 systems, as the resolution of the tinkly clangy stuff is a good indicator of excellence in full range, too.
This Velodyne is all about LFE, though and Robots didn't disappoint. At 8mins 50sec, when Rodney Copperbottom says, 'Wonderbot, go!', you're treated to a superb crescendo of excitement.
The sub just loved it and the sheer outrageousness of the full kilowatt of pukka RMS muscle was very apparent. Give it a brief thud and you have two 1000W peaks of bass in your room. Later on, in the boardroom scene, we get the bassline from Eye of The Tiger, which swelled and filled the room a treat.
The Velodyne's cone is a rigid one.
Its weight makes it a bit less capable of the fancy footwork that a 10in driver can achieve, but it held the tune, shoving great gouts of air around with real authority.
I found the night setting worked well too, limiting the output without merely squeezing it all up.
The almost unbelievable bass power this sub represents, along with how even the hard-of-thinking can find a preset that'll be usable while they mess around, make this a seriously sexy product.
It is a big 'un, and far from cheap, but if you are looking for some real crushing girth, with a bit of finesse to go with it, then you just found it.