Velodyne SPL-1000 Ultra review

Enjoy the clever automation of a seriously svelte sub

Velodyne SPL-1000 Ultra
The SPL-1000 Ultra has enough power to chew up even the most demanding bass

TechRadar Verdict

A fantastic subwoofer that will get the most out of the deeper bass most subs fails to pick up, let alone reproduce


  • +

    Packs power and grip and melodic control

  • +

    Attractive design


  • -

    Drops away fast at deep subsonics – although it reaches 13Hz, it's many dB down by there

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I love Velodyne. A bonkers Californian brand which named a subwoofer 'the 1812' and put an 18in and a 12in woofer in a box, it makes stuff that can really piss off the neighbours... of your neighbours.

It also makes a wide range of subs down to some absurdly diminutive things whose outputs belie their size. The 10in SPL-1000 Ultra reviewed here is one such product.

The Ultra range also has an 8in and a 12in version. You get the same huge magnet structure on the back of the 10in and the 12in alike, and the same fat-bottomed 1,200W amplifier in all of them.

A pretty display sits on the front and, despite packing more cunning features than almost everything on the market, it is moronically simple to set up. I plugged a Y lead to the phonos marked 'in' as advised in the manual and plugged the supplied tiny microphone in the front.

There are similar sockets on the rear but these are for a 12V trigger and the use of an external infra-red controller for when you don't sit in line-of-sight.

Yes, the woofer has a remote control. A small card type, it's intuitive to use. When done, you place it magnetically on the rear panel. There must be Neodymium magnets in the cabinet. Lovely!


I gave the SPL-1000 a savage pull-through. A button press on the remote bought a minute of sweeping bass drops in the room to do the auto-EQ. Then it was on to Gustav Holst's Mars in DTS – my Telarc CD of this has been all but cut into a spiral as I use it so often.

It drops to 15Hz with real power, and reveals that, although authoritative and just mighty in sheer ruddy scale, the 10in Velodyne cannot quite call elephants. The spec sheet shows only two cycles-per-second greater profundity for the 12in model but for this price, I'd save a bit longer to get one.

I also ran the sub with my resident B&W 804/805/HTM3 reference system, and despite ousting the ASW825, which costs more and has a bigger driver, it was just ridiculous how well the SPL-1000 Ultra integrated.

I put Wall-E on 'to do some more evaluation' and ended up watching the whole thing through again. In short, the SPL-1000 Ultra ate it for breakfast! All subs should be this good.