One of our favorite brands, M-Audio music equipment, is loved for their high-quality gear, particularly their studio monitor speakers and this case, their subwoofers. Although a bit higher on the price point, the overall build and stability as well as capabilities in general is what sets M-Audio’s gear apart from others, especially if you’ve got the money. Today we’ll be taking a look at their latest subwoofer that’s a whopping 240-watts of power paired up with a 10″ high quality driver. If you’re looking to add a subwoofer to your studio monitor setup, you’ve made a good choice. Particularly even easier than most cases, this sub offers a footswitch to turn on and off the unit as you please — perfect for adjusting your sound to your bassy mood. It’s also beneficial if you’re mixing a song and need some extra bass for reference, or on the other hand merely want to turn the subwoofer completely off in order to use your studio monitors for accuracy and fine-tuning. Let’s take a look at their new carbon series’ big brother, the M-Audio SBX10 studio subwoofer.
Main features of the SBX10 subwoofer
- MSRP: $499.99
- Watts of power: 240 (Class A/B amp)
- Driver size: 10″ (fiberglass/paper composite)
- Variable crossover: 50-200Hz
- Weight: 54.6 lbs
- Dimensions: 15.5″ (H) x 13″ (W) 17.25″ (D)
- Subwoofer footswitch
- Flared rear bass-reflex port
- -30dB to +6dB adjustable gain
- 3/4″ MDF cabinet (vinyl-covered)
- 1″ front and back baffles
- Power: Detachable grounded IEC
- Inputs: Balanced & unbalanced XLR, 1/4″ TRS and RCA
- Outputs: Balanced & unbalanced XLR
- Removable grill and feet
Overall quality of the subwoofer
The driver and watts are basically the essentials of a subwoofer, so if you’re looking for size, the SBX10 has it. The driver has a high-temperature voice coil and damped rubber surround which gives it higher quality than most in the market, not to mention it’s at the standard higher-end size of 10″. With 240-watts, you have more than enough power with this. It’s going to rumble your walls and floor if you turn it up all the way — just make sure your neighbors aren’t home, or if they are, want to hear what you’re listening to.
The sound quality is some of the best we’ve heard with this subwoofer. The frequency of the SBX10 goes as low as 20 Hz, which is pretty much as low as you can get. The KRK’s do give this a run for their money in terms of providing this as well. But to give you a bit of a picture of this: the human ear can only detect to as low as 20 Hz. Anything below this number can only be detected by our bodies (the vibrations), so not only are you getting the lowest we can literally hear, but that extra 30 Hz, the infrasonic waves, is what we’ll feel when we get the floor and walls rumbling. The frequency is perfect with the SBX10 and we have zero complaints in terms of the sound quality and frequency crossover provided with the sub.
Connectivity and other capabilities
The ins and outs make it incredibly easy to get your 2.1 setup going. Giving you quite a few options, you can hook this thing up to your audio interface, which is one of the most important aspects of your monitor setup. It’s extremely easy to hook up, and if you need some help watch this video on how to hook up a subwoofer to monitors. Although it’s basically just plugging in a few cables.
The SBX10 also has some additional protective features to take note of: over temperature protection, turn on and off transient, subsonic filter, external mains fuse, DC protection, and over current protection. We recommend keeping it in a room-temperature environment, otherwise you run the risk of over-heating, even with the protective features it has and especially with the wattage.
The footswitch is actually extremely convenient. When first using it, I didn’t think I’d give it much of a go, but during mixing I’ve noticed I use it quite frequently. I like to see how the bass sounds with the gain turned up to about medium and then go back to just my studio monitors for some reference. I guess it really depends on the type of song that I’m working on (for example, I obviously do not use it for vocals).
Lastly, I noticed it has a nifty blue power on LED or when I’m on standby/bypass it turns red to let me know my status. Nothing but a plus there.
Build and stability
This thing is a beast. First of all, it’s huge coming in at around 55 pounds! It’s one of the heaviest subwoofers we’ve seen made for the studio but for good reason; you need a tank of a cabinet to fit those 240 watts and 10″ driver. You’ll need to keep this into consideration if you’re incorporating it into your setup — make some room because it’s big, and keep it elevated if you plan on having it close to the floor. Also be careful putting it on the edge of your desk as it may fall due to the heavy weight.
The SBX10 is made of a very good material, no cheap plastic here as it’s built with a high-quality vinyl laminated cabinet. It’s got a 3/4″ MDF (medium-density fiberboard) so it has this nice wooden feel to it, giving you a sleek look and rather stable body to ensure it’s an investment that will last you quite a few years and won’t break easily on you. Just make sure to keep it safe and take care of it, eliminate dust build-up and keep it in a nice environment in terms of temperature.
The final word on the SBX10 subwoofer
We saw in our reviews of their latest carbon series of studio monitors that the power in these things are huge. Check out our BX5 carbon, BX6 carbon and BX8 carbon monitor reviews for more info if you’re looking for a pair to go along with your sub, or check out our best studio monitor article for some other options.
In conclusion, this thing is a serious beast. In terms of comparisons, we’d say this and the KRK K10S sub can compete head-to-head pretty well, although the KRK has half of the wattage the SBX10 has and is about $100 less MSRP. One of the only cons we’d say about the SBX10 or subs of this caliber is the price, but you get what you pay for. If you want a few more ideas for shopping, take a look at our best studio subwoofer article. Otherwise,the M-Audio SBX10 subwoofer is a force to be reckoned with, and if you’re doubting on putting it in your set up, don’t — it’s worth it.