Price (RRP): $850
Reviewer: Valens Quinn
Despite being based in Adelaide, South Australia, Krix Loudspeakers are very well known internationally, primarily because of their deep penetration into the cinema market. That experience translates through to its home loudspeakers, including its subwoofers.
The Krix Seismix 3 is the latest version (Mk 3) of the company’s mid-priced subwoofer. It is designed to work well both with home theatre and as bass reinforcement for stereo systems.
For this latter function, it has speaker-level inputs and outputs, so you can wire the speaker outputs of a standard stereo amplifier to the subwoofer, and its outputs to your bookshelf speakers. But most people will be purchasing it for home theatre systems. For this it has two line-level inputs, of which you need only connect the left channel to your home theatre receiver’s line-level output.
It has the usual control facilities: level and high frequency cut-off, plus a phase reversal switch to allow it to better integrate with your main loudspeakers. One unusual feature is an ‘Earth Lift’ switch. If you press this, then the usually earthed outer ring of the input is isolated from the earth (the subwoofer’s own amplifier chassis remains earthed, though, for safety). Since subwoofers do bass, and only bass, very well, the last thing you want is a 50 hertz hum from your subwoofer. If this is ever a problem, this switch should solve it.
The Krix Seismix 3 Mk3 comes at a range of prices, which is very sensible. The review unit was finished in a beautiful Atlantic jarrah veneer, glowing with a deep red, and as supplied had a price of $1,000. You can also go even more upmarket ($1,100) for a beech veneer. But if you only intend to stuff it in a corner, pretty much out of sight, the version finished in a plain black wood grain vinyl will cost just $850.
Especially at that latter price, this subwoofer is excellent value for money. It offers 200 watts of continuous output to power its 254 mm driver. The unit is clearly well-constructed, and quite capable of greater amounts of strong, and quite deep, bass than most of its peers in this category, and indeed some that cost rather more.
It is also well thought out, with the large bass-reflex port on the front panel next to the driver, so you can comfortably place it in a corner without interfering with the port’s performance.
In my home theatre system this subwoofer did a fine job, with excellent output levels, especially during the airport scene at the end of Heat, where a large jet taxis by to room-rattling effect. Moving on to Titan A.E., and dinosaur footsteps on Telarc DTS CD, again the strength of the bass was apparent, and more importantly so was its clarity and control. There seemed to be very little distortion.
In my room the bass extension was to 25 hertz with the frequency control set to halfway, which is simply excellent for a $1,000 subwoofer.