What We Like
- Clean, minimalist design.
- Plenty of low-end.
- Automatic Signal Sensing built in.
- Removeable grille.
What We Don’t Like
- Intrusive Acoustic Audio branding on the front.
- Cutoff at 26 Hz.
Acoustic Audio is the daughter company of Goldwood, a company that manufactures high-end speakers. While being inexpensive, this subwoofer cranks out some serious bass, making it one of the most compelling subwoofers under $100.
For only $100, the plain design of the CS-PS8-B is actually pleasant. The body is finished with a nice, but understated, black-stained wood grain with a removable cloth grille in the front. When removed, an 8-inch silver driver is stuck in the center with the same black-stained finish surrounding it. The back holds a fixed power cable, phase switch, gain and crossover knobs, RCA line-in, and speaker inputs and outputs.
Overall, the design isn’t horribly offensive. The understated look works well considering the price point. However, while the finish is nice, an Acoustic Audio logo on the front of the subwoofer makes the product look a little cheap. Additionally, the knobs and connections on the rear feel like this is where costs were cut. While not a deal breaker, it would’ve been nice to see these minor elements changed to bring the overall look of the subwoofer to a new level.
This subwoofer holds one of the larger drivers in this price bracket. The 8-inch woofer is driven by 300 watts of power inside an MDF bass-reflex enclosure. This means the woofer is internally braced, honing in some of the bass. A variable low pass crossover is also present, allowing a range of tuning from 40 Hz – 140 Hz. An Automatic Signal Sensing mode is built in as well which puts the subwoofer into standby when it doesn’t detect any signal.
With all things considered, I can’t complain about the features present here. While certainly nothing extraordinary, the tunable crossover and Signal Sensing mode are a nice addition under $100. However, if I were to look for something to be included, it would be a switch for sub-harmonic excitement. While the speaker cranks out the low-end, the inclusion of a sub enhancer would be nice for music or movies that are lacking in this area. Still, the CS-PS8-B has a lot in the way of features considering how inexpensive it is.
Acoustic Audio show that they are owned by Goldwood with this subwoofer. It can put out some serious low-end, without being muffled or obtuse. The 8-inch driver adds considerably over the 6.5-inch variant in this department, making it feel more like a proper subwoofer and less like a toy.
However, it doesn’t reach too far down. A cutoff at 26 Hz is disappointing to see, especially considering this is right in the middle of sub territory. While I understand this decision is largely based around tightening the low-end, it would’ve been nice to see an extended range that could be dialed in with a filter.
The Acoustic Audio CS-PS8-B is one of the few subwoofers in this price point with a tight and responsive driver that is competent in the low-end without being obtuse. While lacking in a few areas, it’s hard to complain considering the price.