The Monitor Audio Apex AW12 subwoofer shows the company's usual care being taken over the design: in a world where subs are often ultilitarian black or grey boxes, the elegant AW12 is an exception.
Mind you, that shouldn't come as a surprise: after all, this subwoofer is part of the Monitor Audio Apex speaker system, winner of our 2011 Award for Best style speaker package £2000+.
The metallic high-gloss black enclosure – also available in white – is sealed, with internal bracing, while the heavy lifting is done by a 30.5cm C-CAM (ceramic-coated aluminium/magnesium) forward-firing driver, powered by a 500W class-D amp.
Good quality spikes are provided, complete with a polymer cup/cover for use on hard floors, and the sub has line inputs and outputs, so it could be used between a preamp and power amp in stereo systems, and the option of automatic on/standby switching or 12V trigger control.
Get the bangs and crashes going and there’s lots of punch and attack here, along with decent detail.
There’s a rich character that can make the AW12 sound a bit tubby compared with the leaders in the field, but this never grates.
Superb though it looks – Monitor Audio even offers a special Sheer Brilliance Lacquer Polish for the finish, made by car detailing specialists Autoglym! – the AW12 is definitely no case of style over substance: there’s real ability behind the looks.