Velodyne Impact-Mini review

There's much to admire in this amazingly small movie subwoofer Tested at £435.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fine compact movie sub and a fair all-rounder – especially given its amazingly small size


  • +

    Fine movie performance, with considerable weight for its compact size


  • -

    A little slower with music than the class best at this price

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

The compact subwoofer remains something of a curate's egg in home cinema terms: either it's not capable of enough truly deep bass to satisfy or it's ponderous and unwieldy, a legacy of its ‘quart from a pint pot' design.

The Velodyne Impact-Mini occupies a carefully judged middle way. It uses two aluminium drive units: an active 16.5cm forward-firing unit, and a passive 20cm downward-firing radiator.

This maximises output without inducing unwanted port noise. A 180W amplifier provides the power, ensuring the sub remains an assured, authoritative figure even in the densest action sequences.

An effective, enjoyable listen
No, it can't defy physics, but with movie content, this is an effective, enjoyable listen, one able to trade blows with many larger rivals.

Where it falls down, only slightly, is with music. Bass notes can become clouded, as if the Velodyne is struggling a little to contain the complexity of the track.

It's never a blur of bass – it's more sophisticated and capable than that – but still, a larger sub may well serve you better here.

However, you might not want a larger subwoofer, and you may view any subwoofer investment purely as a home cinema purchase. If that's the case, there's much to admire here.

See all our subwoofer Best Buys

Follow on Twitter

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test