Velodyne SPL-1500R review

The SPL-1500R isn’t small or cheap, but it is very good Tested at £1600.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Want a really heavy-hitting sub at a remotely sensible price? The SPL-1500R is it


  • +

    Goes deep and loud with plenty of speed

  • +

    ease of set-up

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  • -

    Size and plain finish may put some people off

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In an ideal world all subwoofers would be small, cheap and produce loads of good quality bass. Despite the manufacturers best efforts we've yet to hear a sub that satisfies on all three counts. And guess what? Velodyne's SPL-1500R isn't about to change things.

This is a big old box: it has to be to house a heavily engineered 38cm driver. It's all big numbers here: a 1000-watt amplifier, 29kg weight all for a hefty £1600. You know what? This Velodyne is worth every penny.

You have every right to expect plenty of bass, and this chunky sealed-box design duly obliges. Play something appropriate and this Velodyne will dig deep with enthusiasm.

Two-channel friendly
Push it to high volume and in most rooms we reckon it'll be you that gives up first. Unlike some Velodynes we've reviewed the SPL-1500R sounds decent on music, too, helping to give weight and authority to two channel systems.

However, we suspect that the vast majority of these will be used in home cinema set-ups, and despite the good things we've said about music replay it's in this environment that this big lump really shines.

Move away from performance and there remains plenty to admire. Set-up is easy thanks to a mic-assisted automated EQ procedure that evens out the subwoofers output. Build is solid, though finish is functional rather than luxurious. Connections are as you'd expect, with both speaker and line-level inputs, remote control and the option to daisy-chain additional subs.

The SPL-1500R isn't small or cheap, but it is very good. Want oodles of substantial deep bass? This is the one for you.

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.

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