World's most amazing subwoofer has no woofer

Subwoofer designers usually stuff a big woofer in a box, but Eminent Technology's TRW-17 sub doesn't have a woofer or a box.

It looks like a fan, but the TRW-17 is a bona-fide subwoofer. Steve Guttenberg

We all know subwoofers make bass. Big subwoofers, like the $799 Epik Empire , can sport massive 15-inch woofers and a Class D 600-watt power amplifier, all packaged in a 22x18x24-cabinet. The Empire's 120-pound weight might be a not-so-subtle indication that it's solidly built.

But Eminent Technology's TRW-17 Rotary Woofer ($12,900) doesn't have a cone-type woofer or a box or cabinet. No, the TRW-17 looks like a high-tech fan. And when you turn it on, the fan's blade spins just like a fan, but it's a bona-fide subwoofer. It produces deeper and more powerful bass than any conventional subwoofer I've ever heard. Everybody who hears the TRW-17 is shocked by its power to produce a truly visceral experience.

The TRW-17's fluttering blades generate bass frequencies down to 1 hertz (standard $1,000 subs poop out in the 30Hz range, and ultra high-end subs rarely make it below 18Hz.). The Eminent Technology Web site provides more information about how the blades produce bass.

The TRW-17 subwoofer is powerful enough to make an entire room throb with bass energy. TRW-17 installations are complex and can easily run to $25,000. For home audio, the TRW-17 is typically mounted in an attic, basement, or side room so the spinning blades are always out of reach of small children and pets.

The TRW-17 mounted in a typical installation. Eminent Technology

Regular subs can't reproduce the 11Hz fundamental frequency of a helicopter rotor, the low-frequency rumble of wind, or the infrasonic shockwave from an explosion, but the TRW-17 can do all of these things. Very deep bass is as much felt as heard. Eminent Technology claims the TRW-17 is now being used in theme park attractions, concert venues, professional audio applications, and research projects.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.


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