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Aperion Intimus S-10 Powered Subwoofer (cherry) review:

Aperion Intimus S-10 Powered Subwoofer (cherry)

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The Good 10-inch subwoofer; 200-watt amplifier; gorgeous real cherrywood or high-gloss black finishes; 30-day in-home trial; free shipping.

The Bad It's as big and bulky as any other subwoofer of its size.

The Bottom Line The Aperion S-10 subwoofer is a winning combination of rock-solid construction, impeccable furniture-grade finish, and seismic, room-shaking performance.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

The S-10 is Aperion Audio's midsize subwoofer, but if you're looking for a small lifestyle model, this ain't it. After we installed the S-10's floor-leveling spikes, the bad boy stood close to 18 inches tall, 13.25 wide, and almost 19 inches deep. Instead of relying on commonplace half- or three-quarter-inch-thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF), the S-10 is constructed from 1-inch-thick high-density fiberboard (HDF). The sub's heavily braced 52-pound cabinet hushes resonance to produce more accurate sound. Aperion sells the S-10 direct on its Web site for $499.

The Aperion S-10 features a 10-inch woofer and a potent, 200-watt power amplifier, as well as an adjustable low-pass crossover and phase control. (If you need a different mix of size and power, check out the smaller 150-watt S-8 or the larger 250-watt S-12.) Connectivity covers every contingency: you get stereo speaker and line-level inputs and outputs. Cheesy, vinyl-wrapped subwoofers are the norm, so we give Aperion major props for the S-10's meticulously crafted real cherrywood and high-gloss piano black finishes.

We don't usually dwell on shipping details, but Aperion's online direct sales approach is worthy of note. The company's extrathick foam packing materials and blue velour "socks" protect the S-10 on its way to you. And to top things off, if you buy the S-10 as part of a complete Aperion surround speaker package (such as the so-called System E configuration), the company will send along a high-quality sound-pressure meter to help you get the best sound from your system. Aperion is so confident that you'll love the S-10 that the company sells it with a 30-day, money-back return policy. UPS Ground shipping is free (ditto return shipping if you're not satisfied) in the continental United States.

The Aperion S-10's home-theater skills satisfied our lust for bombast; when playing the Constantine DVD, the evil spirits' demonic low-frequency effects quaked with visceral authority. The sub can fill even fairly large 400-plus-square-foot room with bass. Some subs are great with home theater but turn flabby on music. No problem here--the S-10 depicted jazz bassist Charles Mingus's nimble fingerings with crisp articulation.

We used Aperion's S-10 with the company's 633-T tower speakers, the 632-LR and 532-LR bookshelfs, and the 533-VAC center speaker with great success. But whether you're matching the S-10 to its sibling Aperion speakers or mixing and matching it with other brands, you'll find it a winning combination of rock-solid construction, impeccable furniture-grade finish, and seismic, room-shaking performance.

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