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Infinity Interlude 100s (Black) review:

Infinity Interlude 100s (Black)

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The Good This subwoofer has brains as well as brawn.

The Bad The silver-toned plastic trim looks cheesy.

The Bottom Line We've never heard a better $499 sub.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

9.0 Overall
Infinity's IL100s subwoofer is hot. Why's that? Let us count the ways. First up, the stellar 10-inch Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) woofer pumps out deep bass with real verve. There's a beefy 250-watt Bridged Amplifier Switching Hybrid (BASH) amplifier, providing more than ample motivation for that cool-running woofer. And while Infinity could have stopped there, it goes on to include its proprietary Room Adaptive Bass Optimization System (RABOS), which tailors the sub's performance to your room to get the best possible sound. Best of all, the IL100s equally flatters movies and music. Infinity's IL100s subwoofer is hot. Why's that? Let us count the ways. First up, the stellar 10-inch Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) woofer pumps out deep bass with real verve. There's a beefy 250-watt Bridged Amplifier Switching Hybrid (BASH) amplifier, providing more than ample motivation for that cool-running woofer. And while Infinity could have stopped there, it goes on to include its proprietary Room Adaptive Bass Optimization System (RABOS), which tailors the sub's performance to your room to get the best possible sound. Best of all, the IL100s equally flatters movies and music.

Bass-ic high-tech
With a sound-pressure-level meter, a test CD, and a few fancy algorithms, the IL100s's RABOS can significantly reduce your listening room's bass anomalies. Infinity's Web site has a full white paper on the system. The company sells the necessary test CD packaged with a sound meter and other useful items for $60, but your dealer might lend that stuff to you. We achieved excellent results before we tackled RABOS. After diddling with the controls a bit, we measured the IL100s's impressively flat response in our room: +/- 1.5dB from 30Hz to 100Hz (it was down an additional 2dB at 26Hz). That's incredible performance for a $499 sub! Your results, of course, may vary.

The IL100s's inputs and outputs are adequate; the only thing that's missing is a high-pass filter, which would allow you to feed the speaker-level sound through the sub and out to small satellites in a music-only system. The 32-pound cabinet, available in maple-, cherry-, or black-colored vinyl-wrap finishes, feels a bit lightweight for a sub.

Basso profundo
The Brits call feel-it-in-your-gut impact slam. That sort of thing is usually the province of 12- or 15-inch subs, but the 10-inch IL100s isn't the least bit shy about exerting its woofage in the service of slam. We fired up the big, fat kick drum that starts off Roy Hargrove's tasty Crisol Habana CD to check out the IL100s's speed and definition. While most subs can generate enough bass to sound credible, only the best ones delineate the sound of the beater whacking the drumhead. Reproducing the thwack requires precise control over the woofer, and the IL100s let us decipher every juicy hit.

The heavy-duty low-frequency effects punctuating the opening battle sequence in Saving Private Ryan don't ruffle the IL100s's composure one bit. It delivers solid, deep bass in the jolting thunder of distant explosions. Many subs blur and muddle that sort of sound, but the IL100s clarifies what's going on down there, and you can really hear the difference.

Things were going so well, in fact, we had to double-check the IL100s's price--yeah, it's $499. It might be the best--the deepest, fastest, most musical and room-adaptive--$499 sub you can buy. If you want all that oomph and more, check out its elder sibling, the 12-inch $749 IL120s.

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