Review Price free/subscription
Velodyne MicroVee Subwoofer - Velodyne MicroVee Subwoofer
Provided you know what all the switches and dials do, the MicroVee is easy to rig up and optimise. And once you've run it in and set all the levels to your liking, it delivers a very impressive performance. At first glance it's hard to believe a box so small can muster so much power, but as an airing of the supercharged 300 Blu-ray soundtrack demonstrates, this little unit really does fill the room with the sort of rich bass you'd expect from a much bigger sub.
The movie is packed with scenes that flex the MicroVee's muscles and with every one it propels the action along beautifully. The testosterone-charged battle scenes sound stunning, with the MicroVee lacing the brutal effects with a well-rounded, punchy bottom end that'll make even the most placid viewer leap from their seat in a fit of adrenalin-fuelled excitement. It's that good.
What's more the score's pounding drum is reproduced in all its propulsive glory, adding exactly the right amount of drama to the scene in which the Spartans take on the Immortals. And when the mutant rhino charges towards the screen in chapter 20, the impact of its feet thumping the ground is frightening - but in a good way. Turn it up real loud and you can sense it being pushed to its limits with a little shaking here and there, but considering its size you simply won't believe how well it copes under pressure.
Even during the few quieter moments when nobody's getting speared through the stomach, the sub's pedigree is apparent in the movie's string-laden score, or in the way it delicately colours gentle ambience and distant effects.
But the best part is that the MicroVee builds this solid foundation with a great deal of control, ensuring that the low frequency effects never overpower or distract from the other speakers in our test system. You can also hear the results of the anti-distortion system in the clean, direct nature of the bass output.
The MicroVee is well suited to music as well as movies, and with DVD-Audio material it makes those bass notes really sing. Its natural reproduction of the chunky double bass of Atagiin's version of What The World Needs Now Is Love is a real treat, and it displays astonishing agility when playing back Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue on CD, effortlessly keeping pace with Paul Chambers' beautiful bass work.
The MicroVee is proof that you don't need a big subwoofer to achieve top-notch bass quality, and its physics-defying ability to deliver muscular sound from such a small box is testament to the excellent technology inside. Sure, ultra high-end systems might uncover its limitations (serious audiophiles may need greater bass extension than the quoted 38Hz, for instance) but if all you want is a solid sub that won't take up much of your precious space then the MicroVee is an ideal choice.
Scores In Detail