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Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer

Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer

  • Subwoofer with advanced SAW bass reflex design
  • Built-in amplifier with 120 watts into 8 ohms from 20 – 200 Hz at 0.8% THD
  • 12-inch long-throw driver
  • Line-level and speaker-level inputs
  • Auto power on/off

Sony’s SA-WM40 is a powered subwoofer that packs a 12-inch driver in a bass-reflex (vented) cabinet. An onboard amplifier delivers 120 watts of power to the driver. The SA-WM40 sports both line-level and speaker-level inputs, as well as a line output for connection to additional subwoofers for even more bass. The crossover is variable from 50 Hz-170 Hz. This will help you to match this sub to the bass characteristics of your main speakers. The phase switch allows you to correct any phase conflict that may occur between the sub and your satellite speakers.

Rating: (out of 7 reviews)

List Price: $ 249.99



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5 Responses

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  1. Ray Chung says

    Review by Ray Chung for Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer
    To begin with, I got this unit or a steal…$140 brand new at an electronics store down on canal street here in NYC. I bought it to replace the small, 50-watt KLH BB-II that I had originally got because of space restrictions in my apartment. Since I got rid of the floor-standingair conditioner in the corner, I now had space for a decent 100+ watt sub, so I went looking around. I am using this sub as part of a Dolby Digital/DTS system (Sony 100-watt-per-ch reciever), with two celestion DL-6 fronts, a Polk CS 245 center, and two JBL Control 1’s as rears…all of which provide excelent bass response down to around 60-75 Hz. So why did I go for such an ample sub? Why not?To begin with, this unit is quite compact for what it contains. A 120-watt amp with a response of 20-200Hz paired with a 12″ front-firing speaker….other units of similar specs would probably be the size of one of those smaller refridgerators you had in your college dorm room. This unit tucks away rather nicely even in a small apartment, given that you make some corner space for it. Many down-firing or front-firing units this size house an 8″ driver, or a 10″ at best.Controls/Inputs: Power push/push button on front. The top controls are the volume, phase reverse slide’switch, and crossover freq (50-170Hz), and the bacl of the unit houses the auto-shutoff switch, +/- stereo speaker inputs and outputs, and a single RCA jack for mono/sub in along with a single RCA send for attaching an additional unit. Kudos on the single-jack approach, as I always drove myself crazy whether or not I was doing the right thing by adding a Y splitter to the receiver’s sub-out jack. Simple…one quality RCA connector cable from the receiver’s sub-out to the sub’s in.Sound: This can get very subjective, as you know. To begin with, the 12″ driver of this unit would undoubtedly fill the room of a bigger space than mine (17’x12′) without the help of the other full-range speakers I mentioned before. But the thing that irks me a bit is that while you’ll get rumble and bowel-disturbing low frequencies for days, you might bit get the same punch and percussive quality from a front-ported design, and maybe even a smaller speaker. Smaller speakers move faster than larger ones, whereas larger ones sound deeper. I think that if this was a bottom firing design with a front-firing port, you’d get more of that trasnsient punch. I like how this unit really fills the room (T-Rex footsteps from “Jurassic Park”), but I’d like some more punch (20mm guns from “Saving Private Ryan”, DTS, basically a reference benchmark for any 5.1 system). I tried hooking up my older, 6.5″ ported KLH, but it is out of phase with the normal setting of the Sony, which is, incidentally, the correct phase for its (Sony’s) placement in my system. The little KLH has good punch, but no phase-switcher. Room placement will also be CRITICAL, because of phasing and standing waves. I first put the sony on the side wall and heard very little, on either phase setting. I then put it in a corner, and the paint started to chip off the walls from the rumble.Technical notes: Even though there is a useful crossover freq. control, when using this unit hooked up to the sub-out of a 5.1 digital receiver, it’s best to turn it all the way up to 170Hz, except when listening to CD’s, in which case 80-100Hz is probably better. Most, if not all. 5.1 DD receivers with dedicated sub-out only put out the frequencies that the DVD’s mix sees fit to, so you don’t want to possibly cut that range down by turning the crossover freq. down on the sub. Hooking up to a receiver’s speaker out’s is a different story, as your passing a full-range signal through. If used with a 5.1 receiver’s sub-out, simply turn the crossover all the way up and forget about it. Volume setting ranges rather widely between music and even different movies, as DVD mixes are all over the place.Altogether, a great value for the money, buy not quite as clean and punchy as I would like. At $140, it’ll do for a while until I move into a bigger place (and a bigger income brackett!). At 120 watts, you’ll have plenty of power, and although my Sony receiver is up to the task, I’m sure I’d do better with a comparable Yamaha, again for later times. If I had to do it over again, I’d probably go for a 10″ driver in a down-firing front-ported enclosure, probably more appropriate for my listening space, but this will do the job and I just don’t have time to keep looking.

  2. sonytoao says

    Review by sonytoao for Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer
    After doing alot of research and reading numerous reviews, I chose the SAWM40 as the subwoofer to round out my home theater speaker system. As noted by other reviewers, this sub is big (14-1/4″W x 16-7/8″H x 16-1/2″D) so you may want to contemplate where in the room you’ll place it so that it isn’t a visual focal point. (I placed mine behind one of my floor standing speakers so that it’s not visible from the front viewing angles).The Sony has good sound (with a 12″ long-throw woofer) and dynamic range (20-170hz) but as you’ll note from reviews elsewhere on the web, like audioreview, it sounds a little boomy right out the box. If you perform a simple … modification, however, by adding more polyfill fiber, the bass tightens and you can turn down the volume (assuming your center and front speakers are large enough to handle some bass). With the mod., the sub’s sound is excellent. The sub comes with additional features that other subs in its price range don’t have: line level input and output, speaker level inputs and outputs, a phase switch, and signal-sensing power on/off. I don’t bother using this latter feature because the sub clicks when it’s powering back on and there’s a slight delay before the bass reappears.The only other caution I would provide is that you’ll probably want to replace the audio cable that comes with the subwoofer. It’s not that long so your placement options would be limited. I replaced mine with a Monster sub cable which is shielded and works well.If you can afford B&W, NHT, or Velodyne speakers, then by all means lay down the cash. But if you’re looking for the most bang for the buck and you don’t want to spend more on your sub than you do on your mortgage, then you can’t miss with this Sony.

  3. Anonymous says

    Review by for Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer
    All I can say is “WOW”. It’s a great speaker at a great price. In particular, the frequency response is outstanding. The continuously variable crossover is nice and it has plenty of power–I usually only have it up 1/4 of the way or less and my windows still rattle! The sound is deep and very rich. If I ever have need of another sub, I’d get another one of these for sure. You will not be upset with this speaker (unless you hate the color black in your movie room).

  4. Eric Jeter says

    Review by Eric Jeter for Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer
    I recently purchased the SAWM40 as a replacement for the blown sub in my Sony SAVE315 set. I’d always been quite satisfied with the output from my old woofer but the SAMW40 has made realize this one simple truth… ignorance is bliss. I simply didn’t know what I was missing. The day I picked up the sub I gave it a quick spin. Reviewers on other sites …had complained that initially the bass was less tight than they’d hoped for, especially with music. Indeed, I did perceive some looseness on a few of my reference DVD’s and it was more apparent on music CD’s. However, I found this effect to be augmented or reduced significantly according to placement of the woofer. …It’s also not the prettiest sub in the world – not exactly a dog, but certainly lacking some svelte. But to me these misdemeanors are barely worth mentioning…

  5. Robb Slocombe says

    Review by Robb Slocombe for Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer
    I recently got this product little doubtful of how good it was. I am awstruck that it can deliver so much bass. i love it i would recomend to all who need to add the .1 in their audio, you wont be disapointed

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