Episode ES-SUB-CUB8-110 Subwoofer Review

An Overview of the Episode 8-Inch Subwoofer

Episode ES-SUB-CUB8-110
Episode ES-SUB-CUB8-110. Image provided by SnapAV

The Episode ES-SUB-CUB8-110 is a compact subwoofer that's great for small or medium-sized rooms. It provides a smooth low-frequency response for both movies and music. This sub also provides several controls and connection options that can accommodate different room environments and equipment connection variations. 

Product Overview

Specifications and features of the ES-SUB-CUB8-110S include:

  • Sealed acoustic suspension enclosure with an 8-inch diameter front-firing woven fiberglass driver. Available in high gloss black or white finishes. 
  • 10.5 inches high x 9.8 inches wide x 9.8 inches deep, weighing 15 pounds. 
  • Frequency response is 35Hz to 200Hz.
  • Crossover frequency range is 40Hz to 200Hz.
  • Signal-to-noise ratio is 90 dB.
  • Power handling is 110 watts.
  • It offers two low-level line inputs/outputs and one set of high-level speaker input/output terminals.

The Episode ES-SUB-CUB8-110 also has some user-adjustable controls. The Phase control matches the in/out subwoofer driver motion to the satellite speakers. This control has two positions. The crossover control sets the point at which you want the subwoofer to produce low-frequency sounds against the ability of the satellite speakers to reproduce low-frequency sound. This control can be defeated if you're using the subwoofer crossover control on a receiver.

Setup and Installation

The Episode ES-SUB-CUB8-110 can be connected in two ways. The easiest is to connect the subwoofer preamp line output from a home theater receiver.

The other option involves using left/right speaker connections from receivers or amplifiers that do not have a dedicated subwoofer line output. The subwoofer accepts the entire signal that goes to the main left and right channel speakers in this type of setup, but it only utilizes the low frequencies for itself.

Performance

This is a compact sealed unit with no port and a built-in 110-watt low-frequency amplifier. The driver is front-firing. The ES-SUB-CUB8-110 features a volume control mounted on the front with additional controls as well as connections located on the back. The controls allow the matching of the subwoofer to a variety of satellite speaker types.

The ES-SUB-CUB8-110 offers very good tight bass for its small size. My review proved that this subwoofer was an excellent match for the rest of the speakers. The subwoofer showed no fatigue with Blu-ray/DVD soundtracks with LFE effects, but it was not as earth-shattering at the extreme low frequencies as larger, more powerful subwoofers might be.

The ES-SUB-CUB8-110 reproduced good overall bass response on the music-based material, doing especially well with music tracks featuring acoustic bass. It did exhibit some drop-off in the reproduction of the bottom end of a sliding bass riff.  

The ES-SUB-CUB8-110 provided good bass texture without being overly boomy in the mid-bass frequencies. It mixed well with the other speakers in the test speaker setup. The crossover adjustment was fairly easy. However, I would recommend using a sound meter or an automatic speaker setup system available on your home theater receiver to assist in fine-tuning your speaker/subwoofer system levels.

Despite its small 8-inch driver size, the Episode ES-SUB-CUB8-110 produces solid, deep bass that was better than I expected. I also found that with some adjustment it produced enough low-frequency power in both rooms – one 20 x 15 sq. ft. and the other 13 x 12 sq. ft. 

Final Take

The ES-SUB-CUB8-110 is a compact, surprisingly light, sealed unit with a front-firing drive and a 110-watt continuous power-capable low-frequency amplifier.

One thing I didn't like is that the volume control is located behind the speaker grill on the front of the subwoofer. You have to remove the speaker grill to make any volume adjustments using the subwoofer's control.

You can get around this by setting the volume control of the ES-SUB-CUB8-110 to near maximum and using the subwoofer level control in your home theater receiver if one is available. This eliminates the need to remove the subwoofer speaker grill and it makes it easier to use your receiver's remote control to do the work for you from the comfort of your listening position.

In terms of performance, the ES-SUB-CUB8-110 does a good job with both movie and music-only material, but it won't overwhelm your system. In other words, this subwoofer won't buckle the floors or rattle the windows, but it will deliver a clear, tight bass listening experience. It's not in same class as higher-end, much larger subwoofers, but its performance is not to be dismissed. It provides more bass than you would expect for its size and it's a great solution for small- or medium-sized rooms.

This subwoofer also has output connections that allow you to add a second subwoofer for help with larger room placement. It can be easily placed or hidden from view because of its small size. The episode even offers an optional wireless subwoofer kit to eliminate the typical long cable run between a home theater receiver and the subwoofer.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.