Episode Dual 8 In-wall Subwoofer Review

Episode Speakers Dual 8 In-wall Subwoofer & E-2100 Amplifier. Episode Speakers

One of the more time-consuming aspects of setting up a stereo or home theater system is placing the subwoofer. Correct subwoofer placement affects the sound quality and appearance of the system. Most homeowners would probably prefer to stash a sub behind or beneath a piece of furniture to conceal it from view, but since most subwoofers are cube-shaped they are difficult to hide. The most practical solution is an in-wall subwoofer, which can be installed out-of-view and the grille painted to match the room décor.

I tested the Episode Dual 8 in-wall passive subwoofer, powered by the Episode E-2100 amplifier.

Overview

Episode Speakers is one of the product lines offered by SnapAV, founded in 2005 by Jay Faison, owner of a custom electronics integration company in Charlotte, North Carolina. His business model focuses on providing high-value, high-performance products for AV installers and consumers. As a result, you'll find Episode offered exclusively through custom installation dealers and system integrators, not at your local electronics store.

Subwoofer & Amplifier Features

The Episode in-wall subwoofer is a sealed enclosure housing dual 8-inch woofers with woven fiberglass cones and 1.5-inch high temperature Nomex voice coils. Its 3.75-inch mounting depth is suitable for installing in a standard wall. The Dual 8 can be used for new construction or retrofit and includes a paintable grille. For new homes, Episode offers new construction brackets.

Installation is similar to an in-wall speaker with six dog-leg clamps that secure the sub to the wall. The Episode sub has a solid, well built enclosure that seems highly unlikely to rattle or vibrate when properly installed.

The Dual 8 sub is designed to be used with an active outboard equalizer (supplied) that connects between the SUB OUT or LFE OUT of a receiver and the amplifier used to power the subwoofer.

The Episode sub is a passive model that requires an external amplifier such as the Episode E-2100, although other amps with suitable power could be used. The E-2100 is a two-channel amp with 100 watts x 2, suitable for a multi-zone music amp, or bridgeable to 300-watts mono to power a subwoofer. When used in a whole house music system the amp should be used with a speaker selector or speaker switch with impedance matching.

The E-2100 has rear panel controls including level and crossover controls (50 Hz – 150 Hz) and a switch to enable or disable the crossover. A stereo/bridged switch determines if the amp is used for two-channel or mono applications. A three-way power switch (On, Auto-on, or +12V trigger) selects how the amp is powered on. Optional rack mounts are available for the E-2100.

Performance

I tested the Episode subwoofer and amplifier in my two-channel system with various main speakers. The amp was in bridged mode (300-watts mono) for all testing. When played with bookshelf speakers (5" woofers), the Dual 8 sub sounded well controlled and tight and particularly with bass guitar - not surprising because smaller woofers move more quickly and because of the stiff rubber surround material used in the drivers.

The sub also blended very naturally with the Episode 500 Series compact speakers I wrote about in this review.

Bass sounded full without sounding boomy or heavy and bass depth was good with music and movie sources in two-channel. The Dual 8 easily filled my 23' x 16' listening room, although two subwoofers would be better for filling larger rooms and when used in a home theater system. Multiple subwoofers help distribute bass energy more evenly throughout a room.

Conclusions & Specifications

The Episode Dual 8 Subwoofer is a great way to get solid bass performance from a subwoofer that virtually disappears in the wall.

It can be used in new construction or retrofit installations and provides tight, well-controlled bass for movies and music. Its magnetically attached grille can be painted to match room décor.

Almost any amp can power the Dual 8, but Episode recommends 300 watts, such as the E-2100 with 300 watts mono in bridged mode.

Episode speakers are available exclusively through custom installation resellers. Use the dealer locator to find a dealer nearest you.

Specifications

Episode ES-SUB-IW-DUAL8 Subwoofer

  • Woofers: Dual 8" Woven Fiberglass Sandwich Cone, High Temp 1.5" diameter Voice Coil
  • Power Handling: 380W RMS, 1000W Peak
  • Recommended Power: 300 watts RMS
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Frequency Response (-6DB): 30 Hz - 600 Hz
  • Sensitivity (2.83 V / 1 Meter): 84 dB
  • Connector Type: Gold plated spring-loaded Binding Posts
  • Grill: Aluminum Micro-Perf Mesh - paintable
  • Wall cutout dimensions: 12.2" x 22.2"
  • Mounting Depth: 3.75"
  • Dimensions: (W x H x D): 13.7" x 23.7" x 4.25"
  • Price: $599 each

Episode E-2100 Stereo Amplifier

  • Power Output: 100 watts x 2 (8 ohms), 150 watts x 2 (4 ohms) or 300 watts x 1 bridged mode (8 ohms)
  • Frequency response: 5 Hz - 110 kHz
  • Distortion: Unbridged: .05% THD 20 Hz - 20 kHz (8 ohms) Bridged: .1% THD 20 Hz - 20 kHz (8 ohms)
  • Variable gain and crossover
  • Three turn on modes
  • Optional rack mounts
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 16.5" x 4" x 15"
  • Weight: 21 lbs.
  • Price: $699
  • Contact: episodespeakers.com
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