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Klipsch vs B&W (2021): Subwoofer Comparison

In the world of speakers and audio equipment, Klipsch and B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) are two of the most revered. Both are known for their excellent audio systems, and in this post, we’ll be looking at their subwoofer offerings, specifically, the Klipsch R-100SW and the B&W AS608. The Klipsch R-100SW is a subwoofer with a 10-inch driver while the B&W AS608 is a slightly more expensive subwoofer that sports an 8-inch driver. Which one of these two subwoofers should you buy? Read on to find out.

Klipsch vs B&W Comparison Chart

ModelKlipsch R-100SWB&W ASW608
 Klipsch R-100SW 10' Subwoofer, Incredibly Deep Bass and an All-digital AmplifierBowers & Wilkins ASW608 Compact Powered Subwoofer - Black
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions14.6 x 12.6 x 18.1 inches10.7 x 10.2 x 13 inches
Weight24lbs19.5lbs
Driver10″8″
Frequency Response32 – 120 Hz23 – 140 Hz
Power150W/300W200W
FeaturesGain
Low-pass filter frequency
Auto on / standby
Phase switch
Volume level โ€“ line in
Volume level โ€“ speaker in
Low-pass filter frequency
Low-pass filter bypass (line in only)
Bass extension
Bass roll-off alignment
Auto sense on / standby
Phase switch
InputsStereo RCA/LFEStereo line in (RCA Phono)
Speaker in (Binding post)
12v trigger (3.5mm jack)
FinishesBlackBlack, White

Design

The Klipsch R-100SW is a ported subwoofer with a single port at the back, while the B&W is a sealed sub.

klipsch vs b&w design
The Klipsch R-100SW (left) is bigger than the B&W AS608 (right).

Looks-wise, the two are similar in that they are shaped like a box with sharp edges and corners. When the grilles are on, Klipsch R-100SW and the B&W AS608 look just like any standard subwoofer. When the grilles are off, the Klipsch R-100SW has a spun-copper IMG woofer while the B&W AS608 has a paper / Aramid fibre cone.

Measuring 14.6 x 12.6 x 18.1 inches and weighing 24lbs, the Klipsch R-100SW is bigger and heavier than the B&W AS608, which measures 10.7 x 10.2 x 13 inches and weighs 19.5lbs. The more compact size of the B&W AS608 allows it to fit in more seamlessly with your furniture if you want a more discreet home theater setup. The B&W AS608 is also available in white, if you have a light color themed interior.

Setup and Controls

The B&W AS608 is a more versatile sub due to having more inputs and control features than the Klipsch R-100SW.

klipsch vs b&w setup and controls
The Klipsch R-100SW (left) has limited control and connection options when compared to the B&W AS608 (right).

When it comes to connectivity, the Klipsch R-100SW is limited. It only has stereo RCA/LFE inputs. Meanwhile, the B&W AS608 has stereo line in RCA, speaker in binding posts and a 12v trigger (3.5mm jack). You have more options with the B&W AS08 when connecting them to your speakers or amplifier/receiver.

As for controls, the two subwoofers have a gain knob and a low-pass frequency dial. They also have auto-on/standby and phase switches. The B&W AS608, however, has additional controls and settings for volume level speaker-in, low-pass filter bypass, bass roll-off alignment and bass extension. You get a higher degree of control with the B&W sub.

Performance

The Klipsch R-100SW can get louder, but the B&W AS608 has a wider frequency range.

klipsch vs b&w performance
A look at the Klipsch R-100SW (left) and the B&W AS608 (right) with their grilles on.

First off, the two subwoofers have a rigid cabinet that’s essential to any good performing subwoofer. They also have powerful drivers and amps, with the Klipsch R-100SW having a digital amplifier capable of up to 300 watts and the B&W having a class D amplifier capable of up to 200 watts. The more powerful amplifier of the Klipsch R-100SW gives it better control and dynamics, and it can also get louder.

That said, the class D amplifier of the B&W AS608 is more than capable of moving its driver around. With its sealed box design, the resulting bass is tighter and produces more rumble. A sealed box design also tends to perform better when listening to music.

Usually, a subwoofer with a bigger driver offers a much better lower frequency extension. However, that’s not the case with these two subwoofers. The B&W AS608 can go lower since it has a frequency range of 23 – 140 Hz. In contrast, the Klipsch R-100SW has a frequency range of 32 – 120 Hz.

Verdict

The B&W AS608 is a much better subwoofer than the Klipsch R-100SW.

If you are looking to get a subwoofer, the B&W AS608 is an excellent option. Even though it is a bit on the expensive side, it’s worth it. It offers excellent performance, a bunch of control and connectivity options and a compact design that’s unobtrusive. It’s also a sealed sub, so it’s an excellent all-rounder, capable of producing excellent bass for both music and movies. The Klipsch R-100SW is a nice alternative if you can get it on a huge discount.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Klipsch a high end brand?

Klipsch has offerings in the entry-level, mid-range and high-end market.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are B&W speakers any good?

Yes, Bowers & Wilkins speakers are excellent. They are known for clarity and openness and they are “exciting” to listen to as well.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Klipsch R-100SW have Bluetooth?

No, it is a wired subwoofer only.

๐Ÿ“Œ How many watts is the B&W AS608?

It has an output power of 200 watts.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.