Test Report: Velodyne DD-15 Plus Subwoofer Page 4

Bottom Line

I’m not going to call the DD-15 Plus the best sub ever, as I did with the original DD-15, but the fact that I considered doing so should tell you a lot. I doubt you’re going to find a subwoofer that delivers substantially more output or better sound quality that this one. I haven’t seen anything else that delivers a tuning/EQ capability that can match that of the DD-15 Plus.

That said, the appeal of the DD-15 Plus is limited. For the price of one of these, you could get two kick-ass 15-inch subs and an SMS-1. That way, you’d have much smoother response across a range of seating positions.

So who’s the DD-15 Plus for? The well-heeled audiophile or home theater enthusiast who wants just one really awesome, perfectly tuned subwoofer.

Test Bench

Frequency response

15 to 102 Hz ±3 dB

Bass output (CEA-2010 standard)

• Ultra-low bass (20-31.5 Hz) average: 118.3 dB

20 Hz              113.7 dB

25 Hz              118.7 dB

31.5 Hz           122.5 dB

• Low bass (40-63 Hz) average: 124.6 dB

40 Hz              124.6 dB

50 Hz              124.9 dB

63 Hz              124.2 dB

I measured the frequency response of the DD-15 Plus by close-miking it and running sinusoidal sweeps from my Clio FW. (I made all these measurements before I ran the Auto-EQ routine, to ensure that I wouldn’t be measuring the effects of the EQ.) The chart shown here is the result in Defeat mode without the crossover activated. Jazz mode measured exactly the same. The other modes all boosted output by about 2 dB overall. Rock mode introduced a slight additional boost of about 1 dB centered at 50 Hz. Theater mode’s additional boost was about 3 dB, centered at 37 Hz. Games model boosted at 60 Hz by about 3 dB.

I’m not going to cite a low-pass crossover function in dB/octave here because that slope is adjustable on this sub.

I performed the CEA-2010 output measurement in the Defeat (bypass) mode; measurements made in the Theater mode came within a fraction of a dB at most frequencies. (Again, these measurements were made before Auto-EQ was ever activated.) Output is excellent, averaging a brutal 124.6 dB in the low bass (40-63 Hz) octave and 118.3 dB in the ultra-low bass (20-31.5 Hz) octave. The closest I’ve measured using CEA-2010 is the Hsu VTF-15H, which hit 123.2 dB and 119.2 dB, respectively. So while the DD-15 Plus does offer loads of clean output, it’s not especially impressive on a dB-per-dollar basis.