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Velodyne MicroVee Compact Subwoofer

Part I

November, 2007

John E. Johnson, Jr.

 

Specifications:

● Drivers: One Active 6.5" (with 64 oz
   Magnet), Two 6.5" Passive Radiators
● Amplifier: 1,000 Watts RMS
● MFR: 38 Hz - 120 Hz
3 dB
● Low Pass: 50 Hz - 200 Hz Adjustable
● Phase: 00 - 1800 Switchable
● Dimensions: 9" H x 9" W x 9.6" D
● Weight: 15 Pounds
● MSRP: $799 USA; White or Black

Velodyne Acoustics

Introduction

Most of you know I am a huge subwoofer fan. I have four big (18" driver) Velodyne subs in my home theater reference lab and two more in one of my two-channel reference labs. I truly love deep bass.

I like my low frequencies to be delivered at high SPL with as little distortion as possible. The way to get that is by having a big driver in a big enclosure with a powerful amplifier. The 18" subs fit that profile.

People ask me why I have so many big subs. The reason is that I set each one at low volume, and this gives me plenty of room shaking bass, but almost zero distortion because each subwoofer is working at only a fraction of its potential.

My wife puts up with having all those big boxes because A/V is my business, and because she certainly has no complaints once the lights are down and the movie begins. There is no question that such films as Pearl Harbor are a real experience with equipment like that. When guests come over and watch a movie with us, I have to tell them to close their mouths as they leave, before a bird starts building a nest inside.

There are plenty of consumers who also like this type of experience and excuse the room full of stuff because they want the huge sound.

But, there are also lots of folks who just can't or won't have all of the big boxes in the room. Yet, they do want a reasonable movie experience, so they are looking for the product that shakes their booty but doesn't look like a small refrigerator in the corner.

Enter the Velodyne MicroVee.

The Design

Over the last 5 years or so, most companies who manufacture subwoofers have started offering compact models. And by compact, I mean less than a foot on any dimension. The iPod movement simply accelerated this trend, with its emphasis on music from little packages.

Velodyne has marketed a number of compact subs, and the MicroVee is their smallest one yet.

However, what differentiates the MicroVee from its ancestors is that this product has a new long throw (about 2") active driver (6.5") along with two passive radiators (6.5"), plus a much more powerful amplifier (1,000 watts RMS) than was used in the other models.

The product photo at the top of this review shows the MicroVee without the grille. The photo below illustrates what it looks like with the grille, and you can also see one of the side-mounted passive radiators more clearly.

The MicroVee has an extruded aluminum enclosure which makes it very strong, but also, there can be no rattling or buzzing at seams, because there are no seams except at one spot where the one-piece extrusion is joined together. The aluminum also makes the subwoofer lighter, so it is easy to move around. There are four small rubber feet on the bottom.

The amplifier panel on the rear is shown below. It has line-level inputs and speaker-level inputs and outputs. Besides volume, you can dial in the low-pass frequency or switch the crossover out altogether. Phase is selectable between 00 and 1800.

Now, when I was introduced to the MicroVee at CEDIA a couple of months ago, and they told me it was going to sell for $799, I thought they might have trouble competing with other small subs that are less expensive. However, once I saw that it has such a long-throw driver with a 4 pound magnet, two passive radiators, and 1,000 watts RMS of available power, I concluded that this one is worth the additional dollars.

So, there it is. I might have added the old platitude, "warts and all," just to be prosaic, but there are no warts. This thing is gorgeous.

Go to Part II.

Copyright 2007 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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