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Review: Sunfire HRS-8 – High Resolution Series Subwoofer

Sunfire HRS-8: ‘The Little Subwoofer That Could’

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Review: Sunfire HRS-8 – High Resolution Series Subwoofer

Sunfire HRS-8 Powered Subwoofer - White

The Sunfire HRS-8 subwoofer is the first model in Sunfire’s lineup of High-Resolution Series powered subwoofers and the smallest in the line. The ten-inch cube subwoofer is equipped with an eight-inch High Back-emf long-throw woofer and a built-in 1,000-watt amplifier. The HRS-8 is smaller than any subwoofer I’ve ever seen or used, and its size belies its performance, but based on listening to it in my system, I’d call it ‘the little subwoofer that could.’

Sunfire HRS-8 Features

The Sunfire HRS-8 has all the features you would expect in a quality powered subwoofer, including line-level and speaker level inputs, line-level outputs with fixed 70Hz high-pass filter, crossover frequency control (with bypass), phase control, volume, automatic signal-sensing power activation and a detachable IEC power cord.

The eight-inch low-mass woofer is capable of extra-long throw or excursion and incorporates a large magnet for high power handling, a low-mass diaphragm and a rubber surround. The 1,000-watt (RMS) amplifier is uses Sunfire’s proprietary power supply, known as Tracking Downconverter™. This design, also used in Sunfire’s line of receivers, monitors or tracks the signal input level and accordingly adjusts the output level of the amplifier if it gets too high, thus preventing overloading or overdriving the subwoofer.

The HRS-8 is available in a high-gloss black or white lacquer finish.

Sunfire HRS-8 Performance

Although the HRS-8 weighs in at a hefty 28lbs., a first glance casts doubt that a subwoofer with an eight-inch driver in a ten-inch cubed enclosure could fill a room with full, solid bass. Appearances can be deceiving and the HRS-8 proves it. Although the Sunfire HRS-8 is recommended for rooms 150 square feet or smaller, it was capable of providing quite adequate bass response in my listening room, which measures 375 square feet with an 11’ sloped ceiling (greater than 4,000 cubic feet).

To test the bass response of the HRS-8 I used a few of the most demanding and dynamic discs I have. ‘Rewind’ from the band Oregon (Chesky Records) features some very deep bass from Glen Moore’s acoustic bass (probably around 30Hz) that is challenging for almost any subwoofer. The HRS-8 passed the test with well defined, solid bass even in my “larger-than-recommended” room and would certainly fill a smaller room. The Sunfire HRS-8 also surprised me in ‘Only You’ from the live recording of Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra (GRP Records), a very dynamic recording with fast, tight and sometimes overwhelming bass from the late Freddie Green’s electric bass. The HRS-8 sounded tight and full and blended well with the Martin-Logan stereo speakers I used with the sub.

Summary

There’s no doubt that the HRS-8 is designed for smaller rooms (150 sq. ft. or less) and it was working overtime to fill my room with bass, but did not strain even when reproducing deep bass or pushed to higher levels. A more logical choice for larger rooms would be the Sunfire HRS-10 or HRS-12 models with 10” or 12” drivers respectively, but the HRS-8 has definitely earned the title of ‘the little subwoofer that could’. If you’re looking for a subwoofer for a small apartment, a dorm room or just a small space, check out the Sunfire HRS-8 powered subwoofer.

Specifications - Sunfire HRS-8 Powered Subwoofer

  • Amplifier: 1,000 watts RMS
  • High-Cut filter: 30Hz – 100Hz adjustable with bypass mode
  • Frequency response: 22Hz – 100Hz
  • Dimensions: 10” x 10” x 10”
  • Weight: 28lbs.
  • Price: $699

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