Try googling “subwoofer for home” for the sake of interest – you will get a scattering of offers of cheap models with small-caliber drivers. The industry has switched to lightweight designs, usually with wireless connectivity. They are designed, first of all, to work with soundbars, of which a truly unthinkable number has recently been divorced. They might be fine for these kinds of applications, but what if you need real bass to extend the range of your floorstanding speakers or to reproduce low-frequency effects in your home cinema?
Here you will already need a more impressive subwoofer, already with a caliber of no less than 10 – 12 inches. And this is a large and not always presentable outwardly object, which not every housewife will allow to put in a room so beautifully furnished.
And now it’s time for our new product – Magnat Omega CS12 to enter the stage, and in the most literal sense. For the beveled corners of the cabinet and the glossy lacquer coating, the subwoofer has already received the title of “black diamond” in the German press (for me, it looks more like a dice cube). Thanks to its unusual shape with dimensions of 465 x 400 x 465 mm, it does not seem bulky at all, and in fact it has a 12-inch driver. And even with a closed design, for the declared lower limit of the operating range of 18 Hz, the volume is quite enough. This first of all suggests that the Omega CS12 has some kind of special head with a very low fundamental resonant frequency.
As you can see in the photo, the diffuser is made of cellulose, and on the outside it has a coating that prevents moisture absorption. The shape is purely hemispherical, it is known to have maximum rigidity. Please note that the diffuser is not glued to the suspension, but rather double-stitched, which is what the concern for reliability at extreme levels means. A cast basket with high longitudinal ribs on the side members – this design does not ring or deform during sudden displacements of the moving system. And the whole thing is crowned with a magnetic system with a central hole for ventilation of the voice coil.
The imposing-looking driver is directed forward and is an integral part of the design, since the grill is not provided in this model.
The built-in switching amplifier is capable of delivering 500W RMS and up to 1500W peak. Input switching is extremely modest: only a couple of RCA line inputs, and one of them is designated as LFE. Those. the signal can be sent to the amplifier through the built-in filter with a smooth tuning range of 50 – 150 Hz, or directly, if the AV receiver has a bass manager. The phase is also smoothly regulated, and the level is not only a knob on the rear panel, but also from a simple remote control. This is logical, since the rest of the settings are usually set once and for all, and the volume has to be changed during listening, depending on the nature of the program. The preset level is displayed on the front panel in large blue numbers from 0 to 40 units.
Another useful feature of the Omega CS12 is the bass boost. A separate Bass Extension knob smoothly increases the response at 28 Hz from 0 to +8 dB. This is a purely theatrical feature, but we will definitely use it on music.
Of the design features, I also note the wide and low legs made of elastic polymer, which provide a large contact area. Thanks to them, the subwoofer is reliably decoupled, and vibrations will not be transmitted to the floor of the room, even with sharp and loud shock sounds.
For testing the Omega CS12, a system was assembled with a Magnat MMS 730 network player as a source and a Parasound New Classic 200 Integrated amplifier , which has an adjustable subwoofer output. The main acoustic systems are floor-standing Magnat Signature 905. Some of the tracks were played from a Lyngdorf CD2 player. Since our speakers are already bass-heavy (by the way, we will devote the next review to them), the subwoofer bandwidth was limited to 65 hertz, and the optimal level was 22 units. Bass Extension is at zero so far.
I find tracks on Spotify with good bass basis – Supermax, Metallica, Muse, etc. The subwoofer extends the lower range of our floor speakers by at least an octave, and after tuning it does it right: its contribution to the sound is noticeable only after switching off. The basis of the sound loses its content, the components that affect the volume of the sound stage disappear. The main thing is that thanks to the closed design, the diffuser quickly reacts to sharp dynamic contrasts and perfectly synchronizes with the main acoustics.
Therefore, it is quite difficult to distinguish the “batch” of a working subwoofer by ear, although the presentation as a whole, of course, turns out to be much richer. For example, the disco bass on Supermax tracks, in addition to the powerful percussive component (which the Magnat Signature 905 does an excellent job on their own), also acquires subharmonics, thanks to which the music leaves a completely different impression.
The same is true for symphonic music: the orchestra with its power and wide spectrum immediately grabs attention, on tutti the system literally covers with sound, and for this you do not need to turn the volume to the maximum. Let the Omega CS12 operate at 1/10 of its power, but this increase is quite noticeable.
But there are times when the contribution of the sub is generally impossible to overestimate. For example, on a test recording of a drum kit, a 12-inch diffuser began to pump the room like a membrane of a big drum – practicing not only the impact itself, but also numerous accompanying vibrations, including those that go into the infrasonic region. And again I will note the speed: the lowest components do not lag behind the main ones, which are reproduced by floor systems.
If you turn the Bass Extension knob at least a third of the scale on such drum recordings, the seismic activity of the subwoofer can be further enhanced. Moreover, the rise to 28 Hz will be useful not only when playing soundtracks (in a home cinema system, the regulator can be turned halfway and not touched anymore), but also in modern musical genres based on low-frequency effects. And such tracks now account for more than half of the total content of the main streaming services.
So the Omega CS12 is a subwoofer that is useful in every way. And the interior will not spoil, and it will be useful in the music system, and in home cinema you simply cannot do without it.