The THIEL SmartSub 1.12 raises a fascinating question: How smart does a subwoofer need to be? For the most part, a subwoofer merely pumps out about an octave of sound, between 40 and 80 Hz. Our hearing isn’t attuned to bass frequencies, so we don’t notice the sonic differences among subwoofers as readily as we notice the differences among speakers. AV receivers have subwoofer equalization circuitry built in to correct for the effects of room acoustics. So why has THIEL–both under its current leadership and under its namesake founder–always strived to make its subwoofers “smart” and marketed them as such?
There’s no denying that the SmartSub 1.12 is one of the smartest subs ever designed. Most impressive is its built-in room correction, a five-band parametric equalizer that uses an included microphone to automatically optimize the sound for your room and your seating position (or for multiple seating positions). If you don’t like the results, you can manually alter each filter’s frequency, boost/cut level, and bandwidth.
The SmartSub 1.12 can be calibrated and controlled through a computer connected via USB or through an iOS/Android smartphone/tablet app. The smartphone or tablet connects wirelessly to the SmartSub 1.12’s built-in Wi-Fi access point.