Perlisten D215s Subwoofer Review

hccrefstatusbadgeWhoever said the best things come in small packages likely hadn't met this 2 x 15in, 92kg subwoofer, reckons Mark Craven – and the D215s is a brilliant blend of brains and brawn

Perlisten Audio certainly knows how to make an entrance. A new brand out of Wisconsin in the US, it debuted with its S Series loudspeaker range (HCC #331), which culminates in the £16,000 S7t floorstanders, and to avoid the trap of only appealing to music lovers, it delivered a range of subwoofers to match. The biggest of the bunch is the D215s, auditioned here.

And, yes, this woofer really is big. It's certified THX Dominus for use in largescale home theatres, but that alone doesn't necessitate its portly dimensions – Perlisten does, after all, sell smaller Dominus-flavoured subs. What also contributes to its size (approximately 80cm high and half a metre wide) is its dual 15in driver complement.

These carbon fibre woofers operate in a sealed, push-pull configuration – one front facing and the other firing into the D215s' cavernous enclosure. Rated power is a monstrous 3,000W 'short term RMS.'

On the inside is a Texas Instruments 'floating point' DSP engine, and an ARM processor. The latter monitors the amp power rails, input voltage and thermal characteristics, and handles fault detection and distortion limiting.

While the sub has the expected rear-panel in and outputs (on RCA and XLR connection) there's no physical dial for crossover, phase or gain – setup is via either the sub's top-panel LCD touchscreen, or more detailed Android/iOS app with full control over crossover, phase and trim, access to three preset EQs (THX, Large Room and Small Room), plus multiband parametric EQ. Distributor Karma AV says those who buy a D215s from a licensed dealer should expect them to offer to setup and EQ the sub, using a third-party measurement system such as REW.

Unlike some of Perlisten's loudspeakers, the D215s is only available in a black finish. This is understandable, as I doubt there'd be much of a market for a glam piano white or walnut veneer version. However, a few design flourishes, included the curved edges of the front baffle, and Perlisten's bronze-effect logo, means the D215s looks like home audio equipment and not something that's been left behind by the festival PA crew.

It seems immaculately put together too. Both the front baffle and cabinet are made from HDF, reaching a thickness of 80mm at the front and 30mm elsewhere. Chunky horizontal and vertical bracing inside aims to keep it rigid and vibration-free. Positioning the sub might be a bit of a chore, because it's so heavy, so unbox it as close to what you hope is the optimum position...

Gunning For Trouble
Chapter 9 in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (4K Blu-ray) marks the appearance of the ironically named 'Little Hansel' artillery cannon. It's a brilliant sequence, replete with director Guy Ritchie's favoured slow-mo photography, and some bass-rich sound design that's tailor-made for subwoofer lovers – even before the big gun makes its appearance.