REL HT/1510 Predator Subwoofer Review Page 2

The Matrix Resurrections on 4K Blu-ray sees this sub nail the brief of thoroughly entertaining LFE, underpinning every effect, shot and explosion with real grunt. To quote a line from the movie, 'it's so easy to forget how much noise the Matrix pumps into your head', and the HT/1510 runs with that theme throughout the thumping soundtrack and effects. Yet the trick here is not the sheer volume of air it's shifting or the depths it plumbs – there are 15in subs that do this better – it's the HT/1510's dynamics and articulation that set a benchmark at the price.

This model excels at conveying the percussive and highly stylised sound of the Agent's pistol fire. Each bullet gets a high-speed, chesty thump. No overhang or bloom, just LFE impact. That lack of cone 'wubba' [other descriptive terms are available – Ed] can make the LFE level feel a little too low in the mix, despite the SPL meter saying otherwise, especially if you are more familiar with traditional (ie. bigger) 15in or 18in designs.

The gut rationale is to tweak the sub-level higher, either in your AVR/processor or by a click or two of the Predator's volume knob, and the result is frankly fabulous. You get more impact, more punch and more physical support to the movie sound without the room sounding like the inside of a bass drum. Explosions are more dramatic, bullets hit home harder and musical scores cut straight to your foot-tapping senses. This is a subwoofer that takes your bass enthusiasm in its stride.

I was sent a pair of HT/1510s to try out, and with plenty of time to experiment with placements and levels they never once disappointed. A romp through the test-disc standards of Star Trek and Heat (still awaiting the 4K remaster…) resulted in ear-to-ear smiles, and Netflix's Atmos-mixed Stranger Things: Season 4 came across with all the audio pedigree of the most expensive Hollywood movie sound tracks. And pairing two HT/1510s filled in a negative node at the seating position in my room nicely.

Playing music in stereo does reveal the HT/1510's slight shortcomings in terms of absolute low-frequency depth and its ability to resolve similar bass notes, but, hey, move along, this is a dedicated home theatre subwoofer. If you want a REL to do both, dig deeper of purse and look at its Carbon Special model. The HT/1510 is also a little frugal of features at the price, given the lack of remote control or any EQ system, let alone app-based tweaking.

More, More, More
Breaking the mould of sequels to classics, this new Predator is a very worthy successor to the original. It gives you more of the same ultra-fast, ultra-tight LFE, with more headroom and the ability to go louder, all in a package that remains compact and relatively affordable. If you are going to design a tool to do a specific job with ruthless efficiency and single-minded purpose, this is how you go about it n

HCC Verdict

REL HT/1510 Predator

Price: £1,799

We say: REL's latest unapologetically stripped down and cinema-focused Predator subwoofer delivers ultra-tight bass and LFE with sublime impact. Grab an audition now!

Overall: 5/5


DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 15in custom CarbonGlas bass driver ENCLOSURE: Sealed ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 1,000W Class A/B linear power supply amplifier FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 20Hz-200Hz REMOTE CONTROL: No DIMENSIONS: 540(w) x 457(h) x 494(d)mm WEIGHT: 45kg

FEATURES: Stereo/LFE phono in/out; balanced XLR in/out; phase switch; auto-power switch; gain control; 30Hz-200Hz crossover adjustment; compatible with REL HT-Air wireless kit; rail feet enable 'Line Array' stacking; 'BrilliantBrace' cabinet construction; Perfect Filter technology