REL's new Classic 98 subwoofer aims to mix 'mid-century charm' with state-of-the-art tech

We've seen some bonkers subwoofer designs from REL recently, including the premium No.31 with its string-like driver grille and stackable enclosure. Yet for its newest model, the Classic 98, the subwoofer brand has gone retro.

Of course, 'vintage' inspired models are all the rage in the hi-fi industry at least, so who can blame REL for joining the party with a subwoofer that's described as 'a symphony of mid-century charm and state-of-the-art technology'?

Ten's plenty
With its price tag of £1,299, the Classic 98 isn't one of the company's top-tier models, and this is reflected in its use of a 10in driver. Down-firing, but lifted off the floor by the subwoofer's four feet, this paper cone woofer is pushed by a 300W Class D amp – not the Class A/B unit some might have been expecting given the sub's 'golden age of hi-fi' aspirations.

As usual for REL, there are both high-level and low-level/LFE inputs available, mounted on a back plate next to crossover and level controls. The Classic 98 can also be used with the company's optional AirShip II and HT-Air MkII wireless adapters.


The Classic 98 features a down-firing 10in paper cone driver, and 300W-rated Class D amplifier

When it comes to performance, REL says the sub has 'different aspirations' from the rest of its product line. 'While it might trade off a touch of the speed, clarity, and deepest bass that our standard models, like the T/9x, are known for, it compensates with its inviting warmth. [The] Classic 98 beckons you to put on a record, pour a cherished drink, recline in a comfortable chair, and relax into the music.'

As for the retro look, REL has finished the subwoofer's 470mm-high, 18.1kg cabinet in a walnut veneer, all the better to match your set of vintage standmount speakers.

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