Wharfedale SW380 Subwoofers


  • Amplifier Power: 600W
  • Input Sensitivity: 0-180 switchable
  • Frequency Response: 25-90Hz
  • Crossover Frequency: 35-85Hz

User Reviews (1)

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Sigurd Endemann   AudioPhile [Jul 25, 2007]

Music: Musicality is its strength. Audiophiles will love it. Tight Big Musical Bass
Movies: Crank it up, it will scare you!
Build quality: Excellent solid build quality.
Remote: a definite plus, with 4 programmable memory settings, and control of pretty much all the available functions remotely.
Line and speaker level inputs/outputs
Clearly readable and auto dimming display.


Heavy - if you can call that a weakness.- get a friend to help you move it when you first set it up, or risk back injury moving it afterwards on your own.
No auto on/off - you actually have to switch it on/off with the remote, whereas my Paradigm would auto detect audio and switch on, or off after a period of inactivity. - once again not really a weakness.
Takes a while to run in - DO NOT JUDGE IT BEFORE ITS RUN IN ...Obviously! Once again not really a weakness.

Review for: Wharfedale SW380 - 600W sealed sub in Black Ash.
Paid: $725 US / £353 / R5000 ZAR
I would describe myself as someone who prefers Stereo music to sound neutral and as natural as possible.

I prefer to set up a sub at a certain level which is good for all types music which can be a tall order, without artificially adding bass when there is none, or less than I would like. I do however like to crank it up for DVD LFE tracks.
I was looking for a sealed SUB to replace my Paradigm PDR12 V3 twin ported forward firing SUB. Make no mistake the Paradigm is a lot of bang for buck, but it was lacking the finesse I craved for with music. The Paradigm with its twin-port reflex design is brilliant with movies and lets you experience LFE soundtrack as it was intended to be, but would as expected with two ports often sound a bit fat and boomy especially in the midbass frequencies for stereo purposes which caused problems integrating with my Mordaunt-Short Avant 906i floor standers. I ended up plugging the massive twin ports to minimize the boomy effect and create an overal more tight souding bass.

Granted, I don't have the liberty to place the sub exactly where it would probably sound better and very little if any proper room treatments, which is not the subs fault, so its always a compromise to get the best sound without esthetically losing the lounge/living room looks.

Plugging ports meant I was changing the sub's characteristics as it was designed to play, so my search for a sealed sub -on a limited budget- lead me to the SW380 which I was longing for since the day it appeared on the market, and was on special at the time of purchase. I took the plunge and brought it.

This is a BIG and HEAVY sub. I had to remove it from the box to get it into the car, and could barely carry it alone. I unpacked it, and had a choice of rubber or spiked feet.
The 15 inch cone design can be described as a carbon fibre sandwich, the outside layers being glass fibre woven re-inforced, and the carbon fibre woven layer in the middle. The woofer sits menacing and powerful looking in a downward firing position.

It was easy to setup and I used the LFE input for both music and movies, the amp configured to deal with each respectively
There is also a speaker level input available as well as a left and right/LFE input and output would one require to run a second sub, which can be daisy chained from it. The speaker level input connecters are top notch and can be found on all Wharfedale's higher end speakers.

The remote comes supplied with batteries, and is very handy and easy to use with the following features:
4 memory slots for different customised preferences
On/off switch
Gain conrol
180 degrees phase switch button
Frequency roll-off in 10HZ steps from 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85 HZ or filter bypass for complete amp management settings.
Music Sound

The sub performs well in movies too. I remember the scene in LOTR "Return of the King" where the elephants joined the battle ground stomping along. The sound was downright scary, and I turned the volume down for fear of cracking a window. Solid Bass.

Build Quality
EXCELLENT, to say the least. The curved enclosure is beautifully constructed.
Clear display on the front of the sub which stays on for about 10 seconds or for as long as changes are made, and goes to sleep/dark mode until another change is made

I'm seriously surprised the Wharfedale SW380 sub is overlooked in general when reviews are done. While doing research before buying the sub I could not find a single review for it. One in German from someone like myself which was translated online, and made very little sense afterwards. I think the most well known Audio sites and Magazines should consider including this sub in a comparative shootout, or even solitary review. Most reviewers would be pleasantly surprised.
The sound is deep thick, tight and solid all the way through the frequency range. No boomyness whatsover, unless placed badly off course. Lower notes in music are felt more than heard, and is often accompanied by rattling sounds of windows in the house or other objects in the kitchen or elsewhere.
The SW380 punches WAY above its weight if you consider the price paid. Anyone looking for a good audiophile quality sub on a budget, should consider it. Even in higher end systems it will do the business. Don't be fooled by the price
You will not be dissapointed!

If you prefer ported designed enclosures this sub would probably not appeal to you. It plays what the BASS should be, with musical and emotional accuracy and none of the over-empahsis and port-peaky-tuned BASS associated with ported designed enclosures.

Customer Service

No problems

Similar Products Used: Paradigm PDR12 V3
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