The QSC KS118 is a high-quality subwoofer that offers a punchy bass response for multimedia applications. The KS118 is 2-ohm and 150W and provides a very clean and tight bass response in all frequency ranges, and has an excellent response to low frequencies.
Keep reading our QSC KS118 Subwoofer Review to get more information about this product.
QSC KS118 Subwoofer Review
Although speaker history does not reveal any excursions into more significant bass drivers than 20 inches in diameter (pardon the pun), the 18-inch subwoofer is the “big dog” and has been sound reinforcement for decades.
The KS118 transforms into a club/concert outfit and adds excitement to higher volumes.
The 18-inch driver is wrapped in enclosures of all sizes and shapes. It has proved to be the perfect combination of cost, size, and extended low-frequency response. A staple of mobile and compact sound systems is the single 18-inch subwoofer, such as QSC’s active KS118.
The KS118 features a single, direct-radiating 18-inch woofer. It uses electronic filtering to eliminate unwanted high and mid frequencies. This contrasts with the smaller KS112 or KS212 subwoofers that use a serpentine bandpass enclosure for acoustically rolling off high frequencies. It produces a lot of acoustic energy over a narrow frequency range. The frequency range for the KS118 is approximately 35 Hz to 110 Hz (-10 dB).
Read more: Best PA Subwoofers: Top Brand Reviews 2022
Same, yet different
Although the subwoofer’s dimensions and shape are similar to the KW118 predecessor, the orientation of the new cabinet is 90 degrees. The KW118 produced 2,000 watts of peak power; the KS118 produced 3,600 watts. The KS118 has a peak SPL rating of 136 dB. This is a lot of basses. I doubt that many Sunday morning services will require more than one or two boxes to generate this output level.
A pair of these subs will cover the bottom end for concerts at venues with several hundred seats. Since the days of subwoofers being little more than significant drivers in big boxes, we’ve made much progress.
The KS118’s amp section and onboard processors replace a lot of outboard gear. All are controlled by a panel nestled between casters or skid strips. It consists of a selector knob, buttons, and a bright display. You can choose from three crossover points, engage Digital Extension and Excursion Processing mode (DEEP), control delay, and configure cardioid processing. Presets can be saved and recalled. The menu system is intuitive and easy to use, so I didn’t need the manual.
DEEP mode on the KS118 extends its low-frequency response (with filtering and not synthesis) at the cost of a few dB maximum SPL. This is a compromise that most churches will accept. The DEEP mode was activated, and it has not been turned off since. This mode improves the subwoofer’s low-frequency response and doesn’t compromise the sound quality.
The control panel can enable bass output to the rear of each pair by reducing it by up to 15 dB depending on the configuration. This prevents bass energy from being lost behind the stage outside and will help minimize low-frequency clutter indoors. My results in real-world testing were mixed. In outdoor settings, I could hear a noticeable reduction in the bass behind cabinets.
With the bass filling the room indoors, it wasn’t easy to see a significant improvement in clarity and accuracy. The cardioid mode should be used in the venue. Users can always return to the normal omnidirectional mode.
Close-up Of The Cabinet
Large rubber feet allow the KS118 to be positioned flat or upright. The casters, control panel, and inputs are located on the backside of the KS118 in both these orientations. For secure stacking multiple cabinets, the cabinet has indentions opposite its feet.
Despite its large size and sturdy cabinet, the KS118 feels light and easy to maneuver. When trying to adjust the speaker’s position, I found myself lifting it with one hand more than once. High-quality casters make it easy to move the speaker.
The placement of the two recessed handles was the only thing that I had trouble with ergonomically. As I was twirling the speaker onto its wheels, I found myself reaching for the handle on the opposite side of the wheel. It’s easy to imagine a group discussion about which side to place the holds on.
QSC did not cut corners when loading the KS118 using an Italian-made B&C driver.
Although I was often the one twirling the subwoofers, it was not my first time. Maybe the handle placement makes more sense when two people are moving it.
QSC was smart to provide thermal and excursion protection for the KS118 driver, which can pump more than 3,000 watts into one driver. QSC is confident that the KS118 can withstand the current and offers a 6-year warranty. Subwoofer reliability is directly dependent on the quality and performance of the driver. QSC took no shortcuts in this area and loaded the KS118 equipped with an Italian-made B&C drive. Bravo, QSC.
A subwoofer’s job can be compared to that of a full-range speaker. The subwoofer must reproduce an octave of music competently and provide a base on which all the other music rests. The KS118 is an excellent choice for this job description.
The KS118 offers the warmth and fullness you would expect from a well-behaved subwoofer for churches at lower volumes.
The KS118 transforms into its club/concert outfit and delivers the thrill at higher volumes. You are submerged in the powerful, all-encompassing bass that you feel visceral. It’s great fun.
QSC’s KS118 Subwoofer is a worthy and affordable way to add low-frequency power and extension to your home theater or music system. Hope that you can enjoy this review if this product is right for you.