Kicker S15L7 Subwoofer Review
Moving a lot of air in a car is something a lot of people is longing for, but they usually don’t appreciate just how complicated it is to get this done. Installing just any random subwoofer might give you the thump you want, but the sound quality is one aspect which is definitely going to suffer. For more serious solutions, you need a more serious subwoofer. The kicker is a company that comes to mind when talking about this level of bass quality. They have a very impressive lineup of models, most of which are true works of art in terms of engineering and performance.
The one that caught our eye today is the Kicker S15L7, a 15-inch square sub with enough power to rock just about any setup. From afar, this unit looks just slightly better than your average sub. However, once you come closer, you start to notice signs of top tier design, engineering, and manufacturing. Let’s meet the Kicker S15L7.
Kicker has applied all of their past experience and knowledge into creating one of the most capable heavy hitting subs available on the market at the moment. The performance is guaranteed by its rock-solid construction and a number of smart solutions which are implemented efficiently. Before we move onto some interesting features this beast has to offer, let’s get raw specs out of the way first. When it comes to maximum Wattage RMS, we are talking about a 1000 Watt output that you can get any day of the week.
The peak power output is set at 2000 Watts, although that is a bit questionable to be completely honest. This is a dual voice coil sub that works at 4 Ohms, so expect to see four I/O ports on the basket. S15L7 has all the power necessary, but it also has finesse. Frequency response range for this bad boy goes from 18Hz to 100Hz, with a sensitivity of 89.4 dB. It keeps it real low and dark for the most part. You can put this speaker in a vented or sealed box since it can handle both configurations just fine.
Now let’s get to build quality. The first thing that you will notice is the cone. This one is an injection molded rigid piece that moves just as well as your standard design but is much more resistant to wear and tear. It even reduces distortion with great efficiency compared to a nonsolid type cone. The surrounding is made of high-quality rubber and is actually stitched to the cone in addition to being glued on.
Kicker chose this solution because it adds a much more durable connection between these two components, which is necessary if you plan on using this sub for any longer period of time. The surround features ribbon reinforcements at the corners, allowing the cone to flex naturally without putting any unnecessary tension on it.
Moving on to the bucket, we see a cast aluminum unit that is fairly light. Aside from reducing the overall mass of the sub, using aluminum offers better heat dissipation and zero interference with the magnets in the back. Moving past the bucket, if you look inside the sub you will find an unusual looking set of tinsel leads. Kicker has their own Spiralead design which is much better at dealing with constant vibrations and movement of the cone. Along with spring loaded connectors, it is apparent from the start that Kicker anticipated some heavy duty use and designed the Kicker S15L7 accordingly.
Seeing how carefully designed this thing is, we could only expect top tier performance. Fortunately for us, that is exactly what we received. The sub is meant to sit in a 6 cubic feet box that can be vented or sealed, depending on what you prefer. In both configurations, the bass is just impressive. You don’t even have to push it to its max RMS in order to feel the air moving around you. Paired with a decent monoblock, this thing offers a killer sound that you will rarely find elsewhere for this type of money.
In terms of heat, there are zero issues even during more demanding use. Completely vented bucket allows a lot of those high temps to escape and not stick around the spider. Add its aluminum build to that equation, and you get a sub that doesn’t heat up, while any heat that does occur gets exchanged quickly with the surrounding air. If you do a good job at the wiring stage, and properly choose your amp, you should only experience the top-tier performance from this sub. After all, there’s a reason why Kicker is considered to be the patron saint of bass enthusiasts around the world.
When it comes to moving air, Kicker has once again proven that they are the authority in the industry. Kicker S15L7 is an old sub by now, but it is still one of the absolute best choices available on the market. The one we reviewed today is the largest model in the family, while there are smaller versions as well. If you are looking for ways to get heavy hitting bass from a stable sub, this squarish monster is probably your best bet at the moment.