Superior low frequency performance—whether as part of a home theater system, or in a two-channel
music system—demands high quality, high current amplification. The active WATCH Dog certainly
provides both. Nevertheless, listening tests clearly show that the most cohesive systems are those
with matching amplifiers driving all of the loudspeakers, including the subwoofers.
The second generation WATCH Dog subwoofer has undergone the most radical redesign of any of the
WATCH system components. Specifically, it has been transformed from an active subwoofer (with
a built-in amplifier), to a passive, unamplified unit. Two considerations drove the design
change: Quality and Flexibility.
There's a widespread myth that since subwoofers operate in the low to subsonic frequency range,
the sonic quality of the amplifier used to drive them is not critical. Couple that with the fact
that the FTC-mandated criteria for power amplifier specifications don't apply to active
subwoofers—a loophole which allows manufacturers to make wildly inflated performance claims for
what are, in many cases, and with no pun intended, severely sub-standard amplifiers built into
The new passive WATCH Dog provides the most cost-effective and flexible approach to that goal,
whether in a single unit or a multiple unit configuration. Key to this flexibility is the new
external WATCH Dog Controller, highlighted in the next section.
A true subwoofer, capable of clean, distortion-free sub-frequency response, has to be sufficiently
large to move the volume of air which visceral frequencies require. As hard as some manufacturers
may try, there's no getting around the laws of physics on this one. The good news is, the passive
WATCH Dog is 40% smaller than its predecessor, while maintaining the same internal tuned volume. So
the new WATCH Dog is easier to place in your listening environment with no sacrifice in performance.