The BIC America F-12 is nearly 10 years old, but it continues to offer some of the best performance and sound quality of any home subwoofer. With its wide frequency response range, this subwoofer delivers bombastic low-frequency effects (LFE) cinema moments as well as rhythmic bass melodies.
This subwoofer offers many bonus features, and the build quality can withstand anything you throw at it. The BIC America F-12 easily earns our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for entry-level powered subwoofers.
The BIC America F-12 offers a wide frequency response range of 25Hz-200Hz. At its lowest, this subwoofer handles the explosions and rumbles from movies with ease. If you're listening to music, the BIC America F-12 manages the riding melodies of rock and jazz just as well. At its max volume, 116dB pour through this sub, offering as much sound as a concert hall during a rock show.
While much of this sub is impressive, the amplifier is not. Although the BASH amplifier offers 475 watts of peak power, the continuous power clocks in at only 150 watts, a surprisingly low number. Fortunately, despite its low power rating, the sub's highly efficient amp still allows the speaker to deliver big sound. For small rooms or conservative volumes, the amp will be able to handle several hours of use.
The BIC America F-12 is capable of reproducing loud and powerful sound effects that bring movies’ stunning soundtracks to life in a big way. While the BIC America F-12 home subwoofer might feel too boomy to be ideal for playing music, this can be fixed with proper placement and testing. This subwoofer is also capable of reproducing musical tones with tightness and precision, to imbuing deep, thumping bass notes with proper tonal musicality that you can feel, especially in the lowest frequencies. Overall, it is an excellent home subwoofer for either task.
BIC America F-12 home subwoofers are well designed. The cabinet, although large, cubic and heavy, is classic and attractive. It is solidly constructed from durable materials and finished in black laminate, and the black mesh grill is removable, so you can display the subwoofer’s stylish, black-trimmed metallic cone if you prefer. The woofer itself is 12 inches in diameter, magnetically shielded and powered by a long-throw driver that can move a lot of air, filling a medium-sized room with floor-shaking low-frequency sound.
The BIC America F-12 offers a large list of features that make it a good fit for any home theater. It is equipped with three power settings: off, on and a signal-sensing automatic on/off setting. There is an LED power indicator light on the rear of the speaker, which is not ideal placement since it is hard to see. This is one of the BIC America F-12’s few minor design flaws.
You can control the volume level with a dial on the back of the home subwoofer unit. A volume setting between three and five out of 10 is ideal to powerfully reproduce low-end sound effects and the bass register in music at levels that will rattle your pictures in their frames. The crossover frequency-adjustment dial finds the sweet spot for integrating your powered subwoofer with your other speakers. With patience and proper tuning, the subwoofer will not seem distanced or out of synch with your other speakers. You can also set the phase control at either zero or 180 degrees to achieve ideal integration. When the phase is set properly, the drivers in your speakers all move in the same direction at the same time.
The BIC America F-12 offers several connection options. The sub-in connector allows you to switch between a Dolby Pro-Logic receiver or a Dolby Digital 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 or DTS surround-sound receiver. If your AV receiver lacks a sub-out, you can use the BIC America F-12 as an intermediary between the speakers and receiver, but this adds extra strain on the weaker amplifier.
BIC backs up its home subwoofer with a five-year parts and labor warranty, and it's one of the most comprehensive warranties for powered subwoofers in this class. In addition to the warranty, BIC offers technical support by a toll-free telephone number and an email address that can be found on their website. There is also a FAQs page to answer common questions about the company's products and offer troubleshooting advice.
The BIC America F-12 delivers huge bass and works well as a home-theater or stereo subwoofer. The amplifier lacks the power necessary to carry other speakers, but as an all-around subwoofer, this low-frequency speaker is hard to beat.
The BIC America F-12 offers solid performance and powerful bass.
The amp is underpowered for the sub's potential.
The BIC America F-12 handles movies and music with huge sound, and it easily connects to any audio setup.