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REL’s Classic 99 Subwoofer Offers a Vintage Look With High End Performance

The REL Classic 99 subwoofer carries on the vintage design of the previously released Classic 98 but with a larger 12-inch driver and increased output power.

REL Classic 99 Subwoofer Lifestyle

REL Acoustics has been manufacturing high-performance subwoofers for several decades in the United Kingdom and have long been considered one of the premium brands in the category. Their current offerings include the T/x series, HT/1510 Predator II and No.31 and No.32 reference subwoofers, and the more recent affordable HT MkII line. REL has also added a new Classic Line that is a convergence of their current driver technology with the vintage industrial design of some of their most popular models like the Strata III.

Following up on its previous release of the Classic 98 subwoofer, REL has added a second entry to its Classic Subwoofer line, the 99.

REL Classic 99 Subwoofer Bottom 12-inch Driver
REL Classic 99 has a downward firing 12-inch driver.

Building on the Classic 98: The Classic 99 retains the appearance, and incorporates almost all of the features of the Classic 98 but offers a larger 12-inch driver and a higher output of a 450-watt amplifier.

Craftsmanship: The Classic 99 is constructed with 32mm thick cabinet walls, and is finished in a luxurious walnut veneer. Natural aluminum badges and curved feet give the impression that the subwoofer is floating in space. The down-firing driver coupled with white gold finished controls adds additional higlights to both the 98 and 99’s design.

Precision and Dynamics: The 10-inch and 12-inch drivers of the Classic series utilize, lightweight, hot-pressed paper. They support self-damping and dynamic range that adds support to the bass output to envelop a room in a 360-degree wave. This provides a deeper, detailed bass output that enhances the listening experience.

Amplification: The Classic 99 ups the power output to 450W. The amps are Class D  and feature an all-analog PerfectFilter. REL claims that the Classic 99 extends bass response down to the 20Hz range. However, in the specs (see the chart below) REL states that at low-frequency extension is -6dB at 27Hz, which indicates that at the 20 Hz level, the bass may not be that audible, but then again, if you can feel it that is what counts at that point.

REL Classic 99 Subwoofer Rear

Wireless Compatibility (Optional): The 98 and 99 Classic Series Subwoofers work with the HT-Air MK II ($139) and AirShip II ($399) wireless systems.

This gives users the ability to take advantage of wireless connectivity between the subwoofer and AVR or Stereo receiver that has a Subwoofer output.

Both REL wireless systems offer connectivity up to a maximum of 40 feet from the transmitter and promise 17 ms response times.

Comparison

REL Subwoofer ModelClassic 99Classic 98
Price$1,899$1,399
Subwoofer TypeClosed Box with down-firing driverClosed Box with down-firing driver
Driver12 in. (305mm) Amended Pulp-on-Paper
Down-firing Inverted Cone
Steel Chassis
10 in. (250mm) Amended Pulp-on-Paper
Down-firing Inverted Cone
Steel Chassis
Low-Frequency Extension (-6dB)27Hz27Hz
Crossover (Variable)30Hz to 120Hz30Hz to 120Hz
Level ControlsHi/Low 
.1/LFE
Hi/Low 
.1/LFE
Input ConnectorsHigh-Level Neutrik Speakon
Low-Level RCA
LFE RCA
High-Level Neutrik Speakon
Low-Level RCA
LFE RCA
Output ConnectorsN/AN/A
Power Output450 watts (RMS)300 watts (RMS)
Amplifier TypeClass DClass D
Wireless Capability (Optional)HT-Air MKII Wireless or AirShip IIHT-Air MKII Wireless or AirShip II
Protection SystemFully Electronic Set Safe FFully Electronic Set Safe F
DC ShortYesYes
Output ShortYesYes
Mains Input Voltage220-240 volts, 110-120 volts for certain markets220-240 volts, 110-120 volts for certain markets
Fuses4 Amp semi delay 220 volts operation 8 Amp semi delay 120 volts operation4 Amp semi delay 220 volts operation 8 Amp semi delay 120 volts operation
Dimensions (WHD)15.75 in. × 21.0 in. × 13.8 in. 
400mm × 534mm x 350mm 
Add 1.75in (44.5mm) in depth when using a High-Level connector
13.75 in. × 18.5 in. × 13.8 in. 
350mm × 470mm x 298.5mm 
Add 1.75in (44.5mm) in depth when using a High-Level connector
Weight Net weight: 49.3 Ibs. (22.4 kg).
Shipping weight: 59.7 Lbs. (27.1 kg)
Net weight: 40 lbs. (18.1 kg)
Shipping weight: 48.5 lbs. (22 kg)
FinishWalnut VeneerWalnut veneer
Supplied AccessoriesMain Lead
Neutrik Speakon Connector (10 meters – 33ft 6in)
User Manual
Main Lead
Neutrik Speakon Connector (10 meters – 33ft 6in)
User Manual
REL Classic 99 Subwoofer Angle

Initial Impression

The REL Classic series subwoofers join an ever-growing selection of vintage-looking speakers and components from a variety of manufacturers such as Tannoy and Fyne Audio.

The subwoofer category has changed substantially from the period when REL’s award-winning designs were one of the best options for music listeners and there were not as many options.

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Fast forward to 2024 and REL’s products have to compete with some excellent models from SVS, Klipsch, Hsu Research, and dozens of other manufacturers.

Subwoofers have become an integral part of home theater systems and whilst REL’s lineup are well-suited for both music and movies, the brand has always had a reputation for building the “best” subwoofers for music; EIC Ian White still swears by the Strata III he owned for over a decade that he was able to successfully integrate with over a dozen loudspeakers that were used only for music listening.

The ability to add the Classic 99 to any system wirelessly is a huge advantage for those who don’t want to add another cable to the system and require greater flexibility when it comes to setup. REL’s wireless technology has proven to work very well and might be one of the best available right now.

The vintage look is most certainly a fad, and not everyone has been successful at pulling it off. We could see the Classic 99 blending into almost any room with its high-end finish and we know from experience that it integrates well with a wide range of loudspeakers.

Having experienced REL subwoofers over the past two decades with loudspeakers from Neat, Wharfedale, KEF, Spendor, Harbeth, MartinLogan, DeVore Fidelity, Magnepan, Meadowlark Audio, ProAc, NHT, and Totem Acoustics — we are confident that the Classic 99 will work for a lot of potential buyers.

REL Classic 99 Subwoofer Lifestyle Low Angle

Price and Availability

REL Subwoofers and Accessories can be purchased directly from REL or Authorized Dealers

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