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Theory Audio Design Introduces First In-Wall Subwoofer Models: CEDIA 2023

The iws12-6 and iws12-9 are extremely flexible architectural subwoofers ideal for any residential and commercial installations where deep, tight, bass is desired.

Theory Audio Design iws12-6 In-wall Subwoofers pair

Theory Audio Design has introduced the iws12-6 and iws12-9 – the company’s first architectural subwoofers. Both subwoofers are equipped with 12-inch, 1,400 Watt, 4-inch voice coil long throw woofers and can handle any installation environment.

Between the two models the subs can be installed in-wall, on-wall, in-room, ceiling mounted, or flown.

One advantage of these subwoofers is that they eliminate the need to find floor space for traditional subwoofer boxes. However, to ensure they are placed in the right spot, they need to be installed by an authorized dealer. 

It’s also important to note that, unlike most subwoofers, these subwoofers are passive. This means you have to place an external amplifier between the subwoofer and home theater processor.  

Theory Audio Design iws12-9 In-wall Subwoofer without grille
Theory Audio Design iws12-9

In the case of Theory Audio Design, you have to use a Theory ALC (Amplified Loudpseaker Controller) to power the iws12-6 or 12-9 compact enclosures. The subs are the perfect complement to Theory Audio’s other speakers.

EIC Ian White reviewed the Theory Audio Design 5.2.2 Soundbar System in 2021 and considers it to be the benchmark for all soundbars regardless of price. Either subwoofer can be integrated into that system.

Theory’s product ecosystem is unique in that offers many of the performance qualities of professional audio products – effortless dynamics, high efficiency, and rugged durability – but with the sonic delicacy, detail, and resolution of the best high-end high-fidelity products.

Add Theory’s intelligent full-system design approach, with automatically tailored loudspeaker DSP, and you get startling performance at tremendous value.

The iws12-6 ($1,900 USD) and iws12-9 ($2,050) install subwoofers deliver deep, visceral bass that belies intuition, extending deeper and with more authority than seems possible from their ultra-compact enclosures.

The iws12-6 includes an enclosure that can be installed flush into 2 x 6 stud walls, or surface mounted with only 5.5-inches of total depth. The optional low-profile paintable, perforated grille allows the subwoofer to completely disappear within any environment.

Theory Audio Design iws12-9 In-wall Subwoofer with grille
Theory Audio Design iws12-9

At 34-inches wide, 14-inches high, and only 9-inches in depth, and with an optional smart yoke bracket, the iws12-9 can be wall mounted, ceiling mounted, or flown. It can also simply be placed on the floor with the included feet and used as an in-room subwoofer where a compact, high-performance subwoofer is desired.

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“The iws12 subwoofer driver is no consumer or car-stereo woofer with an oversized surround stuffed in a sealed box proportioned to fit in a wall,” said Paul Hales, president of Theory Audio Design. “The driver at the core of the iws12 models is a professional-duty, high-efficiency, 1,400W (700W AES) twelve-inch woofer with massive four-inch voice coil.”

“The driver was developed specifically for architectural applications and placed in an optimally tuned bass reflex enclosure. The iws12’s power-handling, output, visceral impact, and tonality are unmatched by consumer-grade subwoofers. We invite CEDIA Expo attendees to come audition it to believe it,” remarked Hales.


Description:iws12-6: 12” High-output In-Wall Subwoofer for 2″ x 6″ walls
iws12-9: 12” High-Output Subwoofer for In-Ceiling, Surface Mount, or Flying 
Operation:Passive, Requires 1 THEORY ALC Amp channel
Drivers:1 x 12″ Theory 1400W 4” Voice Coil Long Throw Woofer
Bandwidth:24Hz -125Hz, – 3dB
18Hz, -10dB
Sensitivity:95.5 dB
Power Handling:700W (AES)1400W (Continuous)2800 (Peak)
Power Required:Requires Theory Amplified Loudspeaker Controller – 1 channel
Max Output:124 dB SPL @ 1m
Weight:49 lbs.
Colors:iws12-6: Black, Optional White Perforated Metal Grille
iws12-9: Black, Black Perforated Aluminum Grille, Optional White Perforated Metal Grille
Included Accessories:iws12-6: Low Profile Angle Mount Brackets for 16″ O.C. Studs
iws12-9: Rubber Isolation Feet, Black Perforated Aluminum Grille
Optional Accessories:White Perforated Low-Profile Grille
iws12-9: Yoke Surface Mount Bracket
Dimensions:iws12-6: 14” W x 60” H x 5.5” D
iws12-9: 34” W x 14” H x 9” D

CEDIA Expo and Commercial Integrator Expo attendees can see and hear the new architectural subwoofers in Theory’s booth 1543 and High Performance Audio Room 204. Both models are available now for pre-order and will begin shipping Fall 2023.

For more information on Theory Audio Design, please visit

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