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Bowers & Wilkins DB3D Subwoofer User Manual


Bowers & Wilkins DB3D Subwoofer User Manual

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Installing your Subwoofer

Before You Begin
Please follow the unpacking instructions printed on the outer carton. Your DB Series subwoofer is heavy and should be unpacked by two people working together close to its final installed position.

Due to the dual driver design of the DB1D, DB2D, and DB3D subwoofers, we do not recommend that they are suitable for installation within custom-built furniture. If furniture installation is necessary, multiple DB4S subwoofers are likely to offer a more satisfactory solution. In any case, built-in-furniture must be structurally adequate to support the weight of the subwoofer or subwoofers and provide at least 20cm (8 inches) clearance around the subwoofer sides, back, and top.

DB Series subwoofers are more versatile than most subwoofers in terms of positioning thanks to their Room EQ optimization system that can compensate for less-than-ideal positioning. Best results however will be obtained if your DB Series subwoofer is placed between the left and right speakers or in the vicinity of one of them. Placing a subwoofer to the side, but still to the front of the listeners is an acceptable compromise.

if domestic considerations dictate, however, the subwoofer should not be located behind the listening position. If two subwoofers are to be used it is best to position one near the left speaker and one near the right speaker. Diagrams 1a and 1b illustrate subwoofer positioning.


DB1D, DB2D, and DB3D models should be orientated with their twin drivers facing sideways. The DB4S should be orientated with its single driver facing outwards into the room. Note: Using two subwoofers in a single installation can improve performance by maintaining stereo separation to the lowest frequencies, averaging the effects of low-frequency room resonances, and enabling a higher maximum volume level.

In the case of two subwoofers used in a conventional stereo system, stereo separation will only be improved if each subwoofer is located close to the appropriate main speaker. Note: Like all speakers, the proximity of room boundaries affects the sound of a subwoofer. Bass volume increases as more boundaries come into proximity. The more boost gained from the room, the lower the volume can be set and the less hard the subwoofer has to work.

Subwoofer Foot Options

DB Series subwoofers must not be used without one of the foot options fitted. DB Series subwoofers can be fitted with either decoupling, rubber, or spike feet. The use of the different foot types is described in the following paragraphs:

  • The spike feet are intended for use on carpeted floors. The spikes pierce the carpet and rest on the floor beneath both to protect the carpet from indentation and to provide the subwoofer with a solid foundation.
  • The decoupling feet are intended to be used on suspended wooden floors. The rubber material of the foot provides a degree of de-coupling between the floor and subwoofer.
  • The rubber feet are intended for use on non-carpeted solid floors where spike feet might cause damage to the surface.

Due to the underside location of the subwoofer heat sink, rubber or decoupling feet should not be used on carpeted floors. In order for feet to be fitted to the subwoofer it must first be turned upside-down. Take care not to damage the drive units when handling the subwoofer, and ensure when upside-down that the subwoofer rests on a surface that will not damage its finish. Fit the feet by screwing one into each of the four screw holes in the subwoofer underside. In the case of spike feet, initially screw the lock nuts fully onto the thread before screwing the feet into the subwoofer. The lock nut should then be used to raise the subwoofer above the carpet pile and to enable adjustment to minimize rocking.

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Subwoofer Grilles

Your DB Series subwoofer is supplied with optional fabric-covered grilles (a single grille in the case of the DB4S). The subwoofer can be used with or without grilles fitted. The grilles are attached magnetically.

DB Series subwoofers require a connection to a mains power supply and an input signal. Connectors for optional 12V trigger and RS232 control are also provided. Diagram 3 illustrates the DB Series subwoofer connection panel.

Mains Power

A variety of different power cables may be packed with your subwoofer. Use the cable appropriate for the mains socket in your territory. The subwoofer will switch on in operational mode, with its standby button indicator illuminated green, as soon as it is connected to mains power. Note: The standby button is located on the front panel of the DB1D, DB2D, and DB3D, and on the rear panel of the DB4S. If the subwoofer remains unused for more than 20 minutes it will automatically switch to standby mode with the indicator illuminated red.

Signal Connections
DB Series subwoofers provide stereo RCA Phono and stereo balanced XLR inputs. It is possible to use the Phono and XLR sockets as independently selectable inputs. This enables your subwoofer to be integrated with two different audio systems: a home theatre system and a conventional stereo system for example. Input selection is managed via the DB Subwoofers app.

Set Up and Control

Your DB Series subwoofer can only be set up and controlled using the DB Subwoofers app. If you have not already downloaded and installed the app on your iOS or Android device please do so now. Bluetooth must be enabled on the device in order for it to connect to the subwoofer.

The DB Subwoofers app requires iOS version 10 and Android version 5 or later. Bluetooth must be switched on in the iOS or Android settings. When your DB subwoofer is connected to signal cables and mains power it will switch on in operational mode with its standby indicator illuminating green. To begin the setup procedure follow the steps below:

  • Launch the DB Subwoofers app and confirm Bluetooth pairing. When pairing is complete the app will display the app home page.
  • The home page provides subwoofer level adjustment, product information, auto-standby options, and access to the Room EQ optimization procedure. Using Room EQ is not mandatory, however, doing so will ensure that your subwoofer performs optimally in your room.

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Input Set up
  • Selecting the Input option from the app home page will open a configuration page that enables the Phono and XLR inputs to be independently set up.
  • Connection: None, Stereo, LFE. If your subwoofer is to be used for the low-frequency effects channel in a home theatre system select LFE. If your subwoofer is to be used for low-frequency enhancement of stereo speakers select Stereo. If the input is not connected select None.
  • Trim: Input sensitivity. Begin with the input sensitivity set to 0dB. If, in use, the subwoofer level adjustment on the app home page doesn’t provide a suitable range the level trim can be adjusted.
  • Input EQ: Flat (no EQ), Music, Movie, Custom. Select Flat to apply no input EQ. Select Music to apply an input EQ character appropriate for the music program. Select Movie to apply an input EQ character appropriate for the movie program. If the Custom input EQ option is selected the app will display a five-band EQ page that enables a custom equalization curve to be applied to the input signal.

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Room Equalisation

Note: If two subwoofers are to be set up, the Room EQ procedure must be carried out separately for each one.

  • To begin the Room EQ procedure select Tune on the home page. Room EQ employs the microphone in your mobile device to analyse the performance of the subwoofer in your room, and the initial requirement is for the mobile device microphone to be calibrated. A list of authorized devices can be found in the support section of the Bowers & Wilkins website.
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  • Choose your preferred option and select Next.
  • The subwoofer will generate a series of eight separate test signals and use the mobile device microphone to measure the sound in the room and automatically apply an optimal EQ curve. If the Group or Room listening options were selected the app will ask you to move to different positions as the eight measurements are taken.
  • On selecting Next the app will return to the home page.

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If your DB subwoofer is moved within the listening room or if large items of furniture are introduced, the Room EQ procedure should be repeated.

Subwoofers In Use

  • To adjust the subwoofer volume use the level control on the app home page.
  • To select an alternative Input EQ select from the input set up page.
  • To select the alternative input select the alternative tab on the input setup page.

To switch your subwoofer to standby mode press the standby button. The button indicator will illuminate red. Please remember that your DB Series subwoofer is capable of volume levels that have the potential to cause a nuisance. If in any doubt, reduce the volume. Note: If a DB subwoofer is overloaded its standby indicator will flash red.

Default Reset

To return your subwoofer to its default settings, press the standby button three times in quick succession. Press the standby button or launch the app to switch on.

Wipe surfaces with a clean lint-free cloth. If you wish to use a cleaning agent, apply it onto the cleaning cloth, not directly onto the subwoofer. Test a small area first, as some cleaning products may damage some of the surfaces. Avoid products that are abrasive, or contain acid, alkali, or antibacterial agents.

Environmental Information
This product complies with international directives, including but not limited to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and the disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Consult your local waste disposal authority for guidance on how properly to recycle or dispose of this product.



Bowers & Wilkins DB3D Subwoofer User Manual

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