So let's start with a true story, one with an unfortunate ending leading to the demise of some artwork on my wall. To begin, I'm a massive fan of the IRX series of PA speakers from JBL; they are reasonably priced, rugged, and deliver exceptional sound for the money. You can check out my review on the IRX 112BT speakers HERE.
So when I heard there was going to be a subwoofer companion to this group, I got a little twinkle in my ear. After some Covid delays, I finally reconnected with the team at JBL and got my hands on the IRX115S Subwoofer; yes, that's a mouthful of speaker ID, but all good.
Let's start with the fact that this thing is significant, and it's heavy - so be warned, mobile DJs, you will need some carts for this guy as it comes in at around 65 lbs. I eventually got the sub down to my home DJ setup and set it up as fast as humanly possible. I fired up everything and let the first track drop, a tech house track with just enough bass to move the needle - boom, Boom, BOOM! Crash, twinkle, shatter.
The sub was so powerful that it literally rocked the walls in my basement so hard that a piece of my artwork fell off the wall and shattered, AND it wasn't even close to maxed out. The moral of this story, be careful with this speaker when you are indoors.
Now is this too much for my home system in my basement? I say... "maybe." However, if you are building a mobile stack or total IRX system, this thing is a must, and I would probably get two of them. So let's get into the details and reasons you might need this piece of kit.
Who is this for?
I'm a bit of an extremist with sound, so I'll calibrate this for normal humans, so it makes more sense. This IRX Sub is a large and significant speaker; even in Magnetic Studios, we only have a 10". The IRS115S is made for live performances and filling in more significant to medium-sized rooms with the low end that makes the sound feel richer, more full, and more powerful. So if you are a mobile DJ or a promoter building a system, this is a great purchase and hard to beat on price.
Quality & Build
This thing is a tank, and for the price, you will be hard-pressed to find a sub that will work as hard and manage the constant transport of a mobile sound system. As implied in the name, it's a 15" woofer with a 3" voice coil; it's also self-powered, which is one of the reasons it's so heavy.
The sub features combo TRS/XLR jack inputs to run your mixer into and XLR male outs - which is pretty standard - but always good to ensure you have the right cables (and lengths) on hand when setting up.
Power Rating (W, Peak)1300
Frequency Response Hz (±3 dB)45 - 103
Maximum SPL (peak dB)128
Weight (kg)29.65 (65 lbs)
The IRX115S was purpose-built for DJs and sound techs to attain great sound without too much noodling. The internal crossover gives you three settings to work with various speakers, and of course, it works beautifully with the IRX series. You have the option to bring it to 80Hz, 100Hz, and 120Hz, which allows you to dial it in just right with ease.
Here is a great article to learn how to dial in your sub; there is even a tool that takes your speaker brand and matches with other subs - from there, you can figure it out pretty quickly by comparing stats to whatever sub you have - in this case we tuned it for our Fluid Audio FX80 monitors to 80 Hz.
The rock-solid ported enclosure keeps the woofer noise at a minimum, and the polarity switch in the rear lets you quickly dial in your polarity for the best possible bass response with your system set up.
If you are looking for a burly and sturdy sub that sounds great and won't break the bank, the IRX115S is a fantastic bet, as is the entire IRX system. It's easy to use and get dialed in, can be used solo or in a pair, and will fill any larger to mid-sized room nicely with rich, smooth bass. It is primarily for mobile DJs or sound systems, but hey, it works great in basements too, but yeah, it's a bit much.
More Info at JBL.com / MSRP $679