from Carson City, Nevada
40+ years Sound Engineering/Touring
Most powerful, best sounding self powered Subs I've used to date
I spent some time searching for a pair of subs that hit hard, with lows you can feel, that I could move/carry easily. Tried many brands. Did a couple gigs with QSC 181's and was impressed. Then I watched a video of 2 guys comparing the 181's and the "new" KS 118's in a garage. I was blown away. Bought a pair. Pound for pound the KS 118's are the most powerful, best sounding self-powered Subs I've used to date. Went back to the club with 4 QSC 181's, and the KS 118's (2) crushed the room. We get many compliments wherever we play now, on how low, and great they sound. Will definately be buying some more. Another band I work with just bought a pair after hearing these once. Thanks QSC!
I am an Audiophile and bass-head; I have 18s in my vehicle, have heard 160db, gut-wrenching, air-moving systems at Car Audio shows. I have Magnepans in my main listening room and been building DIY speakers and subwoofers for 10+ years. The most expensive setups I've heard include a $1.6 million Wilson Audio and $650k McIntosh Setups.
My friend has TWO of these and throws parties in his garage out in the woods. For the price, size, and convenience, the KS118s are damn good and get LOUD. I've been a quarter mile away from his party and still FEEL the bass throughout my whole body. He also has four QSC K12.2's which sound great. I've never really been a fan of pro-audio gear as I'm "spoiled" with HiFi gear, but wow, QSC really sounds good and gets LOUD without getting nasty sounding. His setup sound amazing regardless of what's being played. Obviously these aren't going to dig into the low 30s and 20s since it's pro-gear,everything 35hz+ is TIGHT, loud, and very musical with tons of headroom. Everyone who goes to his parties compliments how good his system sounds. The nearest neighbor is over a mile away and he's still got the cops called for noise complaints.
from Dallas, TX
Mobile DJ - 2002-Present
I have been a QSC supporter my entire career, I have 12 KW181's in my inventory and when the news of the new KS118 came out, I was dying to get my hands on a pair. Well, I did. And man, am I impressed! I used them on my first three events this past weekend. My clients, LOVED them, I Loved them and I can't wait to use them in different scenarios. I have a school dance company and these things are going to change the game for my school dances! Great Job QSC!!! The punch and low end are surprisingly better than the KW181. I love that the KS118 is 5 inches taller than the 181, I love the digital screen on the back. I love the sleek look of the grill. Its not too big, and not too small. This is a great speaker, you will not be disappointed! Go get you a set now!!
DJ Big B
Mobile DJ: 2012 - Current
Unprecedented Levels of Bass in a QSC Subwoofer
In nearly 8 years of using QSC Products — and as a long time owner of the KW181 — I must say the KS118 blew me away. I've never heard such deep and impactful low-end from a QSC speaker before. This is especially evident when compared to the KW181. Rather than just being able to hear the bass as it moves by, the KS118 physically impacts the listener, and hits deeper than its predecessor. The KS118 maintains tight deep bass at high output levels, which is one area where the KW181 would sometimes fall behind. It is also much harder to hit limit than the KW181, (thanks to the 3600 watt peak amplifier) which is a godsend since I mainly play top 40's and hip hop. All this goes to say, audiophiles and entertainers alike will absolutely love the KS118's low-end performance. Additionally, the cardioid capabilities of the new KS118 are also very impressive. In the past, I was hesitant to experiment with the polarity and positioning of my subwoofers. The reason for this is two fold: for one, I didn't understand the benefits of a cardioid sub configuration. For two, I thought facing one subwoofer backwards would look unprofessional. However, the newly redesigned and simplified back panel is less aesthetically intrusive than the KW181 — not to mention, the bass quality of a pair of KS118's in cardioid mode (side by side, one facing rear) is absolutely jaw dropping. This configuration is truly a feature where you have to hear it to believe it. It created such an incredible amount of bass output, that the lights in my house began to flicker, doors rattle, and windows vibrate. Furthermore, the digital interface on the KS118's mixer makes it simple to configure a cardioid arrangement, and I'm stoked to unleash this new mode at the next gig that demands bass. Lastly, in terms of physical design, the KS118 is vastly improved over the KW181. Every side of the KS118 has been improved and made more useful. On the front grill, the speaker element is hidden and protected by a fine black mesh, exactly like the K.2 series speakers, which looks great. The rubber feet on the bottom of the sub have been increased in size compared to the KW181, and provide noticeably improved traction and should help to reduce sub-traveling. The right side of the sub also has these new beefy rubber feet, while the top and left sides of the speaker have divots to latch onto the feet of the cabinet above or adjacent. And of course, the new mixer panel with digital interface makes it easy to add a crossover, delay, or flip into cardioid mode. While the KW181 is still a legendary speaker, the KS118 does literally EVERYTHING better than its predecessor. All in all, I believe its worth upgrading, especially considering the price-point for QSC's flagship 18" subwoofer remains unchanged.