REL S510 or S812

Hello all

Im buying a new sub. Ive narrowed my search down to REL. My budget is enough for a new S510 or used S812. My system is dual purpose so Sub has to be good at HT and 2 channel. Thats why ive landed on REL. Im not a fan of buying used because of warranty consideration mainly, but if the 812 is  considerably better than the 510 I would consider.  Does anyone have first hand experience with these subs?  


I don't have experience, but I have REL and Rythmik, and for the money, I believe Rythmik is the better deal and very good at HT.

I have both Rel subs but if I were you knowing you want both HT and 2 channel I would look at the newly released Perlisten line ...if not mistaken the 10 inch is 3k and will or should do what your wanting

Thanks all

Not alot of love for REL out there huh?

All the youtubers seem to love them but i trust guys on here more. Im thinkin maybe a little more research is in order. 

With subs, bigger is almost always better than smaller if for no other reason than the cone doesn’t need to travel as far resulting in less distortion. It’s much easier to overload a 10” sub than it is a 12” sub and even if you only need  a larger sub five percent of the time, then that will be five percent of the time you won’t be disappointed if you have the larger sub.

I to am a REL owner along with Rythmik and SVS and I agree with Hilde45 that Rythmik as well as SVS are a better deal. Though I will admit that REL has excellent customer service.


Does your Rythmik preform as well for music as your REL?

Which units do you have?  I do have a REL HT 1205 that I plan to use along with whatever other sub I buy to enhance just the LFE. 


Does your Rythmik preform as well for music as your REL?

Which units do you have?  I do have a REL HT 1205 that I plan to use along with whatever other sub I buy to enhance just the LFE. 

I’ll bet a sub for music would be a waist as those speakers already go down to 22HZ. If I was you I’d live with them for a while and see if you really need sub/s and for what application? my bet is you will only want them for movies if at all needed..... better to spend that money on room acoustics first.

Im very happy with bass out of those speakers, but that being said i still find that even my HT 1205 turned up just a few clicks helps "fill" things out a bit. And if we are feelin like some rap, techno, or edm, ill turn it up a couple more just for fun. 

As far as room accustics, i have all that the wife will allow.  My profile pictures are not current. I went through the proccess of placing my speakers where bass and sound stage seamed best to my novice ears. I marked their spots and then I had a local dealer come out and do the ARC(Anthem room correction) process and it really improved things.  To my ears my system is sounding very good especially considering the room dynamics. The reason I want to add a better sub is to improve the overall SQ of my 2 channel set up. REL and others claim to improve mid and high end as well as sound stage.  At the same time i do want a bit more boom for movie time. The HT1205 was all that budget allowed when I began this journey. I feel its the week link at this time so time for an upgrade. As stated before, I still may use it as a second sub for LFE

I just set up a S/510 for my Dad.   Its a really nice sub.  I have an older r305 which has been rock solid , on for the past 15 years or so... continuously. 

The S/510 sounds excellent with a 2 channel source.  I have it crossed over around 60 Hz and have his Sonus Faber Electa  Amator III running full range.   Sounds phenomenal.    

In larger rooms a S/812 might be a better choice but I was really surprised at the output and how it sounds.  

The great thing about these subs is the speaker or line level connections can be "mixed" with the .1 LFE input.   This is such a great and important feature for those using a sub in a mixed 2 ch and surround set up.  I can not emphasize how important that is in achieving balance between the two.  

Thanks.  Thats 1 for REL.  What oddiofyl stated is really the main reason im considering REL

You might also want to look into the HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP Subwoofer

It works very well when used with a 2 channel set up and also if used in a HT set up.

I own 3 REL subs. Use them all primarily for music. S812 is fabulous and I have them paired with my Wilson Alexia V’s. I use the T9x for music in my office. 

I also recently purchased a REL S510 for my 2-channel system to supplement my PMC Fact 12 3-way floorstander speakers in my den which is 12' x 17' x 10'h. Does exac tly what oddiofyl says; except I have it crossed over at 40 Hz. Fills in wonderfully and creates broader soundstage. I also debated about going larger with the S812 but glad I didn't since the S510 was more than enough for my room and setup. You'll love it- looks great as an added bonus.

I've had a pair of REL S510 for two years that I use for both my HT set up and my 2-channel system. I'm a huge fan of REL -- I like that you're able to have HT and 2-channel connected at the same time each with their own adjustment. With my systems, the sound is spectacular. Like you, I debated between the S510 and and S812 and while I have no doubt the latter is even better than the 510, I determined that the smaller one was more than sufficient for my room size and system -- and that was a good value decision. The only other thing I'd say -- they're an incredible addition to a 2-channel system and if you can swing it, buy two of them. It really adds to the soundstage depth and breadth. Good luck.    

I own 2 rel 510s. Unless you have a very large room, the 510 is plenty. The volume is at about 25%. They add depth to the soundstage and the low mids are great. I use them in my ht as well. The biggest issue is that some music producers use too much bass and some low notes resonate in the room.

I own 3 older RELs (Q series) bought used for  around 200 bucks is in my video system. They all work perfectly, and although they're not under warranty (and REL won't repair them) they're so inexpensive that they've more than paid their way over close to a decade. 

I agree with hilde45 and audiorusty.

At -6dB even if you purchased five more of any REL "Sub-Bass" systems they all roll off the lower frequencies so dramatically so as not to excite most rooms bass modes. While this allows for room placement flexibility its at the expense of the subtle sub sonic extra low frequencies found in most recordings as well as broadcast and film.

Despite the speaker manufacturers rated low frequency your description suggests they’re positioned in the rooms null. No amount of equalization or optimization can overcome a null along with the huge amount of watts that would be needed to meet their rated output.

Return or sell your -6dB Sub-Bass speaker and purchase one or two actual -3dB subwoofers. It's very important to locate your rooms standing wave bass modes to position the subs in. Using the crawl (or walk) test while playing a low frequency test cadence, long (Blue Jean, Monoprice) interconnects and adjust to your taste.


We have 4 S-510s in our main floor family room. They are fantastic with movies and music ! I recommend getting 2 eventually. Good luck!

I just purchased a REL S/510.  It replaces a 20 year old Velodyne HT sub.  At first I was going to purchase the HT/1510.  My local audio guy convinced me to get the S/510 instead.  He knows my system inside/out and more importantly, the characteristics of my 14 x 12 listening room.

My listening experience is 80% music and 20% tv and movies.  My main speakers are B&W 804s.  The S/510 works seamlessly with all my source components: Denon DCD A110 SACD/CD player, innuos Zenith mk3 streamer + innuos Phoenix USB, and Bricasti M3 DAC, Modwright Oppo 105, and EAT C-Sharp turntable/Sutherland phono pre amp.  

Rock, jazz, classical, electronic, etc., all sound fantastic to my ears.  My audio guy is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, and he knows how live music should sound.  I consider myself a lucky guy because he has my system tuned perfectly, IMO.

If you are more of a movie guy, you may be better served with the HT/1510.  The S/510 does not produce slamming bass that will make your teeth chatter.  It is smoothly integrated with my B&W 804s, and that combination brings tight/punchy/fast/full bass to the music I listen to.

Good luck!


I have 2 x S812s  complimenting my Kef Ref 5 speakers.  My room is 19 x 21 or 400 sqft. The Rels are brilliant choice for 2 channel which is what I use them for 90% of the time but they will do HT as well. As ssid the independent setting is really useful. What you get in 2 channel is really surprising. They add soundstage, presense and air to the  whole listening experience. But for me the addition of 'weight' added to the mid bass on vocals and acoustics is what I reslly liked.

Absolutly no regrets.


It's working well now. Still tweaking it. I like that LFE and hi level have separate separate gain control.  When I first watched a movie (Tron) the sub bottomed out a few times. At first I didn't know what was happening but a little research and sure enough the sound I was hearing was it bottoming out. Problem was I didnt run my ARC again and my Anthem avr thought it was my smaller rel ht1210 so was probably sending it too much juice.  We ran ARC again and hasn't happened since. I tried pushing it to levels that we would never do and it held up. Im using it along with my ht 1210 and the combo together has plenty of punch for movies. Probably not as much as a big ported sub but more than enough for me. 

As far as music,  it's really nice. It does as advertised.  Sound stage is wider and the highs seem smoother. Not all tracks but alot. Drums also better. 

So my novice opinion is that it's a great combo sub which excels at music