The Polk Audio Monitor Series PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer is an excellent performing inexpensive subwoofer that will compliment any modest level stereo/home theater sound system. If you've done any shopping for a subwoofer, you know that there's a ton of cheapies out there, and then you can move on up the price range and spend hundreds of dollars on subwoofers that will most definitely outperform this modest subwoofer. However, having purchased the Polk PSW10 subwoofer for $100, I'm more than pleased with it's performance for use with listening to music and watching movies.
Recommend this product?
Let's look at the specs. First of all, I purchased the cherry finish model. Sure, it's only faux cherry vinyl covering, but it looks much better than you would think. This front firing 10 inch subwoofer has a removalble black grill that is complimentary to most speaker systems. Take a look at the specs:
Item Display Height:14.5 inches
Driver Configuration:1x 10" subwoofer
Frequency Response Curve:35 Hz - 200 Hz
http://www.amazon.com/gp/jewelry/technical-specs-help/?ie=UTF8&page_ident=1000355081:Variable 80Hz - 160 HzSpeaker
Driver Material Type:PolypropylenePeak
Power Handling - Speakers:100 watts
Maximum Speaker Depth (inches):16.12 inches
RMS Power Range - Amplifiers:50 watts
There are line level and speaker inputs as well as a volume control on the control panel that is mounted on the back of the subwoofer. The units features an automatic on/off sensor with a small led light that indicates when the unit is receiving a signal and is powered on. This unit allows you to use the speaker inputs if your receiver/amp does not have a separate subwoofer output. And, you can adjust the crossover to maximize performance with the speakers in use.
I have the Polk PSW110 connected to my system that includes Bose 301 speakers, a Polk Audio CS10 center channel speaker and a Pioneer VSX-820-K 110 watt receiver, as well as a vintage Hitachi DVD player and even more vintage Sony VHS video tape player. So, you can see it's a modest system, but works for me. I'm a fan of classical music and jazz, and enjoy watching movies of all types. The system is used in a room that is about 12' X 24' long with an open archway that opens to another room about the same size.
Connecting the Polk PSW110 was quite easy. After unpacking it, installing the front grille, all I had to do was use a RCA type subwoofer cable with a Y splitter adapter to connect the subwoofer to the subwoofer output of the Pioneer receiver. I didn't have many options for placement, so it is located to the right of the television and about 18" from the front right corner of the room. From reading other online reviews, placement of the subwoofer will impact performance, so it's recommended that you try various placements. A simple on-line search will provide lots of information on subwoofer placement. Once the unit was connected, I played a variety of different CD's that I know well and experimented with the volume level. After using the subwoofer for a month, I will tell you that I find it necessary to adjust the volume level depending on style of music, recording levels of the source, and for movies. When listening to music, I prefer a lower level, and I crank it up a bit for movies. In it's current environment, I rarely have to turn the volume up more than about 30% of its capacity. Due to the fact that I do have to adjust the volume level frequently, it would have been nice if the volume control had been mounted to the front of the subwoofer. With its location on the back, I have to lean over the subwoofer and reach down to make the adjustment....not that difficult, but it could have been made a lot easier. In the near future, we'll be moving into a new house, and my system will be re-located in a larger room (open great room/kitchen with higher ceilings) and I'll update this review to reflect how the subwoofer performs in a larger room.
So......how does this modest 10" subwoofer perform? It does what it should by adding more depth to the lower frequencies. For listening to music, it helps bring out the bass and can be controlled so that it is "tight" and not boomy or excessive, although you can do that if you wish! For home theater use, it helps provide the punch you want for action scenes, explosions, etc. Let's face it, with its modest power output and 10" cone, it's not the same as being in a well equipped movie theater, but it certainly enhances the listening experience. My experiences lead me to agree with a multitude of on-line customer reviews that are very positive about the Polk PSW110 and consider it to be one of, if not the best subwoofer in the $100 price range. That being said, if you are interested in this unit, try to hear it in action at a local retailer. Then purchase it from a retailer that will allow you to return it if it doesn't meet your expectations. Needless to say, if you have a "high end" sound system, spend more and get a 12" or 15" subwoofer with a higher powered amp that will provide a higher level of performance.
To wrap it up, this modest 10" subwoofer will please a lot of listeners that want to add a subwoofer to a modest sound system. It's also a great item for use with secondary sound systems that you have in a den, bedroom, rec room, etc. You can find it priced at $100 or so on-line and at slightly higher prices at brick and mortar retailers. I'm very happy with it and will continue to enjoy it.
Thanks for reading my review, and I hope it was helpful. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them.
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Amount Paid (US$): 100