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Polk PSW10 Powered Subwoofer Reviews
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Polk PSW10 Powered Subwoofer

30 ratings (8 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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$99.99
249.99
+$1.99 shipping eBay
$108.86
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$108.88
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Great price; perfect for an apartment or small living room!

Apr 5, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Flatness:
  • Imaging:
  • Overall Sound:

Pros:Attractive, small, powerful, inexpensive, and Polk's got some sweet brand-name cache

Cons:Not recommended for huge rooms, or if you want window-rattling, gut-rumbling bass

The Bottom Line: This subwoofer is perfect for smaller homes or apartments. It looks, feels, and sounds like a subwoofer costing at least twice as much.


In The Box

The packaging is professional and standard-issue: heavy gauge cardboard box, styrofoam inserts, and thick cellophane covering. No big whoop. In the box you'll find the subwoofer, the manual, and that's about it. You'll want to grab a subwoofer cable at the store if you don't already have one, though an RCA mono cable will do in a pinch. Nothing else included, nor required.

Aesthetics and Dimensions

The PSW10 is a sharp-looking sub. It comes in black or cherry finish; the cherry is smooth and sleek to the touch, while the black has a visible and tactile woodgrain pattern. Either finish looks excellent. The front grille, which is black in either case, can be removed to reveal a snazzy silver face.

This is a small unit, at 14-3/8" tall x 14" wide and 16-1/8" deep, and weighing just 26lbs. That makes it easy to tuck into a corner; good to know if floorspace is an issue.

Unlike other subs I've played with in this price range, the PSW10 seems rugged and well-built. The switches and dials all feel solidly connected, not flimsy at all. The cabinet itself is constructed from MDF and feels very sturdy.

Basically, for less than $200, it looks and feels like a sub that costs at least twice as much.

Features
The PSW10 has both speaker level and line level inputs. This means you can hook it up directly to your receiver with a subwoofer cable, using the line level input, or you can "daisychain" it to your front stereo speakers using regular speaker cable with the speaker level input. I recommend using the line level, and so does Polk, for most applications.

On the back are two dials and two buttons. The two dials are volume and "low pass", and the two dials are power and phase switch. Volume is self-explanatory. Low Pass tells the subwoofer how low a sound should be before the subwoofer will play it, with the adjustable range between 80hz and 160hz. In other words, if you turn the dial to 120hz, then only sounds below 120hz will be heard. Therefore, turning the dial higher results in the subwoofer being used more. This might be preferable if you have smaller speakers that can't handle bass as well. Or you might have larger speakers that can handle bass decently, in which case you'll turn the dial down so only the lowest frequencies are played through the subwoofer.

If your receiver has an adjustable crossover(the point at which sound is directed to the sub), you'll want to use that in conjunction with this feature. They should match in most cases - if the receiver's crossover is lower than the sub's low pass, there'll be a gap in your bass.

The power switch is also self-explanatory. Phase switch...I have no idea. The Polk manual says to have a friend switch between the two options and pick whichever sounds better. Alrighty.

Sound Quality

In a word, fantastic. The PSW10 has a 10" driver which pumps out a modest 50 watts, and has a frequency response of 35hz-200hz. True, that's not a lot of wattage, nor is it a huge driver, but trust me: this is a powerful sub. And not at all muffled, like other subs in this price range.

For home theater use, this sub will make everything sound richer and fuller. Of course, with home theater use, your subwoofer only reallygets noticed during gunfights and helicopter crashes, and the PSW10 won't stand out here.

But when you listen to actual music, you need a good subwoofer to hit the lows in male vocals and a myriad of instruments. That's where the PSW10 really struts its stuff. I have it hooked up to my Harman Kardon AV235, with Polk HTi-6 stereo speakers. And the differene is phenominal. U2's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb sounds pretty good with just the stereo speakers...but this album has some incredible bass tones, and you need a decent subwoofer to hear it right. This one definitely passes muster.

Just keep in mind that this is not the subwoofer you get if you need to fill a huge room with gut-rumbling bass. However, it'll work wonderfully for most typical users, and it's perfect for smaller homes or apartments where it'll put a smile on your face without prompting your neighbors to call the police.

I just don't think you can do better at this price.

Documentation, Warranty

The manual is basically one page for each language, with large and easily-followed diagrams. Polk provides a 5-year warranty for the speaker, 3 years for the amp.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 199


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