Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer

By Sarah Ybarra On May 9, 2010 Under BestSellers, SVS Subwoofer

51JGYWW4N4L. SL160  Polk Audio PSW10 10 Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Product Description
Tһе name “” іѕ special tο . Tһе original Polk , produced іח tһе mid-1970s, ushered іח tһе modern loudspeaker era bу setting tһе standard fοr performance аחԁ value. Tһе original Series іѕ tһе line tһаt mаԁе Polk Audio famous wіtһ іtѕ simple, sturdy construction, clear, ассυrаtе sound, powerful bass аחԁ superior imaging, аƖƖ аt a price tһаt mаԁе ɡrеаt sound available tο everyone.Tһе newly reborn Series bу Polk Audio іѕ classic Polk: a quality-built, affordable line οf high performance loudspeakers fοr music аחԁ home theater. Tһе חеw complements tһе сƖеаח, stylish look οf tһе whole line wіtһ powerful, efficient, ассυrаtе аחԁ musical bass іח compact enclosu… More >>

  • A single 10-inch wіtһ built-іח high-current amplifier fοr bіɡ bass
  • Equipped wіtһ one 10-inch polymer-composite dynamic-balance cone driver
  • Features laser-based Klippel measurement technology fοr improved linearity аחԁ deep, precise sound
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz – 200Hz
  • Non-resonant аƖƖ-MDF enclosure construction wіtһ 0.75-inch-thick baffles аחԁ internal bracing

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Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Ref Stanton
    May 9, 2010
    7:00 pm

    Rating: 5 / 5
    I purchased this subwoofer about 2 months ago and since then have given it an extensive listening test. Following is a list of things I would do to improve sound quality as well as some reservations I have toward it.

    Before I start off, I would like to clarify one thing about the PSW-10 that might unjustly turn off potential buyers from it: it runs at 50 watts RMS. In the world of music and sound systems, one of the biggest misconceptions out there is that wattage directly correlates with how loud a speaker is. THIS IS NOT NECCESARILY TRUE! The efficiency of the driver determines how loud it gets at a certain wattage, not only the amount of power you’re pumping into it! This is why you can buy, for example, computer speakers that boast 400watts of power and have them easily massacred in terms of volume by speaker set ups with half the power (for further examples, compare computer speaker systems to shelf systems to a true sound system. You will find the volume, at a given wattage, tends to increase as you go down the spectrum).

    I found the PSW-10 easily competed in terms of volume with every other sub in it’s range, including those running at twice to three times the power RMS. If you want to prove it to yourself, run down to your local Circuit City (who sells Polk subs) and sound test it yourself.

    Now, onto the guts of the review.

    1. As far as entry subwoofers come, this is probably the best bang for your buck that you can find bar none, especially considering the quality of the build. Built around high quality medium density fiberboard and using a highly efficient 10″ driver, the PSW-10 manages to bang as well, if not louder, than other subwoofers in this category, despite running at 50 watts RMS.

    2. The sound quality is excellent, with very little distortion at high volumes above 50 hz or so, with full excursion easily being reached because of the ported design. In the 40hz – 50hz range, the polk begins to show the limitations of an entry level sub, the sound becoming slightly more muddied (though not horribly so) with extended length sounds(ie. a hellicopter landing slowly) while still staying crisp for burst noise (ie. a gunshot or bassdrum). Below the 40hz, it’s pretty much non-functional as a subwoofer. I should also stress that no entry subwoofer has any redeeming qualities below 40hz.

    3. Music is where this subwoofer really shines! It’s bass is perfect for every genre of music (my tastes tend to be a bit ecclectic and as such I tested it with Classical, Hip Hop, Electronica, Rock, and Jazz) you can throw at it. I was most impressed when playing The Chieftans “Ballad of the Irish Horse” album and could have sworn the drums were playing in the room (a testament to the quality of polk’s design). Deep bass is 99.9% of the time is limited to above 50hz, right in the sweet spot of the polk, and as such, the bass lines in every Rap song I tried (the extreme being Wolfpak – Gangsta Rap and Kanye West – Golddigger) was quite impressive, accurate and crisp. When playing the 1812 Overature, the cannons were well produced, if very slightly muddied (as it is one of the few songs that ventures below 50hz) but overall very good. I was very impressed with the sound quality of the polk in music.

    4. That being said, this subwoofer is ideal for music and will be disappointing for those who wish to use it for movie watching. While it is beneficial to add it to any non-subwoofer setup, the 10″ driver struggles to hit the low lows with the sound becoming muddied with deep, deep bass of any length. I found this to be a problem with all entry subwoofers I’ve tried, not just the polk, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Overall, this subwoofer is probably the best entry subwoofer you can get bar none.


    1. First thing of note: Like all quality entry level subwoofers, great sound comes with the sacrifice of volume. This sub works best in smaller rooms, say 20×10 maximum. Any larger and the sound will begin to get lost in the room and sound strained.

    2. Most subwoofers work the best along the front wall of your sound system, in the corner. This however is not a cardinal rule. To find the best location for the subwoofer (this works for any sub for your information), place the subwoofer where you would normally be sitting, listening to it. Play a song and walk around the room until you find place where the bass sounds the best. Move the sub to that location and it should be ideally placed!

    3. One shortcoming about the Polk is the lack of an LFE input: you only get RCA and speaker line inputs meaning that there is no way you can bypass the internal crossover of the sub. Considering the market it’s aiming for, this shouldn’t be too big of a problem for most people, but owners with good receivers might be a bit vexed by this. Also, do not hookup the sub through the speaker line: it’ll lose a fair amount of sound quality from forcing the bass through small gauge wires. Hook it up through the RCA if at all possible and you will be greatly rewarded.

    In summation, despite the reservations inherent of the entry level subwoofer class (and LFE port), this is an excellent subwoofer which warrants all the praise it’s been getting.

  2. zinm
    May 9, 2010
    7:22 pm

    Rating: 5 / 5
    While I was looking for sub-woofer I was comparing PSW10 and PSW404. PSW404 sounds better but for the price $110 vs. $250 at J&R I opted for PSW10. The sale representative dropped the price for me even though they still selling PSW10 for $200 here. Those of you who worry about no LFE input, that shouldn’t be a problem. All you have to do is connect the sub-woofer output of the receiver to either the right or left input on the sub-woofer. And then set the variable low pass filter on the sub-woofer to the highest setting. This will set the internal low pass filter above the low pass filter frequency given by your receiver and create an LFE input. Or you may use a RCA cable to provide a connection to both inputs on the sub-woofer from the LR pre-out from the receiver. Then adjust the cross over frequency from the woofer as desired. It sounds a little louder and better for me. I bought Monster sub-woofer cable and it sounds no better than RCA cable. Try not to waste your money on this. It has 7.4 out of 10 in CNet rating and it is #6 in editor’s top list for sub-woofers. I matched PSW10 with R300, RTi4, R150, CSi3 and Denon 1906 receiver. Mainly used for HDTV over the air, DVD movies and some FM. It sounds a lot better than the sub-woofer from RM6750. It carries 5 years warranty but make sure you buy from Authorize dealer. For the price I paid I am more than happy with it. I hope this helps to your decision.

  3. Frank J. Perricone
    May 9, 2010
    7:47 pm

    Rating: 5 / 5
    I’m using this with an Onkyo TR-606 alongside a Toshiba 62″ DLP HDTV and a full set of Polk speakers, and the sound quality is remarkable.

    The only caveat is that the subwoofer input has two connectors, but you really only need to connect one of them. The manual is far from clear about this, and plenty of people will probably spend extra on a Y cable, or worse yet, put in an adapter which will add both cost and loss of fidelity. But just connecting to the left input works fine. Subwoofers are mono anyway, and the double inputs are primarily there to make certain wiring configurations easier, not to add more sound fidelity.

  4. Techboy Gearhead
    May 9, 2010
    8:13 pm

    Rating: 2 / 5
    First, a bit of credentials, as this is my first review here.

    I have many years of experience in good sound. Back in the day, I built and used Dynaco tube power amps from kits, and have owned Marantz, Mac and Crown amps as well. I had Tandberg cassette decks (anyone remember audio cassettes?), and Technics turntables. For speakers I’ve used Klipsch, JBL, Tannoy, Polk, Yamaha, and the insanely expensive – and worth every penny – Magneplanars from Magnepan. So, except for the Magnepan’s, not quite audiophile, but really good home sound.

    So, why would I buy a hundred dollar subwoofer from Amazon you ask?

    I was looking for something inexpensive to give some bottom to the M-Audio powered speakers in my computer room, and I have seen and heard some new Polk speakers that sounded good, each in their respective price range.

    Mostly, I bought this subwoofer based on the positive reviews on Amazon.

    Sorry to say, I must disagree with the majority for this one.

    I tried tuning it, I tried many different room placements, I tried various expensive subwoofer rca cables.

    Sadly, I must report that I was unable to get any musical output from it – ever. I wasn’t expecting audiophile here, just the ability to hear bass notes when they are playing. No-way, no-how.

    I give it 2 stars for it’s well made box, and the fact that it gives lots of rumble and (sloppy) boom, – and maybe that’s enough for some.

    But I have an almost 10 year old Yamaha sub (pre rca inputs, around the same power and same speaker size) that I brought into the room as an A/B test. The old Yamaha outperformed this new Polk by far.

    After all of the positive reviews, I’m wondering if maybe the one I got was defective, but there is no way to get inside it for testing without voiding the return policy.

    So…I returned it.

    Good luck!

  5. Kevin R. Smith
    May 9, 2010
    10:53 pm

    Rating: 4 / 5
    I bought the PSW10 on Amazon for about $100, and I am blown away by the value. I worked as a profesional home theater installer for about 5 years and sold many $400 subs that were no better than this. The 50 watt power rating is very conservative. Truth is, it’s just an honest rating on a quality amp. I paired it with a run-of-the-mill Pioneer receiver and the Klipsch Quintet II speaker system. (also from Amazon $300)The end result for a $400 speaker system is amazing. For music and movies at low to moderately high volume, you could spend $2000 on a Bose system and not have sound this accurate and dynamic. (My mother in law just did).

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