Polk Audio PSW10 (Black) Subwoofers

PSW10 (Black)

Do away with distortion. While the Polk Monitor Series PSW10s 10 driver and 50W built-in amplifier are filling out your home audios bass tones, a wide variety of distortion-reducing technologies - including laser Klippel Distortion analysis - deliver bass true to the source.

  • Bass-reflex
  • 50-watt RMS amplifier
  • 10" front-firing driver
  • Frequency response 40-160 Hz (-3dB)
  • Continuously variable 80-200 Hz crossover
  • Phase switch
  • Auto on/off
  • Speaker-level and line-level inputs; speaker-level output

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
Matt   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2017]

Perfect match for a smaller music system. I use this to provide the missing lower octave or so from my little living room (yes, the room is small) stereo system. It's an Onkyo TX-8211, a pair of Acoustic Research AR-215PS on cinder block stands, and this sub. I keep it dialed really low; it simply augments the low end that is lacking in the bookshelf speakers. It's also connected to my TV/HTPC. It does fine for casual watching. If cranked, movies with a ton of fake earthquake type low end effects can make it a bit chuffy, but it never fails to make the walls rattle.
TL;DR: Buy this to augment decent bookshelf speakers in a small to medium space and you won't be disappointed. For home theater or larger systems, step up to something bigger.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Levi   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 26, 2016]

I have a fine home system with two subs, and then I have a "workshop" system that has involved much wheeling and dealing/upgrading/trading/buying/selling, etc. Anyways, at this point in time, in the workshop, I have a Yamaha RX-V1500 receiver, an older Sony 5-disc carousel, a set of JBL J620 bookshelf speakers I refoamed, and a Technics P-mount turntable (the Yamaha is one of the last of the phono input models). I listen to rock and country mostly, old school with cd's and albums on vinyl, so this stereo stays on full time 2 channel stereo mode. NOT a HT system. I ran up on a Polk PSW10 on the local Craigslist for $40. I thought it might be a good candidate for the shop system. After an hour of experimenting with different locations, tweaking the volume/crossovers, I found a "happy spot" for the sub to roll up and drop off right around the lower limits of the JBL's. Too much volume, it's boomy and distorting, too low on the crossover, same thing. So, for a music system, this thing needs to be set to gently enhance the lower end of your speakers. Nothing more, nothing less. It is well worth the price paid for that. It absolutely is not a top-end sub, and no one should expect such. It presents itself as a good mid-bass supplement to a good set of speakers. I can only imagine that if pressed into HT use, it would have the same sort of effect. I'd buy one for a small room / garage / music system, but would be scared to press it into any other kind of duties. For a good HT system, I'd look higher up the ladder for the type of LFE this sub would be unable to handle. But it does my application pretty nicely, and it's exactly as I expected.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
fendaaudio   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 03, 2014]

Value for money and got good exp in listing

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
musicmonger   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 23, 2013]

Got an opportunity to demo unit against the Sony SA-W2500 and Pioneer SW-8MK2 at my local BB's listening room. Amongst the 3, the PSW10 is in its own class. It would be the home audio pick. All have crossover dials and auto on/off switches. The latter 2 are close. Each was selected joining a HT system of Yamaha receiver and Pioneer speakers in a 5.1 configuration. The Pioneer sub had some noticeable bottom emphasis while the Sony seemed consistent throughout its frequencies. Something was amiss at SW-8MK2 higher frequencies. Could be due to lowest cutoff of highest frequency of the 3. Had the volumes and cutoffs maxed during demo. Had to back the Polk volume 1/3rd due to distortion(port noise?). My conclusion is that the latter 2, especially the Sony, would be good all around choices. For all you disciminating Charlie tuna, stereo junkies dial in the clean, tight, sweet bass of the Polk. Got mine dialed in on Hiroshima's Kokoro. I was knocking on heaven's door.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Mike Suarez   AudioPhile [Jun 26, 2012]

I have the PSW10 in conjunction with a Polk Monitor Series Surround and a Denon 2111 receiver... and Kimber Kable PBJ cables. I bought the PSW10 because I was living in a small apartment and didn't particularly want to blow my downstairs neighbors out of the building. For the price, these guys do fairly well with music. They are fairly tight from 40hz to about 80hz. If you use cheaper cables (Radio Shack or even Monster) they fall apart even above 40hz, so I recommend buying proper cables for it. Below 40hz (even with proper cables) the port noise is almost unbearable. This means that they are fairly good at filling out your speaker set if you tend to listen to music (which tends to keep away from lower frequencies), but it will give you problems in a theater system (where the LFE drops well below 40hz).
Also, avoid the PSW10 if you are into boomy subs. Polk tends to make tighter speakers, focusing on clarity rather than power. Within the right range the PSW10 follows this trend. They are certainly tight, albeit not punchy.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
5
pitogo   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 17, 2010]

This sub is great for what I bought it for, a sub to my main computer speakers. $88 seems like the price is right. I have crossover set at 80Hz so its really only effective from 40-80Hz at best. Corner loaded and volume set way way. Helps reinforce the lower octaves.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
DanTana1   Audio Enthusiast [May 23, 2009]

I went to BestBuy to really buy the Sony for $99.00 that I read so many good reviews about. I was able to audition several suboofers incuding the $474.00 Klipsch, $299.00 Polk 8" subwoofer and a couple others. The only sub that outperformed the PSW10 was the Klipsh SUB-12 and not by much. The Klipsch had more reserve than the Polk but both seem to go down as low, it wes very close to my ears a virtual tie. The Sony and 8" Polk were not even close, I really wanted to like the Sony but Polk was so much better and I was able to get an open box for $149.00 so that sealed the deal. The $474.00 Klipsch would of been nice but it was also a very large box and would of been somewhat hard to place.

I actually find the Polk PSW10 to be very musical, it seems to blend in very well with my setup. It has bass that is very tight and not boomy. I hooked mine up via the speaker cables and read that is the way to do it because of the better volume level and it worked for me. I do find that if you turn the volume all the way up it will get a little muddy and distort some, and it then starts to overpower the music not blend in well. I'm still in the process of tweaking the settings but I find that I seem to have some reserve power left over. I have both volume and crossover about one half to two-thirds. I'm listening to the Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour and it seems to be able to hit all the notes with no problem. I put on some dance and rap FM stations on my Denon TU-1500RDS and it was able to hit the lows with a strong and authoritative beat. I'm impressed with how well controlled the bass is, it doesn't seem to get sloppy unless you go overboard with the settings.

I put on the movie MI-III and the scene where they were rescuing the female agent then the subsequent holicopter chase my kids probably gave the best description when they said wow you can feel it. I'm not one to play my music or movies at the peak of my amp can allow a Sony TA-F700ES but a comfortable level and like my bass to augment and not overwhelm my materal. I'm watching Pearl Harbor right now and it sounds and feels like in the theater.

I've had Infiity Kappas with 10" woofers and this subwoofer goes lower and harder than they did. While this may not be the most auidiophile or loudest or lowest subwoofer it is also very affordable and will in my opinion deliver about 90% of the performance for a fraction of the cost of the most expensive subwoofers there are. If your looking to buy one just audition them yourself side-by-side and then decide.

The reason I'm giving 5 out of 5 is for value and performance for the dollar. It held it's own in the showroom against a $474.00 Klipsch.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mg196   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 28, 2009]

Reading Joon's review, I can't think of ANYONE who turns up their sub all the way. SOunds like you are TRYING to destroy it!!

I based my 5/5 rating on this being a lower-powered, entry level sub. I am not comparing it to the $500+ dollar subs!!

I have a small living room and a modest home theater setup, so I dont really need more than 100wpc. I was looking for a sub that could give me tremendous power with clarity and a "focused" punch. This sub performs all those tasks without a problem! It definitely "sounds" like it performs well above its stated wpc rating.

I only have the sub level turned up to about 5, and whether I am watching my Led Zep or Who DVDs, or that legendary first scene in Fellowship of the Ring, the walls shake and picture frames rattle. Explosions burst into my living room without being muffled or distorted. During the day if my wife is watching MTV or the Food Network, the bass gently accents whatever sounds are coming out of the main speakers without ever overpowering them, or forcing me to change the volume level of the sub.

It is built like a rock (I purchased mine in the scratch & dent store - only a tiny nick) and matches my other Polk speakers' cherry finish perfectly.

My uncle likes to spend a lot of money on his a/v setup, and I always laugh to myself when I see him fiddling w/ or cursing at his $750 sub! I know that back in my living room, this puppy is just waiting for me to pump some audio thru it and I wont have to do a thing...other than dust it off occasionally.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rob   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 10, 2008]
Strength:

Outrageous price-to-value ratio; decent looking in the cherry vinyl; line- and speaker level I/O; crossover, phase and volume controls that give good resistance; decent sound enhancement when adjusted properly.

Weakness:

Really? For a hundred bucks, how can you complain?

For the price, you'll have a hard time finding anything this good. I can't speak to the complaints of so-called "audiophiles" that purchased a subwoofer for under 200 bucks (actually, I can: if you're a real audiophile, you'd gladly drop one- to two grand on a Velodyne, Fathome or Sunfire subwoofer), but if you've got a low- to mid-level system and want to add some punch to your music and movies, get the PSW10.

With this sub, the secret to obtaining a tight, punchy low end to your music is to spend some time getting the crossover and volume controls married. I found that the volume control moved past the 12:00 position results in wall-shaking boominess. While that might be fine for action movies, it's not so much for listening to jazz. But with the crossover, phase and volume controls set right, I got a nice enhancement to the bass my floor speakers just haven't been able to find. Since this is a mass-market box intended for use in both audio and home theatre set-ups (which put completely different demands on the amount of air moved and frequencies reproduced), you may need to accept that you might have to make adjustments when listening to one or the other.

Remember, a good sub-woofer is one that you really don't hear until you play source material without it.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Joon   Casual Listener [Mar 25, 2007]
Strength:

Non. Its a very weak subwoofer that has a lot of distortion if you turn it all the way up. The bass on the low volume is non-existant to high volume dull rumble shakes the floors not the ear drum. It adds no punch to the drummer or car crash.

Weakness:

Its a very weak subwoofer that has a lot of distortion if you turn it all the way up. The bass on the low volume is non-existant to high volume dull rumble shakes the floors not the ear drum. It adds no punch to the drummer or car crash.

Makes me mad when you can buy an entire hometheater system with 5 speakers and DVD player that has a subwoofer thats sounds better for 300 bucks and I spent 170 for just a subwoofer that sounds crappy in comparison.

I am not happy with this subwoofer but I deal with it because I don't want to spend anymore money on a better subwoofer. I am wondering if I should have just listened to myself instead of the sales person at Tweeters and bought a Sony subwoofer for 99.00 instead. It can't be that much worst than this one.

Customer Service

dont' know.

Similar Products Used: I wish I have tried others before I bought this one.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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