Polk Audio PSW111
Ultra-compact powered subwoofer
Our take on the Polk Audio PSW111 by Crutchfield's Loren Barstow
Tiny but mighty
Add impact to your favorite movies and full-bodied bass to your favorite tunes with a sub that's barely larger than a cubic foot. The PSW111's high-current, 150-watt amp effortlessly drives an 8" woofer for dynamic low-frequency effects. And this compact subwoofer sports a new, more powerful driver design to deliver deeper, louder, and punchier bass than previous Polk subs. Special circuitry inside the amp and a solid MDF cabinet with internal bracings ensure clean, detailed lows, even when you crank up the volume.
From our hands-on review of the Polk PSW111
"But the overwhelming sense I had from early listening was one of warmth. The low mid-range, the place where male voices, cellos, and trombones live, suddenly came alive. I could hear all this ambience I wasn't hearing before in movies and TV shows — street noises, intakes of breath, footsteps. Sure, you could take this sub to the slamming max if you want, but the main takeaway I have from adding this component into my system is that things have been put into balance again."
— Woody Sherman, Crutchfield A/V writer
- bass-reflex (ported) enclosure
- 150-watt RMS amplifier
- 8" front-firing driver
- frequency response 38-250 Hz
- continuously variable 60-160 Hz crossover
- phase switch
- auto on/off
- line-level/LFE input
- speaker-level input and output
- 11"W x 12-5/16"H x 14-15/16"D
- warranty: 5 years woofer, 3 years amplifier
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Black powered subwoofer
- Grille (installed)
- 8' Detachable power cord
- 4 Rubber insert feet
- Owner's Manual
- Online registration card
- Rubber feet installation diagram
Great base I really like it
Theoharis, North Canton, OH
Features and Specs
|Woofer Size (inches)||8|
|Woofer Composition||DB Composite|
|Low-Pass Crossover Freq||60-160 Hz|
|High-Pass Crossover Freq||None|
|Amplifier Output (watts)||150|
|Frequency Response||38-250 Hz|
|Speaker Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Speaker Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Amplifier Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Amplifier Labor Warranty||3 Years|
Driver: The Polk Audio PSW111 uses a 8" Dynamic Balance composite cone driver for deep, accurate response with low distortion. For a smoother response and improved durability, the woofer utilizes a rubber surround.
Klippel Optimized Woofer: By using a state-of-the-art Klippel Distortion Analyzer, Polk is able to optimize the woofer's motor structure, voice coil alignment and suspension for the best possible performance even at extreme listening levels.
Motor Structure: The PSW111 utilizes a powerful motor structure for a higher BL response (the measure of the motive force applied to the cone) that results in louder, deeper and punchier bass.
Compression Circuitry: The woofer's Compression Circuitry limits distortion at high volume levels.
Amplifier: The subwoofer is powered by a high-current amplifier producing 150 watts RMS/300 watts dynamic power that supplies clean power for loud bass and the wide dynamic range necessary to recreate a life-like experience in your home.
Enclosure: The PSW111 features a bass-reflex enclosure with non-resonant MDF construction and internal bracing for deep bass impact with superior detail and accuracy.
Down-Firing Port: The powered subwoofer's downward firing port allows the woofer to be extremely efficient and provides more bass impact for your home theater experience.
Not Video Shielded: The subwoofer is not magnetically shielded, so it is not recommended to place it next to tube TVs and video monitors. Though LCD, DLP, and Plasma televisions are not affected by magnetism you should allow at least 18" of space between the subwoofer and any TV.
Placement: You may place the subwoofer anywhere in your room, but it will perform best when it's on the same side of the room as your system's front speakers. Also, placing the subwoofer near a wall or in a corner will reinforce the output.
3-Way Power Switch: The subwoofer has a 3-way power switch on the rear panel. You can select Auto, which turns the unit on automatically when an input signal is received and off 15 minutes after the signal stops; On, which keeps the unit on and Standby, which turns the unit off. The LED power indicator glows green when the unit is on and red when the unit is off.
Volume Control: The PSW111 has a rotary volume control to adjust the volume of the subwoofer relative to the other speakers in the system.
Phase Switch: The subwoofer's phase switch allows you to select 0-degrees (normal) or 180-degrees (reverse). If the bass sounds muddy or unclear, toggling the phase control can sometimes strengthen the bass attack.
Low-Pass Filter: The PSW111 offers a continuously variable low-pass crossover, adjustable from 60-160 Hz. There is an LFE position for use with the filtered LFE output from a receiver or preamp.
Line Inputs: The subwoofer has gold plated left and right RCA line level inputs for use with receivers having subwoofer or stereo preamp outputs that do not contain their own low-pass crossover. Using the Line Inputs allows PSW111 to do all the low-pass filtering. If your receiver or processor only has a single subwoofer line output, connect it to the Right line input jack.
LFE In: The right channel RCA input doubles as the LFE input; if your receiver has an LFE output and a built-in crossover, use this input and set the low-pass filter dial to LFE.
Speaker Level Input/Output: The subwoofer has spring clips for the speaker level inputs and outputs. The subwoofer's low-pass filter sends bass frequencies (based on the setting of the filter) to the subwoofer. The speaker level inputs and outputs are shorted together, so the output is not crossed over. You should set you receiver's front speaker setting to Large.
Our Product Research Team
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Woody Sherman
What happens when you add even a small subwoofer to a marginal audio system? Woody found out when he brought home a Polk PSW111.