Speaker type: powered, ported
Continuous power output: 70 W (Approximated*)
Peak power handling: 230 W
Frequency response range: 25 – 230 Hz
Warranty: 2 years
*When nominal/RMS power isn’t specified by manufacturer, we use an approximation of ~30% of the specified peak/dynamic power for comparison purposes.
Review and Discussion
Onkyo is mostly known for making ancillary a/v equipment, and they do a good job at it, but they do produce a limited number of loudspeaker systems. The SKW204 is the sole standalone subwoofer they produce, and despite being over 15 years old it’s still a quite popular seller.
While it may not have been true when it first came out, the SKW204’s specs aren’t that great for the MSRP, and there are larger and more powerful subs available for comparable prices. However, a particular advantage of older generation audio equipment is that it doesn’t depreciate like most other electronics, yet you’ll often see it become significantly discounted.
Ultimately, we’ve seen it go for around $100, which is actually a great price for a 10 inch powered subwoofer with the wattage and range that the SKW204 has. If you can get a good deal on it, and you’re looking to augment a similarly priced budget pair of mainspeakers for a small to medium sized room, we’d say this is a good pick up.
It’s an interesting design too – quite tall for a 10 inch sub with a front port that’s directly below the woofer. Other than that it has a pretty boilerplate design that’s par for the course for most budget speakers. Onkyo’s 2 year warranty is OK, but other companies do offer superior 3-5 year warranties on their subwoofers.
Our Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
There are a lot of decent subwoofers in the ballpark of $100, and the best choice is usually going to come down to what the best deal is at any given time. If you can snag the SKW204 at around that price, it very well might have some of the best power and range available.
A popular alternative is the Polk PSW10 (reviewed here) – it’s about the power and has an inferior range, but is usually cheaper and has a better warranty. Also keep in mind that power doesn’t automatically correlate with superiority. We’d still say that the SKW204 is the better pick, but if you can get the PSW10 for significantly cheaper and don’t need so much power, then that might be a better choice.
Beyond that, if you’re willing to open up your budget a little more, several great options become available that are larger and much more powerful. Check out the links below for more information on that.