Polk was one of the original pioneers of affordable HiFi home theater speakers, and they continue that tradition to day with a wide variety of solid products that are not all that expensive. The PSW505 is an older generation product that’s not officially listed on Polk’s website currently, yet it’s still one of the best selling suwbwoofers on the market. Probably because, thanks to it’s age, it’s been significantly discounted and delivers some of the best specs you can find for the price.
Speaker type: powered, ported
Nominal power output: 300 W
Peak power output: 460 watts
Frequency response range: 23 – 160 Hz
Warranty: 3 years (electronics), 5 years (non electronic parts)
Review and Discussion
The PSW505 is actually one of several older Polk products that, despite being officially discontinued, they’ve kept producing to sell through second hand vendors because it was still in enough demand. Adding to that, the major advantage of older generation speakers is that they often get significantly discounted despite still being essentially just as good as their newer counter parts. The PSW505 is currently selling for a mere fraction of it’s MSRP, and it has some of the best specs we’ve seen for how cheap it is.
A 12 inch 300 W subwoofer is sufficient to augment just about any non ultra high end pair of home theater speakers, and adding to that the PSW505 has an excellent response range. Not only is the floor important so that it can adequately reproduce the entire range of bass, but the ceiling is important as well so that the cross over is high enough to optimize the main speakers to really focus on the mids and highs.
The unit is pretty plain looking with a boilerplate budget speaker design: black washed mdf and a front covering foam grill. Slicker designs certainly exist if you care about that. It’s also pretty big and heavy, but you only have to get it into place once. Polk’s subwoofer warranty is industry leading with 3 years for the amp and 5 years for the non-electronic components.
Our Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
At it’s originally MSRP we’d say it’s an OK choice, but that you might find something better. Now, though, it seems like an absolute steal.
The only comparable subwoofer we’ve seen is the equally impressive BIC America F12 (reviewed here). Between these two? We’d call it a toss up – get whichever’s the cheapest at the time.
The Klipsch R-12SW (reviewed here) is another great brand and very decent 12 inch sub, but it’s hard to recommend it over the PSW505 since the latter has superior power, range, and warranty on the amp. Maybe if you can snag the Klipsch for cheaper and really like their trademark black/copper design get it, otherwise we’d say this one is better.
The Polk PSW125 (reviewed here), despite being their newer and more current 12 inch sub, is significantly less powerful, so as long as the PS505 remains as inexpensive as it is we say it’s still the clearly better choice.
There are certainty smaller and cheaper but still viable options available if you don’t need quite so much power, and plenty of people don’t. See below for further information and recommendations there.