Customer Reviews: Polk Audio PSW111 Subwoofer (Single, Black)
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on March 3, 2009
UPDATE: 4yrs, 9mos in the future! I'm still using this sub daily, and I still recommend it (see end of review for extra info).

I researched subs online for a month, and then finally decided on Polk's PSW111. I have since owned the PSW111 for 2 months; and thus far it has been great, working perfectly with my 5.1 surround sound system. I use it every day for at least 8 hours, listening to music and playing Xbox 360 games.

The gun fire and explosions in Call of Duty 4 are made much more intense with the bass produced by the PSW111! I bought this sub because my Klipsch [sub] burnt out, and I had to go with NO bass for 9 long months! ...When I finally hooked up the PSW111 and heard the bass, I was so thoroughly pleased :D

The sub isn't magnetically shielded, so I have to keep it away from most of my other electronics; but that's not a problem - because most subs are not shielded. I spent $50 on a gold plated-6" Monster cable, kinda funny since the sub itself only cost $200 (NOTE: I do NOT recommend buying expensive cables, because even cheap-o cables are equally good & effective).

I live in a small apt, and it fits perfectly. I have the bass set at 1/2 power, and it is perfect for my ears. If you are a person who lives alone in a big house, this sub should still do you just fine, because maxing out the dial on the sub will create a room-shattering amount of bass. However, I'm not sure keeping the sub at max would be a good idea in the long term; for the life of the sub, but I'm no expert.

+ The sub is small, sexy looking and pretty damn powerful.
+ Built very solid, no rattling, no boomy sound whatsoever.
+ Xbox 360 games sound ridiculously amazing with the PSW111.

- The PSW111 costs slightly more than its bigger 10" cousin.
- Not magnetically shielded (but not many subs are so who cares).
- It weighs more then it looks like it should, so I suppose that's kinda a positive thing!

If you're looking for a small-sized, but still very powerful subwoofer, then this sub is HIGHLY recommended! I myself am a videophile, but I can attest that the PSW111 will please all you audiophiles. I recommend this product!

UPDATE: October 2013, I'm just 3 months shy of using this sub for 5 years, and I still use it daily, and I still HIGHLY recommend it! It's a really well-rounded subwoofer, and was obviously built to last. My only regret was that I was a noob 4yrs ago and spent $50 on a Monster cable (go to monoprice(DOT)com if you want affordable cables)!
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on February 13, 2009
I'm in the process of upgrading from an old Panasonic complete home theater package - the type you would find at Best Buy or Costco in the $300 to $500 range. I have a Yamaha RX-V663 receiver, 50" Panasonic Plasma TV and (so far) a pair of Polk Tsi200 bookshelf speakers. While I enjoy a lot of movie effects, my main interest is a system that works well on a broad range of music. Most of what I listen to is acoustic (folk, classical, jazz) with a lot of vocals and a smattering of rock.

With the addition of one Polk PSW111, it adds a nice low end to drums, string bass, and the larger brass family. On a Chieftans record, it really makes the bodhran (Irish goatskin drum) sound like you are at a live performance.

For me it works well for movie effects as well. By subwoofer standards, I describe it as tight without any booming or muddiness.

Now, if you want to make the neighbors think there is an earthquake, this isn't the sub for you. And if you want the helicopter in the movie to feel like it is a few feet over your head, this would fall a bit short. You probably need something in the 12" range.

But if you don't have a strong need to feel the vibrations to enjoy what you are listening to you, this is a great little subwoofer. And you don't have to wear a back support to lift it. This works well for me, but if I ever feel the need for a bit more, I'd probably opt for a second PSW111.
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on March 19, 2009
This is a very nice subwoofer for the price. I will say it is a bit larger then some will lead you to believe, but considering other subwoofers that take up more space, this works nicely. If you are in possesion of a very good set of speakers, the polk audio subwoofer can add to it nicely, so much so that a receiver is not necessary if you don't happen to have one. It has its own back connections, so other speakers can be added to it from the subwoofer itself. Sound wise, it gives a nice clean thump and adds to the overall home theater experience.

The only con I can find is that the buttons to adjust the base are at the back, and a volume control on discretly on the front or side would have been a big help so make sure you position is right so it can be easily reached.

All in all, it took 10 minutes to set up, and five of that was just to place it, one audio plug in and out, and your ready to go. The best part, though my speakers are JVC, the JVC remote can turn my subwoofer on and off with the click of a button, which is nice.

All in all I am pleased and would highly recommend it.

UPDATE FOR 2013 STILL GOING STRONG! I have had it since 2009 and I love it, and use it daily. The sound the bass puts out with the clarity used to get me in trouble with my neighbors and my wife would complain it was too loud when we were in an apt, now we are in a house, and I can enjoy it turned up all the way with very little feedback. PS, Batman Arkham Origins sounds awesome pumping through this thing!!! I still highly recommend it. This thing is a tank.

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on December 4, 2008
After some deliberation, I decided to buy this on Amazon rather than a couple of Polk's 10-inch versions. I heard it at BB and thought it was very tight and controlled. I listen almost exclusively to music and just wanted something to fill in the lower registers. This sub complements well my new Yamaha nx-e400 bookshelf speakers (another under-recognized bargain!), which supposedly go down to 55hz on their own. I set the crossover to about 85 hz and turned the volume on the sub to almost halfway, and this combo fills my room with an almost perfect blend of bass, midrange, and treble. If you're just looking for solid bass to help your bookshelf speakers with music, this sub is terrific!
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on February 10, 2011
I started off with the PSW-110 which is a nice sub woofer but too much for the room. Amazon was running a special where I picked this up for free by purchasing at least $500 worth of other Polk Audio products. It worked out that I was looking to purchase a pair of Polk TSi400 speakers so I jumped on this opportunity. The PSW111 is a perfect match for the size of room I have and the hardwood flooring that helps with the low end. Polk Audio has an informative white paper that dispels the myth of inches and watts as the basis for selecting a sub woofer and I recommend this as a resource to help inform your purchase process. The unit is a snap to set up since my Onkyo TX-NR808 has a LFE connection. I only had to select LFE on the back of the PSW111 and I was good to go. The sound quality meets my requirements for both music and home theater. While I enjoy a little low end punch on those movies that benefit from this, I don't need to rattle the neighbors windows and this may differentiate me from others looking for a sub woofer. I also don't listen to rap or hip hop that rely on super bass but I do appreciate realistic acoustic base and the PSW111 does nicely.
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on January 24, 2016
I liked this subwoofer for several years as it gave good bass for our apartment when I put it next to our sofa. However this year it started with the dreaded thumping when it was off. After a lot of laziness (given I didn't give myself much hope as there a ton of surface mount items used in it) I opened her up and replaced several of the larger electrolytic capacitors and she's back to life. I posted about it on my blog: The repair was fairly involved due to all the goop Polk puts on the circuit board but if you have soldering experience I suggest trying to replace just the largest capacitor and working from the larger ones down that I list on my blog.
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on May 19, 2009
If you're the type of person who thinks the rattle of a license plate from the four or more 15's in the trunk of a car sounds good, look elsewhere. This is not the subwoofer for you and your home theater. For everyone else, this is a great little sub. Proper room placement is everything with this little guy, though. Recommend a spot in a corner opposite the primary listening area.
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on June 4, 2009
I would have given this 4.5 stars. The deduction is because it is extremely affected by placement, though to be fair that's true of any subwoofer. I'm a little surprised that this one has lost almost all its punch now that I've moved it out of the corner, though. I would recommend a bigger sub if you need to place it along a wall in anything bigger than a 12x12 room. My living room is a little cavernous and I probably should have bought a bigger sub myself.

If you've got a corner for this, though, the sound is tight, the connections are good, and I think it's a very attractive piece of audio equipment. I've got it hooked up to a Polk SurroundBar 50 and the overall effect is very nice for not much more than $1000 total.
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on May 14, 2014
I have had this sub for 6-7 months now. Initially, I didn't like the sound, but then read about the break in period. I don't recall how long the break-in was, but it wasn't more than a week or so of evening TV watching. The sound now is great!

I gave it 4 stars because I don't think it is a great "feel it in your chest", or "thump" kind of bass that I like for hip-hop/dance music. Even when playing hip-hop at high volume, it doesn't crackle or distort, it is very capable and clean bass. It just doesn't feel like when you're in the club dancing. Honestly, I don't expect that at this price point. It is a very good "movie explosion" and general video bass. But, it will shake the windows when watching something like "The Avengers." I bought this sub, and use it 99% of the time, for TV and movies. So in that regard, this sub woofer really shines.

I am very happy with my purchase, and would recommend to my friends and family.
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on June 27, 2013
I can tell you this is a great subwoofer, but durability is questionable. I have a few friends who bought the exact same Sub (within one year interval), and *ALL* of them died with similar symptoms (amplified likely in short circuit and blowing fuses) a few months after warranty expiration. One could blame improper use or non-ideal operational conditions, but all Subs were under conditioned power sources (Panamax and Monster) and under low to moderate use.

I know Polk has good customer service, but failing just after warranty expiration date is just too much coincidence. I am now a happy owner of a BIC America F12! I am giving three starts considering that the Subwoofer performance is great, but I would not recommend this for anybody looking for reliability.
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