Customer Review

108 of 127 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Budget Subwoofer, January 7, 2011
This review is from: Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer (Single, Black) (Electronics)
This is a great budget sub for those looking to get their feet wet with home audio, for someone that has never had a sub before, or is upgrading from a HTIB (Home Theater In a Box). I currently have this sub and have been using it for 2 months. Polk has a longstanding reputation for building quality products and for excellent customer service. If you're considering the PSW10, don't as for a little more money this sub is in a completely different league and I have owned both.


- Price
- Good sound for the money
- Decent looking sub
- Decent sound quality for home theater or music
- Provides a good amount of bass for a medium size room (20x15)


- Doesn't go very low. I believe this sub is tuned at 35Hz from reading reviews, and it drops off sharply after that. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of the sound is in movies where you'd want a sub to perform well. For music, it's less likely going to be an issue. In my own experience, I played a couple of bass test songs (Bass, I Love You and a frequency sweep) and found the same to be true. On the lower notes this sub simply loses it's composure under the tuning frequency, which is to be expected as there's no acoustic load for the driver under that. The end result is that the driver flaps freely and there is concerning port chuffing (noise) and simply a lack of output.


- At this price point there are few competitors to this sub. The BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer has gotten better reviews than the PSW505 and will play lower and likely sound better doing it. If you catch it on sale it will cost less than this sub, otherwise expect to pay a little more. Another option would be the Lava Subs 12" 250 Watt Home Theater Powered Subwoofer which has gotten great reviews on the A/V forums and is a new contender, but costs a bit more.

- If you have more money to spend or can wait, and you care about true performance, save up and buy a better sub. Some internet direct companies (Elemental Designs, Hsu, Epik for example) all offer great values and will provide performance in a completely different league from this sub.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 27, 2011 6:44:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2011 6:46:30 PM PST
M. Moran says:
That sounds nice except that Lava you mentioned says it has a "Low Pass Frequency Response of 37-150 Hz". This Polk says it goes down to 23 Hz - 160Hz. So if you're really concerned about lows why mention the Lava?

Also you mention the Bic. It's lows actually due compare to the Polk's spec-wise, but ppl say it sounds better at low frequencies...I've heard that too. Only problem there is the BIC's have no LFE input like a lot of modern subwoofers usually do, and according to the specs on the manufacturer's own website, most of their subs don't have magnetic shielding. For some that is an issue

So in my opinion the Polk still wins. I've been looking for a better sub at this price...and I'm still looking

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2012 1:03:54 PM PDT
S. Placencio says:
How about the ACCOUSTECH PL-200 from BIC which is 279.99 shipped

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 12:21:02 PM PST
Michael Clevenger-- In simple words I disagree with you. I've use this sub for movies, music & video games. this sub is incredible! I also used bass songs like "Bass i love" ,The bass will destroy you", etc... this sub is very dynamic. I don't think you tuned it correctly both sub and receiver..remember subwoofers are not just BOOM BOOM BOOM!! Its also life like sound.

Posted on Feb 10, 2013 12:09:21 AM PST
T. Ledoux says:
I don't get how they can call this sub a 12" when the cone/piston is not even 7" as shown in photo #1. Like the foam/rubber connector actually produces sound waves too. It's just there for flex. This is really just a 7" woofer with a long throw cone.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2013 12:14:31 PM PDT
Steven L. says:
It may not measure up to the perfect 12" driver. However it will give you plenty of push and the extra surround is a welcome feature and keeps the driver from bottoming out or even helps it withstand clipping if you really push the amp. S. Level

Posted on May 22, 2013 10:36:50 AM PDT
Steven L. says:
The Polk 505 12" 300 watt powered sub will get down to 25 H.Z. Plus or Minus 3 D.B. which is the same as the B.I.C. 12" sub! The Polk also has a more powerful amp than the BIC no matter what BIC claims there peak power at!

The Polk also has a separate (LFE) port and no problems with the rear wooden slot vent to boost the bass performance. The BIC is tube ported and this tube is known for coming loose during shipping. The same is true for the Reference Kliptch sub that costs much more! It has a big problem with the ported tube coming loose during shipping.

I have heard the Polk 505 12" and it really gets low and tight as well. My current Polk PSW10" 50 watt entry level sub only gets down to 40 H.Z. Combined with my Definitive Studio Monitor 450's that I have in the front and the rear, with a Polk CS-10 center channel this sub has become obsolete to my sound system. It is only playing from 60H.Z. to 40H.Z. which takes a little pressure off of my Definitives but the Polk 505 12" has a normal retail price of well over $500.

It's a steal when you can get it on sale for $190 or $200. It's even a great deal at $220 or $230 compared to the cheaper subs like the BIC 12".

The Kliptch is nice as well is your willing to take a chance on a loose port and spend the extra money as well. As far as I'm concerned the Polk PSW505 12" 300watt continues wattage powered sub is almost imposable to beat with it's great combination of getting super low, tight bass, as well as every possible connection hookup and switch you could possibly ever need!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2013 11:16:46 PM PDT
DB62 says:
Thanks for the informed discussion Steven. Very much appreciated!
I have all high end Polk Audio speakers, except for my sub, and I've decided on this one. I was initially looking at the PSW125, but this 505 is more of what I'm looking for.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2013 5:44:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 17, 2013 5:51:57 AM PDT
Steven L. says:
You may want to consider the Dayton Audio 1200 12" 120 watt powered sub. I ended up buying that after listening to the Polk 505 and the Dayton. It's a heck of a deal at $140! Read my review about it on Amazon. (Under Dayton Audio) I realize that you have a all Polk system, however the Dayton 12" 120 watt sub has everything the Polk 505 has without the rear port noise!

So it playes music much tighter than the Polk. I would say it plays movies about the same. The Polk has more power, however it makes no difference if the sub is in a small to medium sized room. I listened to both of the subs side by side, and was shocked by the performance of the Dayton 1200! It has zero port noise since it uses a downward port, instead of a rear port.

The Polk is o.k. but after comparing the two for several weeks the Dayton 1200 beat it hands down! It's one of those really well built subs with a great 12" light driver with a huge magnet and it really plays clean at 25 H.Z. where the Polk starts to get muddy!

Read my review about the Dayton 1200 and I go into much more detail. In the end I returned the Polk and kept the Dayton and I'm happy I did. The Polk 505 is a old design from 2005 and you can tell.

Also the Dayton is on sale for only $140 with a free 45 day return/refund policy! So if you don't like it you can always get the Polk505. Also the Dayton looks like the Polk125 except it has a removable front speaker grill. It's a beautiful sub in it's design as well.

It weighs in at well over 40 L.Bs and is smaller than the Polk 505. That really says a lot about the build quality of the Dayton. It also has a (LFE) port that works great! The Polk505 is a decent sub, however I had to go with the Dayton 1200 after a side by side comparison!! If I were you I would at least listen to it. I know it seems to good to be true at that price. However it really is a very high end sub at a entry level sub price!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2013 10:14:59 AM PDT
DB62 says:
I would have never thought to give it a try.
Thanks for the heads up!
I'll take a close look at it and your review.
Thanks for your opinion!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2013 11:21:05 AM PDT
DB62 says:
Hey Steven, hope your still monitoring this discussion.
I have a question for you, if you would?

As I said earlier, I use all Polk Audio speakers, well thats true, except for 1.
I do own a 12 inch subwoofer, but honestly was a bit embarrassed to mention it.
I did review it, and gave it 5 stars due to it's cost at the time I purchased it, and the sound is actually pretty strong (in a small room), but I think it's the weakest link in my system.

It's this one here at Amazon, but I got it 6 years back at Wallyworld.
Dual Electronics L12SW Home Subwoofer
Have you listened to it before?
Or do you have any opinions about this sub?
I'm asking because I'm thinking, is a couple hundred bucks (for a better sub) gonna make a noticeable difference in my system?

I do like the Dayton 1200 specs you suggested, but I noticed it doesn't have a LFE input.
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