What We Like
What We Don't Like
Polk Audio makes a lot of different subwoofers, and their midrange offering – the PSW505 – proves to be an excellent value at the price. With a beefy 12-inch long throw woofer, the PSW505 is one of the best subwoofers under $200.
Polk Audio has managed a beautiful subwoofer here. The solid, real wood veneer finish is beautifully stained in black. Inside of that, the cabinet is constructed with high density MDF with a 1-inch thick front baffle. The front features a curved cloth grille, with a large oval for the woofer. Controls on the back are plentiful, with tuneable low pass crossover, phase switch, volume control, and attached power cable.
Looking at the PSW505, I was a little turned off at first. A Polk Audio badge (in red) on the bottom distracts from the overall aesthetic is a way that was a little annoying. Additionally, the large oval on the front broke the clean look. However, the finish is gorgeous and, over time, I can to appreciate the look.
However, I don’t appreciate the size. This subwoofer is massive with a weight to match. Weighing in at 56 pounds, don’t plan on moving it around too much.
From a performance standpoint, the PSW505 has a lot in the way of features. The Klippet Optimized long throw woofer was designed with the Klippel Distortion Analyzer, which measures performance at extreme listening levels. What results is a woofer that is optimized to deliver solid performance across listening volumes. This woofer also combines with the cabinet is Polk’s Dynamic Balance design, which tunes out unwanted resonances in the cabinet to deliver a purer low-end.
These two key features combine to create an experience that is insanely rich at the price. The subwoofer can easily shake the house without distorting and that’s due to Polk’s smart feature integration. Tunable crossover and phase control means it also can be tuned with other speakers in your set-up to ensure that subs fire at the perfect time, and are in phase with all the other speakers. After all, wouldn’t want to miss out on all of that glorious low-end.
Polk has managed a fantastically balanced subwoofer with the PSW505. The massive, 12-inch woofer reaches deep into the 20Hz range, and that’s apparent the first time this subwoofer is powered on. Lows are rich and full-bodied at all listening volumes, never distorting, and always sounding huge.
Huge, yes, but also tight. Polk’s slot load venting design allows all the pressure to easily get out of the chassis, reducing turbulence and delivering a much tighter response. In fact, this actually adds to the experience instead of neutering it. Bass is tight, clear, and punchy as a result, giving the illusion that there is more low-end overall.
Polk shows their name again with the more inexpensive PSW505. Still, Dynamic Balance and a Klippel Distortion Analyzer measured woofer show up, making this a superb value. If you can afford it, you will not regret your choice.