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Polk Audio CSW100

Passive in-floor/in-ceiling subwoofer with matching amplifier

3 Reviews

Item # 700CSW100

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Our take on the Polk Audio CSW100

It's easy to see why Polk Audio's décor-friendly CSW100 won the prestigious 2006 Innovations Design and Engineering Award from the Consumer Electronics Association. This subwoofer's clever construction allows for out-of-sight placement in your floor, ceiling, or even a piece of furniture. After it's installed, all you'll see is the included 4" x 14-1/2" grille, which looks like an ordinary air vent.

It's easy to see why Polk Audio's décor-friendly CSW100 won the prestigious 2006 Innovations Design and Engineering Award from the Consumer Electronics Association. This subwoofer's clever construction allows for out-of-sight placement in your floor, ceiling, or even a piece of furniture. After it's installed, all you'll see is the included 4" x 14-1/2" grille, which looks like an ordinary air vent.

Performance is excellent, too. You get clear, potent bass with movies and music. Feel the deep rumble of the engines in an on-screen car chase, and enjoy richer, fuller sound from your favorite songs.

Plenty of power for great bass
This subwoofer is packaged here with Polk's separate, cool-running digital amplifier that pumps out 500 watts of solid power. An included custom sound-shaping circuit card precisely tailors the amp's output for the CSW100. The resulting bass is deep, hard-hitting, and distortion-free.

The amp's standard chassis width lets you stack it neatly with your other audio/video components, or you can hide it away in a cabinet to reduce room clutter. This stable amplifier can also power a pair of the CSW100s for even bigger, stronger bass.

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Product Highlights:

    CSW100 subwoofer:
    • 10" woofer
    • frequency response: 33-120 Hz (-3dB)
    • impedance: 8 ohms
    • High Velocity Compression Drive® for more powerful bass
    • Laminar Flow Port for resonance and noise-free performance
    • rigid MDF (medium-density fiberboard) enclosure
    • speaker-level inputs
    • mounting hardware, anti-rattle isolation pads included
    • paintable 4" x 14-1/2" grille
    • cutout: 13"W x 26-1/4"H
    • mounting depth: 9"
    • lifetime warranty
    SWA500 amplifier:
    • 250 watts into 8 ohms, or 500 watts into 4 ohms if using two CSW100 subwoofers
    • frequency response: 15-200 Hz (-3 dB)
    • Class D digital amplifier design
    • continuously variable 40-120 Hz low-pass crossover
    • includes custom sound-shaping circuit cards for CSW100, CSW200 and CSW155 subwoofers
    • speaker-level and line-level inputs and outputs
    • unfiltered LFE (Low Frequency Effects) input for connection to a home theater receiver's subwoofer output
    • detachable AC power cord
    • 17"W x 4-1/16"H x 14-15/16"D
    • warranty: 3 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • This package contains two individualy-packaged items: the Polk Audio CSW100 subwoofer and Polk Audio SWA500 subwoofer amplifier
    • The CSW100 box includes:
    • In-wall ceiling subwoofer with a 3.25" x 13" wooden woofer cover plate mounted to it
    • One 4" x 14.5" plastic white grill
    • 4 Metal mounting brackets
    • 5 Self-adhesive foam isolation pads
    • Ten 3/4" wood screws
    • 10 Flat washers
    • 6 Rubber caps
    • Owners Manual
    • Online product registration sheet
    • The SWA500 box includes:
    • SWA500 Subwoofer amplifier
    • CSW100 SPEX card
    • CSW155 SPEX card
    • CSW200 SPEX card
    • 2 Rack mount brackets
    • 4 Machine screws
    • 7-3/4' AC power cord
    • Manual
    • Online product registration sheet

    Polk Audio CSW100 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (3 Reviews)

    Performance isn't there, and only 250 watts, not 500

    Charles from Beaver Dam, WI on 6/21/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I really wanted to like this system. I've been trying to get strong low bass in a very acoustically-challenging room - open floor plan, cathedral ceiling over 14 ft high, and since it's our main living area, I couldn't allow/am not allowed to have the speakers dominate the aesthetics. The plan was to put 2 of these speakers in the sloped part of the cathedral ceiling - I have already run speaker wires up there, and made sure I could install these before I ordered them. Before cutting holes in the drywall, I set these up by the tv, looking like tower speakers. The bass was very uneven - it boomed at some frequencies, muddled along at others. The frequency response of 33 to 150 Hz is far too narrow and is not low enough to really feel; based on the various subs I have tried, I now won't consider subs that don't get down to at least 25 Hz, and preferably 20 Hz or lower. Sent them back, and am now happily running with 2 SVS PB1000's Based on the many subs I have tried in my home the past few months, from Definitive Technology (ProSub1000 and SuperCube 4000, Polk, and Cambridge Audio), SVS makes the best. I've tried their SB1000 and PB2000, loved them both, tried the SuperCube and Polk in-ceiling in an attempt to get bass sounding as good as the SVS subs but in a smaller form factor, but what it really comes down to, you can't fool physics. Dual subs cover this large room the best, the smaller sizes of the PB1000's, fit the room well, and the sound is phenomenal.

    Pros: They don't take up floor or room space.

    Cons: They do not sound good. Frequency response too limited, enclosures distort the sound. Stated amplifier power of 500 watts is at 4 ohms; owners manual says 250 watts at 8 ohms. Since this amp is paired with a 8 ohm speaker, it should not be listed as 500 watts by Crutchfield in the overview.

    Crutchfield response on 6/29/2016 Thanks for your review. We're sorry the system did not work out for you. Based on your recommendation, we have updated the presentation.


    Jake from TN on 8/9/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product. Pricey but its POLK. I have bought and installed 1 about to do another one. I will DEF recommend!

    Pros: Good, pure sound. GET AMP TO MATCH!!

    Cons: PRICE

    Need a big walk around ceiling

    montejal from Navarre, FL on 6/22/2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The product by itself is a great design but for it to be installed properly you need a big area in your ceiling to mount this baby. If you have a walk around ceiling--like Maryland homes do-- there would be no problem to mount this product. Buyer beware of size problems...returned product never heard sound quailty.




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Quantity in Package Pair
    Tweeter ---
    Midrange Size ---
    Woofer Size 10
    Cutout Size 12-15/16 x 3-1/8
    Woofer Composition Fiber
    Woofer Surround Rubber
    Power Range (Watts) 250
    Sensitivity ---
    Impedance (Ohms) 8
    Frequency Response 33-120Hz
    Connector Type Spring posts
    Bi-Amp Inputs No
    Built-in Back-box No
    Parts Warranty Sub: Lifetime,Amp: 3 Yrs
    Labor Warranty Sub: Lifetime,Amp: 3 Yrs

    Product Research

    Amplifier Controls


    Mounting Location: The CSW100 is designed to be mounted between floor or ceiling joists, it can also fit between the tighter joist spacing of QuietFloor or wooden I-Beam construction. The subwoofer requires joist spacing of at least 13 inches and a minimum depth of 9 inches. The overall length of the subwoofer is 26-1/4 inches.

    Materials: The CSW100 features a long-throw 10" fiber cone woofer with a rubber surround.

    Enclosure Construction: The CSW100 has rigidly braced MDF construction for low resonance, rattle-free performance.

    Slot Vent: The enclosure features an integrated slot vent for deep, driving bass.

    Grille: The CSW100 is designed to fire through an opening in the floor or ceiling. Once the installation is complete, the opening can be covered with the included 4" x 14-1/2 " grille that looks like an air vent.

    Isolation Pads: When the enclosure is installed, it fits snugly against one of the floor or ceiling joists. To prevent rattling, two of the isolation pads should be installed between the enclosure and the joist, while the other three isolation pads should be placed on the front panel of the enclosure.

    Mounting Brackets: The supplied brackets and wood screws allow you to mount the CSW100 to any parallel floor or ceiling joists.


    Compatibility: The CSW100 should only be used with the SWA500 subwoofer amplifier. The SWA500 comes with a SPEX Card that configures the EQ, crossover, and power control circuitry to match the CSW100 subwoofer. One SWA500 amplifier can power up to two subwoofers at the same time.

    Class D Amplifier: The SWA500 has a hybrid Class D amplifier that produces 250 watts RMS into 8 ohms and 500 watts RMS into 4 ohms.

    Variable Crossover: The amplifier has a built-in variable crossover that makes it easy to achieve a seamless blend with the main speakers, while the 24dB/octave low-pass filter prevents the subwoofer from being easily localized by the ear, increasing placement flexibility. The crossover point may be adjusted from 40-120 Hz.

    Protection Circuitry: The SWA500 offers thermal, short circuit, and over-current protection.

    Auto On/Off Sensing: In Auto mode, the amplifier automatically turns on when it senses a signal and turns off when no signal is present.

    Amplifier Controls

    Front Panel:

    • Low-pass Knob: adjust the low-pass crossover point from 40 Hz to 120 Hz
    • Volume Knob: adjust the volume level up or down to match the bass level of the subwoofer to the level of the other speakers in the system

    Rear Panel:

    • Phase Switch: reverses the polarity of the two speaker outputs; the correct setting is that which yields the fullest bass
    • Power Switch: choose Standby, Auto, or On



    • Speaker Out (1 and 2): gold-plated binding posts; the binding posts are not 5-way because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs; the outputs are wired in parallel and allow you to connect one or two subwoofers to the amplifier
    • Speaker In: gold-plated binding posts; the binding posts are not 5-way because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs
    • Line In (filtered): left and right RCA audio jacks; use this input if you wish to set the subwoofer crossover point using the SWA500's low-pass control knob on the front panel
    • LFE In (unfiltered): single RCA audio jack; use this input to bypass the SWA500's internal low-pass filter
    • Line Out: left and right RCA audio jacks
    • SPEX Card: slot for the supplied SPEX Card; a 7-pin connector plugs into the card and the card bolts into the back panel of the amplifier


    • Spring Posts: one set of spring post terminals accept pin connectors or bare wire

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A