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Polk Audio PSW111

Ultra-compact powered subwoofer

186 Reviews | 7 questions - 10 answers

Overview

Our take on the Polk Audio PSW111

Add impact to your favorite movies and full-bodied bass to your favorite tunes with a sub that's barely larger than a cubic foot. The PSW111's high-current, 150-watt amp effortlessly drives an 8" woofer for dynamic low-frequency effects. And this compact subwoofer sports a new, more powerful driver design to deliver deeper, louder, and punchier bass than previous Polk subs. Special circuitry inside the amp and a solid MDF cabinet with internal bracings ensure clean, detailed lows, even when you crank up the volume.

From the review Polk PSW111 Ultra-compact Powered Subwoofer: From sub-par to sub-lime

"But the overwhelming sense I had from early listening was one of warmth. The low mid-range, the place where male voices, cellos, and trombones live, suddenly came alive. I could hear all this ambience I wasn't hearing before in movies and TV shows — street noises, intakes of breath, footsteps. Sure, you could take this sub to the slamming max if you want, but the main takeaway I have from adding this component into my system is that things have been put into balance again."

— Woody Sherman, Crutchfield A/V writer

This is a sweeeeeeeet little sub! The bass is tight, smooth, controlled, and never over bearing or muddy. I want one in every room!

Chad, Las Vegas, NV

What's in the Box:

  • Black powered subwoofer
  • Grille (installed)
  • 8' Detachable power cord
  • 4 Rubber insert feet
  • Owner's Manual
  • Online registration card
  • Rubber feet installation diagram

Product Highlights:

  • bass-reflex (ported) enclosure
  • 150-watt RMS amplifier
  • 8" front-firing driver
  • frequency response 38-250 Hz
  • continuously variable 60-160 Hz crossover
  • phase switch
  • auto on/off
  • line-level/LFE input
  • speaker-level input and output
  • 11"W x 12-5/16"H x 14-15/16"D
  • warranty: 5 years woofer, 3 years amplifier
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

Polk Audio PSW111 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(186 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded No
Woofer Size (inches) 8
Woofer Composition DB Composite
Firing Direction Front
Wireless No
Preamp-Level Inputs Yes
Speaker-Level Inputs Yes
Speaker-Level Outputs Yes
Low-Pass Crossover Freq 60-160 Hz
High-Pass Crossover Freq None
Phase Switch Yes
Amplifier Output (watts) 150
Frequency Response 38-250 Hz
Height (inches) 12-5/16
Width (inches) 11-1/16
Depth (inches) 14-15/16
Weight 20.3 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 5 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 3 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty 3 Years

Product Research

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

Driver: The Polk Audio PSW111 uses a 8" Dynamic Balance composite cone driver for deep, accurate response with low distortion. For a smoother response and improved durability, the woofer utilizes a rubber surround.

Klippel Optimized Woofer: By using a state-of-the-art Klippel Distortion Analyzer, Polk is able to optimize the woofer's motor structure, voice coil alignment and suspension for the best possible performance even at extreme listening levels.

Motor Structure: The PSW111 utilizes a powerful motor structure for a higher BL response (the measure of the motive force applied to the cone) that results in louder, deeper and punchier bass.

Compression Circuitry: The woofer's Compression Circuitry limits distortion at high volume levels.

Amplifier: The subwoofer is powered by a high-current amplifier producing 150 watts RMS/300 watts dynamic power that supplies clean power for loud bass and the wide dynamic range necessary to recreate a life-like experience in your home.

Enclosure: The PSW111 features a bass-reflex enclosure with non-resonant MDF construction and internal bracing for deep bass impact with superior detail and accuracy.

Down-Firing Port: The powered subwoofer's downward firing port allows the woofer to be extremely efficient and provides more bass impact for your home theater experience.

Not Video Shielded: The subwoofer is not magnetically shielded, so it is not recommended to place it next to tube TVs and video monitors. Though LCD, DLP, and Plasma televisions are not affected by magnetism you should allow at least 18" of space between the subwoofer and any TV.

Placement: You may place the subwoofer anywhere in your room, but it will perform best when it's on the same side of the room as your system's front speakers. Also, placing the subwoofer near a wall or in a corner will reinforce the output.

Controls

3-Way Power Switch: The subwoofer has a 3-way power switch on the rear panel. You can select Auto, which turns the unit on automatically when an input signal is received and off 15 minutes after the signal stops; On, which keeps the unit on and Standby, which turns the unit off. The LED power indicator glows green when the unit is on and red when the unit is off.

Volume Control: The PSW111 has a rotary volume control to adjust the volume of the subwoofer relative to the other speakers in the system.

Phase Switch: The subwoofer's phase switch allows you to select 0-degrees (normal) or 180-degrees (reverse). If the bass sounds muddy or unclear, toggling the phase control can sometimes strengthen the bass attack.

Low-Pass Filter: The PSW111 offers a continuously variable low-pass crossover, adjustable from 60-160 Hz. There is an LFE position for use with the filtered LFE output from a receiver or preamp.

Connections

Line Inputs: The subwoofer has gold plated left and right RCA line level inputs for use with receivers having subwoofer or stereo preamp outputs that do not contain their own low-pass crossover. Using the Line Inputs allows PSW111 to do all the low-pass filtering. If your receiver or processor only has a single subwoofer line output, connect it to the Right line input jack.

LFE In: The right channel RCA input doubles as the LFE input; if your receiver has an LFE output and a built-in crossover, use this input and set the low-pass filter dial to LFE.

Speaker Level Input/Output: The subwoofer has spring clips for the speaker level inputs and outputs. The subwoofer's low-pass filter sends bass frequencies (based on the setting of the filter) to the subwoofer. The speaker level inputs and outputs are shorted together, so the output is not crossed over. You should set you receiver's front speaker setting to Large.

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.

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Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

great reviews [ NELSON D  Mar 08, 2017 ]
Top seller and size specs are perfect for my application [ Jennifer  Mar 05, 2017 ]
Surprisingly good punch from a smaller subwoofer. Very clean look and outstanding bass in my 14x17 octagon office room. [ RICHARD M  Feb 12, 2017 ]
I've got a great deal on it. [ VICTOR  Feb 05, 2017 ]
I had this product and loved it until my son blew it up [ Jeff  Feb 02, 2017 ]
recommended by installing technician [ WILLIAM A  Jan 09, 2017 ]
Reccomended by Customer Support [ Bryan  Jan 04, 2017 ]
Compact yet delivers sound. Didn't need a lot of bass [ KEITH  Dec 03, 2016 ]
Liked the size and already have a polk setup, [ Roger  Dec 02, 2016 ]
all the reviews that i have seen give polk a very good rating [ lawrence  Dec 02, 2016 ]
loved the look and technical qualities. [ ANDRES  Dec 01, 2016 ]
My friend recommended. [ DI  Nov 30, 2016 ]
Size, appearance and features.. [ William  Nov 28, 2016 ]
Compatibility with my home theater system and size. [ WILLIAM R  Nov 27, 2016 ]
It's a compact but powerful Polk Audio subwoofer and the sale price is awesome!! [ JOSE  Nov 27, 2016 ]
I have one [ Robert  Nov 26, 2016 ]
Bryce thought this was a nice sub-woofer for what I needed [ PAUL  Nov 23, 2016 ]
Adviser recommend based on plan use, listening preference, and room size [ MARK C  Nov 22, 2016 ]
CJ recommended it to replace a blown Mirage sub, of similar features. [ Jeffrey  Nov 22, 2016 ]
Size [ GARY  Nov 21, 2016 ]
Previous ownership, polkaudio quality and sale price. [ TOM  Nov 20, 2016 ]
this came with a Polk special purchase of tower speakers at no cost. I love it, sounds great! [ R  Nov 20, 2016 ]
Superb sound [ Carlos  Nov 10, 2016 ]
Size and sound is great. [ Moordale  Sep 10, 2016 ]
matches the speakers [ Clifford  Sep 05, 2016 ]
Sound quality and price. [ John  Aug 22, 2016 ]
Replacing previously owned PSW110 [ Kevin  Aug 04, 2016 ]
Ever since I tried Polk Audio speakers for the first time, I found that the quality is excellent for the price. Also, it is suitable for my living room. [ Jose  Jul 26, 2016 ]
I was looking for a compact sub with top end features at a low entry price. [ Lester  Jul 19, 2016 ]
Free with the purchase of my ceiling speakers. [ Troy  Jul 02, 2016 ]
SIZE, performance and warranty. The fact that there was a scratch & dent available helped, since the location is not easily seen. [ MARK  Jun 27, 2016 ]
trusted customer reviews. Wanted smaller footprint & didn't need bellowing base. Small house. [ David  Jun 27, 2016 ]
Abe was very helpful when I inquired on the best solution for my system. Also, Polk has a great reputation. Abe's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=156 [ RICHARD  Jun 12, 2016 ]
Price,name,specs [ Justin  Jun 08, 2016 ]
Price point [ Victor  Jun 08, 2016 ]
This cube came along with a pair of towers that Crutchfield offered an i took the chance on the deal. It thumps good, i'm really satisfied with it. [ TIMMY  May 25, 2016 ]
Match the center channel speaker and complete the system. Also, fit the available space better than the larger but lower power Polk Audio PSW110. [ Frederick  May 13, 2016 ]
Size, value [ Terry  May 07, 2016 ]
Space in a small living room, Polk Quality and Warranty [ Fred J.  Apr 25, 2016 ]
This came free with the purchase of a set of Polk RTiA7's. Those hardly require a sub for most of their use (casual TV watching and stereo music listening) but I do love it for the low-frequency effects channel in 5.1 recordings. That is all I send to it. Otherwise I send full range front-channel signal to the A7s. [ BRENT  Apr 25, 2016 ]
Like the Brand and size of the unit. [ Robert  Apr 13, 2016 ]
This sub is small and very powerful after 3 months of hard use it still sounds like new. I have a good felling it should last for years. [ JEFFREY  Mar 02, 2016 ]
recommended by my audio specialist [ W. Keith  Feb 04, 2016 ]
More power and free [ suren  Jan 24, 2016 ]
Recommendation from tech support [ Philip  Jan 23, 2016 ]
Jane worked with me and let me know this was a good choice for my needs. Thanks. Jane's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=197 [ T  Jan 20, 2016 ]
Item was free with my order. [ Adam  Jan 18, 2016 ]
small form factor, free with big Polk purchase [ Eric  Jan 18, 2016 ]
To complete my 7.2 system [ Todd  Jan 17, 2016 ]
Good price and I've always been a polk audio fan [ Jeff  Jan 14, 2016 ]
Compact size; great reviews; [ BRYAN  Jan 12, 2016 ]
Size and special pricing [ Dennis  Jan 11, 2016 ]
I chose this sub because it had great reviews, compact and powerful. [ Michael  Jan 10, 2016 ]
Have had one for 6 or 8 years and the amp went out on it...liked it so much I bought another. [ Robert  Jan 07, 2016 ]
This Sub is a great compliment to the TL250 and a great deal. [ Curtis  Jan 06, 2016 ]
Great reviews and came free with my speaker purchase. Can't beat getting a $300 sub for free! [ DARREN  Jan 05, 2016 ]
I currently live in a country with 230v power and will return to the US within a few years. I was looking for a decently powered and cheap subwoofer that I can use here and for when I return home. This subwoofer's input rating is 100-240v 50/60Hz according to the back panel so it was just what I was looking for. [ Anthony  Jan 03, 2016 ]
Best subs! [ DAVID  Dec 25, 2015 ]
size, performance, price [ A  Dec 22, 2015 ]
COMPARED TO OTHER UNITS THROUGH REVIEWS [ ANTHONY  Dec 21, 2015 ]
For a Home Theater [ Mark  Dec 20, 2015 ]
POLK'S REPUTATION AND THE SMALLER SUB-WOOFER IS COMPLEMENT TO MY LARGER ONE THAT I ALREADY OWN. POLK HAS TRADITIONALLY PROVIDED A LOT OF HIGH QUALITY SOUND DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR. [ THOMAS  Dec 18, 2015 ]
I have been happy with the quality of Polk and wanted something that was compact and not too expensive so I chose this one. [ Daniel  Dec 12, 2015 ]
Terrific value on special deal [ James  Dec 06, 2015 ]
Price and sound, that's a good combination!!! [ Scott  Dec 04, 2015 ]

7 questions already asked

The details for the Polk Audio PSW111 sub show that the speaker-level outputs are not crossed over; and if you use that connection method, it's recommended to set you receiver's front speaker setting to "Large" (when applicable). If you would like to discuss further, feel free to contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Larry  Apr 14, 2017 ]  Staff
It could but it is not made for those conditions. It would likely be fine for many years. As with most subs the box is made of MDF (compressed sawdust) that absorbs moisture readily! [ electrician  Mar 23, 2017 ]
This is a great little sub, but I believe that it is strictly an indoor speaker. I would probably not risk it. [ Charles  Mar 23, 2017 ]
Yes. I have these in my work van doors and they are exposed all of the time daily. [ Spider  Mar 23, 2017 ]
No, This sub can't handle the volume and frequencies that a bas will put it out. You should get a guitar bass amp. [ CRIS  Dec 24, 2016 ]
The Polk Audio PSW111 subwoofer has gold plated left and right RCA line level inputs and the right channel RCA input doubles as the LFE input; so you would use that and connect a mono subwoofer cable to the subwoofer output on your Yamaha RX-A3050 receiver. Here's a Monster Subwoofer cable we have that would work well: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_119140711/Monster-Cable-400sw2-12-feet.html [ Larry  Dec 30, 2015 ]  Staff
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: I strongly recommend you follow the manufacturer's instructions, which will be found on page 8 of the owner's manual. However, only ONE subwoofer should be used this way and that would be the Polk sub. The sub from your Samsung system will need to remain disconnected or you could have an impedance problem that would shut down your receiver/amp. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Nov 28, 2014 ]  Staff
No it can not. The PSW111 has a 120V power supply. If you connected it directly to 220V it would fry the circuits. You would need to use a 220V to 120V step down transformer. [ DAVID  Aug 06, 2015 ]
Can I hook it up straight to the back of my tv? Thx! [ Ozzie  Aug 26, 2014 ]
The amplifier in this subwoofer is only to power the sub. Other speakers will require another power source such as a receiver. For more info on setting up your system I'd recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone or online chat. [ Jeff  Dec 16, 2013 ]  Staff
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