Polk Audio PSW505 Review: 12-inch Powered Subwoofer

It turns out Polk Audio PSW505 is a common choice among music enthusiasts. Overall, it has high power and produces quality sound. PSW505 is a good product. Let’s see what advantages and disadvantages it has.

Specs Polk audio psw505

Specs Polk audio psw505 – 12-inch Powered Subwoofer

Specs Overviews

  • video-shielded
  • slot-loaded enclosure
  • 300-watt RMS amp
  • 12″ front-firing, long-excursion driver
  • frequency response 28-125 Hz (-3dB)
  • continuously variable 60-120 Hz crossover
  • unfiltered LFE input for 5.1 bass
  • line-level input
  • speaker-level inputs and outputs with binding post connectors
  • volume control
  • phase switch
  • auto on/off
  • real wood veneer
  • 15-1/8″W x 16-3/16″H x 17-5/16″D

Polk Audio PSW505 with Impressive appearance

Polk Audio has been listed as one of the impressive subwoofers compared to other products of the same price. It has a solid wood veneer surface and a strong black color. Inside, the cabinet is constructed of high-density MDF wood with 1 inch thick baffles on the front.

Polk audio psw505

Polk audio psw505

The Polk Audio’s front features a curved fabric grille, with a large oval for the woofer. Control on the back with varied control buttons. In fact, in terms of appearance, Polk audio psw505 may not impress. A Polk Audio badge (red) at the bottom distracting from the overall aesthetics is a slightly annoying way for many people. Also, the large oval on the front broke the clean interface. However, overall it is still a beautifully designed product.

Setup Process

The setup process for this device is straightforward, as expected by many people. We plugged in power, connected it to the receiver and began to enjoy the relaxing moments. Finding the right location for the PSW505 is a bit more difficult than the other extra devices we tested because of the port size and placement on the cabinet.

Many people have started the testing process with some heavy bass music. Then we adjust the volume and low-pass filter until satisfied with the results. We did not need to reverse the phase and keep the switch at 0 °. We achieved it to the extent we wanted and then tested it with other music genres and a handful of action movies.


Polk has managed a sizeable balanced subwoofer with PSW505. The massive 12-inch design reaches 20Hz and is the first time this subwoofer has been turned on. Lows are very rich and full at all listening volumes, never distorted and always sounded loud. 

However, the PSW505 is powerful but has some minor quality issues. One of the common complaints is the gate noise, which many customers also face. It’s only noticeable at loud volumes for us, and we have a space small enough that we will never create a big subwoofer, but it can be a problem when trying to fill—a bigger room.

Besides, it is easy to see that the lowest frequency can be muddy and sometimes distorted, making music not standard. The problem is most noticeable with the music. However, it is not a problem with movies.

The behind Polk Audio PSW505

The behind Polk Audio PSW505

The subwoofer is capable of rocking the room with powerful and impressive bass. One of the best parts of owning a subwoofer is feeling the bass in a stressful scene in the movie and even at 50 percent volume, which makes a lot of customers happy.

“Does this subwoofer go down to the low 20hz? Yes, it surely does. But at a lower DB or lower SPL. The question is, how much SPL do you need when watching a movie or listening to music? 90-95% of the people, not much. Most of the problem we have and I was one of them before, is not calibrating the subwoofer to work and blend with the rest of the system or other speakers.

Money should be focused more on upgrading the heart of the home theater or audio system. That is acquiring a higher-end receiver that has room correction software like the Audyssey room calibration software builtin in the receiver. I have tried the bronze, silver Audyssey in the past and now the Audyssey platinum. What a big difference in sound quality and clarity with the Audyssey Platinum.” – a customer’s review on Amazon.

In the case of a subwoofer mounted on the floor, this does not apply because the listener is currently in the direct line of fire, and the speaker cannot project on their head. Even so, the sound doesn’t get too annoying, as some people complain, so this design has some positive points.

The system is designed with the Klippet Distortion Analyzer, which evaluates the performance at a high level. There are many technical inputs to this speaker that produce high levels of performance and results.

They produced with Polk Audio PSW505 a subwoofer, which is a bass speaker for all seasons. We should understand that in some movies, there are all the explosions and explosions, and they need depth. Polk understands this, too, because it can produce it when required.

You should also look on the bright side; sometimes, this is a balanced subwoofer. It has a subtle side that only shines when it is used for music. Whatever style, it will create a great end. Subtle nuances of a large string quartet or jazz. Led Zeppelin at full throttle or a Neil Young or Leonard Cohen in a thoughtful mood. It excels in every field.

The Controls

The brain of this device – what controls and connections are in the back. These include a power switch and 180-degree phase control. The phase switch is when you can operate multiple low-frequency speakers.

Of course, you get a knob for low volume and cross. These will help you create the perfect sound mix with other speakers in the setup, including the best bookshelf speakers.

There are also Line in and LFE in the socket. The LFE input has a magnetic shield to avoid interference signals. Finally, an on/off switch and speaker connection. The speaker binding posts are 5-dimensional pro level.

It’s nice that the controls are basic, and as we said earlier, there’s no bells and whistles to worry about. It must be said to be a huge plus. These drivers do their job or provide optimal performance from the subwoofer.

More plus

As we said, this subwoofer doesn’t have a lot you can call extras. Another useful include is that it is magnetically protected. It means it can be safely placed near a TV or video screen.

Moreover, a good idea is included as the on/off control automatically. It makes sense if there is a program signal and turning on the subwoofer. If there is no signal, it can detect it, and will turn off after 15 minutes.

Klippel Distortion Analyzer:

This feature measures performance at an extremely high listening level. It means that Polk Audio has designed PSW505 to provide solid sound performance at low, medium, and high frequencies. That’s is a practical feature not seen in subwoofers at this price.

Impressive design of Polk Audio PSW505

The impressive design of Polk Audio PSW505

460 Watts of Peak Power At Its Disposal:

Unless we talk about high-end home theater systems, 300 watts of power for the subwoofer is more than enough. The PSW505 has that, and with a maximum power of 460 watts at will. More importantly, the PSW505 can reach deep within the 20Hz range.

Industry-leading warranty:

It is too well known for Polk, just because they make good products, but they don’t mind backing it up with great warranties. Finally, the PSW505 comes with an industry-leading 3-year warranty for subwoofer amplifiers and five years for other non-electronic components. This may be the reason why PSW505 is still a sought-after model despite Polk being discounted.

Polk Audio PSW505 Pros and Cons:

Polk PSW505 Pros:

  • Great sound compared to the price.
  • Simple to set up and adjust.
  • Worth-buying
  • PSW505 price dropped after Polk decided to stop the model. It makes it an absolute steal at its current price.
  • Enjoy superior power, range, and warranty compared to other subwoofers in and a little higher than its price range.
  • A lot is powerful enough to meet the needs of both average and advanced users.

Polk PSW505 Cons:

  • Some will want more power than the 450 watts it provides -> quite heavy.
  • The red logo is not the most appealing, but it’s just a personal opinion.
  • If aesthetics are a concern, then the PSW505 doesn’t have a lot for it. Economical speaker design, including black-washed MDF board and foam front grill, makes you not want to show PSW505.
  • PSW505 is quite bulky. Although you only have to set it up once, you will have to create plenty of space for it. It also means that cleaning will be a chore.


What Polk has achieved with this subwoofer is to build a speaker that is suitable for many different uses. Of course, it will stay at home as part of the home cinema system. In that environment, it will work well and provide deep bass feedback to increase the pleasure of watching.

Thankfully what it won was making the neighbor think there was an earthquake. In a music-only environment, it scores a lot. A warm, rich sound will provide great depth, especially in symphonies. However, across the board, all music will benefit from its increased low frequency.

It gives you a wide frequency range, and the large 12-inch cone gives you some power if needed. It is also a very cost-effective subwoofer and will not break the bank. All that is included as the features are offered at a very reasonable price.

To balance it out, you’ll like some things. Some more exclusive features you will find on some subwoofers are not included. If they were, the price would increase significantly. Some though might want those features.

Some people will want more than 450 watts of power, which it can provide at the highest level. If you have a vast room or can use it at one location, then that might be the case. It is also quite heavy, weighing 48 pounds. However, this is just an observation, not a criticism because most subwoofers are not lightweight. Also, we’re not particularly interested in the red Polk logo on the front of the speaker grille.

Apart from the issues that we believe to be quite trivial, we may find very little to complain about. Sounds rich and warm and not too stuffy. The quality of the construction is safe and stable, and the design is acceptable.

Polk audio psw505 indoor

Polk audio psw505 indoor

Polk Audio PSW505 – All in all

Polk Audio PSW505 subwoofer for all music lovers, especially audio enthusiasts, are looking for great resonance. The deep bass capabilities of the Polk Audio PSW505 subwoofer are impressive, and their definition and control are outside the world. It has a perfect match for the smaller music system and helps reinforce the lower octaves. Buy this to augment bookshelf speakers in a small to medium space, and you won’t be disappointed. It has the best value for money.

Polk Audio’s reputation is not without foundation. They have been offering great value products for many years now. Polk audio psw505, though discontinued, is still well known for creating valuable products.

For sure, PSW505 is not perfect. You can hardly describe it as anything boring and straightforward outside.  But for most people who are merely looking for a powerful subwoofer, the PSW505 offers – and then some. Although some people prefer to have something less powerful, in its current price range, PSW505 is a must buy.

Even if you did not need power, its use is always good, and you can get it with PSW505. For the price, this represents a great bargain. Polk Audio PSW505 is a good product for any environment.

Read more: Best Subwoofers Under $300