A complete home theater system is nothing without a capable subwoofer. A good subwoofer will give you powerful yet controlled rumbles, hence creating a truly believable immersion. In this article, we will compare two subwoofers from Polk Audio, PSW125 vs PSW110. Both of them have received lots of praises. Which one is better?
The discussion below will give you more information about:
– The size and weight of each subwoofer
– The available color variants for PSW125 and PSW110
– The available connection ports on each subwoofer
– The performance comparison of PSW125 vs PSW110
– How long that the warranty covers each subwoofer
– Which model that will give a better value for the money
When choosing a subwoofer, it is often necessary to consider the dimensions of the unit and the available space in your room. If the room is rather small and there isn’t much free space, then getting a subwoofer that isn’t too bulky like PSW125 vs PSW10 is a wise decision. However, for a large-sized room, a bigger and more powerful unit like PSW125 or PSW110 is needed in order to fill the room and create the best experience.
PSW125 is the larger model of the two. It measures 16.25 inches x 16.5 inches x 19.13 inches. It is also heavier, at approximately 40.1 lbs. As a result, this subwoofer will eat up more space, which may be an issue if you don’t have enough space to begin with. It is also quite heavy, so moving it around will need some effort.
PSW110 is slightly smaller. It measures 14.25 inches x 14.5 inches x 17 inches, and weighs approximately 33.5 lbs. Well, the differences in the dimensions are not dramatic, but this may still benefit people who need a relatively compact, space-friendly subwoofer. Nevertheless, it is also pretty heavy, so be careful when lifting it and moving it around.
The next difference between PSW125 vs PSW110 is the available finishes. Although they come from the same series, they do have different color variants. Depending on your room’s interior and existing set-up, you may prefer your subwoofer in a particular color.
PSW125 provides more flexibility as it is available in two options: Black and Cherry. If your other speakers are black or at least in a dark color, the Black finish will be a good match. It is matte, and the black grille is bordered with a dark gray accent. Meanwhile, the Cherry finish has a wooden appearance, and is great for a classy look or a warmer tone.
PSW110, on the other hand, is only available in a single finish. It is matte black. It also has a black grille that is surrounded by a silver accent. The rubber feet are black, too. Nevertheless, the subwoofer is still quite easy to match with pretty much any set-up.
In terms of build quality, both PSW125 vs PSW110 are great. Each of them comes in a solid, rugged MDF housing with excellent acoustic properties. The company claims that the heavy-duty MDF construction allows distortion-free performance at any volume level by eliminating unwanted resonances and internal standing waves.
Each of them also has a specially-tuned bottom-firing bass port. Since the port is out of your sight, the subwoofer can maintain a sleek appearance. This is definitely a major advantage of PSW125 and PSW110 over front-ported models in the market. According to the company, the bottom-firing bass port ensures maximum bass impact and power. It won’t reflect soundwaves which may conflict with the output, so the sound quality is always at the best level regardless of the positioning.
When tested at various volume levels, these subwoofers are very stable. The hefty weight helps to keep the subwoofer safely on the ground, and the rubber feet help to dampen any vibration.
PSW125 comes with a 12-inch cone, whereas PSW110 comes with a 10-inch cone. Both subwoofers’ cones are made from the Dynamic Balance composite. They seem to be very durable, able to withstand heavy-duty use without wearing out too quickly. The Dynamic Balance composite is made from a unique blend of materials, combined with a precise speaker geometry and special construction techniques for delivering clean, crisp, and powerful bass.
The company also mentions that PSW125 and PSW110 come with smart, sophisticated circuitry. It provides superior compression quality, and the intelligent amplifier dynamically delivers low-distortion bass in the most efficient way. Both PSW125 and PSW110 have gone through the Klippel Distortion Analyzer for optimizations on the voice coil, motor structure, and suspension to ensure the best and most efficient performance at any volume.
Connections & Controls
PSW125 and PSW110 come with similar connection ports. Both of these subwoofers are quite flexible and versatile in terms of connectivity. They can easily connect to any speaker or audio device that you may have in your home theater system.
There is a pair of R/L line-level RCA inputs, which you can use if your set-up requires you to utilize RCA connections. However, the R port doubles as an LFE input, which is a dedicated .1-channel for use in a surround sound system. The benefit of using the LFE input is that you won’t need to make adjustments when switching between stereo and surround, along with bloat-free bass, increased mid-bass dynamics, and improved space and timing on audio effects.
There are two pairs of speaker inputs and two pairs of speaker output on each subwoofer unit here. All of the speaker connectors are gold-plated to ensure optimum longevity and sound quality.
PSW125 and PSW110 have detachable power cords. This will allow you to store the subwoofer in a neat way when not in use. However, you can just leave these subwoofers plugged, as they both have auto sensing. When not receiving any input signal, PSW125 and PSW110 will enter the sleep mode to save power. Upon receiving an input signal, they will turn on automatically without requiring you to reach for the power switch.
In order to benefit from the auto sensing technology, make sure that you put the power switch at the “Auto” position. Otherwise, you can just turn on and off your subwoofer manually.
Each subwoofer is also equipped with a phase switch. You should match the phase with your set-up so that you won’t lose any sound. There is also a 60Hz – 160Hz low-pass filter knob for adjusting the crossover frequency. Finally, there is a dedicated volume knob which will allow you to configure the loudness of the bass without fumbling with your main EQ or the other speakers.
Sound Quality & Power
The main difference between PSW125 vs PSW110 is power, and this also affects their sound quality. In general, PSW125 is the better subwoofer. PSW110 is not bad, but it is not as powerful.
PSW125 has a nominal output power of 150W, and the maximum output power is 300W. It is powerful enough to fill the air of a large-sized room. The bass performance is really impressive. It delivers strong rumbles and explosions, but the low frequencies are still controlled so that they won’t go all over the place. It is really enjoyable to listen to.
PSW125 is also great for playing music. Thanks to the clear and crisp bass, music can have the oomph without losing detail or accuracy. Bass instruments sound great, whereas vocals and other higher sounds remain clear and audible.
PSW110 offers a nominal output power of 100W and a maximum output power of 200W. It is great for small to medium rooms. However, it is not recommended for large rooms, as it doesn’t have enough power for that.
Nevertheless, the bass performance of PSW110 is quite similar to PSW125. At first, you won’t notice a significant difference. The bass is also solid, accurate, and controlled. It is also great for watching movies and playing music. However, at higher volume levels, PSW110 indeed struggles to keep distortion-free bass. That’s why you should not crank up the volume too much.
Last but not least, let’s take a look at the warranty information for these subwoofers. Polk Audio is a renowned company known for producing high-quality speakers and subwoofers, but faults or defects may still happen somewhere in the manufacturing and distribution lines. A good warranty ensures that you can get a replacement if you receive a faulty or defective product. PSW125 and PSW110 have similar warranty lengths.
The warranty covers the speaker parts for 5 years. It also covers the amplifier for 3 years. Overall, the warranty coverage is very good. But keep in mind that the warranty is only valid for the original purchaser (secondhand products won’t be covered), and it won’t cover any damage that is resulted from abuse or improper use.
PSW125 vs PSW110
- 12" Composite Bass Driver Delivers Deep, Powerful Bass
- 150w Continuous/300w Dynamic Power Amp
- Slot-loaded Vent Improves Bass Response With Lower Distortion
- Line Level & Speaker Level Inputs
- Floor Coupled Downward Firing Port
- Dynamic Balance Composite Woofer
- Clipped Optimized Woofer
- A single 10-inch subwoofer with compression circuitry to limit distortion at earth-shaking volume levels
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All in all, both are good subwoofers. PSW125 is generally more recommended because of the better, more powerful performance. It has an excellent design and build quality. The bass quality is better, especially at high volume. Despite the huge power, it is still clean, crisp, and controlled. PSW125 is great for movies as well as music.