Polk Audio PSW505 review & specs

Votes 35 35
Rating 3.8 3.8

Polk Audio PSW505 review - 12-inch sound “monster”

Polk Audio PSW505

I had the opportunity to take the Polk Audio PSW505 on my test. This model with a 12-inch driver from the PSW subwoofer series. Polk Audio produces high-quality products that have always received warm feedback from customers. And the Polk PSW505 did not become an exception as it won the fame of an impressive subwoofer at an affordable price.

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Polk Audio PSW505 Design

Polk PSW505 has a strict minimalistic design. The casing is made in the form of a 18mm MDF cube that look likes as a black oak. The body is mounted on metal supports. The silver painted 25mm MDF faceplate in the front is protected by a black grille, which is easy to remove. The grille frame is produced from plastic and is attached to the cabinet with a plastic pin and rubber grommet arrangement. Under the mesh is a 12-inch driver with a cellulose diffuser coated with a polymer layer and a flat central dustproof insert. The front wall is thick for easing of vibrations. Left and right sides are whole and do not have any elements. The back panel consists of MDF and metal part where subwoofer controls are. There is a toggle with three positions (on, off, and auto), the main power switch, a switch phase toggle, and volume controller on the metal panel. High-amplitude inputs and outputs (screw terminals) are short-circuited in pairs. There are two line inputs, an LFE input for the special signal from the AV receiver on the metal panel. The sub weighs about 40 pounds.

Polk Audio PSW505 Features

Speaking about useful features of Polk Audio PSW505, this subwoofer provides two modes of automatic activation - "on signal" and the turn of the volume controller. Also, always active is the mode of disconnecting the subwoofer when it is not available for 15 minutes.

The digital amplifier is rated at 300 watts continuous, and 460 watts peak with program material. The woofer is made of cellulose and polymer. These materials allow it to remain as durable and flexible as possible in order to withstand the maximum load during operation. In total, it gives a reliable and durable construction where all major amplifier plate penetrations are sealed with glue to prevent air leaks.

The control layout is logical, and the toggle switches and rotary knobs have a quality feel and smooth operation.

An important part of the subwoofer is a split phase inverter. A wide and long phase amplifier significantly reduces noise and distortion, creating an accurate thunder bass! It also provides an extension of the low-frequency range due to the resonance of this tube at a frequency below the reproduced by the loudspeaker.

The characteristics of Polk PSW505 impress with its level in this price category. When buying, be sure to pay attention to such Polk PSW505 specs as the power of the amplifier, the frequency range and the driver (its diameter and materials).

Polk Audio PSW505 Performance & Sound quality

Polk Audio PSW505 has a broad amplitude of frequency from 23 Hz to 160 Hz and is able to generate the low-end bass notes with incredible clarity. When I started tuning the subwoofer to my audio system, I realized how deep sounds the subwoofer gives out. For a comfortable sound in the house, it's only necessary to slightly shift the volume control. The more I twisted it, the more trembling grew in the whole house. To achieve maximum clarity of bass, Polk PSW505 should be guided by the possibilities of satellites. I used the 5.1 system and adjusted the subwoofer to it. At frequencies below 35Hz, the bass does not lose quality. When you raise the volume by 1/4 and the frequency to the middle position, the sound becomes clear and distinct, the bass guitar and percussion instruments are perfectly audible. Music with Polk PSW505 sounded clean; bit and bass in hip-hop compositions sound exactly, and in the records of rock concerts you can hear even the squeak of bass guitar strings.

The settable low-pass crossover also assists with tuning to synchronize Polk Audio PSW505 along with your surround sound speakers for the greatest sound performance. In broadband mode, at a very low volume, the sound loses support, when the level is raised, the emphasis is in the upper part of the bass register. In the cinema, you can operate the volume level more freely. Even when the volume is raised, the bass stays where it should be, and does not mutate at medium frequencies. The subwoofer fully reveals the sound effects in the movie. Explosions, engine sounds, and background music are clearly reproduced and create the effect of a full immersion. The low frequencies of this subwoofer can be felt throughout the large room in a strict sense. The sub produces such a bass that hits so hard in order to add depth and impact to the overall sound quality.

Polk PSW505 Setup

I tested Polk Audio PSW505 with my home theater system. This system has five small satellites for reproducing high and medium frequencies and sound. Polk setting was really easy. I wired up the subwoofer to the system thanks to speaker level terminals. I coordinated the subwoofer with the rest of the audio system using the phase switch. For the correct operation of the multiband system, it is necessary that the diffusers of all loudspeakers move in phase. Then I chose a comfortable volume level and a suitable frequency. A really loud sound appears after the slightest turn of the controller.

I want to systematize my subwoofer settings for clarity.

Polk PSW505 settings:

    • Attach the subwoofer to my audio system.
    • Pick the right position of the subwoofer, to cover the sound wave of a larger area.
    • Synchronize the subwoofer and audio system by the phase switch.
    • Settle the volume and frequency of the sound.


Polk Audio PSW505 is an amazing subwoofer for its money. It has a huge reserve of power, which will be enough even for a huge home cinema. This subwoofer has all the necessary connectors and controls that make it easier to connect to any audio system. Polk PSW505 has strict and restrained design which will allow it to seamlessly integrate into the interior of the home.

Common features


Polk Audio PSW505




Polk Audio


4.3 of 5




Amplification type


Detachable grilles


Nominal output power (RMS), W


Maximal output power (RMS), W


Audio amplifier output power, W


Audio performance

Sensitivity, dB


Impedance, Ohm


Frequency response, Hz


Crossover frequency, Hz



Driver quantity


Driver size, in


Driver placement

front panel

Port placement

has not


RCA LFE inputs


RCA stereo line level inputs (pair)


RCA outputs

XLR inputs (pair)

XLR outputs (pair)



Speaker outputs (pair)


Speaker inputs (pair)




Subwoofer phase

Low-pass filter

Main power switch


Body material


Woofer composition




Enclosure type


User manual



Dimensions (H x W x D), cm/in

40.9 x 38.4 x 46.2/18.2 x 15.2 x 16.2

Weight, kg/pounds


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