In order to really enjoy your favorite movies and music, you need to complement your home theater system with a truly powerful subwoofer. It is a vital component of any home theater system. In this article, we will discuss the detailed comparisons between two popular subwoofers that are quite affordable, Klipsch SUB-12HG vs Polk PSW505. Which one is better?
What you can learn from this article:
- The size and design of each subwoofer
- The build quality of each subwoofer
- The available connectivity and features
- The suitable crossover frequency of each subwoofer
- The output power of Klipsch SUB-12HGvs Polk PSW505
- Which model that is generally more recommended
Design and Size
First of all, let’s take a look at the dimensions of these subwoofers. Sometimes, a subwoofer can be difficult to place due to its large size. Strong and powerful subwoofers are often very bulky and heavy. If your room has a very limited space, you should also consider carefully the size of the subwoofer that you are going to purchase.
Of the two, Klipsch SUB-12HG is the larger one. It measures 18 inches wide, 15 inches deep, and 19.9 inches tall. So, it requires more space of your room. However, despite the larger size, you may find it interesting that Klipsch SUB-12HG is actually more portable than Polk PSW505.
The reason is that Klipsch SUB-12HG is significantly lighter than the Polk subwoofer. The weight is only 20 lbs. With such a lightweight design, you will not find any problem in lifting and moving the subwoofer. This is a great choice if you prefer a lightweight and portable subwoofer. In addition, you may find it very convenient as well because it comes integrated with four foot sticks. You can just put the subwoofer on the floor.
Klipsch SUB-12HG has taken a different approach compared to other modern subwoofers. Although this is not completely unconventional, Klipsch SUB-12HG comes with a 12-inch bottom-firing bass driver. The housing has a matte black finish. As usual, the controls and connectors are placed on the rear panel. There is also a circular rear bass port.
Actually, Klipsch SUB-12HG does not look very stylish, but at least it also does not look very bad. You can say that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. In a way, it has a classic feel, but it also has a modern air around it. The black isn’t deep, and is more close to a darker shade of gray. The rounded foot sticks protrude slightly outside the body’s proportions.
Polk PSW505 is a little bit smaller. According to CNET, this subwoofer measures 15-1/8 inches wide, 18-3/16 inches deep, and 16-1/8 inches tall. But you should not be fooled by the slightly smaller size because the Polk subwoofer is actually much more heavier. It has a weight of about 56 pounds. The heavy body may make it difficult to move and place in your room.
The heavy weight is caused by the internal components and amplifier of the subwoofer. Nevertheless, there is actually a big benefit from the heavy weight. The subwoofer will never shuffle around the floor, even when exposed to some force or impact. Plus, the build really feels solid and robust.
Polk PSW505 already has four small feet at the bottom. So, you can just place it on the floor. The subwoofer will not scratch your precious flooring. By the way, the subwoofer already has a magnetic shielding, so you can place it near a video device without causing a distortion. This allows for easy and flexible placement.
Polk PSW505 definitely looks beautiful. The cabinet is made of high-density MDF. It uses a solid, real wood veneer finish which is nicely stained in black. It has a one-inch thick front baffle. The front side is equipped with a curved cloth grille, which features a large oval for the driver. This subwoofer has a 12-inch front-firing driver.
You can find the controls and connectors on the rear panel. Unfortunately, Polk PSW505 is not completely flawless either. The brand logo on the bottom of the subwoofer creates a visual distraction on the overall aesthetic. In addition, the large oval on the grille also breaks the otherwise clean look. Still, after some time, you will appreciate the elegant and stylish appearance. (Read also : Polk Audio PSW505 Vs BIC America F12)
In terms of connectivity, Klipsch SUB-12HGvs Polk PSW505 are similar. For inputs, each of the two subwoofers has RCA ports and line-level jacks. Meanwhile, for outputs, each of the two subwoofers has LF-filtered stereo outputs for two external speakers. You connect the outputs of a subwoofer to your satellite speakers so that they can work together; the subwoofer handles the bass, whereas the satellite speakers handle the midrange and treble.
Klipsch SUB-12HG works especially well with the Klipsch reference system. They crossover is very smooth and seamless. If you already have Klipsch reference speakers and you want a matching subwoofer, Klipsch SUB-12HG is indeed more recommended.
Nevertheless, if you want to send the output as a mono signal, then purchasing a “Y” female-to-male adapter is a must. By using this adapter, you can send the output from the subwoofer as a mono signal to your receiver. The setup and connection are easy and intuitive.
Polk PSW505 has the option for connecting the subwoofer output of your receiver to either single LFE or to two non-LFE connections. However, it is possible that if you use a Y connection to the two non-LFE connections, the subwoofer does not produce enough loudness. In the end, though, the configuration process is very simple and easy. You just need to connect the suitable cables and power, then flip the on/off switch.
Now, we will compare the features of Klipsch SUB-12HG vs Polk PSW505. They do have great features. All of the essentials are there. You can easily get your home theater system running with either subwoofer.
On Klipsch SUB-12HG, all of the most important features are available. It has a variable low-pass filter, a phase reversal switch, and automatic signal sensing. The automatic signal sensing is very useful. With this feature, there is no need for you to manually switch the subwoofer on and off. Meanwhile, the crossover range is between 40 Hz – 120 Hz, which is pretty good.
Klipsch SUB-12HG has added some more features which can further enhance the usability and performance. It is armed with the BASH amplifier to deliver massive 300 Watts RMS power and 650 Watts dynamic power. The high-quality amplifier allows the Klipsch subwoofer to extend the frequency response range down to 24 Hz and crank out the most out of the low-end without much effort.
Klipsch SUB-12HG has a blue/red dual color LED indicator on the front side. This light indicates whether the unit is currently turned on or in the standby mode. As mentioned above, it turns on automatically with the auto signal sensing. After it is idle for some time, it goes to the standby mode.
Polk PSW505 offers a lot in the feature perspective. It comes with the Klippel Optimized long-throw LF driver. This driver was designed using the Klippel Distortion Analyzer to measure the performance of the subwoofer at extreme listening levels.
As a result, the LF driver can be optimized to deliver solid and powerful performance across all listening volumes. In addition, the company has implemented the Polk Dynamic Balance design in order to minimize unwanted resonances inside the cabinet and deliver the purest low-end.
Of course, the essentials are available. Polk PSW505 has adjustable crossover frequency and phase control. It also has auto signal sensing for automatic on/off. You should adjust the crossover frequency so that it matches the satellite speakers.
You want the transition to be smooth, otherwise there will be an abrupt gap between the lower part of the midrange and the bass. Polk PSW505 has a crossover range between 60 Hz – 125 Hz, which is great. It can work with most speakers. Still, you should check your speakers’s specifications to see if this subwoofer matches them or not.
How is the performance of Klipsch SUB-12HGvs Polk PSW505? Well, there is a stark difference here. They have very different specs, and they do deliver bass with different characteristics. One is not necessarily better than the other; they excel in different fields.
Compared to the Polk subwoofer, Klipsch SUB-12HG has a narrower frequency response range of 24 Hz – 120 Hz. However, the peak power is much, much higher. It goes to 650 Watts. It can deliver very powerful explosions, thumps, and rumbles.
As the effect, Klipsch SUB-12HG can easily beat Polk PSW505 in terms of loudness and power. This subwoofer is a great choice if you are looking for something for movies. It effectively delivers the sound effects with great power, and it easily creates an immersive and realistic sound field.
However, Klipsch SUB-12HG is less suitable for music. This is because the sound delivered by this subwoofer is rather harsh. It is not as dynamic as the Polk subwoofer. The heavy-duty fiber construction allows the Klipsch subwoofer to deliver a powerful thump without breaking, but is slow to recover.
On the other hand, Polk PSW505 has a wider frequency response range of 23 Hz – 160 Hz. As you can see, this model is actually able to reach slightly lower frequencies, as well as higher frequencies. The wide frequency response range makes it easy to pair with many speakers. Your satellite speakers don’t need to go too deeply before the subwoofer takes over.
Polk PSW505 is not as powerful as the Klipsch subwoofer, as the peak power is only 460 Watts. Even so, the maximum power is already quite strong for a small or medium-sized room. Still, it will not deliver explosions, thumps, and rumbles with as much power.
However, Polk PSW505 is much more recommended if you want to listen to music with your subwoofer. This is because Polk PSW505 sounds significantly smoother and more dynamic. The MDF construction and wood veneer finish allow the subwoofer to recover more quickly after a powerful pound, so the performance when playing music is very nice and pleasing.
Because of this reason, Polk PSW505 is also more recommended if you are going to use your subwoofer for both watching movies and listening to music. You can say that this subwoofer is more versatile. It can handle movie sound effects just fine, and it can deliver smooth, dynamic bass in music with excellent qualities.
Finally, let’s compare the warranty timeframes of Klipsch SUB-12HGvs Polk PSW505. Checking the warranty before purchasing a product is important, because the warranty reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability and longevity. A product with good durability often comes with a long warranty.
Klipsch SUB-12HG has a 2-year warranty for the electronics and a 5-year warranty for the cabinet, woofer, and non-electrical parts. This is good. The warranty covers defects in material and workmanship. The company will either repair or replace a defective product. However, the shipping cost becomes the responsibility of the consumer.
Polk PSW505 does come with a better warranty. It has a 3-year warranty for the amplifier. This is one-year longer than the Klipsch’s warranty for the electronics. However, the Polk subwoofer also has a 5-year warranty for the woofer. Note that the warranty becomes void if the serial number of the product is defaced or removed.
For a warranty claim, the subwoofer needs to be shipped with the original container together with the proof of purchase. Also the case with Polk PSW505, the shipping cost becomes the responsibility of the consumer.
Klipsch SUB-12HG Vs Polk PSW505
|- Affordable 12-inch down-firing woofer produces best-in-class deep bass and output Precision matched BASH amplifier delivers 650 booming watts of dynamic power (300 watts RMS) - Significantly extends the bass range, dynamics & performance of virtually any audio or home theater system - Features line-level (RCA) inputs & speaker-level inputs for connection to any audio system,Frequency Response: 24Hz-120Hz +/- 3dB; Auto-on/off, variable low-pass filter, switchable 0-180 phase control and level adjustment for precise integration with any audio system.
|- Real wood veneer finish, Slot Load Venting improves bass response. - Rock-solid MDF construction (including a 1 inch thick front baffle) suppresses enclosure panel resonance for distortion-free, accurate response,Big 12 inch Long Throw Driver for longer excursion and better linearity. - Huge Hi-Roll Surrounds that support their longer excursion - High current 300 Watt Continuous (460 Watt Dynamic) power amplifier, Adjustable low pass crossover, phase switch and volume control allows perfect blending with any main speaker. - Auto on/off circuit that automatically turns your subwoofer on when it senses a program signal.
|4.6 out of 5.0 stars
|4.7 out of 5.0 stars
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All in all, Polk PSW505 is generally more recommended. This subwoofer has a much better look with the stylish wood veneer finish. The driver and cabinet are designed with sophisticated technologies. The overall performance is better; it does not have an extremely high peak power, but the bass performance is smoother and more dynamic. It is suitable for movies, excellent for music.It also has a very good build quality, as reflected by the longer warranty.