The Good Powered subwoofer with 8-inch driver; built-in 180-watt amplifier; cabinet converts from down-firing to front-firing driver design; above-average connectivity; remote control; presets compensate for room placement issues.
The Bad Polk's budget 10-inch sub is available for less.
The Bottom Line Flexible configuration, a full list of features, and solid bass performance give the Polk Audio DSW Pro 400 a leg up on similar-size subwoofers.
Polk Audio DSW PRO 400
When it comes to subwoofers, Polk Audio has at least four product lines with models in the sub-$600 price range (including some below just $200). After reviewing 8-inch models in the Monitor and PSW Series--the PSW10 and PSW111, respectively--we decided to check out the equivalent model in the DSW Pro Series.
Budget subwoofers are usually pretty low-tech devices, but Polk endowed its DSW Pro Series models with a slew of new ideas. The DSW Pro 400, for example, features "Feed Forward distortion suppression technology" that's said to preserve the dynamic capability and maximum output capacity of the subwoofer while maintaining low distortion.
The DSW Pro 400's included credit-card-style remote offers some nice customization and control options. The Polk Room Optimizer feature has four room equalization presets--"corner," "short wall," "long wall," and "mid-room"--to correct for room boundary effects, compensating for bass problems caused by room placement. You can also adjust the volume, mute, and phase (to better blend the sub's sound with the satellite speakers). The backlit Polk logo blinks when you raise or lower the sub's volume, and it can be turned from the remote as well. That's a welcome addition, because the bright blue light can be distracting in dark home theaters.