The $399 PS 10 is Infinity's midsize powered subwoofer. An oh-so-boring cube shape is par for the course for subs, and this model's only available finish is black "wood grain" vinyl. But we brightened up the PS 10's appearance by removing its grille to reveal the 10-inch front-firing woofer. The distinctive silver baffle lends the sub a fresh look. Considering the PS 10's prodigious 250 watts, the unit is fairly compact: 14.75 inches high, 12.5 inches wide, and 16 inches deep. It weighs a beefy 38 pounds.
The PS 10's back panel offers speaker and line-level inputs; we predict that most people will run a single interconnect cable between the sub and an A/V receiver. The direct (bypassed) input enables the receiver's internal crossover to match the PS 10 to your satellites; that approach will always result in the best sound.
We auditioned the PS 10 with Infinity Primus speakers: the 360 towers, the C25 center, and the 150 bookshelf monitors. For the most part, the matchup was pretty successful. We noted a slight gap in bass response between the 150s and the PS 10, but we were just being picky.
In our large room, the PS 10 reached down to the mid-30Hz range. While respectable, that bass extension is no deeper than that of Klipsch's potent 8-inch subwoofer, the RW-8. But that number doesn't tell the full story. We felt--literally--that the PS 10 was the more powerful sub. It could play higher volumes and had greater midbass punch.
Home-theater bass is all about room-filling power and thump. To test the PS 10, we played the usual DVDs loaded with explosion scenes. As we listened to the rumbling synthesizers and the special effects, we couldn't help but be impressed with the sub's low-end fury. It never rattled or buzzed, and the rear-mounted port remained quiet.
Musical bass requires a very different skill set. A sub succeeds or fails mostly on its ability to handle nuance and provide clean, well-defined bass. With our movies, the PS 10 proved it could move a lot of air, but could it also finesse the really big drum pounding away at the end of Billy Bob Thornton's surprisingly excellent Private Radio CD? No problem--the sub rolled out the distinctive sound of a beater whacking on a drumhead. We could feel the impact and the following thud.
The PS 10 subwoofer has the range and the power to cover both the home-theater and musical sides of the sonic aisle. If your room is on the cozy side, the PS 10's little brother, the $299 PS 8, might be a better fit. For a huge space, you'd better move up to the $499 PS 12.