Klipsch SW-350 Powered Subwoofer Reviewed

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Klipsch-SW-350-subwoofer-Review.gifIt should come as no surprise that Klipsch, a company famous for its in-your-face, dynamic sound, offers a wide variety of subwoofers. Seventeen, to be exact. One of its more affordable offerings, the SW-350 ($349.99/MSRP) utilizes an 8-inch fiber-composite, down-firing woofer, driven by a 150-watt Class D digital amplifier, fitted in a rear-ported enclosure. The SW-350 provides both high-level inputs (via gold-plated, five-way binding posts) and low-level inputs (via stereo RCA jacks, one of which can be used for an LFE signal), but no high-pass crossover outputs. The SW-350 provides a low-pass crossover control from 40Hz to 150Hz (with a convenient bypass control), a volume control, and a phase control. So those with small speakers or a need to match a subwoofer to the system's speakers will have to use the processor's crossover, an external crossover, or simply use the SW-350's controls to fine-tune the bass response to the system's other speakers.


Measuring 15.5 inches high by 12.5 inches wide by 17 inches deep and weighing in at 27 pounds, the SW-350 is compact and solid. The SW-350 employs nice claw-style feet which help with moving the unit around, and is finished in a smooth black vinyl. The quality of construction and parts is of good quality.
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Sound
The SW-350 sounded good with movies and games. It was tight, relatively deep, and full of power. As with the SW-450, the SW-350 sounded bigger than its size. On music material, the SW-350 offered enough speed to nicely complement a lot of different material without getting in the way. While it could have used some more refinement overall, the SW-350 had a musical quality with smaller main speakers that created some pretty good presentations overall. The SW-350 matches very well with micro-type satellite systems, keeping things tight and controlled but also kicking some butt when required. The SW-350 sounded better with rock and electronic tracks than with acoustic, classical and jazz ones. The SW-350's lack of a high-pass crossover and inclusion of a low-pass crossover bypass could be a factor in systems lacking bass adjustment control, while the latter could help bass performance in some systems by eliminating a needless crossover. It should also be noted that the SW-350 provides a phase control. Of course, it all depends on the user demands, system, material, etc.


HTR Product Rating for Klipsch SW-350 Powered Subwoofer

Criteria Rating

Performance

4.5

Value

4.5

Overall

4.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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High Points
• The SW-350 offers good performance with movies and games, providing nice punch, extension, and overall substance that often belied its small size.
• The SW-350 provides a helpful array of features and controls, with convenient touches like phase and low-pass bypass controls.
• The SW-350 is built very well, offers claw-style feet for easy placement, and looks as good as anything in its class.

Low Points
• The SW-350 could use some more speed and absolute extension, and had trouble reproducing the full weight of rocking movie tracks, heavy metal, and large-scale orchestral tracks, as well as the subtle bass cues of music material overall.
• The SW-350 lacks a high-pass crossover output, which could limit bass control options for some users.
• The SW-350 only comes in Black.

Conclusion
The SW-350 draws a very nice line between rocking the house and delicate bass reproduction. As a smaller design, it doesn't rattle the walls like bigger designs, but it also tap dances better than those products. It's a great down-the-middle solution, from a lot of important perspectives - thump, punch, musicality, and price. It will not give you prodigious amounts of any, but will give you more than enough to perform well in most any situation you put it in. At its price, the SW-350 offers excellent value and flexibility, and deserves a serious audition.
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