Klipsch SW-450 Powered Subwoofer Reviewed

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Klipsch-sw450-subwoofer-review.gifIn addition to its prodigious loudspeaker lineup featuring a tremendous variety of models over many different categories, Klipsch also offers seventeen subwoofer products covering architectural, commercial, and consumer categories. 

One of its more affordable offerings, the SW-450 ($449.99/MSRP) utilizes a 10-inch fiber-composite, down-firing woofer, driven by a 45-watt Class D digital amplifier, fitted in a rear-ported enclosure. The SW-450 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-450 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-450s controls to fine-tune the bass response to the system's other speakers.

Additional Resources
• Read more subwoofer reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore floorstanding speakers to pair with the SW-450.

Measuring 17 inches high by 14 inches wide by 19.5 inches deep and weighing in at 35.5 pounds, the SW-450 isn't too big to limit placement options and has plenty of heft. The SW-450 also employs some nice claw-style feet which help with moving the unit around. The black vinyl finish looks good, and the quality of construction and parts is right up there with the competition.

With movies and games, the SW-450 sounded very good. It never seemed to run out of power and offered great punch, weight, and extension. On some movies the bass output was so strong and meaty that it seemed that a much bigger woofer was in the system. The SW-450's extension and sense of weight was especially impressive. On music, the SW-450 had some limitations, mainly in the areas of speed, definition, and accuracy. It provided more than enough output and weight, but not enough speed and control to cover all of the nuances of music material. The SW-450 sounded better with rock and electronic tracks than with acoustic, classical and jazz ones. Another issue at play here overall is the SW-450's lack of a high-pass crossover and inclusion of a low-pass crossover bypass. The former 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-450 provides a phase control. Of course, it all depends on the user demands, system, material, etc.

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