Published On: April 21, 2010

Klipsch SW-450 Powered Subwoofer Reviewed

Published On: April 21, 2010

Klipsch SW-450 Powered Subwoofer Reviewed

The SW-450 is one of Klipsch's more affordable offerings. On movies and games, the overall sound was very good. "It never seemed to run out of power and offered great punch, weight and extension." It is built well and "looks as good as anything in its class." Overall, it offers "dynamic, aggressive performance"

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.

Sound
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.

Read more on Page 2

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High Points

• The Klipsch SW-450 performs wonderfully with movies and games, with excellent
punch, weight, and extension that often belied its small size.

• The SW-450 offers a nice blend of features and controls, with convenient touches like phase and low-pass bypass controls.
• The SW-450 is built very well and looks as good as anything in its class.

Low Points
• The SW-450 needs more refinement on musical tracks, especially
acoustic, classical, and jazz material, where its big but sometimes
uncontrolled sound imposes a bit too much on the material.
• The SW-450 lacks a high-pass crossover output, which could limit bass control options for some users.
• The SW-450 only comes in Black.

Competition and Comparison
If you are interested in comparing the Klipsch SW-450 subwoofer against its competition, please read our reviews for the Energy ESW-M6 subwoofer and the Polk PSW125 subwoofer. You can find more information available on other products in our Subwoofer sectionDiscuss subwoofers at hometheaterequipment.com.  Find your nearest Klipsch dealer.

Conclusion
The SW-450 offers the classic Klipsch value proposition - great build
quality, dynamic, aggressive performance, affordable price. It's not
the most refined subwoofer sonically but, at the same time, it kills on
movie and gaming material, offers some really convenient features, and
is really affordable. For those - and there are many - looking for a
subwoofer like this, the SW-450 is a must audition.

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

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