Klipsch R-120SW vs. Polk Audio HTS 12

Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer Polk Audio HTS 12 Powered Subwoofer
$600 $550
Dimensions (H × W × D)
16.50” × 14.00” × 19.20”
419mm × 356mm × 488mm
18.50” × 17.13” × 18.11”
470mm × 435mm × 460mm
Power Type
Powered Powered
Frequency Response
29-120 Hz 22-180 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: When comparing the muscular Klipsch R-120SW with its 12-inch spun-copper IMG woofer against the sonorous Polk Audio HTS 12, with its equally sized Dynamic Balance driver, audiophiles will find tough choices. The Klipsch delivers punchy, precise bass, renowned for its theater-like impact, driven by a robust 400W power stage. Meanwhile, the Polk offers a more nuanced low-end with its Power Port technology for deep, yet clean bass. Both feature sleek designs suitable for modern living spaces. Choosing between the visceral excitement of the Klipsch and the refined bass of the Polk will hinge on personal taste and listening preferences.

Speaker Comparison

In the realm of home theater and audio experiences, the subwoofer is an essential component that augments the depth and realism of sound. When considering the upgrade of this critical piece, audiophiles often find themselves comparing models such as the Klipsch R-120SW and the Polk Audio HTS 12 Powered Subwoofer. Both of these units promise to deliver that coveted low-end punch, but they do so with their unique approaches and sonic signatures.

A Tale of Two Cabinets: Design and Build

The Klipsch R-120SW sports a robust, textured wood grain vinyl finish that pairs well with a variety of decor styles. The copper-spun IMG woofer not only serves its purpose in sound reproduction but also stands out as a visual centerpiece. Its front-firing design allows for flexible room placement without worrying too much about wall interference. On the other hand, the Polk Audio HTS 12 subwoofer offers a more subdued design with its rounded edges and detailed walnut or black wash finish, which can blend seamlessly into the modern home environment. Polk's commitment to aesthetics is evident, and it's a win for those who value their audio equipment doubling as a piece of room art.

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Technical Standoff: Specs and Performance

When it comes to raw power, the Klipsch R-120SW packs a punch with its built-in all-digital amplifier pushing a hefty 400 watts of dynamic power. This results in a clean, deep bass that is both articulate and room-filling. Contrastingly, the Polk HTS 12 isn't a slouch either, with its 200 watts continuous and 400 watts peak power amplifier. While its power handling might seem inferior on paper, in practice, the HTS 12 manages to produce a warm and nuanced low end that may appeal to those seeking a balanced and natural bass response.

Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer
Klipsch R-120SW arrow (at Amazon.com)

One must also consider the frequency response as a critical factor in performance. The Klipsch claims a frequency range of 29Hz - 120Hz, which ensures that even the deepest rumbles in cinematic scores are felt as much as heard. The Polk, with its slightly wider range of 28Hz - 120Hz, edges just a bit further into the infrasonic territory, picking up the subtle nuances that can add to the immersive experience of music and movies.

Polk Audio HTS 12 Powered Subwoofer
Polk Audio HTS 12 arrow (at Amazon.com)

User Experience: Features and Functionality

The user-friendliness of a subwoofer can greatly influence overall satisfaction, and here both models offer features that prioritize ease of use. The Klipsch R-120SW provides a simple, intuitive control panel with options for phase control and volume, making integration with existing systems a breeze. The Polk HTS 12 mirrors this with its own set of controls but adds an automatic power-saving feature that turns the subwoofer off after a period of inactivity, a small but significant nod towards energy consciousness.

Another aspect that's crucial for users is connectivity. Both subwoofers come equipped with line-level/LFE RCA inputs, ensuring compatibility with most home theater receivers. However, for those looking to fine-tune their system's crossover, the Polk HTS 12 offers an extra layer of customization with its variable crossover knob, allowing for precise blending with satellite speakers.

Bottom-Line Beats: Value and Verdict

Pricing plays an inevitable role in the decision-making process, and both the Klipsch R-120SW and Polk Audio HTS 12 offer competitive value in their bracket. The Klipsch, with its powerful output and striking design, will satisfy those looking for a subwoofer that makes a statement both visually and sonically. The Polk, with its detailed low-frequency response and user-centric features, is perfect for the listener who values subtlety and sustainability alongside performance. In the end, your choice between these two stalwarts will hinge on what you prioritize in your auditory landscape, be it sheer power or refined acoustics.

Check Current Prices:

Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer
Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer
Polk Audio HTS 12 Powered Subwoofer
Polk Audio HTS 12 Powered Subwoofer

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.