PROS / This subwoofer has a wide frequency range.
CONS / Our listening panel thought this subwoofer wasn't as powerful as others in our comparison.
VERDICT / This is a good subwoofer that has plenty of power and range. It needs to be pushed a little more than other subwoofers to really thrive, but it is still a quality choice for a subwoofer upgrade.
The Klipsch Reference speaker series is top-notch, so we had high expectations of the 110SW. This home subwoofer features a gold, front-firing 10-inch woofer and a built-in digital amplifier that produces exceptional power.
Klipsch lists the frequency response at 27Hz – 150Hz. This is expansive. In fact, only the very best subwoofers in our comparison have larger ranges. The ability to reach down below 27Hz is an impressive feat for a 10-inch woofer, where many 10-inch woofers struggle to reach sub 30Hz frequencies. The powered subwoofer was one of the most accurate in our frequency testing. The Klipsch testing results displayed a flat line that resembles the control frequency in our frequency analyzer displaying ability to accurately produce frequencies, which results in natural tonal quality.
As for the subwoofer's power handing capabilities, it's rated at 200 watts of RMS continuous power and can handle bursts up to 450 watts, making this one of the most powerful subwoofers in our comparison. Only two subwoofers in our lineup have a higher RMS power rating.
In spite of the remarkable power rating and frequency response, this subwoofer didn't impress our panel of listeners. The bass sounded and felt quiet, even though this subwoofer was volume-matched to the same level as all the other speakers before testing. Although many listeners described the bass to be precise and tight, they also said it lacked overall presence. The bass should add that extra element of depth to the sound scape, and the 110SW didn't add much as some subs we reviewed. It could be that the Klipsch simply needs to have the volume cranked more than others to reach its optimum potential, but in our apples-to-apples testing, our panelists were left wanting more bass production.
The Reference 110SW measures 16.3 x 14.75 x 15.8 inches and weighs 39 pounds, which is about average size for our comparison. The back of the subwoofer houses an adjustable crossover knob that ranges from 40Hz to 180Hz so you can dial in your speaker to best fit your system. It also boasts a volume knob that goes all the way to 11. That's not a joke – it really goes to 11. The subwoofer also features an auto on/standby feature that automatically turns the subwoofer on and off when it detects audio signal.
The speaker is covered by a five-year warranty while the electronics within the subwoofer are covered only by a two-year warranty. In our experience, Klipsch is quick to respond to email inquiries regarding its products. You can usually expect a response within 48 hours.
The Klipsch Reference 110SW has many of the features we looked for in a quality home subwoofer. It has an ample amount of power and a wide frequency response, but out panelists weren't impressed in our listening tests. This subwoofer needs to be pushed with more volume than some of the top competition to drive pounding bass.