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Pioneer SW-8MK2 Review

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PROS / This subwoofer is small and light, fitting easily in your entertainment room.

CONS / It is underpowered and doesn't have the volume that top-rated subwoofers can produce.

 VERDICT / This is a good subwoofer for shoppers on a budget with a smaller entertainment room.

The Pioneer SW-8MK2 is one of the smaller subwoofers we reviewed. The 8-inch woofer sits inside of an enclosure that is 14.2 x 12.2 x 12.2 inches (H x W x D) and only weighs 20 pounds, whereas some of the subwoofers in our comparison are twice as heavy and much bigger. The small size of the home subwoofer offers advantages that bigger subwoofers can't. You can hide the subwoofer under coffee tables or in areas with limited space. The light weight also makes it easier to move around as you find the best spot possible for the subwoofer speaker to remain in your home entertainment room.

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In the case of the Pioneer SW-8MK2, with small size comes low power. The Pioneer subwoofer operates on only 50 watts of RMS power, making it the most underpowered subwoofer in our comparison. Due to the low power, the Pioneer couldn't hang with the more powerful subwoofers in our listening tests. Our panel of listeners felt the bass performance was weak. Although the bass was often described as tight and definitive, it lacked the power to have a real impact on the soundscape of the movie score. The subwoofer peaks at 100 watts of power whereas the best subwoofers in our lineup peak over 500 watts. This subwoofer is best suited for a smaller entertainment room due to its low wattage.

  1. This is the lowest tone the subwoofer can produce.
    Lower is Better
  2. 9 Pioneer
    38 Hertz
  3. 22 Hertz
  4. 25 Hertz
  5. 27 Hertz
  6. Category Average
    31.22 Hertz

The manufacturer rates the frequency response as 38Hz to 150Hz. Often, manufacturer's ratings are fabricated to bolster the frequency response. This is not the case for this active subwoofer. The frequency response of 38Hz – 150Hz is accurate according to our frequency testing. The good in this – you know what you are getting. The con – it's not that great for low frequencies often found in sound effects in movies. Smaller 8-inch woofers generally don't have the surface area or the power to properly produce long sine waves that are low frequencies.

On the back of the home theater subwoofer is an adjustable crossover that ranges from 40Hz to150Hz. The subwoofer started to show a decline in performance after 100Hz in our testing, making this a good place to start when setting the adjustable crossover. Also located on the back of the subwoofer are speaker-level inputs for connecting this subwoofer to an older two-channel amplifier without a dedicated subwoofer port. This speaker is only available in a black finish and is covered by a one-year warranty.

Summary

This is a small subwoofer that is good for smaller entertainment rooms. It is small in size and weight, making it easier than bigger subwoofers to find a place in your home. It is only powered by 50 watts, with peak power of 100 watts. This means it won't have nearly as much impact or volume as some of the best home subwoofers in our comparison. If you are in the market for a small and inexpensive subwoofer, the Pioneer SW-8MK2 is worth looking into.

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