Pros / This is the most powerful active subwoofer we tested.
Cons / The subwoofer’s power and design don’t translate well in small entertainment rooms.
Verdict / This subwoofer is a good fit for someone who primarily watches action movies in a medium- or large-size theater room.
The BIC Acoustech PL-200 II has the widest frequency range of all the home subwoofers we tested. Its low-frequency rating of 21Hz covers the lowest threshold of human hearing, and it helped this subwoofer score well during our long action scene listening test.
For this test, we chose a scene from the James Bond movie “Skyfall” that has a near-15-second low-frequency rumble. The PL-200 II had no problem maintaining the volume and projecting the impactful bass. There were brief moments where we noticed some port noise, but that was a common problem with all but the Yamaha SW300 and Emotiva BasX Sub 12 in that test.
The BASH amplifier housed in the PL-200 II’s large, heavy enclosure is capable of handling 250 watts of continuous power, which is average for the 12-inch subwoofers we tested. However, its 1,000-watt peak power rating is the highest of the subwoofers we reviewed, though we rarely put much stake in peak power ratings. Peak ratings are often over-inflated claims made by manufacturers that are more important for marketing-focused product sheets than for someone looking for useful comparative data.
The more important and informative rating on this subwoofer’s spec sheet is its 110dB sensitivity rating. That is the highest sensitivity rating of the speakers in our test group, and it means the PL-200 II efficiently uses its 250 watts of continuous power to recreate impactful, and at times startling, bass frequencies.
This subwoofer is the largest and heaviest in our test group. As such, it can be hard to find the perfect place for it, and once you get it there, you won’t want to move it. The enclosure size and power rating make this subwoofer a bad candidate for smaller entertainment rooms. Also, since it has a front-ported design, the woofer sounds best when it is at least 6 feet away from where you sit. Because of this, it may be worth it to buy a wireless subwoofer kit so you have more flexibility in where you place the speaker.
The subwoofer’s back panel has speaker-level inputs and outputs, so you can pair it with an older two-channel receiver. This is also where you will find the variable crossover knob, volume knob and power switch, which includes an auto on/off setting.
Its crossover only goes to 90Hz on the high end, so if your AV receiver doesn’t have an LFE output, we suggest turning the knob all the way up – 80 to 110Hz is the preferred starting point in most theaters. If your AV receiver has an LFE output, consider using it to set the low-frequency starting point rather than rely on the subwoofer’s limited crossover range.
The BIC Acoustech PL-200 II has the best warranty length of the subwoofers we tested – the speaker is covered for eight years and the amplifier for five years. You can contact the manufacturer by phone or email if you have technical questions about your subwoofer.
- Low Frequency Response (+/- 3dB)
- High Frequency Response (+/- 3dB)
- RMS Continuous Power