If you’re looking for a subwoofer that gives you the high-end audio quality that’s not for a shoe-string budget but won’t break the bank either, the POLK HTS series such as HTS 10 and HTS 12 might be for you.
In summary, both these subwoofers offer great aesthetics, sound, and value for your money. They both come with near-identical specs, except that the Polk HTS 10 is 10 inches and the Polk HTS 12 is 12 inches in diameter. The Polk HTS 10 is about $100 cheaper than its bigger brother. While both sound similar in character, the Polk HTS 12 offers a broader frequency range and double the continuous power than the Polk HTS 10.
Let’s go have a closer look.
This is probably where the Polk HTS series is a cut above the competition. Most subwoofers in this price range usually keep the aesthetics to an easy-to-maintain, minimal look. Polk HTS, on the other hand, seems to have invested some effort in making these speakers look way above their paygrade. The retro-futuristic design commands attention and exudes an air of high-end audiophilia that really adds character to your space. The only trade-off here is that they’re not the kind of gear that’ll blend in easily into your furniture.
It's not just about looking good, though. The utilitarian nature of the horizontal cabinet, which results in elevating the bottom port by default to enhance acoustics and ease room placement, is a good example of the intelligence and careful engineering behind it all.
As aforementioned, the Polk HTS 12 is the bigger (and heavier) of the two. Both come with the Polk logo on the top right, which is not its strongest suit here (explicit branding can feel tacky to some). The vented enclosures and detachable grilles are a welcome inclusion. The latter can help with concealing branding as well.
Both speakers are available in two colors: the ‘Washed Black Walnut’ and ‘Classic Walnut Brown.’
Polk HTS 10: 15.1 x 16.6 x 16.1 inches / 38.4 x 42.2 x 40.9 cm
Polk HTS 12: 17.1 x 18.8 x 18.1 inches / 43.4 x 47.8 x 46.0 cm
Polk HTS 10: 37.8 lbs / 17.1 kg
Polk HTS 12: 49.9 lb / 22.6 kg
Overall, the sound is transparent, tight, clear, and focused. Both speakers come with great specs. The Polk HTS 12 gives you ample volume with its 200 W and is the more powerful between the two by a broad margin. That being said, the smaller 10-inch 100 W sub on the Polk HTS 10 is more than sufficient when paired with the main speakers.
Frequency ranges on each are impressive, offering more than the regular lower frequencies around 25 and 22 Hz like on most subwoofers with their 180 Hz ceiling. This helps a lot in optimal pairing with the main speakers by not leaving the latter completely alone on those frequencies that can result in a gaping hole in between. This way, your main speakers can really focus on what they are supposed to: Low mids, mids, and highs.
Polk HTS 10:
Speaker type: Powered and ported
Continuous Power: 100W
Frequency Response Range: 25 - 180 Hz
Driver Size: 10 inches
Speaker type: Powered and ported
Continuous Power: 200W
Frequency Response Range: 22 - 180 Hz
Driver Size: 12 inches
Connectivity options on both subs are the same. Neither has any form of wireless options. So connecting devices via Bluetooth or WiFi is not possible. All you get on both are a pair of old-school RCA LFE Inputs and RCA Stereo line-level inputs.
This is how the Polk HTS 10 and Polk HTS 12 stack up against each other:
- Design: Tie. The Polk HTS 10 is lighter and more compact, though.
- Sound: Tie. But the Polk HTS 12 is more powerful.
- Connectivity: A clear tie again.
- Price: The Polk HTS 10 wins by a margin of $100 and still offers great value for money.
In conclusion, both subs are really worth your investment. If you’re looking for something for a larger room and more power, go for the Polk HTS 12.