PSB SubSonic 6i review

Don't expect any subtlety here...

TechRadar Verdict

The PSB is a powerful, fun and exciting-sounding subwoofer, ideal for home cinema jollies. But it's poor with music, and brutal charm can only get you so far...

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With PSB's SubSonic 6i, you certainly get a lot of subwoofer for your money. This no doubt has something to do with the 300mm bass driver, 225W power amplifier and two almost fist-sized front-firing ports. PSB also promises that the 6i 'cranks pretty good' - so we're expecting some sonic depth-charges here...

The 6i's main volume level and frequency cut-off controls are mounted on the front. Although this makes the sub easier to set up, it also means the controls are irresistible to small hands and you need to check the sub setting each time you turn it on - we accidentally set the subwoofer too high after a bizarre hoovering incident and brought down ceiling coving in another room within a couple of seconds!

One of the best points of the PSB is its extremely clear manual, which covers every aspect of subwoofing, PSB-style. It even suggests different styles of sub placement, and the bonuses and limitations of each position.

The cut-off control quickly rolls off the upper frequencies to blend with main speakers well. However, the tonal character of the SubSonic 6i means it's best used with full-range main speakers; used with satellites, the midrange frequencies (where sub meets sat) take on too much of the PSB's character, and make vocals chesty.

Used in a big speaker setting, the SubSonic 6i fares much better. In fact, if you never play music through the system, and like a powerful sound, the PSB is one of the best in the group. Bass is deep and impressive, perfect for action sequences - especially when correctly set and positioned in the 'lowest bass' output. The 6i belts out oodles of bass and is one of those models that appears endless in scope. You can have the bass set so loud that your floorboards start moving, and it will still seem to have volume and bass energy to spare!

Moreover, the Star Wars sequence where the Death Star is setting up its planet-destroying beam delivers a pure low tone that just goes lower and lower, almost like a test tone. As the tone drops, the sub emphasises one upper bass frequency, but then levels out and delivers bass so low and so deep that window panes start rattling in their frames.

Out of step

Where the SubSonic 6i fails, however, is with fast-moving, tuneful bass - it lags behind by about half a beat. That said, it's almost impossible not to plug the PSB into a system and resist playing some dub reggae. Okay, Marley's 'Jammin' may not sound as tight or foot-tapping as some subs can muster, but the 6i's PA-style energy makes up for a lot.

The SubSonic 6i is not a subtle subwoofer, and nor is it designed to slot into small rooms. But it's plenty of fun, impressively powerful and cavernously deep. If you want to impress your friends (and possibly your neighbours) by liquidising their intestines, play something bassy through this at a fair lick! was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.