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Power Sound Audio XS15se and XV30Fse Subwoofer Preview

Meet the Power Sound Audio XV30Fse (left) and XS15se (right).

Meet the Power Sound Audio XV30Fse (left) and XS15se (right).


  • Product Name: XS15se & XV30Fse
  • Manufacturer: Power Sound Audio
  • Review Date: August 03, 2014 08:00
  • MSRP: $799 (XS15se) & $1,499 (XV30Fse)
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!


  • Driver: Power Sound Audio USA assembled proprietary 15” driver
  • Driver Excursion: 2" peak to peak
  • Amplifier Power: 550W RMS (continuous), 1650W Peak (dynamic)
  • Enclosure: USA Built Sealed Enclosure
  • Dimensions (D x W x H): 18” x 17” x 19.5”
  • Weight: 67lbs


  • Driver: Dual Power Sound Audio USA assembled proprietary 15” drivers
  • Driver Excursion: 2" peak to peak
  • Amplifier Power: 800W RMS (continuous), 2400W Peak (dynamic)
  • Enclosure: USA Builted Vented Enclosure with USA designed, massive 6" Precision Port
  • Dimensions (D x W x H): 22.5” x 18.5” x 45” (includes grill)
  • Weight: 162lbs (includes grill)

Since the debut of their Power X line in 2012, Tom Vodhanel and Jim Farina of Power Sound Audio have sought to redefine value in the Internet Direct subwoofer business. Now the Ohio based company is at it again, refreshing their Power X offerings with an updated “SE” driver which promises substantially improved performance for a modest price increase. Yeah, we hear claims like that from manufacturers all the time. Fortunately, Tom V. was kind enough to send Audioholics’ subwoofer guru Josh Ricci test samples of the XS15se and XV30Fse. Want to know the results? Keep reading!

SE Driver

Power Sound Audio's SE driver.

The Specifics

Before we get too deep, it’s a good idea to go over the particulars of these two, very different subwoofers. On one hand, we have the XS15se ($799), a medium sized, down-firing sealed subwoofer boasting a 15” driver motivated by 550W worth of amplification. The driver is a custom model from Eminence based on their LAB15 platform. Power Sound Audio rates the driver to have 2” of peak to peak excursion, and proudly notes that it is assembled in the USA. Meanwhile, the enclosure itself (also built in the US) is constructed of 1” thick MDF and lined with damping material. While the cabinet doesn’t feature any cross-bracing, it is relatively inert thanks to the thick walls and compact dimensions.

XS15se Rear

Rear view of the XS15se.

Then there’s the big dog. Measuring 22.5” x 18.5” x 45” and weighing in at 162 pounds, the XV30Fse ($1,499) boasts a pair of forward-firing 15” drivers backed by 750W of amplification and a 6” flared port. Needless to say, this isn’t a subwoofer that’s just going to slip by your significant other or hide in a corner. We’d also note that cabinet construction is much heavier here to compensate for the much larger panel sizes, with an internal window brace and a double thick front baffle.

XV30Fse bottom

View of the XV30Fse's bottom panel and 6" flared port.

The Measurements

Josh Ricci’s full battery of measurements and analysis for the XS15se can be found at:

Data and analysis for the XV30Fse can be found at:

The condensed version: suffice it to say that the XS15se and XV30Fse measure very well, particularly when taking cost into account. Starting with base frequency response, the response of both subwoofers fit into a 6dB window from ~28Hz to over 300Hz. Response shape below 30Hz is different as expected given the sealed vs. ported alignments. The XV30Fse extends usefully down to its tuning point of 19Hz before rolling off sharply, while the XS15se starts a gentle 12dB/octave roll off below ~30Hz. Performance in the time domain (group delay, waterfall, spectrogram, etc) doesn’t yield any surprises. The XS15se performs exceptionally well in this respect, while the XV30Fse shows the usual rise in group delay vented subs exhibit around port tune.

Output capabilities of both subwoofers are considerable, as evidenced in both the long term power compression tests and CEA 2010 burst tests. Applying the Audioholics Subwoofer Room Size Rating Protocol, the XV30Fse qualifies for our Bassaholic Extreme rating, even if it technically misses the mark at 31.5Hz by 1 measly decibel. On the other hand, the XS15se’s results place it solidly in the Bassaholic Large Room category, and compare favorably with similarly priced competitors like the SVS SB2000.


If you’re like us, you might be a little cynical when manufacturers make claims of new and improved products. In most cases, the so called improvements aren’t worth writing home about. Power Sound Audio’s SE update is a bit different. Looking back to the review of the XV15, there was some room for progress, most notably at the top of the passband as a result of driver inductance. This time around, we’re hard pressed to find any significant performance issues. Moreover, the new models continue to offer the bang-for-the-buck that the company is famous for. All in all, we’d have to say job well done to Team PSA.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Steve Munz is a “different” addition to Audioholics’ stable of contributors in that he is neither an engineer like Gene, nor has he worked in the industry like Cliff. In fact, Steve’s day job is network administration and accounting.

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