Bass is nice.
Some people may turn off the subwoofer because they don't have a very good one and the subwoofer produces poor-quality bass when music is being listened to. That would be my guess. Most subwoofers you can buy for under $500 can make big thumps, but their output may have too much distortion for pleasurable music listening.
I have PSB Image T6 speakers, which are large high-quality floorstanding speakers, and I used them for quite a while without a subwoofer; they go down to 40 Hz nicely, so I had a pretty fair amount of bass.
I eventually broke down and added a subwoofer though, because big bass drums and even the lowest tuba notes did not quite have the weight that they should have had. I didn't buy no stinking CHEAP subwoofer though...lol.
If someone has a set of speakers with a good 10-inch or 12-inch woofer, they may go down to 30 or 35 Hz and a subwoofer would be a waste of money, but modern tower speakers seldom have any driver bigger than 6 inches or so and don't quite go low enough to do it all.
Polk's specs for the R50 say that they are down 3db, which means down to half-power, at 50 HZ. Realistically, that means their linear response stops at around 60 Hz, so they are certainly going to need a lot of help in the bass department.
That is certainly a good frequency response for a front speaker when using a sub, but a little weak in the bass without one.
If you want to upgrade to some higher-quality front speakers, I suggest you look at PSB or Monitor Audio speakers. It is hard to make really good-sounding speakers to sell for under $1000, but IMO they make the best-sounding affordable speakers.
They have some good-sounding speakers that will be quite an improvement on what you have now.
The Monitor Audio M6 floorstanding speakers are around $500 per pair, and the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-2 speakers are about the same price. Both of those have similar bass to what you have (perhaps a bit more), but have a much better sound quality overall.
The PSB Image B6 and the Image T5 are also very good speakers. A bit more money.
Originally Posted by BOTTLEDZ28
Forgive me for possibly asking a dumb question but why do so many people prefer to listen to music in 2 channel when the sub is disabled? To me I feel like so much of the music is missing without the lows. Maybe I am missing something here.
FWIW, I am running Polk R50 speakers in a 5.1 setup. They may get updated this year as I have had them for 10 years now and its time for an upgrade.