Subwoofers are difficult to pick out for home use. They don’t follow a trend with price, with features and design being specific to the speaker that holds them. That’s not a bad thing, though. This means that models across all price points can narrow in of an excellent price to performance ratio. Here’s the best ones we’ve found.
10 Best Subwoofers for Home Use:
This subwoofer is one of the best values you can get under $300. The rigid build quality, high headroom 300W amplifier, and Dynamic Balance driver make this an amazing sounding subwoofer at an an excellent price. The wooden finish makes it a great pick for everyone with taste to aesthetics.
No, it’s not the prettiest subwoofer out there. However, the PB-2000 sounds amazing. Driven by a 12" woofer and 500 watts RMS, 1,100 watts peak power Sledge STA-500D DSP amplifier, this subwoofer can easily shake the floor. An experience that will ensure you that you might the right choice when ordering this masterpiece.
It’s hard to go wrong with Yamaha for an affordable, but robust experience. This subwoofer is no exception, with a unique side ported design with a cyclone effect to reduce turbulence of low-end venting. Some key features like Twisted Flare Port and Advanced YST II are nice to have although you will probably expect a few more.
The Blue Octave Home FS6 is a compact, 6.5-inch subwoofer that pushes out much more low-end than the size suggests. A tight and response woofer keeps the sound from becoming overpowering, and the elegant design compliments almost any setup without sticking out like a sore thumb. Despite it’s size, the FS6 is a serious subwoofer for the price.
Polk Audio’s PSW505 is a massive, 12-inch subwoofer that cranks out low-end like it’s no one’s business. The marriage of a Klippet Optimized low throw woofer with the Dynamic Balance design delivers a tight and punchy low-end that sounds monstrous without being over inflated. Combine that with a beautiful real wood veneer finish, and this subwoofer is a winner.
Klipsch’s old school bottom firing subwoofer is still incredible sounding. The BASH amplifier provides 650W of dynamic power, giving plenty of headroom for most workloads. This an awesome product that will cater to a certain group of audiophiles. Performance is what separates this beauty from most of the competition in its competitive price range.
This more expensive offering from Klipsch proves why the name is so recognized. The 12” inch copper spun woofer not only sounds amazing, but looks the part as well. If you have any Klipsch reference speakers, you need this sub. Do not let the lack of some features discourage you, this is a great addition to your setup.
This subwoofer is a lesson in sound. The 10” woofer and 300W RMS amp look like a step in the opposite direction, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This subwoofer sounds gorgeous, with built in wireless connectivity being the cherry on top. A recommendation that you have to at least consider!
Another inexpensive option, this subwoofer will get the job done for under $100. The 8” woofer will cripple under extreme load, but will still give you a decent low-end if not pushed too far. We featured this model in our roun-up article because there are plenty of people on a budget who want the best bang for their buck.
Sony is another brand that is always solid for a low cost. If you’re looking for a no-frills subwoofer that sounds amazing, this one’s for you. The Mica Reinforced Cellular cone gives distortion free bass, keeping the woofer lightweight but rigid under pressure. The price at which it is sold makes it an absolute bargain considering what is put on the table.
If you’re looking to just get the job done, this price bracket is great for you. They don’t provide the best value, with small woofers, inexpensive amplifiers, and a lack of features. They produce low-end, and sound good with small workloads. However, if you want low-end that shakes your floor, you’re going to need to jump up in price.
$200 really steps up performance. Larger woofers extend the low-end, but still inexpensive amps keep them back. You’ll notice a significantly better performing speakers. This is an excellent price point for those looking for a competent performer, but don’t want to spend too much money.
$300 is the perfect sweet spot for subwoofers. Higher quality amplifiers, and the addition of important features like phase reversal show up here. All of these models give an amazing price to performance ratio, making them the best option for those who want an all-arounder.
Spending $500 is where things go above and beyond. Refined performance takes a backseat to giant woofers, and amps that easily exceed 450W RMS. If you want booming low-end, plenty of features (including remote functionality), and beautiful aesthetics, this is the price bracket for you.
$1000 takes what seems like a step back. The woofers aren’t as big, and the amps don’t have as much headroom as the $500 bracket. However, higher quality components contribute to a more refined sound that can still shake your house. The focus hear is on performance, and it exceeds all others.
What Makes A Good Subwoofer?
When buying a subwoofer there has to be a few things you consider. Not all models are made equal, and the proof of price not equaling quality couldn’t be more true. Because of that, it’s paramount to consider what exactly you’re looking for when picking out one for you.
Performance is the main focus of any piece of audio equipment. For a general rule, a larger woofer will allow more low-end response. For this reason, you have to look at the frequency response. If the rated response is far below what should be expect from the woofer size, you’re probably going to have an obtuse low-end. A good subwoofer goes low, but not so low that the woofer can’t handle the workload.
Speaking of workload, the amp is another important area of consideration. First off, the amp has to be high enough to support the volume being pushed out. It’s not always the case, but the wattage can be a good indicator of how loud the sub can get. Not only that, but a high headroom amp means the sub sound cleaner at lower volumes. A good buy has enough headroom to support the volume it’s trying to push out. If your amp doesn’t have enough headroom, it’ll distort and sound like garbage.
Lastly, a good pick has enough features to make it a contender within a full system. Things like tuneable crossover and phase reversal are essential.
How to Choose a Subwoofer
So, how do you pick one? Of course, you need to consider everything in the section above. However, spec sheets don’t always tell the full story, and even highly rated options may not be the fit for you. Other factors come into play.
The first is the aesthetic of the subwoofer. Nothing is worse than mismatching speakers. Subwoofers stand out on their own, usually bringing an equal balance to the look for a system. For that reason, you have to take your other speakers (click here to check out some bookshelf speakers) into consideration before making a choice. If you’re like me and consider your speakers as much as a piece of furniture as a piece of audio equipment, this is paramount.
Next, you’re going to want to consider your room size. Small rooms with massive boxes will prove problematic. Bass builds up in corners, so if you’re pushing too much low-end in a small room, you are going to have issues with uneven distribution. Some areas will have too much bass and others, not enough. So, consider how big your room is.
Finally, looking at where the box will sit is huge. Porting is the point of contention here. If your sub is going to be sitting up against a wall, a rear ported design is going to suck. You’re going to have low-end pressure constantly firing against the wall. Look at where the speaker will sit and consider the porting of the sub in question before making your purchase.
Hopefully you found everything in this guide helpful. The models listed above are all great performers across multiple price points, they can be used even with some great soundbars or record players. We made our choices based on value, so if you’re looking for the best subwoofers in particular price brackets, make sure to look at our guides at different price points.