The Best Subwoofer Under $200 – The Value Sweet Spot

Buying a subwoofer under $200 proves to be one of the best ranges for great performance while still staying relatively inexpensive. Many of the subwoofers here perform on par with more expensive offers, but are generally nurtured in the features department.

For most, that won’t matter. Performance is king and this price bracket proves why that is the case. A solid, tight, and consistent low-end is at the forefront, with little messing around otherwise. While tweaking isn’t the focal point, these subwoofers sound fantastic.

Best Subwoofers Under $200

Yamaha NS-SW050

4.6 Stars
  • Yamaha NS-SW050 Review – Does Yamaha’s name live up?
  • Yamaha NS-SW050 Review – Does Yamaha’s name live up?
  • Yamaha NS-SW050 Review – Does Yamaha’s name live up?
  • Twisted Flare Port tightens low-end.

  • Advanced YST II allows higher listening volumes.

  • Design is pleasing in almost any room.

  • Lack of auto signal sensing.

  • No tuneable crossover.

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.

AudioRumble rating 92/100

Polk Audio PSW505

4.5 Stars
  • Polk Audio PSW505 Review – Worth every penny
  • Polk Audio PSW505 Review – Worth every penny
  • Polk Audio PSW505 Review – Worth every penny
  • Solid construction.

  • Full and tight bass.

  • Beautiful, real wood veneer finish.

  • Very heavy at 56 pounds.

  • Red Polk badge on the front.

Polk shows their name again with the more inexpensive PSW505. Still, Dynamic Balance and a Klippel Distortion Analyzer measured woofer show up, making this a superb value.

AudioRumble rating 90/100

Sony SACS9

4.25 Stars
  • Sony SACS9 Review – Thunderous low-end
  • Sony SACS9 Review – Thunderous low-end
  • Sony SACS9 Review – Thunderous low-end
  • Solidly tuned 10-inch woofer.

  • Tunable crossover.

  • Beautiful blue cone.

  • Ugly front grille.

Sony is another brand that is always solid for a low cost. The Mica Reinforced Cellular cone gives distortion free bass, keeping the woofer lightweight but rigid under pressure.

AudioRumble rating 85/100

Price

$200 is the perfect spot for a subwoofer. While jumping to $300 will grant more in the way of features, not much will improve in terms of quality. Similarly, going up to $500 will offer improvements in terms of quality and features, but it may feel like you didn’t get the greatest value for the money.

For that reason, this price bracket is really the sweet spot in terms of value. Solid performance is granted at a relatively low price point, not compromising the sound or the pocketbook.

Features

The best subwoofers on the market prove themselves in their performance. However, they generally have a feature-rich design as well, including options to tune the speaker, enhance the low-end (with subharmonic excitement), and more.

This price range improves over subwoofers under $100 in a big way by the simple addition of a phase reversal switch. What this basically means is that the sub can fire in phase with the rest of the speakers in your set up so you don’t lose anything in perceived low-end. This is hugely important, especially with a subwoofer, because out of phase speakers can nullify the sound almost completely.

Outside of that, subwoofers under $200 lose out a bit in terms of features. Expanded tweaking and subharmonic enhancement controls are not present, knocking these subwoofers down just a bit over more expensive options.

Design

Looking for a subwoofer proves to be a visual endevour as much as an auditory one. Thankfully, subwoofers in this range break the mold out of the stock looks of more inexpensive speakers. While they don’t venture too far outside of the mold, they are more unique, offering a more thorough design process and an overall refined look.

Black boxes with beveled edges are still the focal point, but a lot of the design of these subwoofers go internal. The design on the interior of the cabinet helps significantly in terms of performance, proving the experience of these brands to be of a higher caliber than more inexpensive options.

Conclusion

The sub-$200 price range for subwoofers is fantastic. Sound that hits well above the price show that these subwoofers are expertly designed, giving an excellent price to performance ratio. Improvements in external and internal design over cheaper options is a huge plus, leading to a very justified investment overall.

While lack of features is disappointing, the performance of these subwoofers is excellent, making them feel much higher quality than the price would suggest.

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