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 on an excellent price to performance ratio. We’re going to help you find the best subwoofer for your needs and budget.
What Makes A Good Subwoofer?
How to Choose The Best Subwoofer
Find The Best Subwoofer For Home Use From Our Selection
- Solid construction.
- Full and tight bass.
- Beautiful, real wood veneer finish.
- Very heavy at 56 pounds.
Polk Audio’s PSW505 is a massive, 12-inch subwoofer that cranks out low-end like it’s no one’s business. Combined with a beautiful real wood veneer finish, this subwoofer is a winner. At 56 pounds, it’s about the heaviest we’ve come across and feels extremely robust, so carefully consider where you’d locate this audio system before purchasing it.
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 overinflated. There’s no denying that this is one of the best subwoofer options on the market in terms of power. Even set to a low-level, the audio is clear, concise, and rich. Equipped with switching connectors, this comes with an array of sound settings to adjust the audio to your liking. This unit maximizes the bass frequencies with the perfect balance of treble to create a sleek and high-quality sound.
- Massive sound.
- Tight response with the front port.
- Phase knob as opposed to switch.
- Missing DSP acceleration.
- A little ugly.
The look of this model has been fairly divisive in our experience. Some people really like the grainy finish, and some simply can not stand it.
And even if we ignore the finish, the placement of the driver and the front port is hardly the most attractive design. If you can get past this, then it’s a very solid choice that delivers a fantastic listening experience across the board.
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 make the right choice when ordering this masterpiece.
We’ve found that this particular subwoofer has similar specifications to a unit double its price. Peaking at 1,100+ watts, it delivers with exceptional power when you’re listening to music or watching a movie. The frequency-dependent compressor adjusts to create a great balance between bass and treble.
When looking for the best subwoofer, you want one that can absorb the energy in the room (no matter the room’s size). This subwoofer is equipped with a four-inch port that creates jaw-dropping moments in the middle of a movie for a realistic experience.
- 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 a 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.
This Yamaha subwoofer is small and light and positioned on its side, rather than on its bottom, making it easy to set up and convenient to use. The black-washed wood finish creates an expensive appearance given that these are essentially budget speakers. Even the best subwoofer has a box-like design, but we’re a huge fan of Yamaha’s smooth edges and matte finish to make it ideal for a luxury home experience.
Yamaha has omitted two features which we think would have improved this device. Firstly, there is nothing in the way of auto signal sensing which while hardly an essential is a good quality of life improvement. Secondly, there is no tunable crossover. Normally, these would be bigger issues, but the quality of the listening experience makes it hard to worry too much about them.
If you’re searching for the best subwoofer that can obtain low notes with clarity, this unit produces a tight bass while ensuring that no notes are missed, with the equal quality given to the entire spectrum. Its twisted shape helps to prevent any air turbulence and ensures that the sound is as smooth and high-quality as possible.
- Solid construction.
- Full and tight bass.
- Beautiful, real wood veneer finish.
- Very heavy at 56 pounds.
- Red Polk badge on the front.
Polk Audio’s PSW505 is a massive, 12-inch subwoofer that cranks out low-end like it’s no one’s business. Combined with a beautiful real wood veneer finish, this subwoofer is a winner. We can not overstate how heavy and bulky the PSW505 is, and while this is by no means a complaint, it is absolutely something that you will have to consider given that there is a real chance that your current speaker mounts or shelves might not take the weight. At 56 pounds, it’s about the heaviest we’ve come across and feels extremely robust.
The marriage of a Klippet Optimized low throw woofer with the Balance design delivers a tight and punchy low-end that sounds monstrous without being overinflated. This subwoofer projects the sound toward the ceiling and floor to offer a range of frequency so you can feel the entire range of the movie you’re watching or the music you’re listening to.
- Big and bold sound.
- Extended low-end.
- High headroom with the BASH amplifier.
- Dated design.
The design of the Sub-12HG is unlikely to win any awards for innovation and would look more at home in the early 90s than it does in the current year. If you can get past this, then the build quality is good enough to make up for the lack of aesthetic flair. And, of course, the listening experience more than compensates for this thoroughly minor issue.
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.
- Beautiful copper woofer.
- Exceptional performance.
- High headroom digital amplifier.
- Significantly lacks in features at this price.
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. Its design is simple, though luxurious and the 600 watts of bass sit in a stunning case. It’s also wireless, so moving it around your home for the best spot for sound is easy and convenient. Weighing nearly 50 pounds, it’s great to have an array of places you can store this subwoofer.
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.
Klipsch tends to focus in on single features rather than offering a wide range of varyingly useful extras and additions alongside their devices, and the R-12SW is no different. While this is a good thing in terms of the focus on sound quality having a real difference overall, we would expect a few more features considering that this is at the higher end of the price spectrum.
- Transformative design.
- Included wireless receiver and transmitter.
- MartinLogan level of performance.
- Not many tweaking features.
This MartinLogan subwoofer features a stunning design and for its compact design, delivers exceptional power. The control knobs and sockets are positioned underneath the subwoofer, which can make it slightly difficult to set up and control. Although, given its small size, this is the best subwoofer for hardly noticing it’s there when not in use.
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. It’s a recommendation that you have to consider at least!The default audio experience is pretty solid, and we found that it worked well in most of the listening environments in which we tested the Dynamo 700W. The bass has real presence and weight behind it, and the soundstage is broad and immersive. That said, we would have liked to have seen some more EQ options to make minor adjustments in some spaces, particularly to bring the highs up a tad.
- Solidly tuned 10-inch woofer.
- Tunable crossover.
- Beautiful blue cone.
- Ugly front grille.
The Mica Reinforced Cellular cone gives distortion-free bass, keeping the woofer lightweight but rigid under pressure. The front grille of the device is not a great look and gives the subwoofer a distinctly 80s vibe which may not be best suited to the modern day design aesthetic. That said, this is a minor criticism in the grand scheme of things, and the listening experience more than makes up for this tiny issue.
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. This is potentially the best subwoofer on our list if you don’t intend to play movies or songs at a loud volume. It’s not designed to handle high frequency levels, so you can expect the volume to reduce when you reach +/- 3dB.
If you’re looking just to 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 speaker. 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-rounder.
Spending $500 is where things go above and beyond. The 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 here is on performance, and it exceeds all others.
The Best Subwoofer From Our List
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.
If budget isn’t an issue and you’re interested in the best subwoofer, we’d declare SVS PB-2000 the overall winner from our list. We love that the amp comes with a variety of filters so you can adjust the volume, phase, and gain controls to suit your preferences, what you’re listening to and the size of your room. Also, this subwoofer is protected with compression parameters to prevent the volume from accidentally increasing.
Which out above selections, have you spotted the best subwoofer for you? Or do you know of high-quality units we haven’t mentioned? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments.