When you listen to music, watch a movie or play a video game, you may feel that something is missing. With a great subwoofer, you will get the full experience. With their clear and loud sound as well as deep bass, they are a necessary piece of equipment for those who want to have a great home theater. Although all subwoofers look alike, they differ in how they sound. Another factor worth considering is their price, so there’s not always the need to spend a lot to get that amazing subwoofer experience. Let’s take a look at 7 amazing and affordable subwoofers.
Subwoofer Buying Guide
Frequency Response: You want subwoofers that actually make noises as low as they claim. Look for something that extends down to at least 25Hz if not lower. Some better units can reach down to 14Hz or so. There’s some debate over whether humans can hear this low, but something with this kind of response is sure to cover the whole spectrum.
Price: Plenty of manufacturers love to ream fans of high-quality audio equipment. Don’t feel like you have to pay an arm and a leg for a good subwoofer! Shop around for deals and make sure you’re not going to suffer from buyer’s remorse later on.
Connectivity: Traditional subwoofers feature little clips that you have to hardwire speaker cords to. More than likely, you’ll want something with either 3.5mm audio jacks, RCA plugs or possibly even some sort of wireless connection.
Size: Bigger subwoofers might sound great, but they’re going to be awkward for apartment dwellers and those with smaller homes. Make sure you’re looking at subwoofers that will actually fit in your home theater room. Keep an eye on the weight, too, since some higher-end units tend to be rather heavy.
Monoprice Ssw-12 Powered Slim Subwoofer
• Includes a wall mounting kit
• Extremely low profile
• Built-in 150W amp
• Reproduction could be more precise
• Users may need extra RCA plugs
If you’re looking for something that fits in a slim area, then you’re going to love the Ssw-12 from Monoprice. This svelte subwoofer can fit almost anywhere because of its slim design.
With a frequency response that dials all the way down to 20Hz, you can be sure you’re not sacrificing sound quality for size. It’s designed to turn itself on only in the presence of a signal, so you won’t even have to worry about it wasting power when you’re not using it.
Fans of bass-heavy dance music and old school hip hop will love just how low it can go. Some audiophiles might complain that the low end of the sound spectrum is a bit sloppy, but you’d need an analyzer circuit to really tell.
Best of all, the price is considerably better than most of the competition.
Klipsch 12″ 400 Watts Wireless Subwoofer
• Phase control
• Removable grille
• 2.4GHz wireless amplifier
• Nearly 40 lbs
• Frequency response around 30Hz ±3dB
If you’re like most people, then the first thing you’ll notice about Klipsch’s offering is how good it looks. When you take off the front, you’ll find there’s a nice golden-colored driver hidden underneath.
Their engineers wanted to make sure that you’d be able to work this into any type of decor. While the frequency response isn’t as good as a more dedicated unit, those who need a wireless model should love it.
Even though the internal 2.4GHz system is what will attract most of this unit’s fans, the all-digital amplifier has a few other tricks too. It comes with hard-wired connectivity that includes dual stereo line-in jacks as well as phase and gain control knobs on the back. The main driver is made from genuine spun copper.
In spite of all this technology, you won’t be paying all that much more than you would for a similarly-sized analog unit.
Sony SACS9 10″ Active Subwoofer
• 115W built-in amplifier
• Cabinet designed to minimize vibrations
• 28-200Hz frequency response
• Weighs over 20 lbs.
• Lacks spring clips
If you want brand name technology without sacrificing too much in the way of price, then the SACS9 might be for you. Though it works with any manufacturer’s mid-range and tweeter drivers, it’s especially at home with Sony’s own bookshelf speakers.
A set of binding posts and a headphone-style jack provide more than enough connectivity for those with more traditional stereos. You can easily wire any cord to a plug if you’d prefer to connect this subwoofer to modern digital equipment. Sony was trying to reach as many customers as possible with the design.
Whether you’re looking to work with more traditional gear or want to hook up an MP3-driven media center, the SACS9 should have you covered with this unique design feature.
Yamaha 10″ 100W Powered Subwoofer
• Weighs under 19 lbs.
• 10″ cone woofer
• Twisted flare design contributes to clear bass
• Slightly underpowered
• Response starts around 100Hz
Those who are looking for a truly minimalist design will love Yamaha’s NS-SW100BL. While it’s name might be hard to remember, it’s surprisingly easy to configure. It features one single input on the back along with a power button and volume knob.
You won’t need any external accessories to work with the unit. It’s extremely affordable, too. While there are certainly less expensive options on the market, they won’t come with the same set of features that Yamaha’s time-tested appliance does.
Acoustic Audio PSW250-6 Subwoofer
• Very inexpensive
• Lfe & RCA inputs
• Automatic shut off
• Response starts around 30Hz
• Rigid 8Ω impedance
Acoustic Audio’s subwoofer is extremely traditional. If you’re looking for the kind of unit you might have used years ago with a classic dial-tuned stereo, then this might be the unit for you. It includes a high efficiency amp as well as a digital driver that’s not normally seen in these classic style units.
None of this distracts from the aesthetics or the old time sound, however. Since it weighs less than 16 lbs. and comes with all the adapters you’ll need, you can start using it the moment you get it out of the box too.
Theater Solutions Slim Subwoofer
• Visually attractive
• Comes with cables
• Includes Y-type adapter
• Response starts at ~35Hz
• Locked in at 8Ω impedance
If nothing else, then the SUB8SM wins every beauty contest an audiophile can think up. It’s encased in a mahogany-finished MDF cabinet, which comes with feet that allow you to mount it in a downward facing position. By using an advanced bass reflex design, Theater Solutions was able to keep both the price and weight down.
Those who have a dedicated place for their stereo equipment can position this subwoofer next to all their other gear. It’ll fit in the same amount of space a smaller turntable would.
It won’t look much different from one, either!
Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer
• Durable construction
• 22-200Hz frequency response
• 1kW dynamic peak output power
• Relatively expensive
• Magnet sticks to everything
While you might have to pay a little more for it, the PL-200 II from Bic Acoustech is a gloss black beast that should please even the most discerning audiohpiles. It uses a BASH-type amp to give you great bass tones without distorting anything. It’s a bit heavier than most others and won’t fit everywhere, but this shouldn’t matter to its target audience. Serious discerning listeners of stereo FM broadcasts will appreciate the kind of tone they get out of it.
Shoppers looking for the best subwoofer under 500 will probably gravitate toward Monoprice Ssw-12, since it has the lowest basses. Since it has a 150W built-in amp, it should also satisfy those who feel their current arrangement is anemic. This is more than enough power for almost any kind of setting.
In fact, that’s why some DJs have taken to using it in clubs. Those who want something a little more traditional might instead want to give the Sony SACS9 a try. While it’s still got an active module built into it, the cabinet is designed to minimize vibrations. That means you won’t experience the thumping noise that’s associated with so many modern units.
Keep in mind that any of these subwoofers should work great. If one has the connection options you need, then you’ll be able to pair it with your mid-ranger and tweeter boxes easily.