Best Subwoofer Reviews 2018

If you love music and movies, then sound—great sound—is very important to you. You want to enjoy that powerful bass only a great subwoofer can deliver. The challenge is the sheer number of subwoofers manufactured yearly and released into the market. How do you determine which one to buy? We understand this can be very stressful, so we’ve taken great care to go through hundreds of products and come up with some great options from five of the best subwoofer brands.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Power
Woofer Size
Frequency
Size
Our Top Choice
Polk Audio 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer
Polk Audio has grown since 1972 into a huge manufacturer of high-quality speakers, with the aim of transporting the experience of a live concert, home.
Highly efficient 10" driver. Very little distortion at high volumes above 50 Hz. Reaches full excursion easily. Perfect bass for every genre of music.
Sound becomes slightly muddied in the 40hz - 50hz range. Almost non-functional as a subwoofer below 40hz. Not ideal for watching movies. Sound gets lost and strained in larger rooms.
Floor coupled downward firing
Continuous/dynamic: 50/100W
10 inches
35Hz - 200Hz
14 x 14.38 x 16.12”; 26lbs
Best Value
Sony 10-Inch Active Subwoofer
Sony has been producing innovative and truly ground-breaking technology since 1946. Its line of products includes televisions, cameras, cell phones, and audio equipment.
Compact size. 10-inch subwoofer. Built-in amplifier. 115 watts. Mica-reinforced cellular cone. High-quality materials used. Designed to minimize vibration and enhance low frequencies.
Some customers suggested you may need two speakers to get the desired sound.
Active powered subwoofer
115 watts power output
10 inches
28Hz – 200Hz
11.6 x 13.6 x 15.75”; 25.35lbs
Bose Acoustimass 300 Bass Module
Bose began because of a passionate and inquisitive teenager who loved all things electronic. Now, after 50 years, it’s an industry leader in audio equipment.
Compact size can fit anywhere. Sleek design with glass top. Powerful driver for great sound. Wireless range of up to 30 feet. QuietPort technology reduces unwanted sound.
This module is only compatible with the SoundTouch soundbar by Bose.
Wireless bass module
180 watts
11.61 x 11.61 inches
50/60Hz
11.6 x 11.6 x 12.8”; 30lbs
BIC America Formula F-12 Subwoofer
Since the 1970s, BIC has been producing its own line of audio loudspeakers with an emphasis on creating high-quality audio equipment for an affordable price.
Not “boomy.” Can go low effectively. Easy connectivity with LFE. Good with music. Strong grill that can withstand a lot of pressure.
Heavy and hard to move.
Front firing powered subwoofer
Continuous/dynamic: 475/150W
12 inches
25Hz - 200Hz
17 x 14.75 x 17.3”; 42.7lbs
Yamaha 8-Inch 100W Powered Subwoofer
Yamaha is a world-renowned name when it comes to music and audio, and it’s no surprise considering its first instrument was made in 1887.
Compact design. 8-inch cone. 50-watt output power. Features advanced Yamaha Active Servo Technology II. Has a twisted flare cone for better sound quality. Lightweight.
Isolated complaint that there is no frequency control.
Powered subwoofer
50 watts power output
8 inches
28Hz - 200Hz
11.5 x 11.5 x 13.4”; 18.7lbs

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Subwoofer?

One of the things you likely love about cinemas and live concerts is the awesome sound that surrounds you, hitting you hard in the gut. The sound of the chase, the thumping of the bass drum and the bass guitar, that low-frequency sound you actually feel more than hear. It draws you into the action, leaving you excited for more. All of these things are powered by a subwoofer.

Most speakers are made up of multiple cones or drivers, each designed to reproduce different frequencies of sound. 2-way speakers will have a “tweeter” for high-pitched sounds and a mid-range driver for middle- and low-frequency sounds. Larger, 3-way speakers will also have a large “woofer” cone, and that’s where the deep, bassy sounds come from.

The subwoofer takes the low even lower—hence the name “sub” woofer. This is what you hear thumping at concert venues, cinemas, some car stereos, and more. Many people want to replicate this in their homes or other locations. Watching a movie at home, even with a top-of-the-line television, will not give you that thumping sound unless you add a subwoofer.

You should now understand why many people route all their audio through a home theater system. This system tries to replicate what they enjoy at the theaters. So how does one go about choosing the best subwoofer? This is what this guide is going to help you address.

It is important to understand that a subwoofer cannot work alone. It must be added to a system that already includes speakers designed to reproduce the highs and mids. You should also know that a subwoofer can be powered or passive. Powered means it has a built-in amplifier and so does not require any external amplification. In most cases, a powered subwoofer will have the capacity to power two top speakers of a stipulated power rating. Passive, on the other hand, means it will require external amplification. It is important to understand this. Make sure you know what you’re plugging the subwoofer into, and whether that is an amplified connection.

Another thing that must be considered is the connectivity of the subwoofer to the other speakers or audio system. Without the correct audio cables, you’ll be left with an expensive paperweight. You need to be sure the subwoofer you get will be able to connect to your existing sound system or the one you plan to get.
Price
With subwoofers, price is a major factor to consider. You can get a subwoofer from $100 to $400 and above. You should not expect that a subwoofer that costs $100 will have the same power output or features as those that cost $400 and above. The more features you want, the more you should be ready to pay. The features that will add to the cost include the wattage, woofer size, whether it’s powered or passive, etc.

Another thing that really does affect prices of subwoofers is brand integrity. Some brands have, over the years, built a reputation for quality. The fact that you can vouch for their products even before using them adds to the cost. What we have done here is look through top brands and picked out the five products that offer the best value for money.

There are cheap subwoofers that we cannot in good conscience recommend to you. Like we stated earlier, we have only selected products that will offer you great value for money. With our selection, whatever you pay for a product—high or low—you will get full value and more for it.
Features
There are some standard factors on which to base your choice of subwoofers. Working with these factors, you can easily determine what is important to you. These features include:
  • Type – Powered or passive
  • Wattage – This shows the power output of the speaker
  • Woofer Size – Larger woofers generally deliver more depth
  • Cabinet Size – This can affect the sound, but may also be too big or too small for where you want to use it
  • Connectivity – Determine if it has enough or the right connections you need to connect them to your sound system
  • Power Requirement (for powered subwoofers) – Be sure the power input requirement is right for you (110 Volts, 220 Volts, etc.)
  • Brand Integrity – This has to do with the reputation a brand has for delivering quality products
  • Extras – Any other features that catch your fancy
Construction and Design
The first thing you want to check with any subwoofer you are considering is whether it’s powered or passive. This cannot be over-emphasized. Like we’ve mentioned before, if it is passive then it will require external amplification. If it is powered, it will not require any external amplification (it will, however, need to be connected to a power socket).

Next, you need to consider the size of the cabinet in the location where you want to place or use it. Of course, if it’s too big for your entertainment console or any other location you intend for it, you will definitely need to reconsider. Most speakers are constructed with wood because of its acoustic properties. A few are made with plastic, but not the top-end products.

Make sure it’s solidly built and the material used is acoustically efficient.
Performance and Ease of Use
One of the most important things to consider is how easy it is to connect to other speakers or your existing sound system. Check the connection options and the wattage. Ensure the connection options provided on both your subwoofer and the system you want to connect it to are compatible.

Also, ensure their output power ratings are compatible. If you were to get a powered subwoofer of 100 watts and connect it to a system of 30 watts, the bass would be disproportionately powerful compare to the rest of the sound stage. If you have an existing amplification system and high - mid speakers of, say, 50 watts and you get a passive subwoofer of 100 watts, you will be under-driving the subwoofer so it won’t perform optimally.

What is the Best Subwoofer?

How exactly do you know which subwoofer is best for you? It’s our hope that our buying guide (above) has addressed that. Armed with the information provided therein, be on the lookout for features that are most important to you. With these in mind, let’s now review our top-five selection.
Our Top Choice
Polk Audio’s reputation of real American hi-fi and affordability has been delivered in the Polk Audio PSW10 Subwoofer, with great sounds especially in smaller rooms. If you’re loving what Polk has to offer in the subwoofer department, but would prefer a bigger model, check out the Polk Audio 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer instead!
Polk Audio 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer in Black

Polk Audio Subwoofer PSW10


Features
Polk Audio began in 1972 as a garage project amongst a few music-loving friends. These friends appreciated good music and understood that the speaker the music is played on really can change everything. So, they set out to create a range of top-quality speakers that could do any music justice. The line of speakers by Polk Audio is vast and ranges from headphones and car speakers to sound bars and subwoofers!

The Polk Audio 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer, built around high-quality, medium-density fiberboard, uses a highly efficient 10-inch driver, and yet bangs as well, if not louder, than other subwoofers in this category, even at 50 watts RMS. Here are some of the great features of this subwoofer:
  • Enclosures are designed and engineered for perfect volume
  • Thoroughly tuned for distortion-free low frequencies
  • Internally braced and damped to eliminate internal standing waves and other performance-robbing resonances
  • Uses a specially tuned and directed port to more efficiently produce maximum bass impact
  • Easily accessible, professional-grade line- and speaker-level inputs, and speaker-level outputs, allow easy connection to any system
  • Smart sensing circuitry knows when to turn itself on and off
  • Superior compression circuitry limits distortion at extreme volume levels
  • PSW Series subwoofers blend perfectly with systems composed of other Polk loudspeakers, especially TSi, RM, and R/T/M Series speakers
For more-efficient use of power, the Polk Audio 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer in Black has been designed to stay stable and steady even at radical volume levels.
Best Value
The Sony 115-Watt 10-Inch Active Subwoofer has a built-in amplifier that has a 115-watt max output, great for blasting those heavy-bass tunes. If you really want to pack a punch, why not get yourself a subwoofer with a sound bar too? The 2017 model Sony Ultra Slim 300W Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer could be the way to go.
Sony 115-Watt 10-Inch Active Subwoofer – Available in 4 Styles

Sony Subwoofer SA-CS9 - 10" Active Powered Subwoofer


Features
Sony is a world-famous brand in the technological industry, and for good reason. In 1946, Sony was known as the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation which only had a capital of 190,000 yen. Since then, the company has grown, strived for innovation in technology, and has become a multibillion-dollar company with products in 2014 countries. Today, its products include cell phones, tablets, televisions, home theatre systems, camcorders, cameras, car speakers, headphones, and a whole host of other, high-quality audio equipment.

Its SACS9 Active Subwoofer is a fantastic example of Sony’s high-quality speakers. With just a 10-inch driver, this subwoofer is able to produce a rich and authentic sound thanks to the 9.84-inch cone diaphragm. This moves larger volumes of air, creating a low-end reverberation ideal for highlighting the low-frequency sounds in music and movies.

This subwoofer has countless other attributes, including:
  • Built-in Amplifier: The amplifier has a 115-watt output, making it ideal for blasting out that heavy-bass music at any party.
  • Mica-reinforced Cellular Cone: Unlike other subwoofers that use a paper cone, the MRC cone will not deteriorate or distort your sound.
  • Bass Reflux System: This system basically prevents any unwanted sound and also enhances the low-frequency sounds you’re listening to.
  • High-quality Parts: Sony understands the importance of high-quality materials and therefore, that’s what you get with this subwoofer. It even has a heat sink to prevent over-heating.
  • Minimized Vibrations: Designers working on this product spent a lot of time ensuring everything was placed correctly to absorb any unwanted sound or vibrations.
  • Compact Design: At just 11.61 x 13.58 x 15.75 inches, this subwoofer will fit in any corner or under any desk and still produces sound like it’s 5 times larger!
With all these great features, it’s easy to see why this subwoofer is so popular. You might also be interested to know you can get the same awesome technology in a 2-way center channel speaker, 3-way bookshelf speaker, or floor-standing speaker, in case any of those take your fancy too!
The Bose Acoustimass 300 Wireless Bass Module will pair effortlessly with your SoundTouch soundbar to produce an unrivalled sound from such a compact model. If you have the F1 Model 812 loudspeaker, then you should definitely check out the Bose F1 Powered Subwoofer. Thanks to an extension bracket, you can mount your loudspeaker on top of the subwoofer without a pole mount!
Bose Acoustimass 300 Wireless Bass Module – Available in Black or White

Bose Subwoofer 760093-1110 - Black


Features
For over 50 years, Bose has been leading innovation in audio equipment and is now known worldwide for its high-quality products. Bose was created by Amar Bose, who’s fascination with electronics started from a young age where he would fix radios from his family home. He would actually convince his dad to let him have a day off school once a week so he could fix lots of radios for the store his dad sold his goods at. Through his sheer love of learning and innovation, and after a stint at MIT, Bose was founded. Its range of audio equipment includes over-ear headphones, wireless headphones, portable speakers, home theaters, and stereo speakers, to name a few!

The Bose Acoustimass 300 Bass Module has a super-sleek, minimalist design that would fit with any décor, especially considering you can choose from the black or white speakers depending on your preference. If you’ve got yourself the SoundTouch 300 soundbar but want to really feel the bass, not just hear it, then this bass module is for you. It’ll give your audio that kick from “nice” into “thunderous.”

Here are some important features that make this bass module a great choice:
  • It was designed exclusively to work with the SoundTouch 300 soundbar.
  • The powerful driver delivers a range of bass unmatched by any other subwoofer this size.
  • QuietPort technology is incorporated to eliminate almost any sound distortion.
  • This module has a wireless range of up to 30 feet, so you can use it virtually anywhere in your house.
  • Its compact size, 11.61 x 11.61 x 12.8 inches, will fit effortlessly anywhere.
  • The SoundTouch app allows you to play music effortlessly with just the touch of a button.
  • If you want to add more to your home theater system, you can also connect the Virtually Invisible 300 wireless surround speakers for a full, immersive experience.
A movie theater sound engineer or just a lover of great sound? BIC America is your brand. The BIC America 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer carries on the legacy of the first Formula Series introduced in 1973. If you want a subwoofer that’ll literally knock your socks off, then you should take a look at the BIC America Kevlar Series Front-Firing Powered Subwoofer which has an impressive 1000 watts of power.
BIC America 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer

BIC America Subwoofer F12


Features
Since 1973, BIC America, famed for patenting "Venturi Port" (a device that regulates the flow of fluids by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passage ways), has continued to offer an eclectic range of superior-quality components and speaker systems for lovers of great sound all over the world. Its product range includes sound bars, floor-standing speakers, surround sound, and subwoofers.

The BIC America 12-Inch Front Firing Powered Subwoofer delivers an output of up to 116dB with enhancements that beat all of its predecessors. This front-firing F12-powered subwoofer integrates a high-current 475-watt peak amplifier in combination with a 12-inch, injection-molded long-throw woofer.

Still looking for more reasons to get it? Check out its other features:
  • Comes with a BASH designed amp
  • Has an adjustable crossover, volume, and auto on/off
  • Its frequency response ranges from 25Hz to 200Hz and its dimensions are 15" W x 17" H x 18 1/4" D
  • Integrated with a patented BIC "Venturi" vent, which eliminates port noise often heard when playing demanding music and videos
  • Has automatic signal sensing
This subwoofer comes with a warranty of 5 years for parts and labor.
The Yamaha 8-Inch 100W Powered Subwoofer incorporates a new Advanced Yamaha Active Servo Technology II for the best sound yet. If you fancy a larger subwoofer, why not check out the Yamaha 10-Inch 100 Watt Powered Subwoofer instead?
Yamaha Black 8-Inch 100-Watt Powered Subwoofer - with Advanced Yamaha Active Servo Technology II

Yamaha Subwoofer NS-SW050BL


Features
Yamaha has, over the years, gained unique expertise and sensibilities from its devotion to sound and music, and is committed to creating excitement and cultural inspiration together with people all over the world. This Yamaha philosophy has been deployed in the creation of world-class sound systems such as the Yamaha Front-Firing Subwoofer.

The Yamaha 8-Inch 100W Powered Subwoofer has Yamaha's Advanced Active Servo Technology II, which utilizes an Active Servo Processing amplifier circuit combined with an advanced negative impedance converter to achieve zero impedance. This basically means the speaker can produce better sound, and that sound can be driven with tighter control through the speaker cone.

Other features include:
  • New twisted flare port which creates a smoother flow of air and therefore less extraneous noise
  • High 100-watt amplifier power which assures enough power to deliver movie theater-like bass effects
  • 8-inch cone driver which translates power into clear bass sound
  • Frequency range of 28 to 200 Hz
  • Stylish design that’ll fit into any décor; the rounded edges of the foam give it a nice finishing touch
  • Compact size is easy to place anywhere – 11-1/2 x 11-1/2 x 13-3/8 inches
  • Weighs just 18.7 pounds which makes it easily portable compared to others

Get the Best Subwoofer of 2018!

Now that you’ve taken time to go through these reviews, you need to take the next step and make the purchase. But remember that each brand has numerous subwoofers beyond the ones reviewed, so feel free to check some of them out before buying if none of the featured ones is exactly what you want.

Our Top Choice
Polk Audio 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer
Best Value
Sony 10-Inch Active Subwoofer
Bose Acoustimass 300 Bass Module
BIC America Formula F-12 Subwoofer
Yamaha 8-Inch 100W Powered Subwoofer