Best Subwoofer Reviews 2017

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 many brands and products and come up with some great options from top five of the best subwoofers brands.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Power
Max Volume
Frequency
Size
Our Top Choice
Polk Audio PSW10 Subwoofer
Polk Audio delivers through its speakers, sounds made to elevate the senses while lasting a lifetime. The Polk Audio PSW10 Subwoofer is a classic instance of this reputation.
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
Exceeds 85 decibels
35Hz - 200Hz
14 x 14.38 x 16.12 inches; 26lbs
Best Value
BIC America Formula F-12 Subwoofer
For many years, BIC America has been praised by famous industry publications. This subwoofer has further entrenched its leadership in the consumer electronics industry.
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
90 decibels
25Hz - 200Hz
21 x 19 x 22 inches; 42.7lbs
Sonos SUB Wireless Subwoofer
Sonos, by its new products, software, and commitment to deliver great sound to its customers, has introduced the Sub Wireless Subwoofer with zero cabinet buzz or rattle.
Easy to set up. Easy to mount. Good power output. Does not shake, rattle, or roll. Looks beautiful.
Has problems working with Samsung Smart TV (sound drops randomly). Heavy/bulky. Pricey. Weak bass.
Force-canceling woofers
Info NOT provided
Info NOT provided
Plays down to 25 Hz
20.1 x 10.6 x 20.1 inches;36.3lbs
Bazooka BTA8250D-DE Double-Ended Class D Amplified Tube
Bazooka Bass Tubes’ enclosure design delivers precise bass response without the loss of valuable space, and the Bazooka Double-Ended Amplified Tube is no exception.
Portable. Space efficient. Does not rattle. Easy to install.
Maxes out pretty fast. Bass tube made of seemingly low-quality plastic. Sounds buzzy at higher volumes.
Class D double ended bass tube
Max Power Output: 300 watts
102 decibels
35Hz-250Hz
36 x 8.5 x 10 inches; 30lbs
Yamaha YST-SW012 Front-Firing Subwoofer
Yamaha subwoofers deliver deep bass sounds sufficient to saturate entire theater rooms. With the Yamaha Front-Firing Active subwoofer, bass just got deeper and louder.
Easy to set up. Great sound quality. Good power output. Attractive. Easy to mount.
Does not have a crossover frequency adjustment. Does not have a phase adjustment. Does not take high level (speaker level) inputs.
Front-firing active Subwoofer
100 watts dynamic power
Info not provided
28Hz-200Hz
12.2 x 11.4 x14.2 inches; 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 an inbuilt 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 very 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 paper weight. 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, 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 for 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 – Does it have 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 (110Volts, 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 is 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 5 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. Alternatively, if you prefer the classic wood-finish, try the Polk Audio PSW505 Powered Subwoofer with Belkin 25 foot PureAv Subwoofer Audio Cable.
Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer in Black

Polk Audio Subwoofer AM1055-C


Features
With Polk Audio you can now enjoy rich, detailed audio for your home theatre, especially if it’s music you play often. For over the 40 years since Polk Audio introduced the Monitor Series, it has continued to create great sounds for all.

The Polk Audio 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer, built around high quality, medium density fiberboard, uses a highly efficient 10" 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
A movie theater sound-engineer or just a lover of great sound? BIC America is your brand. The BIC America Formula F-12 Subwoofer carries on the legacy of the first Formula Series introduced in 1973. If you prefer a more classic look, try the BIC America Eviction Series 12-Inch 475-Watt Subwoofer, which is also front-firing for that great sound.
BIC America 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer

BIC America Subwoofer - Formula 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 sounds all over the world.

The BIC America12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer delivers an output of up to 116dB with enhancements that beat all of its predecessors. This 12-inch, front-firing F12 powered subwoofer from BIC America 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-200Hz. 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’ parts and labor
Sonos’ signature subwoofer, the SUB Wireless Subwoofer in Black/Silver, adds a clearly deeper bass sound to any Sonos speaker (or amplified component). If you’re looking to deck out your entire home with great sound, you need the Sonos Home Theater Multi-Room Digital Music System Bundle instead.
SONOS SUB Wireless Subwoofer in Black/Silver

Sonos Subwoofer SUBGBUS1


Features
Since 2002, Sonos has been pursuing its goal to reinvent home audio for the digital age, with a compelling vision of filling every home with music and making listening a valued experience again. In more than 60 countries with seven languages and through thousands of retailers, Sonos is committed to providing the best experience to its customers.

The SONOS SUB Wireless Subwoofer is multipurpose and can be placed anywhere - standing up or lying flat, with no distortion of sound. The SUB handles everything required to deliver very low frequencies, thus allowing your other speakers concentrate on perfecting the mid and high-range frequencies.

Here are some of the SUB’s other features:
  • Designed with an opening in the middle to move even more air out of the enclosure
  • Delivers amazing amounts of highly-detailed, dynamic bass by using a surprisingly strong pair of woofers to move air
  • Works with any amplified Sonos speaker or component
  • Adds bigger boom to your home theater by pairing with PLAYBAR
  • Brings out the bass in your favorite tunes streaming on your PLAY:1, PLAY:3, PLAY:5, or the speakers you’ve connected to your CONNECT: AMP
  • Equipped with rubber feet to prevent scratches
The SONOS SUB Wireless Subwoofer also comes with additional felt feet if you want to lay it flat.
Bazooka’s portability is manifest in the Bazooka Double-Ended Amplified Tube which comes with straps for easy mounting and removal. If you’re not looking to loosen those purse strings quite so much, take a look at the BT Series 6-Inch 4 Ohm 100-Watt Passive Tube Subwoofer instead. It has the same great tube design and multiple wattage options too!
Bazooka BT Series 8-Inch Class D Double Ended Bass Tube Subwoofer – Available with Different Wattages

Bazooka Subwoofer BTA8250D-DE – 250 Watts


Features
For six consecutive years, Bazooka was lauded as the Audio-Video International "Product of the Year." The patented Bazooka is known for portability and space efficiency and has become widely adopted by drivers of every vehicle type on the market, including campers and boats.

The Bazooka Double-Ended Amplified Tube features a new 250W Class D integrated amplifier. It doesn’t matter if you push them up against your rear seat, or put them in your trunk; you’ll get twice the performance without double the cost or space in ONE install. The Bass Tubes enclosure fits any vehicle.

The following features contribute to why the Bazooka Double-Ended Amplified Tube is such in high demand:
  • Comes with straps to keep the sub securely mounted and makes removal quick and easy if you need even more cargo room
  • Comes with optional Chrome-Plated UMS Brackets, giving it a flashier look, as well as a more secure, permanent mounting when removal isn't a problem
  • Has a frequency response of between 35Hz - 250Hz frequency
  • Its acoustic damping material helps lower the resonance of the enclosure and simulates an increased air space
  • The grill serves for both aesthetics and protection from accidental damage of the subwoofer from items, such as footballs, golf clubs, heavy books, etc., that might be tossed into the cargo area where the Bazooka Woofers are usually mounted
If you are looking for a subwoofer that can really deliver loud and deep bass, then go for Yamaha’s Front-Firing Active Subwoofer. It can literally shake an entire theatre room and fill it with bass. If you like the quality you get with Yamaha, but want a down firing and rack-mountable subwoofer, you need the Yamaha YST-FSW050BL2 Subwoofer.
Yamaha 8-Inch Front-Firing Active Subwoofer

Yamaha Subwoofer YST-SW012BL


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 like the Yamaha Front-Firing Active Subwoofer.

The Yamaha Front-Firing Active Subwoofer has Yamaha's Advanced Active Servo technology, which is a complementary amplifier/speaker system utilizing negative impedance feedback in the amp and a Helmholtz resonator in the speaker to provide strong and accurate bass.

Other features include:
  • Linear Port for minimizing extraneous noise
  • High 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
  • Magnetically shielded subwoofer which can be placed near a TV monitor or receiver without degrading the picture
  • Volume control which permits the perfect matching of the sub's output to the overall volume of the system

Get the Best Subwoofer of 2017!

Now 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 PSW10 Subwoofer
Best Value
BIC America Formula F-12 Subwoofer
Sonos SUB Wireless Subwoofer
Bazooka BTA8250D-DE Double-Ended Class D Amplified Tube
Yamaha YST-SW012 Front-Firing Subwoofer