9 Best Budget Subwoofers to Rock Your World (Not Your Wallet)

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Best Budget SubwoofersA subwoofer is an integral part of any sound system. You cannot have an optimal home theater without a subwoofer, neither can you hope to listen to music the way it is meant to be.

A subwoofer is designed to enhance bass and allow your speaker system to emit even the low-frequency sounds, so no part of the sound design is lost.

For example, if you are listening to a concert on your sound system, there may be musical instruments that are played at a lower decibel and those that are at a higher decible. But a music piece will not be complete if you can only hear the higher-pitched violin and not the cello that provides the bass.

Think of it this way — is a rock band complete without a bass guitar? No, it isn’t. Similarly, your sound system is a jiving rock band and your subwoofer provides the bass.

So which are the best subwoofers available on a budget to get your speakers jiving? Jump in and find out.

 

Quick List: Best Budget Subwoofers in 2019

  1. Best Overall: Monoprice 9723
  2. Best Budget Home Theater Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW10
  3. Best Budget Car Subwoofer: Boss Audio CXX8 Car Subwoofer
  4. Best Budget Subwoofer for Music: Pioneer SW-8MKS
  5. Best Budget Powered Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW505
  6. Best Budget Wireless Subwoofer: Klipsch R-10swi
  7. Best Budget 15-Inch Subwoofer: Rockville RBG15S
  8. Best Budget 12-Inch Subwoofer: BIC America F12
  9. Best Budget 10-Inch Subwoofer: Micca MS10

 

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
tsj-table__imageMonoprice 9723
  • Size: 12-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 150W, Max: 200W
  • Our Pick For: Best Overall
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imagePolk Audio PSW10
  • Size: 10-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 50W, Max: 100W
  • Our Pick For: Best for Home Theater
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imageBoss Audio CXX8 Car Subwoofer
  • Size: 8-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 300W, Max: 600W
  • Our Pick For: Best for Car Audio
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imagePioneer SW-8MKS
  • Size: 8-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 50W, Max: 100W
  • Our Pick For: Best for Music
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imagePolk Audio PSW505
  • Size: 12-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 300W, Max: 460W
  • Our Pick For: Best Powered
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imageKlipsch R-10SWi
  • Size: 10-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 150W, Max: 300W
  • Our Pick For: Best Wireless
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imageRockville RBG15S
  • Size: 15-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 400W, Max: 1600W
  • Our Pick For: Best 15-Inch
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imageBIC America F12
  • Size: 12-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 150W, Max: 475W
  • Our Pick For: Best 12-Inch
VIEW ON AMAZON
tsj-table__imageMicca MS10
  • Size: 10-Inch
  • Power Handling: RMS: 80W, Max: 120W
  • Our Pick For: Best 10-Inch
VIEW ON AMAZON

 

 

Budget Subwoofer Reviews

Subwoofers that go well with a sound system or that are excellent even on their own can be hard to come by. The good ones are, more often than not, extremely expensive so you may have to shell out a lot of money in order to ensure that you are getting the sound you want to hear.

If it is a budget buy, there are several things you may need to forego in order to get a subwoofer that also does not break the bank. But this does not need to be the case at all times.

The following are reviews of some of the best budget subwoofers. In order to get the best and separate from the average, the list has been divided into a few different categories so it is easier for you to navigate. Take a look!

 

1

Best Overall: Monoprice 9723 Review

Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer, Black (109723)
90 Reviews
Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer, Black (109723)
  • 12" High Performance Powered Subwoofer
  • 150 Watts RMS, 200 Watts Peak
  • 50 ~ 250 Hz Frequency Response

The Monoprice 12-inch subwoofer is a 150-watt powered subwoofer that gives you incredible sound. It lends an incredible bass sound to your sound system and home theater experience.

With a frequency response range of 50 Hz to 250 Hz, this subwoofer has a low-pass crossover filter which can also be adjusted through the full range. It also has multiple input options and gives you a versatile and satisfactory experience, whether you are using it to listen to music or are connecting it to your home theater system. There are gain and frequency knobs on the control panel that allow you to adjust the crossover filter. The filter can be adjusted along with the power output and balance of bass output for your stereo or surround speakers.

The splitter for the subwoofer also has an incredible operating range of approximately 30 feet or 10 meters. The Monoprice has been chosen as the ‘best overall’ budget subwoofer as it satisfies many needs and does not break the bank. The following are some of the pros and cons of the product:

 

PROS:
  • Several input options ensure you can use the subwoofer with any stereo you may already have – or any 5.1 (or greater) amplifier system.
  • Has an internal battery with an operating life of nearly nine hours, allowing you to enjoy a full day of great audio.
  • Can transmit audio to two sets of Bluetooth receivers at the same time.
  • Has its own power and has impudence matching circuitry. To put it simply, it means the power output to the front speakers will not be affected.
  • The “Auto On” function can be turned off allowing you to manually control the device whenever required.

 

CONS:
  • The volume needs to be cranked up really high for the subwoofer to deliver a satisfactory performance.
  • Several customers have complained of a buzzing sound that emanates from the subwoofer, no matter what volume you keep it at.
  • Some customers complained that the subwoofer was not compatible with a few modern receivers.
  • It is difficult to use banana clips with the speaker wires as the clip’s ends do not fit inside the amp’s speaker jacks.

 

 

2

Best for Home Theater: Polk Audio PSW10 Review

Polk Audio PSW10 10' Powered Subwoofer - Featuring High Current Amp and Low-Pass Filter | Up to 100...
4,802 Reviews
Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer - Featuring High Current Amp and Low-Pass Filter | Up to 100...
  • POWERED SUBWOOFER FOR EXTRA BASS and PUNCH A 10 inch Dynamic Balance woofer and a uniquely configured directed port provides accurate bass with added depth that brings your music and movies alive. A...

The Polk Audio PSW10 is a 10-inch powered subwoofer that provides an incredible and deep bass that makes your movie viewing and music listening experience amazing and more enjoyable.

It is an ideal subwoofer for a small to a medium-sized room and also does not break the bank. It is a 10-inch Dynamic Balance woofer with a uniquely configured directed port that offers you very accurate bass. You can enjoy a clear sound even at a higher volume and can be used with any bookshelf or floorstanding speaker without any distortion.

The subwoofer can be easily integrated with any of your existing systems. You can pair it with any separate speaker that plays a deep sound even if it is set at a low frequency. It also has an inbuilt 50-watt RMS amp that is easy to integrate and hook up with existing receivers. The features are continuously variable between 80 – 160 Hz and 40 – 160 Hz frequency response.

It has been selected as the best home theater subwoofer for our budget sub line-up as it integrates beautifully with most home theater systems to enhance your movie watching experience. The following are some of the pros and cons of the product:

 

PROS:
  • You can double the amplifier power to 100 watts of Dynamic Power, thanks to the in-built 50-watt RMS amp.
  • This is a perfect subwoofer for a small to a medium-sized room and is sure to light up your leisure entertainment experience.
  • It can play even the more demanding nodes without any distortion, giving you a near-perfect sound.
  • It has a detachable grille on the front and speaker-level inputs and outputs at the back, which make it a complete system.
  • You can use the Phase Toggle Switch for multiple subwoofers.

 

CONS:
  • There can often be a humming sound even when the amplifier is switched off.
  • Some customers complained that the plastic used for the bass was not of good quality and gave way soon after.
  • There have been instances of the slow burn fuse in the unit giving way and blowing.
  • A few customers reported that the product stopped working after a few months of use and the customer care did not offer much support.
  • The system may not always sound great if it is not on a low-volume frequency.

 

 

3

Best for Car: Boss Audio CXX8 Review

Sale
BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 Car Subwoofer - 600 Watts Maximum Power, 8 Inch, Single 4 Ohm Voice Coil,...
1,012 Reviews
BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 Car Subwoofer - 600 Watts Maximum Power, 8 Inch, Single 4 Ohm Voice Coil,...
  • VOICE COIL: Our Voice Coils Are Able To Withstand High Temperatures, Yet Maintain their Strength And Fatigue Properties. The Advantage Of High-Temperature Voice Coils Is Longer Pay Times With Lower...

What is a road trip without some road trip music? With the right subwoofer for your car, you can enjoy all your road trips and even have some entertainment for the times you are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The Boss Audio CXX8 Car Subwoofer has a cone made from polypropylene that offers great sound and makes it durable. It also has voice coils that can withstand high temperatures that allow it to have longer play time with lower weights.

The use of rubber makes it supremely durable and allows you to use it for a long time, without any signs of damage. It can endure a lot without showing any signs of wear and tear, for a long time. Speaking of durability, the sub also has a die-cast frame which is a good material to absorb the energy that the speaker produces and gives it a good sound.

The CXX8 has a resonant frequency of 49 Hz and dimensions of 9” x 9” x 4.3” (DxWxH). It has been selected as the best car subwoofer on a budget as it provides a great sound for your car stereo system and also comes at an affordable price. The following are some of the pros and cons of the product:

 

PROS:
  • It is extremely durable, thanks to the polypropylene cone and the rubber fittings.
  • The die-cast frame has great corrosion resistance and can withstand even high temperatures.
  • The voice coils are also able to withstand extremely high temperatures without succumbing to any damage.
  • The dimensions of 9” x 9” x 4.3” (depth x width x height) is perfect for a car — large enough for great sound but also compact enough that it does not occupy too much space.
  • With a resonant frequency of 48 Hz, you are bound to get great sound.

 

CONS:
  • Some customers complained that the subwoofer did not last for all its promises of durability.
  • The soldering points behind the cone do not always live up to the quality and may need to be re-soldered.
  • It has been reported that it isn’t as loud as advertised.
  • Several customers complained of getting a bad voice coil.

 

 

4

Best for Music: Pioneer SW-8MKS Review

Sale
Pioneer SW-8MKS 100W powered subwoofer for home theater
427 Reviews
Pioneer SW-8MKS 100W powered subwoofer for home theater
  • Powerful 100 Watt internal amplifier for controlled bass at any volume level high or low ; Maximum Input Power 100 W
  • 8" long throw woofer allows for lower frequencies than traditional woofers ; Dimensions (W x H x D) 12-3/16" x 14-3/16" x 12-3/16"

The Pioneer SW-8MKS is a powerful internal amplifier that provides a controlled and incredible bass at any level of volume. It supports lower frequencies as compared to traditional subwoofers as it has an eight-inch long throw woofer.

It has a 100-watt internal amplifier that is able to control the bass at any level of volume, low or high and a frequency range between 38 Hz and 150 Hz. Power consumption capacity is 1.0A.

For true music lovers, it is extremely important to have accurate sound and a great listening experience and the SW-8MKS offers crossover and phase adjustments so that the sound can blend perfectly with the speakers. The bass is an essential part of the sound design and if you cannot hear it correctly, the song or the track loses its essence.

With the Pioneer SW-8MKS subwoofer, you can enjoy the sound that any musical composition deserves. The subwoofer has been selected as the best subwoofer for music for our line-up of budget subwoofers as it has been designed keeping in mind audiophiles and their appreciation of good sound – plus, it doesn’t break the bank! The following are some of the pros and cons of the product:

PROS:
  • The powerful internal amplifier allows you to play music at any volume level and still get a controlled base.
  • You can apply crossover and phase adjustments in order to blend the subwoofers with your speakers perfectly.
  • The speaker-level and line-level inputs are conveniently placed so that any installation can be easily carried out with regards to the speaker wire or a subwoofer cable.
  • It has a convenient frequency range of 38 Hz – 150 Hz.
  • The eight-inch long throw woofer is incredible because it allows for lower frequencies than other, traditional woofers.

 

CONS:
  • Even if it is off or on standby mode, simply plugging it into an outlet makes it hum.
  • The “standby” function has a tendency to stop working, which means you need to turn it on and off manually.
  • The product has not proven to be very durable, according to several reports from customers.
  • Some users reported that the only time they can get a sound without distortion is when they are playing music with deep bass.

 

 

5

Best Powered: Polk Audio PSW505 Review

Polk Audio PSW505 12' Powered Subwoofer - High Precision Bass with Extreme Power & Wide Soundstage |...
2,365 Reviews
Polk Audio PSW505 12" Powered Subwoofer - High Precision Bass with Extreme Power & Wide Soundstage |...
  • HEART THUMPING MUSIC WITH DEEP, POWERFUL BASS Polk's 12 inch Dynamic Balance Woofer sounds better because it is built better. Make your movies, music and sports experience thrilling

The Polk Audio PSW505 12-inch powered subwoofer is a dynamic balance woofer that provides great sound and a superior quality of build. It has a power of 460 watts and can deliver high-performance sound without any disturbance.

The PSW505 can reproduce sound accurately, no matter what it is — be it a deep bass sound or a melodious string quartet. It can be integrated with existing sound systems easily and features a continuously variable 60 – 120 Hz crossover and 25-125 Hz frequency response. It blends in easily with most speakers but works best when paired with a Polk’s Signature Series speaker.

The front grille is detachable and in the back, you’ll find a magnetically-shielded LFE-input to avoid noisy signals. The sub can be integrated easily with existing systems and has a Phase Toggle Switch for running multiple subwoofers.

The Polk Audio PSW505 has been chosen as the best powered subwoofer for this line-up because it delivers what any powered subwoofer should deliver, and more. Besides, it also does not come at too high a price and gives you an affordable option. The following are some of the pros and cons of the product:

 

PROS:
  • The 12-inch subwoofer sounds better than most because it has a better design and build.
  • It can recreate a variety of different sounds accurately and to absolute perfection, be it the bass of an orchestra or the melody of a softer string instrument.
  • It can blend beautifully with most bookshelf speakers (though its best partner would be a Polk’s Signature Series speaker).
  • It is versatile and allows you to run multiple subwoofers alongside, thanks to the Phase Toggle Switch.
  • The LFE-input shield is magnetically loaded and avoids noisy signals.

 

CONS:
  • A few customers have complained that the subwoofer shorted out after a couple of uses.
  • There have been reports of constant buzzing noises which spoils the listening experience.
  • Some customers found that the auto-off feature does not perform as efficiently as advertised.

 

 

6

Best Wireless: Klipsch R-10SWI Review

Klipsch R-10SWi 10' Wireless Subwoofer - Brushed Black Vinyl
159 Reviews
Klipsch R-10SWi 10" Wireless Subwoofer - Brushed Black Vinyl
  • 10" front-firing, spun copper imp woofer
  • 2.4Ghz wireless hi-fi pre-paired transmitter
  • All-digital amplifier

The Klipsch R-10SWI is a 10-inch, front-firing wireless subwoofer that has an all-digital amplifier. It is Klipsch’s special spun copper IMG woofer that offers an incredible sound.

It has a low pass crossover and phase control and a strong, flexible and fully removable front grille. The woofer is light and portable while also being durable and extremely rigid.

The 2.4Ghz wireless Hi-Fi transmitter is pre-paired so you do not need to worry about establishing a connection. It can offer an incredibly low-frequency response with as little cone breakup and distortion as possible.

A wireless subwoofer also makes it easy to carry the perfect sound system wherever you go. Whether it is in your garage for band practice or in the backyard for a party. The wireless quality of the subwoofer also makes it more portable. But it is a useful product only if the wireless receptors are also strong. The sound should not be interrupted simply because it is not connected through a wire.

The Klipsch R-10SWI has been selected as the best wireless subwoofer for this list because it does everything that a wireless subwoofer should do and it also comes at an affordable price. The following are some of the pros and cons of the product:

 

PROS:
  • The wireless high-fidelity connectivity allows for incredible sound anywhere in the room.
  • The IMG or injection molded graphite woofers are extremely light and portable.
  • They provide a low-frequency response with minimal distortion and cone breakup.
  • The built-in all-digital amplifier ensures accurate reproduction of the sound.
  • The low pass crossover and phase control allow the subwoofer to blend its low-frequency notes with other Klipsch speakers.

 

CONS:
  • Some customers complained that the wireless receiver fails to maintain a good connection.
  • The parts are not of great quality, some users complained. The wireless adapter male pin is flimsy.
  • The sound is often thumping instead of a clear low-frequency.

 

 

7

Best 15-Inch: Rockville RBG15S Review

Rockville RBG15S 1600w Active Powered PA Subwoofer w/DSP + Limiter Pro/DJ, 15 inch (
453 Reviews
Rockville RBG15S 1600w Active Powered PA Subwoofer w/DSP + Limiter Pro/DJ, 15 inch (
  • Rockville RBG15S 15" 1600 Watt Active Powered PA Subwoofer.
  • 400 Watts RMS / 800 Watts Program / 1600 Watts Peak Power. 5" Woofer with 70oz Magnet and 3" Voice Coil.

The Rockville RBG15S active powered PA subwoofer is a 1600-watt, powerful device that emanates an incredible sound. It offers 400-watts RMS, 800-watts program and 1600-watts peak power.

The 15-inch woofer comes with 100oz magnet and four-inch voice coils. It has a frequency response of 29Hz – 150Hz and three voice coils. The DSP digital signal processor comes with a boost so there is an extended low-frequency control.

The LED indicators for the power on button and for the signal-input button are useful and make it easier to operate the subwoofer. You can also adjust the levels, exercise phase control and also use the crossover low pass feature. There are also built-in pole mount sockets and built-in carrying handles for easier portability. The dimensions of the woofer are 23.25″ x 20.75″ x 19.75” and it has a seven-layer Birch plywood baffle construction (5/8-inches).

The has been selected as the best budget 15-inch subwoofer as it offers the great performance of a large subwoofer but also does not leave too big a hole in your pocket! The following are the pros and cons of the Rockville:

 

PROS:
  • The construction is extremely stylish and durable — there is a custom metal grill and a durable black carpet with black metal corners for a longer life.
  • The aluminum former voice coils have a copper winding which ensures the coils do not overheat and can give a lasting performance.
  • The Balancer XLR thru, TRS input jacks and output jacks allow the subwoofer to establish parallel connections to your portable PA system.
  • There is an auto turn-on fan that cools the unit, with heat sensitive variable speed.
  • The LED indicators for power on and for signal input makes it a user-friendly subwoofer to use.

 

CONS:
  • The woofer is a powerful 15” device but that also means it is extremely heavy to carry around. The built-in carrying handles can only help so much.
  • It is a good purchase for a mid-range bass but is not very loud, some customers complained.
  • A small group of customers have reported that the amp is not built with great quality materials and is assembled poorly.
  • The subwoofer may not be as durable as advertised.

 

 

8

Best 12-Inch: BIC America F12 Review

BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
1,392 Reviews
BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
  • Powered subwoofer with 12-inch injection molded long throw woofer; BASH designed amp
  • Patented BIC "Venturi" vent eliminates port noise

The BIC America F12 12-inch subwoofer is a 475-watt front-firing powered subwoofer with a BASH designed amp. The patented BIC “Venturi Port” is meant to eliminate port noise and give you a great listening experience.

The device is backed by a five-year warranty and has inputs for both Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital/DTS. It has an adjustable volume control, can sense signals automatically and has adjustable crossover features.

The BIC has been picked as the best 12-Inch subwoofer for this budget line-up because it packs in a punch in its 12-inch driver size and is also affordable when compared to more expensive competitors that offer the same features. The following are the features, pros and cons of the subwoofer:

 

PROS:
  • It has a wide frequency response range of 25Hz – 200Hz.
  • The patented Venturi Port sets it apart from other subwoofers as you can enjoy a noise-free experience when listening to more demanding music.
  • This is an injection molded long throw woofer that allows you to use it even at a lower frequency without any distortion.
  • The magnetic shielding also helps to get a great sound out and makes the subwoofer more durable.
  • The product comes from a long legacy of BIC America products that offer an output capability of up to 116dB (akin to listening to a rock band live!).

 

CONS:
  • Several customers complained that the fuse blew within a few months of use.
  • The subwoofer has been known to make a humming sound when plugged into speakers.
  • It is suitable for small or medium rooms but perhaps not for a larger room.
  • A few customers complained about the durability and how it is not what was promised by the manufacturer.

 

 

9

Best 10-Inch: Micca MS10 Review

Micca 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer for Home Theater or Music (MS10)
54 Reviews
Micca 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer for Home Theater or Music (MS10)
  • Front-firing 10-Inch subwoofer with bottom ported enclosure, 80 Watts RMS power and 120 Watts peak power
  • Equipped with flexible connectivity options, the Micca Media Series subwoofer can be used in any home theater or stereo system

The Micca 10-inch powered subwoofer is ideal for a home theatre setting or for listening to music. It is a compact, front-firing subwoofer with a bottom ported enclosure. It has 80 watts of RMS power and 120 watts of peak power.

This 10-inch sub is compatible with any home theater or stereo system as it has several connectivity options. With the Micca, you can hear the special effects and rich sound design of any film or piece of music. It offers excellent bass extension and linearity and offers you an unparalleled film viewing or music listening experience.

The subwoofer has a built-in adjustable low-pass crossover as well as a phase switch that makes it easy to toggle between different systems and makes integration with main speakers extremely easy. The response-shaping circuitry can incorporate the driver and the enclosure parameters, offering a clear sound and bass extension.

The Micca 10-inch powered subwoofer has been chosen as the best budget 10-Inch subwoofer because it offers a lot of features in its petite body and also does not break the bank. The following are some of the pros and cons of the product:

 

PROS:
  • The front-firing woofer has all the design elements that make it durable and give it excellent sound — a paper cone, rubber surround and a deep steel basket.
  • The bottom-ported enclosure makes it an excellent choice for a home theater subwoofer as it offers an enhanced bass output. The port on the bottom also means it cannot be blocked by a wall or by any kind of furniture.
  • The response-shaping circuitry feature of the design allows the bass output to be greater and more pronounced than what its competitors offer.
  • It has an in-room frequency response range of 36Hz – 150Hz and a crossover range of 40Hz – 150Hz.
  • The simple and flexible connection options ensure that the subwoofer can be paired with any home theater system with ease.

 

CONS:
  • The subwoofer is fine for somebody who is used to computer speakers, but audiophiles may be disappointed.
  • The unit does not perform as well when used as an indirect speaker. It is best used when firing directly at the listener from the front of the room.
  • The “Auto On” feature may not be very efficient when listening at low volume.
  • Volume leveling can also be an issue as the subwoofer can be significantly louder at a low volume than it is at a higher volume.

 

 

How to Choose the Best Budget Subwoofer

Choosing a subwoofer can be a tricky task, especially if you are on a budget. There a few different factors that you would need to consider before you can settle on a subwoofer that suits your needs.

The biggest consideration is to get value for the money you spent. Whether or not you are on a budget, nobody likes to spend more than they require. Even if you have surplus cash lying around, you would expect to get what you paid for and nothing less.

The following is a brief buying guide for when you step out to buy a budget subwoofer.

 

Purpose

The first factor is to think about why you want to buy a subwoofer? What is the purpose of buying the subwoofer and what kind of impact do you expect it to have on your film viewing or music listening experience?

Different types of subs are suitable for different situations. If you are an avid movie watcher, you should look for a subwoofer that can be integrated with a home theater system and which enhances your movie watching experience. So when you watch a film like ‘Baby Driver’ or even classics like ‘Jurassic Park’ which rely on incredible sound design, you can enjoy them to the fullest.

If you are looking for a subwoofer that you can carry with you on trips or take from one place to another with ease, a wireless device might be a better option. Wireless subwoofers also tend to be lighter than their traditional counterparts, making them more portable.

The subwoofers reviewed above have all been selected from their specific categories so you have a better idea of how to figure out the purpose of your purchase. This narrows down the options in the market and you do not need to roam around like a headless chicken.

Knowing the purpose of your purchase even before you set out into the market allows you to make an informed choice and ensures you are not swindled or taken for a ride. It means fewer regrets about your purchase and if you are on a budget, there is really no room for regrets. You have one shot at buying the subwoofer that is perfect for you!

 

Brand

The brand of a subwoofer matters a lot. While it is not a rule that a branded subwoofer can also not offer poor quality, there are some names that are stalwarts in the business. If you can afford it and if it is within your budget range, you should try as much as possible to go with a brand that specializes in making products like these.

Some of the veritable names that you can choose from are Polk Audio, Yamaha, Boss, BIC America, Klipsch, Micca, etc.

These are names that have been in the business for a long time and which have stood the test of time and quality. These brands also release different ranges that specialize in different aspects. So you are sure to have plenty of options to pick from which are also in a varied price range.

It is important to stress that a known brand is not always right. There have been enough and more instances of a brand making it big and taking their success for granted. Customers often come away disappointed after using a known brand as the expectations are that much higher.

The key is to do thorough research before you take a final call. Even if you are considering a subwoofer that is not manufactured by a known brand, if it comes highly recommended, dig further and ask questions. If you are happy with what you have found, then there is no problem in going for a subwoofer that does not come from an established brand.

 

Warranty

The warranty arrangement for different brands and products are different. Even if the brand has certain warranty terms, the seller you are buying from may have different terms. With some products, you may qualify for a certain warranty term if you buy from Amazon.com, with others you may qualify if you buy directly from the manufacturer.

On average, a five-year warranty is what is standard when it comes to a subwoofer. For electronic goods (which are expensive even when they are cheap), it is important to have a longer window for getting things fixed for free or at a subsidized rate, in case something goes wrong.

Five years is a long enough time for you to figure out whether the product is for you or not. If something goes wrong in the middle, you are well within your rights to ask for a replacement. If the product starts giving trouble after five years, it may still cause less inconvenience as it would if it stopped working two days after you purchased it and had no means to get it fixed.

But having a good warranty period will make no difference if the customer service is not helpful. Ask around or look through online forums to see what people are saying about the company’s customer care.

 

Wattage

When you are out buying a subwoofer, the numbers can be quite confusing. The resonant frequency will be of a certain number, the wattage will be of a certain figure. But there is no need to get confused! The wattage simply signifies how loud a woofer might be able to get. It is just a rough guide indicating the range of the woofer but it does not mean that is how loud it will always be.

You are free to choose the volume you want to play it at and can adjust it accordingly in tandem with the speaker system. But a 1000-watt sub may have a better sound quality even at a regular volume than a 100-watt sub — this is the main difference.

While 100 watts may sound like a lot, it is not such a high wattage when it comes to subs. There are subs of higher wattage, like 300 to 500, that are easily available in the market and do not cost a lot of money.

Watt ratings on their own, however, are a limited judge of whether a subwoofer will provide you with the sound you require or not. This is just one of the easiest guides to judge a subwoofer by.

 

Front Firing vs Bottom Firing

The main difference between front-firing and bottom-firing subwoofers is the direction of the driver. A front-firing woofer gives out sound from the front and throws it directly at the listener, like a traditional speaker. As opposed to this, a bottom-firing subwoofer pushes the sound down, into the floor.

The point of a subwoofer is to provide a deep bass sound so that even when the speaker is at a low frequency, the sound design can be heard the way it was meant to be. For this reason, no matter where you place the subwoofer in the room, its effects can be felt from anywhere as the low-frequency sound is too soft to hear but you can feel it in the thumping of your chest — that is the sound of the bass. For this reason, a subwoofer does not necessarily have to be front facing as the listener is not required to get the low-frequency sound directly.

In fact, a bottom-firing subwoofer may even have some advantages. When the sound is pushed down, it has a resonating surface in the floor which makes the bass sound even deeper. This is the thumping sound you feel in your chest when you hear especially powerful music, like a concert or an action film. It is also less likely for standing waves to form with a bottom-firing subwoofer. So if you had to pick between the two, a bottom-firing woofer might do a better job for a home theater.

 

Durability

Just because you are spending less on the subwoofer does not mean that you cannot expect a quality product. Durability is extremely important so the parts and components that go into making the product should be of exceptional quality, even if the price is subsidized. You should not be stuck with screws falling off or cheap plastic giving way simply because you made a budget buy.

Sure, if you are on a tight budget, you will get what you pay for. But that does not justify being exploited.

The subwoofers with polypropylene cones and rubber surround, typically, offer greater durability and also a better sound. Some of the subwoofers mentioned above are also set in a cast iron frame which makes them more resilient and allow them to endure a lot of wear and tear.

In several of the cons of the products mentioned above, a consistent complaint has been about durability. It is one of the biggest let downs if a product, that offers decent performance, does not stay true to its promise of durability.

 

Budget

Since we are talking about buying budget subwoofers, naturally, factoring in the price is extremely important. Subwoofers can be quite expensive if you are not looking in the right places and are not certain of what you want. But before venturing into the market and looking at the price, it is important for you to decide a budget for yourself first.

Sure, you deserve the best sound an electronic device can offer, but at what cost?

If you do go for a more expensive subwoofer, the manufacturers should be able to justify the cost with more features. But it is not important for you to even purchase a more expensive device to get better performance. There are plenty of budget options that you can sift through and find something you like.

 

Final Thoughts

The subwoofers reviewed and listed above are some of the best in their respective categories. Sure, they may not be the absolute best in the market. But for the price they are listed at, they do more than justice to the promises they make. Each of the subwoofers that have been reviewed above has some unique features that are commendable considering the price it is being sold at. But along with the pros, there are also a fair few cons.

In the interest of full disclosure, all the cons have been listed as well. You are provided with a complete picture of what to expect and whether you want to go ahead with purchasing the product. There are a fair share of cons and most of them complain of poor durability or disappointing performances.

These cons have not been mentioned to deter you from buying any specific product but instead, the idea is to enable you to go forward with any transaction, with all the information in hand. With this list, the hope is that you find the budget subwoofer you are looking for without being met with any disappointments once the purchase has been made.

As is evident from the buying guide, it is important to know the purpose of the subwoofer before you buy it. So if you want a subwoofer for your home theater or a subwoofer for your car, you should know beforehand so you know what you are looking for when you venture out into the market.

Entering the market as a confused customer is never a good idea as it is the perfect opportunity for you to be talked into buying something you do not need. This is especially important for those who are looking to buy a budget product.

Since you have limited cash, it is wise to arrive at a safe decision. So carry out due research, know what you want and narrow your options down when looking for a budget subwoofer.

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While I don't have an arts degree in music, I have spent enough time around musical instruments & musicians to pass on some useful information. When I'm not rocking out to a sick beat on my stereo, you will find me sitting on a bean bag, in the corner of my room with a guitar trying to emulate the prowess of the great Mr Eric Clapton.