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When starting out with your home entertainment system or car audio setup, your first thought is probably about speakers.
While they are important, a high quality subwoofer is essential for taking your listening experience to the next level, for sound that you can feel as well as hear.
However, not everyone has the means or the desire to spend hundreds and hundred of dollars on audio equipment, especially when you can find high quality bass for relatively cheap.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best subwoofers under $300, for the perfect combination of affordability and high quality bass.
Quick List: Top 6 Subwoofers Under $300
- Skar Audio EVL-15 D4 Car Subwoofer
- Polk Audio HTS 10 Subwoofer
- Klipsch R-12SWi Wireless Subwoofer
- Yamaha YST-FSW150 Down Firing Active Subwoofer
- BIC America H-100II Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
- Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Self Contained Subwoofer
- Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Compact Powered Sub
Researching Subwoofers Under $300
When researching subwoofers under $300, we wanted to investigate a range of different subs because we know how diverse your needs are. This included finding the best subwoofers for home entertainment systems as well as cars, so you will be fully covered for your sub needs.
If you feel $300 is outside your budget we have a great article on the best subwoofers under $200 that would be worth taking a look at.
We also paid special attention to finding subs with different driver sizes, design elements, and overall unit sizes, to fit your individual preferences and space limitations. Many of the subs on this list include in-built amplifiers, but they all have different power capabilities, depending on what kind of volume you need.
User-friendly design was a main consideration of ours, so we chose subwoofers that have simple controls, straightforward installation, and in some cases automatic features like on/off that will increase the ease of use. We also appreciate that some of you love to play around to find your perfect sound, so many of the subs also include adjustable controls for low pass crossover, bass boost, and phase control, among others.
Different subwoofers on this list have a different kind of bass, depending on what you’re looking for. Whether you are looking to cover those absolute lowest lows, find the punchiest bass, or a musical bass that is a natural extension of your speaker system, we have you covered.
The Best Subwoofers Under $300 in 2020
1. Skar Audio EVL-15 D4 Car Subwoofer
The Skar Audio EVL-15 D4 is a powerful, durable car subwoofer that can handle heavy usage and seriously loud bass.
✔️ What we like: A heavy duty, competition-grade car subwoofer with powerful sound.
❌ What we don’t like: The weight.
👌 Standout Features:
- Heavy duty construction
- Temperature regulation
- Excellent frequency response
The EVL-15 D4 is designed to withstand heavy use, including a durable design that is optimized for heavy bass and continual operation without overheating. This includes a 3 inch high temperature voice coil that optimizes heavy use without overheating or damage to your sub, as well as a two layer spider that allows temperature regulation at heavy output. It also has a heavy duty, high roll surround that allows access to the lowest frequencies and increases responsiveness, for that super low bass that you can feel under your skin.
It’s a powerful competition-grade sub, with an enormous 15 inch woofer that can handle 125W of power, more than enough to get your car shaking. It’s powered by an oversized, high flex, double stack motor that allows the Skar sub to handle the lowest frequencies and reproduce a punchy and impressive bass.
The EVL-15 D4 has an excellent frequency response, with the ability to handle frequencies from 20 to 250W. It also does this a lot more efficiently, as it is a 4 Ohm subwoofer, allowing it to last longer and use less energy when compared to a 2 Ohm sub. You can be sure of a super low bass that vibrates your car and brings your favorite music to life, with minimal effort.
Our only criticism of the EVL-15 D4 is that the sub is pretty heavy and will take up a fair bit of space in your trunk. However, it’s totally worth it for the powerful, bone-shaking bass that the Skar subwoofer delivers.
2. Polk Audio HTS 10 Subwoofer
The HTS 10 by Polk Audio excels in its simplicity, with intelligent audio design, user-friendly controls, and high quality sound.
✔️ What we like: A well-designed subwoofer with simple playback and detailed sound.
❌ What we don’t like: A delay in the automatic on setting.
👌 Standout Features:
- Dynamic Balance Technology
- Unique port design
The Polk subwoofer has various intelligent design elements that allow it to deliver a warm, detailed bass that adds texture to your favorite movies. We particularly like the port design of the HTS 10, with a Polk-patented power port that stands apart from the competition. It has a diffuser that smooths turbulence, eliminates distortion, and delivers smooth playback with no extraneous noise. It is advertised to have 3dB less port noise than competitors, which is to say that you definitely won’t notice it.
It has a superior sound that can comfortably fill a small to medium sized home theater. The combination of Dynamic Balance Technology and a 10 inch, long throw, front-firing woofer reproduces a 3D sound that adds new life to music and movies. It also has an in-built amplifier that can handle 100W RMS of power, which is more than enough for the average home cinema.
We love the user-friendly design of the HTS 10 that makes it perfect for beginners and audiophiles alike. It has universal compatibility with multiple inputs, allowing you to integrate it into your speaker system no matter what brand you use. It also features an automatic on/off switch for more efficient use and power saving. For those of you that love to customize sound, the Polk subwoofer has controls for volume, low pass filter, and phase control.
Our only issue with the Polk HTS 10 subwoofer is that while it has an automatic on feature, this can sometimes have a delay. If you were watching a quiet movie with some loud moments, like A Quiet Place, the Polk subwoofer can sometimes be a little late to the party.
3. Klipsch R-12SWi Wireless Subwoofer
The R-12SWi by Klipsch is truly a subwoofer for the modern ages, with superior construction, connectivity, and high quality sound.
✔️ What we like: An attractive, modern sub with superior design elements.
❌ What we don’t like: The mid-level bass is not as impressive as low level.
👌 Standout Features:
- Superior woofer design
We love the modern capabilities of the Klipsch subwoofer, including wireless connectivity and intelligent design. It distinguishes itself from the competition with an in-built wireless transmitter that can pair with your soundbar without the need for cumbersome cables. This makes it ideal for smaller spaces as well as from an aesthetic point of view, which is complemented by its knockout black and copper exterior.
The Klipsch sub includes a front-firing, 12 inch, spun copper woofer that is both light and rigid, allowing it to reproduce a smooth bass that is free from distortion. It also has a 400W amplifier that is fully digital, allowing it to pick up sound more accurately and reproduce a punchy bass that brings music and movies to life.
It’s a versatile subwoofer, designed to integrate easily into your existing home theater and give you stress-free use. It includes adjustable controls for phase and low pass crossover, allowing you to blend the bass with your existing speakers for an overall immersive sound. It can be placed in any corner of your room and reproduce excellent sound, while the detachable front grille will please audiophiles who wax lyrical about the superior sound.
Our sole criticism is that while the R-12SWi performs remarkably well across the lower frequencies, its mid-level bass is not as impressive or punchy as is to be expected.
If you’re looking for a subwoofer under $300 that includes modern capabilities, stress-free use, and high quality sound, you can’t go wrong with the R-12SWi by Klipsch.
4. Yamaha YST-FSW150 Down Firing Active Subwoofer
The YST-FSW150 by Yamaha is small but reliable, with a highly natural bass that adds warmth and life to music and movies.
✔️ What we like: A compact sub that adds depth and detail to your movie nights.
❌ What we don’t like: Limited frequency response.
👌 Standout Features:
- Advanced YST II technology
- Small and compact
- Warm and musical bass
The first thing you will notice about the Yamaha subwoofer is how small and compact it is, making it a natural choice if your home cinema is limited on space. It can easily be tucked out of the way to make room for other audio equipment although you may not want to hide it. Its sleek and modern appearance stands apart from many other subwoofers under $300, so it’s likely that you’ll want to show it off a little.
It includes several features that contribute to an overall high quality and natural-sounding bass, including the Yamaha Advanced YST II technology. This negative impedance converter allows for more accurate sound across the lower frequencies, allowing you to hear details as never before. It also includes a down-firing woofer and linear port that eliminates extraneous noise, leaving behind pure bass.
The YST-FSW150 is also user-friendly and suitable for beginners, with large controls on the front of the unit. It also includes an automatic on/off feature when used with Yamaha compatible systems, which further adds to ease of use.
This subwoofer can handle up to 130W of power, which is more than enough to fill a standard room. This isn’t the subwoofer to buy if you’re looking to shake your walls, as it acts as a more natural extension of your speaker system with warm, musical bass.
It has a pretty limited frequency response, at 50 to 150Hz, which is our only criticism. However, if you’re looking to add an extra dimension to your home entertainment system, the Yamaha YST-FSW150 subwoofer will serve you well.
5. BIC America H-100II Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
The BIC America H-100II is a reliable subwoofer with simple, user-friendly design and thoughtful construction.
✔️ What we like: A decent sub with standard features that are executed well.
❌ What we don’t like: The port design.
👌 Standout Features:
- Large frequency response
- Unique and attractive design
- Easy integration
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the BIC sub is its unique appearance, which includes a black and wood grain exterior with a unique orange cone. This combination of classic and contemporary aesthetics is something that you’ll want to show off in your entertainment room. It’s a sub that’s designed to be seen as well as heard.
It has a 12 inch woofer and amplifier that can handle 150W of power, which is more than enough to fill a small or medium sized room. It also supports a truly impressive frequency response, all the way from 20 to 200Hz, allowing the BIC sub to excel at low frequencies and reproduce a detailed and immersive bass.
We love the simplicity and user-friendly design of the H-100II. It includes many standard inclusions like automatic on/off, adjustable crossover, and volume control. It also includes a phase reversal switch that allows your sub to fire in time with other subwoofers if you have a more comprehensive home theater system. This allows you to seamlessly integrate the BIC sub into your entertainment system with minimal fuss.
Perhaps the greatest selling point of the BIC subwoofer is that it doesn’t try to do too much. It has standard features which are executed well, which ensures years of use from a reliable and responsive subwoofer.
Our only criticism is that the small circular port at the rear of the H-100II subwoofer is a bit small relative to the size of the sub, which means that the resulting bass isn’t as tight as it could be.
6. Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Self Contained Subwoofer
The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is the perfect combination of durable construction, huge bass, and highly customizable sound, perfect for intermediate to advanced users.
✔️ What we like: A powerful car sub with highly customizable sound.
❌ What we don’t like: Not suitable for beginners.
👌 Standout Features:
- Custom sealed enclosure
- Closed loop design
- Adjustable sound
The P300-12 is really powerful, with a 12 inch woofer and in-built 300W amp that must be heard to be believed. This is punchy bass that you will feel vibrating all through your body, adding extra life to your next long car ride.
The woofer is protected by a durable, custom enclosure that is optimized for heavy use and high quality sound. It is not a free air subwoofer, it has a sealed enclosure design that can reproduce a tighter and cleaner bass with more musical qualities than subs which have a ported enclosure. The exterior of the enclosure is damage and scratch resistant, so you won’t have to worry about your sub in the trunk of your car.
We love the closed loop design of the sub, where the woofer, amplifier, and enclosure are optimized to work together as one. It’s also easy to integrate with your speakers if you have some knowledge about sub installation and will add a new dimension of sound to your car audio system.
If you love chasing the perfect sound, you’ll also appreciate the adjustable controls for low bass crossover, an in-built bass EQ, phase switch, and remote level bass control. However, due to the multiple controls and more complicated installation, we wouldn’t recommend the P300-12 self contained subwoofer to complete beginners.
7. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Compact Powered Sub
The PWE-S8 by Alpine Electronics shows that the combination of compact design and user-friendly features can make a seamless bass experience.
✔️ What we like: A compact subwoofer with intuitive design.
❌ What we don’t like: Low maximum volume.
👌 Standout Features:
- Customizable sound
- Compact design
- Flexible installation
What first draws you to the PWE-S8 is its small and compact design that can be adapted to multiple installation environments. The 8 inch driver is housed in a slim enclosure that measures 13.5 inches at its longest point and has a width of just 3 inches, making it easy to slip into smaller spaces like under the seat of your car or truck.
While the subwoofer is small, it doesn’t lack on the volume front and its in-built amplifier can handle an impressive 120W RMS. This is more than enough to fill a small car or hatchback and still achieve that thumping bass experience that you can feel inside of your chest.
The sub can also handle a decent frequency range from 32 to 150Hz, allowing it to pick up the details of your favorite tunes and deliver them with a definite punch.
For those of you that love customizable sound, Alpine Electronics has you covered with the PWE-S8. It includes easy to use switches for phase, gain, LP crossover, and Remote Sub Level, allowing you to install the subwoofer and configure your perfect bass sound more easily.
Installation is also a breeze from the inclusion of RCA and auto speaker sensing inputs that can connect easily to your existing audio setup.
Some users have complained that the maximum volume of the PWE-S8 is a little lacking and not likely to fill a larger vehicle.
However, that’s the compromise that you make when choosing a compact subwoofer under $300, and the Alpine Electronics unit more than makes up for it with its intuitive design and detailed sound.
A Guide to Choosing a Subwoofer Under $300
Where will you use your subwoofer?
Whether you’re looking for a home theater subwoofer or a car subwoofer, space will be one of your biggest constraints.
If you’re working with a smaller home entertainment area, you could benefit from a compact subwoofer that can be placed out of the way. A wireless subwoofer could also be a great space saver, allowing you to avoid unnecessary and unattractive cables. You can also get away with a smaller sub, because an 8 inch subwoofer or 10 inch sub can comfortably fill the space.
In a larger home entertainment space, you should be looking at a 10 inch subwoofer as a minimum, while a 12 inch unit would fill the room with sound more easily. Regardless of the size of the room, it’s important to choose a subwoofer under $300 that can easily integrate with your speaker system.
If you’re looking for a car subwoofer, you can find compact subs that fit under your seat, or larger units that can be installed in the trunk of your car. With a car subwoofer, it’s important to choose a unit that can fill your vehicle with sound without overheating, and that can be easily controlled and adjusted.
How important is efficiency and user-friendly design?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner or seasoned professional with subwoofers because efficiency and user-friendly design should always be top priorities.
Some of the subs on this last have a higher Ohm like 4 or 8. This higher impedance allows your sub to produce the same level of sound with much less effort, saving on power and also ensuring years of use with minimal wear and tear.
An automatic on/off setting is also highly efficient because it allows your sub to go into sleep mode after an extended period of non-use and jump back quickly to action when needed. It runs off signal sensing, meaning that you don’t need to worry about anything.
Other user-friendly design elements include multiple inputs and outputs, easily accessible control knobs, and simple installation. There’s no reason to make a subwoofer more complicated than it needs to be, so user-friendliness should be a large priority.
How experienced are you with subwoofers?
For those of you that have a little more experience with subwoofers, you can benefit from units that have multiple controls for customizable sound. Many subs include features like adjustable low pass crossover, phase control, bass boost, subsonic filter, and an in-built equalizer.
If you know your way around a sub, you can play with these controls to find your perfect sound.
The Ultimate Subwoofers Under $300
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get great audio equipment, but it’s always worth your time researching before buying. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you with the best subwoofer under $300 including options for your car or home theater
These subs are the perfect combination of affordability, user-friendly design, versatility, and high quality bass.
Whether you’re looking to add an extra dimension to your home cinema or pump up your tunes while driving, a subwoofer is an essential investment.