The best budget subwoofers. A 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 decibel.
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.
You are watching: 9 Best Budget Subwoofers in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide
So which are the best subwoofers available on a budget to get your speakers jiving? Jump in and find out.
- The Best Budget Subwoofer | top 9 budget bass speakers
- 1. Best Overall: Monoprice 9723 Subwoofer Review
- 2. Best for Home Theater: Theater Solutions 250 Watt Subwoofer Review
- 3. Best for Car: Boss Audio CXX8 Subwoofer Review
- 4. Best for Music: Acoustic Audio 300 Watt Subwoofer Review
- 5. Best Powered: Polk Audio PSW505 Review
- 6. Best Wireless: Klipsch R-10SWI Review
- 7. Best 15-Inch: Rockville RBG15S Review
- 8. Best 12-Inch: BIC America F12 Review
- 9. Best 10-Inch: Planet Audio AC10D Review
- How to Choose a Good Budget Subwoofer
- Final Thoughts
Budget Subwoofer Reviews
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!
Our top 4 picks for the best budget subwoofers. Reviews, pros, and cons of each product, and where to find them online.
The Best Budget Subwoofer | top 9 budget bass speakers
1. Best Overall: Monoprice 9723 Subwoofer Review
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.
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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:
2. Best for Home Theater: Theater Solutions 250 Watt Subwoofer Review
The Theater Solutions 250 Watt Subwoofer is fantastic because it’s slim, powerful at 250 W, has 24 dB per octave crossover, 8 inch down firing woofer, and is fully adaptable to most audio systems.
- 6-foot dual RCA cable
- Stand mounts
- Black ash finish will
What we like:
What we don’t like:
When I first noticed the Theater Solutions 250 Watt Subwoofer, I knew that I was looking at something special. This slim subwoofer was the perfect accompaniment to anchor my home theater.
How did I know? For starters, I love the standard RCA inputs. This makes it easy to connect with just about any other home theater receiver, because they also use the same type of connection in most cases.
Next, I personally adore the fact that this subwoofer is pumping out 250 W of home theater audio bliss. I can crank up my favorite action movies to a respectable level, and know that I’m going to hear the pounding bass, the thunderous background music, the bullets zipping through the air, the tanks and other large machinery firing off massive weapons, and it feels like it’s happening right in the comfort of my living room.
Unfortunately, some customers felt that the subwoofer wasn’t loud enough, the bass wasn’t deep enough, and the cabinet was poorly constructed. These issues aren’t typical complaints from most customers, but they do pop up from time to time.
When all is said and done, this Theater Solutions 250 Watt Subwoofer is a great subwoofer because it produces intense bass, it’s the perfect addition to any home theater system, it’s loud, the audio is crystal clear, it’s slim and hardly noticeable, and it’s also more than affordable.
3. Best for Car: Boss Audio CXX8 Subwoofer Review
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:
4. Best for Music: Acoustic Audio 300 Watt Subwoofer Review
Acoustic Audio PSW-8 300 Watt 8-Inch Down Firing Powered Subwoofer (Black)
- Acoustic Audio PSW-8 Specialty Series home theater powered subwoofer, 300 watts peak power, frequency response is 26Hz-250Hz, efficiency is 97dB, 8ohm impedance
- Built in digital drive high efficiency amplifier, 8” down firing long throw subwoofer, high rigidity PVA treated cone, adjustable independent gain control
The Acoustic Audio 300 Watt Subwoofer is a top-notch piece of audio equipment with varying sizes, powerful sound quality, a phase control switch, and advanced RFL bass reflex design.
- Low level inputs and outputs
- Speaker level inputs and outputs
- Black ash high density MDF enclosure
What we like:
What we don’t like:
In my quest to find the Best Budget Subwoofer for Music, I’m glad I eventually stumbled upon the Acoustic Audio 300 Watt Subwoofer. This fantastic piece of audio technology is recommended for use with music players, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
Not only that, it comes in many different sizes. There’s 6.5-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch. So, there’s definitely the perfect size for everyone. Choose the ideal size based on the size of the room and other factors that come into play when choosing a subwoofer of this type.
Most important of all, I love that it’s 300 W, which means I can crank the audio up very loudly and really appreciate my music at the highest decibels. I’m the kind of person that loves turning up the music when I work out, listen to loud music while taking a shower, and I like it blasting it in the background when I’m playing my favorite sports video games.
To keep things fair and balanced, I’d like to point out a few problems previous customers have had. One gentleman said his subwoofer made a really loud, really annoying humming sound. It was distracting too. This is a defective device that needs to be replaced. Another customer complained that it doesn’t deliver a low-frequency response range of 30 Hz. This may be true, but most people don’t seem to mind.
At the end of the day, you’ll love the Acoustic Audio 300 Watt Subwoofer because of its pounding bass, its clear and loud audio, its multiple mounting options, its easy to access speaker level inputs, speaker level outputs, and line inputs, and much more.
5. Best Powered: Polk Audio PSW505 Review
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:
6. Best Wireless: Klipsch R-10SWI Review
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:
7. Best 15-Inch: Rockville RBG15S Review
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:
8. Best 12-Inch: BIC America F12 Review
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:
9. Best 10-Inch: Planet Audio AC10D Review
Planet Audio has been around since the late 90’s, and since their founding, they have come to nearly dominate the budget-priced car audio market. During that time, they’ve applied a considerable amount of engineering and manufacturing prowess to bring some really excellent (and affordable) products to market. Their AC10D speaker is a great example: a 10 inch, 1500 watt capable subwoofer…for $35.
For an enthusiast on a budget, especially for someone looking for a lot of sound. If you’re trying to rattle your whole ride, this is a great way to get there without spending a fortune.
Best of all, the dual voice coils allow you to wire multiple subs together, and you can play around with different configurations easily to find the setup that works best for you.
Planet Audio also provides dimensions for both a ported enclosure (24”x16”x14”) or a sealed one (18”x12”x12”) which give you even more placement options, and the opportunity to change up the tone with a little more “thump” from the ported option, or a mellower sound from the sealed enclosure.
Keep in mind however, no enclosure is going to make a $35 sub sound like a $350 sub.
The midrange and high end of these subwoofers is somewhat lacking, and is much less clear than you would get with more expensive models.
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That being said, for $35 this is an excellent subwoofer, and if you’re looking to beef up your sound, you’re not going to get a better option at this price point.
How to Choose a Good 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.