Best Subwoofers in 2020 (October Reviews)

The best subwoofer allows for crisp and sharp sound at all frequency levels, from deep bass drums to popping vocal performances. Our evaluation focused on the number of watts, construction type, frequency range, and clarity of sound.

After more than 15 hours of research and testing, our top pick and best subwoofer goes to the Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer. Its rocking combination of bass depth/clarity, built-in amplification, and wide frequency range makes it a joy to listen to in small to mid-sized rooms.

Top 7 Best Subwoofers Compared

 #1  Polk Audio PSW10 10″ Powered Subwoofer

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 10-inch subwoofer offers crisp, clear sound with excellent bass depth, featuring a built 50-watt RMS amp, Klippel distortion analyzer for lower frequency management, and 100-watt rating. This makes it an excellent choice for small to mid-sized rooms.

Read Full Review: Polk Audio PSW10 Review


Pros

  • Best Value
  • 100 watts of power
  • Klippel distortion analyzer to optimize extreme sound levels

Cons

  • Not ideal for larger studios
  • So-so 3-year limited warranty


This subwoofer is compact, measuring 14.5” tall, 14” wide, and 15” deep. Bass-heavy sound is very deep with a lack of distortion at higher volumes, including a built-in amplifier to help achieve the highest bass pitch.It also uses a Klippel distortion analyzer to tune voice coil alignment, suspension, and motor structure at the lowest frequencies to produce better sound.

Continuously variable 80-160 Hz crossover and 40-160 Hz (-3dB) frequency response contribute to tones. It includes a 3-way power switch with auto, on and off modes to avoid having to switch the speakers on and off manually. Its tightly sealed enclosure also does a spectacular job of damping internal waves, which could produce unnecessary resonance. Once you sort your home audio, our best car subwoofer guide has more great options.

 #2  Polk Audio PSW505 12″ Powered Subwoofer

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 12″ subwoofer delivers powerful and clear notes, sporting 460-watt power, and slotted load vents for clearer bass sound, and voice channel level adjustments for improved spoken clarity. This makes it a top choice for home studios or game rooms with heavy movie watching.

Read Full Review: Polk Audio PSW505 Review


Pros

  • Slotted load venting
  • Auto on/off switch
  • Klippel distortion analyzer

Cons

  • Lower power load by the amplifier
  • Ugly appearance


This unit features continuously variable 60-120 Hz crossover and 25-125 Hz frequency response. This healthy frequency range exposes users to a wide range of audible frequencies from 20 Hz (hard bass) to 125 Hz (warm bass), making music and movie sounds enjoyable. A Klippel distortion analyzer also works to optimize performance at extreme noise levels, with even performance across all listening volumes.

Bass levels can be adjusted with a controllable low-pass crossover. A stiff MDF construction with 1-inch thick front baffle and slotted load vents also helps to limit bass distortion with punchy and clear treble. But if you want something bigger, check out the best floor standing speakers.

 #3  BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer

Award: Best Bass

WHY WE LIKE IT: This subwoofer produces a full range of bass like a dynamo, hitting 475-watts with a frequency range between 25Hz to 200Hz, output of up to 116dB, and a compact size of 15 by 17 by 18 1/4 inches. This makes it ideal for audio professionals who want to experience high frequencies at rock band levels in home theaters.

Read Full Review: BIC America F12 Review


Pros

  • 25Hz to 200Hz frequency
  • 475 watts of peak power
  • Above-average five-year parts and labor warranty

Cons

  • Some users report overheating amplifier plate
  • Flimsy construction
  • So-so customer support


Sensitivity on this unit is also rated at 90 dB, which really bring out crisp low-end sound. Front-firing speakers also push the sound out into the room, not downwards towards the floor, which may create more optimal listening positions. Magnetic Shielding also protects nearby TVs and other electronics from having its data/picture disrupted by the subwoofer’s electromagnetic field.

Unit is somewhat larger and heavier (42 pounds) than our top picks, at 14.75 by 17.24 by 17 inches, making it a challenge to insert into some end cases. Its design is also polarizing, with a grainy black finish and platinum metallic drivers. This subwoofer comes with 5-year parts and labor warranty with an amplifier warranty of 3 years (parts and labor), one of the best warranties on our list. Speaking of quality audio, that’s what you need for the best internet radio.

 #4  Sony SACS9 10-Inch Active Subwoofer

Award: Best for Small Living Rooms

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 10-inch subwoofer rocks the senses a 28-200 Hz frequency response range, 115 W output, and compact cabinet dimensions at 11.5 by 16 by 13.5 inches. This makes it a substantial addition for smaller living rooms and home theaters with tight spots to place your subwoofer in.

Read Full Review: Sony SACS9


Pros

  • Crisp sound
  • 28-200 Hz frequency response range
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Below average 2-year warranty
  • Plain looking cabinet and boilerplate


Sound really pops off of this subwoofer, with its Mica Reinforced Cellular (MRC) fiber woofers and built-in amplifier with up to 115 W power output delivering consistent bass. Its construction also minimizes vibrations. Compare this to our best smart speaker.

 #5  Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer

Award: Best Warranty

WHY WE LIKE IT: This subwoofer is a solid budget subwoofer, with 250 watts of continuous power, 1000W peak for short massive bursts of bass, and a respectable 22Hz – 200Hz frequency range. This makes it a good choice for action movie watching in home theaters that could amplify those gunshots and train explosions with short, powerful bursts.

Read Full Review: Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Review


Pros

  • 250 watts continuous power
  • Solid 22Hz – 200Hz frequency range
  • Excellent 5-year electronics and 8-year parts warranty

Cons

  • On the bulkier side
  • Flat response from 20 Hz to 70 Hz
  • Poor for smaller rooms


Its peak power rating of 1000W is the highest on our list, making it an action movie dynamo. A 110dB sensitivity rating maximizes loudness with every 1 watt, compared to averaged sensitivity measurements for 88 dB. With a front-ported design, it is best to place it a minimum of 6 feet away, making it better for 400 square foot plus home movie theaters. Perfect for the best satellite radio for home.

The Bic Acoustech’s warranty is the best on the list, with a 5-year warranty on the amplifier and an 8-year warranty on the speakers. For reference, the BIC America carries 5-year parts and labor warranty/3 year amplifier warranty, and the Sony SACS9 carries a 2-year warranty.

 #6  Acoustic Audio PSW-10 400 Watt 10-Inch Down Firing Powered Subwoofer

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 10-inch amplifier encourages serious head nodding with 400 watts of peak power, a generous 25Hz-250Hz frequency response, and a built-in digital amplifier. All of the features make it a solid choice for home theaters and larger bedrooms with in-wall and in-ceiling setups.


Pros

  • Built-in digital amplifier
  • 400 watts of peak power
  • Generous 25Hz-250Hz frequency response

Cons

  • Black ash wood may turn off some users
  • Some users dispute 400w peak
  • Distorts at moderate to loud volumes


Its built-in digital amplifier works like a charm, allowing for customized sound using adjustable independent gain/level control and low pass frequency control. Bottom slotted bass ports and a high rigidity PVA treated con also help optimize the bass response, really helps those movie sound effects to pop off the screen.

The unit is also stable even with max volume levels, with gray batting in its ported enclosure to reduce internal sound waves and keep it level while maintaining the same sound quality across different frequencies. You may also like 10 of the best Bluetooth speakers.

 #7  Klipsch R-100SW 10″ Subwoofer

Award: Best Amplifier

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 10-inch subwoofer delivers decent performance across the board, lead by an all-digital amplifier, 300 watts of peak power, and Injection Molded Graphite woofer cones for super crisp bass. This makes it an excellent choice in watching action movies with its cacophony of explosions and special sound effects.


Pros

  • Digital amplifier
  • Excellent for action movie watching

Cons

  • Some users reported defective amps
  • Higher than the average cost
  • Polarizing design


This unit measures 14.5″ x 12.5″ x 16.4″, making it a solid addition under home theater end cases or as a standalone beside a media center. It is also designed as a
front-firing unit, which pushes sound waves out towards the room rather than the floor for better distribution. Frequency response is solid, running 32 Hz to 120 Hz. For your TV, check out the best soundbar and for outside audio, read about the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers.

How We Decided

Choosing the best subwoofer will produce enjoyable crisp sound and deep bass for years to come, allowing you to fully experience breathtaking movie sound effects or a symphony orchestra in ways you never thought possible.

In determining the best subwoofer to buy, you should consider its watt rating, size, optimal location, range frequency, and bass tones. The larger the subwoofer, the louder it is, with 10 to 12-inch subwoofers hitting the sweet spot with low-end notes and deep bass. Size and optimal location also matter, with some rooms and placements better optimized for acoustic ability than others.

Watt rating is important, with higher watts and a sealed case typically producing better quality bass than a ported case. Other features, such as our recommended frequency range of 20 Hz to 120Hz, which is more than capable of replicating all types of sound, from explosions in movies (20-40 Hz) to a hardcore rap bass track (80Hz).

Best Subwoofer Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Watts
    The more watts your subwoofer has, the louder it plays. Note, this doesn’t magically bypass volume controls. In the end, a lower watt subwoofer may perform better than a higher watt subwoofer in a large room. Consider watts based on exceptionally large room sizes where every square inch needs to be met with sound.
  2. Size and Optimal Location
    Cabinets and under end tables are typically the most popular destinations for subwoofers, where 10 to 12-inch tall ones can reasonably fit in. Be sure to measure your cabinet space and consider other areas based on how well the bass responds relative to your listening position. It may turn out a 15-inch subwoofer in the corner beats a 12-inch subwoofer in a cabinet.

Subwoofers FAQs

What subwoofer size should I get?

In short, the larger the subwoofer, the louder it is. 10 to 12-inch subwoofers deliver the right balance of treble and bass, with suited for repetitive and non-repetitive beats with much more noticeable bass than 6 to 8-inch units. 15 and 18-inch subwoofers are more capable of deeper notes with a much rawer and higher output. You should also factor in the optimal listening position. A larger subwoofer tucked away in your living room corner could beat a smaller subwoofer sitting in your cabinet.

Latest Subwoofer Reviews & Buyer Guides

Polk Audio PSW10 Review
Polk Audio PSW10 Review
The Polk Audio PSW10 is a compact subwoofer with a 10-inch driver that not only sounds great, but is also affordable. It is one of the best subwoofers to buy if you’re on a budget, but don’t want to compromise on sound quality. The PSW10 offers up to 100 Watts…
Klipsch Reference R-112SW Review
Klipsch Reference R-112SW Review
The Klipsch Reference R-112SW subwoofer is a great looking 12-inch woofer that provides great bass and effects when watching movies, listening to music, and more. It is one of the best subwoofers around that will guarantee amazing performance. The deep bass, 300W RMS, and the sound quality from the Klipsch…
Sonos SUB Review
Sonos SUB Review
The SUB from Sonos is one of the best subwoofers to offer wireless connectivity, great bass, and a unique design. This subwoofer can be paired with other existing Sonos speaker systems, and vastly improve your living room Sonos setup. Improve the sound in your house by connecting the SUB to…
BIC Acoustech PL-200 II Review
BIC Acoustech PL-200 II Review
Probably one of the best subwoofers you can get for the money, the BIC Acoustech Pl-200 II far surpasses the America F12 from BIC’s lineup and even offers you the amazing 1000W peak power outage. It comes with dual ports on the front, a gold plated terminal and a great…
Sony SACS9 Review
Sony SACS9 Review
While it may not have the highest power output, the Sony SACS9 comes with a whole bunch of features ranging from amazing low end sounds to an easy tuning process to customize the sound to your needs. Even though the design doesn’t stand out much, it does come with a…
BIC AMERICA F12 Review
BIC AMERICA F12 Review
While it doesn’t have the highest power out there, the BIC America manages to provide you with a fairly good bass topped by a design that brings out the best audio quality you can get at this price range. And above that excellent value performance, it even comes with a…
Polk Audio PSW505 Review
Polk Audio PSW505 Review
Probably one of the best subwoofers out there, the Polk Audio PSW505 is an affordable and extremely capable addition to your sound system. It provides you with a clear and powerful bass which paired with the accuracy of voices and a design that prevents noise whilst also keeping steady on…
SVS SB-1000 Gaming Subwoofer Review
SVS SB-1000 Gaming Subwoofer Review
Multimedia is only as good as the hardware to play it back. Your Nintendo 3DS may be a great gaming platform, but only for little games that are good for bite-sized chunks (generally). The iPhone isn’t built for watching a full movie, but feel free. That’s why it’s still so…

Back to top button
Close