HD audio formats have been having their time in the sun for quite some time. The technology has resulted in digital audio tracks sounding more precise, spacious, and, more importantly, natural. When it comes to home theater systems, the challenge of sensitivity in speakers is met with technologies such as active equalization of multichannel audio recordings, the LFE channel by Dolby, and the use of subwoofers.
These subwoofers have been specifically designed to deliver low frequencies. Modern subwoofers are equipped with one or more drivers. Adding a subwoofer to the mix can significantly enhance the home theater system’s overall performance while improving the balance of the main speakers. This results in a rich and more detailed sound quality, especially for low frequencies.
Thanks to advancements in technologies, there is no dearth of options when it comes to subwoofers for home theater systems. While the huge variety of subwoofers’ options is great, it can also make it more difficult for some people to make the right choice when choosing a home theater subwoofer.
Keeping that in mind, this is going to be your guide on how you can choose the best home theater subwoofer under $1,000 for your home.
In the following lines, you are going to learn about the best subwoofers under 1000 dollars, along with the various factors to consider while investing in a home theater subwoofer.
- #1 Polk Audio PSW505 – Our Top Pick
- #2 Yamaha NS-SW300PN – Editors Choice
- #3 Paradigm Defiance X10 – Best Value
- #4 Acoustic Audio PSW-12 500 Watt Subwoofer
- #5 Sonos Sub
- #6 Audioengine S8 Powered Subwoofer
- #7 BIC America F12 12-inch Powered Subwoofer
- #8 Elac SUB1010 Subwoofer
- #9 Monoprice Powered Subwoofer for Home Theater
- #10 Klipsch R-100SW Subwoofer
- Home Theater Subwoofer Buying Guide
#1 Polk Audio PSW505 – Our Top Pick
• Made from quality materials
• Awesome frequency range
• Large cone for better reach
• Good warranty
• Dynamic range could be improved
The Polk Audio PSW505 is considered to be one of the best options for the budget category for home theater subwoofers, and it’s easy to see why. Despite being in the budget category, the Polk Audio PSW505 packs quite a punch while being a versatile unit that will feel at home regardless of the setting. Let’s look at why it’s one of our top picks.
The Polk Audio PSW505 delivers an exceptional level of quality that will give you a cinema-like experience in the comfort of your home. One of the highlights of the PSW505 is its large 460W output which delivers a top-notch frequency response of up to 160Hz. The 12-inch front-firing cone produces exquisite lows and highs, which makes it a highly versatile unit. As if that wasn’t enough, you also get a solid 5-year warranty to seal the deal. All this makes the Polk Audio PSW505 our pick for the best subwoofer under 1000.
#2 Yamaha NS-SW300PN – Editors Choice
• Made from high-quality materials
• Sturdy design
• Sleek build
• Great frequency range
• Affordable price
• Not as Loud
If you are looking for a compact subwoofer for your home theater system, then the Yamaha NS-SW300PN should be right up your alley. But don’t let its small size fool you. The NS-SW300PN has a surprisingly large 10-inch cone that delivers great sound quality with dynamic range. While it is on the smaller side, the NS-SW300PN offers up to 160Hz of power, expected from a brand such as Yamaha.
This compact-sized home theater subwoofer delivers 250W of continuous power. The front-firing bass technology adds to these spears’ oomph while delivering a high level of sound quality from the ported enclosure unit. The subwoofer comes with a 1-year warranty which is not a lot but should be enough considering the quality Yamaha delivers.
#3 Paradigm Defiance X10 – Best Value
• Large driver
• Powerful 250W output
• Anthem Room Correction Feature
• Comes with its own app
• Bass is not deep enough
For audiophiles who want the best audio experience possible, the Paradigm Defiance V10 is a great option in the budget subwoofer category. This subwoofer delivers an uncompromising bass level that fills the room and takes your audio experience to the next level.
The Paradigm Defiance V10 is a great choice for searching for the ultimate audio experience with their home theater system. The V10 offers plenty of features, making it the go-to choice for audiophiles who look for more features on a budget unit. The V10 comes with its own app, which allows for easy control over the subwoofer’s sound quality.
You also get an Anthem Room Correction (ARC) feature which is great at this price point. The large 10-inch driver, along with a combination of these features, makes the Paradigm Defiance V10 a delightful experience.
• Top quality construction
• Powerful 250Hz sound
• Integrated high-frequency power amplifier
• Long-throw woofer
• PVA treated cone
• Comes with dual plug, no ground connection
• Sound quality could have been better
The PSW-12 subwoofer by Acoustic Audio is a powerful unit that can take your home theater experience to the next level with relative ease. The subwoofer boasts of RCA inputs that connect to any home theater system easily and hassle-free. This subwoofer not only offers some of the best-sounding bass of its price point but has quite a few other tricks up its sleeve, which makes it a smart choice for those who are looking for quality and functionality.
Acoustic Audio has been responsible for delivering quite a few extraordinary speaker systems in the past, and the PSW-12 is no exception. This subwoofer sound system has been designed with perfection and delivers dynamic low-frequency effects, which are hard to compete with even many expensive powered subwoofers. The flat panel display and elegant black ash finish mean this sound system can fit nicely in any classic or contemporary home décor.
• Made from sturdy materials
• Sleek design
• Compatible with Alexa
• Complete wireless set-up
• Limited warranty
Sonos is a well-known company in the speaker niche and has a whole lineup of traditional and conventional speaker systems and subwoofers. The Sonos Sub is the ideal choice for those looking for a simple plug-and-play unit that’s completely wireless.
Sonos has been in the game for a while and has got their finger on the pulse when knowing what their users want. This high-quality subwoofer has been designed using premium quality materials and parts, which is easy to see right out the box. The subwoofer comes with a low 25Hz frequency response which is great for providing those incredible lows. The face-to-face positioned drivers deliver exquisite bass notes, and the large, dual 6-inch cones ensure the sound fills up the room.
• Durable construction
• Lightweight and compact design
• 8-inch down-firing subwoofer
• Auto-sleep power-saving mode
• MDF cabinet
• Port noise audible from the sub
The Audioengine S8 powered subwoofer means all business when it comes to delivering an epic sound experience. One of the highlights of this subwoofer is its ability to deliver smooth and tight bass that fills the room with ease. The compact design of the unit also means it can fit comfortably in any living space.
The Audioengine-powered subwoofer sports a class D amplifier type and comes with a solid output of around 250W. The 8-inch long-throw down-firing woofer has been designed to deliver an exquisite sound quality while enhancing those low bass notes. The subwoofer comes with its own built-in amp, which is a nifty feature. There’s also an auto-power saving mode to save power when not in use. The solid MDF cabinet features a front-ported design and is great to look at.
• Solid construction
• Sleek and sophisticated design
• Patented BIC Venturi vent for port noise reduction
• Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital/DTS
• Comes with a 5-year warranty
• Tends to heat up with prolonged use
• This subwoofer unit is on the larger side
The BIC America F12 12-inch powered subwoofer delivers on both style and substance, which is pretty rare with budget units. This front-firing powered subwoofer packs quite a punch with its 475W output, which can fill up small to mid-sized rooms with those low-frequency bass notes. This subwoofer also has quite a few other features, making it an absolute steal at its price point.
The BIC America F12 12-inch front-firing powered subwoofer can deliver an exceptional sound level that is hands down one of the best you will see from subwoofers at the same price point. The 200Hz frequency response is more than enough to fill up the room with rich low frequencies.
You also get quite a few top-shelf features such as the injection molded long-throw woofer and BASH-designed amp, along with adjustable volume and crossover controls. The BIC formula theater series can deliver up to 116dB of sound, which is similar to the sound quality of a live concert.
• Premium-quality build – made with high-end materials
• Sleek and modern finishing
• Large 10-inch driver
• Low-Throw Dynamic woofer
• High-quality bass reflex enclosure
• Auto-power mode
• Not for large size rooms
• Subwoofer sounds muffled sometimes
No list for budget home theater subwoofers would be complete without including the Elac SUB1010 subwoofer. This unit features a large 10-inch driver, which can deliver a full 120W of output power, making it a valuable addition to any home theater system. The floor-standing subwoofer sports a sleek and modern finish that’s great to look at, and its floor-standing build means it can be easily placed close to the home theater system without taking much space.
The Elac Sub1010 powered subwoofer is on the larger side when it comes to its design footprint, and as a result, delivers on its promise with a full 120W output peak and 60W RMS, which is more than enough to fill up a small to medium-sized room. But for anything larger, you will have to go with another subwoofer option.
• Sturdy build quality
• Sleek, black finishing
• Large 8-inch woofers
• Gain and frequency knobs
• Low-pass crossover filter
• Attractive wood cabinet
• Frequency is a bit high
The Monoprice subwoofer is a 60W powered unit that can deliver surprisingly high sound quality, especially when it comes to smooth and tight low frequencies, making this an instant hit amongst audiophiles. The sleek design and versatile build quality of this top-shelf subwoofer mean that it can be paired up for studio or home theater use.
The Monoprice powered subwoofer can deliver up to 60 watts of output which is more than enough to fill up a small to medium-sized room. This unit boasts a frequency response range of 250Hz and comes with a low-pass crossover filter. The subwoofer also sports frequency and gain knobs for better control over the bass output. If you are looking for a subwoofer for your home theater system with multiple input options, then the Monoprice powered subwoofer is just what you’re looking for.
• Made using high-end, premium quality materials
• Sturdy build quality
• Large 10-inch front-firing woofer
• All-digital amplifier
• 300W amplifier power
• Auto-power on feature
• No response below 30Hz
The Klipsch R-100SW Subwoofer delivers an intense level of bass thanks to its all-digital amplifier and the use of some leading design techniques. Klipsch has delivered many amazing speaker systems and subwoofers through the years, and the R-100SW subwoofer is just another feather in their cap. This subwoofer sports many features that contribute to its stellar overall sound quality.
Klipsch is the go-to choice for many audiophiles searching for home theater subwoofers that provide the perfect balance between exquisite design and ensure that you’re going to get the best listening experience. If you are searching for both in a medium-range subwoofer, then the Klipsch R-1000SW is certainly not going to disappoint.
This subwoofer comes with plenty of features that one would expect in more premium products, such as the Injection Molded Graphite woofer cones that are incredibly light and rigid, which gives you the richest bass possible. That coupled with the loss-pass crossover, phase controls, and other features makes this a great choice for pairing up with a home theater system.
When choosing the best subwoofer under 1000, some of the main features to look out for include maximum output, power, and detail that can fill up the room with a rich quality of sound.
All these factors ensure that you’re going to get the best listening experience possible within this price range (under 1000 dollars).
The good news is, just because you are choosing from a mid-range variety does not mean you have to compromise on the listening experience when it comes to high efficiency and true-to-source accurate bass reproduction.
My list of subwoofers has been specifically designed to deliver an incredible sound quality level while boasting a slick and modern design that can feel at home in any setting.
Home Theater Subwoofer Buying Guide
Finding the best subwoofer under 1000 dollars can be a tough nut to crack, especially because of the many easily available options.
Since getting a subwoofer for your home theater system will be a significant investment in terms of sound quality and audio reproduction, it pays to get it right the first time.
If you really want to recreate the cinema’s audio experience, then here are some of the factors you need to consider when getting the best subwoofers under 1000.
Powered vs. Passive
Buying a subwoofer for a home theater system can be an overwhelming experience, especially when you have to choose from the many options available. The first factor that you will need to consider when purchasing a subwoofer for a home theater system is whether you want to go with an active subwoofer or a passive subwoofer.
Without going into too much detail, an active subwoofer features a built-in amplifier along with a power source. This means that the subwoofer only needs to receive an audio source, and you’re good to go. On the other hand, the passive subwoofer requires an additional power source such as an amplifier or receiver since these are not integrated into the passive subwoofer’s design.
Of course, both come with their share of pros and cons, and the one you go with all boils down to personal preference and need. For instance, looking for an easy-to-use subwoofer to pair up with an existing home theater system will prefer the active subwoofer since it offers an easy-to-use interface and a hassle-free set-up. This is also a great option for all those audiophiles out there who love to have more control over the audio quality.
On the other hand, a passive subwoofer requires an external power source but is usually a smart choice for use in large rooms that requires a more powerful sound that can reach all corners of the room. One of the downsides of using a passive subwoofer is that it requires more components, which usually translates to more space and extra cabling.
A major advantage of passive subwoofers is that they allow users to connect multiple units for more dynamic sound quality, which is great, especially for capturing that cinema-like experience in the comfort of your home. Passive subwoofers are also cheaper than active subwoofers, which makes them the ideal choice for beginners. On the other hand, for those looking for an easy set-up, active subwoofers offer a single-unit performance rather than rely on multiple units. And if you want to go with an active wireless subwoofer, you won’t have to deal with any cabling, which is another advantage for many users.
Down-firing vs. Front-firing
One question that comes to mind when choosing the best subwoofers under 1000 is whether to go with a front-firing or a down-firing unit. As is the case with all things relating to audio, the answer isn’t always that straightforward. Modern subwoofers feature a down-firing design that takes full advantage of the largest surface area in a room – the floor. When the subwoofer is aimed at the floor, the vibrations basically crawl along the floor, which results in deep bass quality.
Where down-firing subwoofers push the sound down, front-firing units disperse the sound just like conventional speaker systems. This unreflected sound results in a punchier bass and more accurate overall sound than the sound that bounces off the ground or other surfaces before reaching the ears. Thus, front-firing subwoofers should be placed directly against a wall, resulting in a muffled sound and lower audio quality.
Since low notes are hard to distinguish between these two types of subwoofers, it can become impossible to tell the difference between them, which is why it is advised to try out both in an audio showroom before making a final decision. It should also be noted here that there is no significant difference between front-firing and down-firing subwoofers.
Wireless vs. Wired
Another common question that many choose the best subwoofers under 1000 for the first time is whether to go with a wireless or wired unit. It goes without saying that both of these options come with their share of pros and cons, which means it depends on the end user’s personal preference. But, there are some main features of both these options that you should keep in mind to make a more informed decision.
One of the factors to consider when it comes to wired subwoofers is the additional wiring that you will have to tuck away along with the rest of the wiring of your home theater system. This could get confusing for some users and could result in an untidy appearance if left unattended. On the other hand, wireless subwoofers offer a hassle-free set-up with zero wiring to deal with or tuck away.
However, we have all experienced the static in the system at some point in time due to the lack of wires. Unfortunately, there is no getting around the fact that wireless subwoofers and static are part of the package, especially when it comes to budget-friendly subwoofers. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer for wired or wireless subwoofers.
The key to getting the best option for you is first understanding your situation and your budget, along with the sound quality you are hoping to achieve by adding the subwoofer to your home theater system. A major advantage of going the wireless route is that you get to expand your home theater’s sound by placing the subwoofer far away from the home theater, which helps spread the sound across a wider area.
But, that could also be achieved if you had a really long wire attached to the subwoofer. Again, in the end, it all comes down to which option you consider more efficient.
Wattage and power are two features that get thrown around very often when purchasing a subwoofer. That’s because they are pretty important to the overall sound quality and audio experience of the subwoofer. This is one of the main reasons why the price tag of subwoofers tends to get steeper the higher the watts go. But, contrary to popular belief, high wattage doesn’t necessarily translate to better sound quality. Many efficient mid-range subwoofers can produce excellent sound with a few watts, while others require many watts to give the same performance.
When choosing a home theater subwoofer’s wattage, it is crucial to keep the room size in mind. Large rooms are going to require more wattage to cover the large surface area. For an 18 x 18 feet room, a 125 watts subwoofer should do as a rule of thumb. If you are using small satellite speakers and want that extra thumping bass, anything between 140 to 200 Hz will produce accurate higher frequencies. When going for mid-range subs such as the best home theater subwoofers under $1,000, you will be in good company since these often come with the competent 170W output, which works for most users.
Frequency response is another important factor that first-time buyers of home theater subwoofers oftentimes overlook. The typical frequency range is around 20 to 200Hz for consumer products, including a home theater system. Simultaneously, 100Hz is usually used in more professional settings and below 80Hz for THX-certified systems.
Since a subwoofer is typically designed to reproduce low-frequency bass notes, it is best to go with a low-frequency response unit. That said, it is normal for subwoofers to go beyond 1,000Hz as well. It is important to note that low-frequency sounds are around 500Hz while high-frequency sound waves are above 2,000Hz.
Another important aspect of determining the right frequency response of your subwoofer is that higher frequency waves come closer together, and as a result, have shorter wavelengths. In contrast, lower frequency waves typically come together further apart and therefore have longer wavelengths. The recommended crossover frequency for a home theater subwoofer is around 80Hz to 120hz, depending on the room size.
Drivers come in various sizes, with woofer drivers being ideal for handling lower frequencies – a bass range that is below 200Hz. The subwoofer cones are typically made from plastic, paper, or metal, depending on the brand and the model.
When equipping an average size room with no more than 240 square feet, a 12-inch driver will produce an adequate amount of bass that will fill the surface area. This is also one reason why 12-inch driver/cone sizes are most commonly found in subwoofers for home theater systems.
One of the major benefits of going with a 12-inch subwoofer is delivering high-quality sound on a budget.
Single vs. Dual Voice Coils
Another area the people often find themselves stuck when it comes to getting subwoofers for home theater systems is whether to go with single-coil or dual voice coil subwoofers. Before choosing one, you need to know what a voice call is and what it does. In the subwoofer, a voice coil is a wire that is wrapped around a cylinder which is known as a former. This accepts the current from the amplifier.
This current causes the coil to react to the magnet built-in to the driver, which moves it up or down. The magnet is attached to the speaker cone, which produces sound due to air pressure changes. As the name implies, the single voice coil has a single coil wrapped around the former, while the dual voice coil has two wires wrapped around the former. Now that you know what a voice coil in a subwoofer is, the question is, which one should you go for when choosing a home theater subwoofer?
The short answer to which option is better single voice coil or dual voice coil – is neither. They are simply two different options that buyers get to choose from while purchasing a subwoofer.
The peak power handling of a subwoofer is generally up to four times that of its continuous power handling. Keeping that in mind, the average subwoofer can probably handle a peak power of around 1,000 watts. This means that users can use a 1,000W amp to drive the subwoofer if needed. It should be noted that it is only advised to use that kind of peak power sometimes and not for continuous 1,000W use.
Speaker sensitivity is one area of buying a home theater subwoofer that is often overlooked, especially by purchasing for the first time. It is important to know what speaker sensitivity is since it is a factor that often comes up during the buying process at a physical store.
When purchasing a subwoofer for a home theater system, it is important never to overlook the manufacturer’s label’s speaker sensitivity rating. On average, 88dB is considered to be average, while 84dB is on the low speaker sensitivity range and will impact the audio quality of the subwoofer. As a rule of thumb, a speaker sensitivity rating of 85 to 90dB is considered normal.
Subwoofer’s Impedance vs. Amplifier’s Impedance
A subwoofer has a measurable impedance, mainly because of the crossover network and the driver’s own impedance. Since the impedance is how much the speaker can resist current, a lower impedance of ohms often translates to more power than the speaker can draw from the receiver. This is one reason why a subwoofer with an impedance of 4 Ohms is considered power-hungry and will be harder for the speakers to handle than a speaker with 8 Ohms.
That being said, the impedance of a speaker usually varies depending on the frequencies it produces. When it comes to choosing between a low or high impedance, the former usually indicates the amount of fine-tuning the engineers did that during the sub’s design.
For THX-certified or no THX-certified home theater systems, the crossover that’s recommended is 80Hz. That being said, the cross (LPF) can be set between 89Hz and 120Hz, which is based on which setting suits the home theater system.
Ported vs. Sealed Enclosure
When it’s time to choose the cabinet design, customers are often stuck between going with the ported or sealed enclosure design. While both have their merits, it is important to know what they are during the buying process. For instance, with the sealed enclosure option, you get a compact and easy-to-store unit with a small footprint. A sealed enclosure is also great to get that ultra-deep bass. You also get dynamic output limits even in the deep octaves.
One of the downsides of ported enclosures in subwoofers is that they usually have larger enclosures to minimize port noise. Ported subwoofers also have a flat frequency response and low distortion, which makes them a good choice for some users.
More than One?
The question of whether you should go with a single subwoofer for your home theater system or more than one all boils down to your requirements. While some users find no need to add more subs to the equation to get that perfect sound quality, others who have their home theater in larger rooms might find the need to include more than one sub to the mix.
Where you place, the sub is going to make a big difference in the sound quality you can achieve. It is advised to move around the sub to find the perfect placement for it in the room.
While you won’t really need a warranty when going for a well-known brand, it is always best to choose manufacturers that are confident enough to offer warranties since that gives you the peace of mind you need when making a significant investment, such as buying a sub for a home theater system. Warranty time varies depending on the brand and the model. While many subwoofer manufacturers offer a 1-year warranty, you can find one that offers a 5-year warranty as well.
What is the best subwoofer for home theater?
While there are many options out there, the Polk Audio PSW505 offers a compact design, dynamic sound quality, and an affordable price, making it a good fit for many users.
Is SVS the best subwoofer?
When it comes to low-end bass, the SVS SB-16 is considered one of the best options in subwoofers available in the market today for its price point.
What should I put under my subwoofer?
It is advised to place vibration pads under the shelf or cabinet where the subwoofers have been placed to minimize sound vibrations.