Music is a language that is heard and spoken all across the world. Although different people prefer different types of music, there is hardly any person who can claim that a world without music would be better.
To help you enjoy your music better, we have come up with the best subwoofer for music only. While there are plenty of good subs around, only a few can provide you with the listening experience that will satiate your hunger and desire for music.
So, without further ado, let us dive right in!
- #1 SVS SB-2000 – Top Pick
- #2 Yamaha 8-inch 100W – Editor’s Choice
- #3 Monoprice 108248 – Best Value
- #4 ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030r
- #5 Sonos Sub
- #6 REL Acoustics HT/1003
- #7 Polk Audio PSW505
- #8 Alpine SWR-12D2 Type-Rz
- #9 JBL CT-Bass Pro12
- #10 Kicker 8-inch 300W
- FAQs About Subwoofers
- What is a Subwoofer?
- What Types of Subwoofers Are There?
- Why do you need a subwoofer for music only?
- Which subwoofer type is the loudest?
- What are the factors that determine a subwoofer’s performance?
- What is the difference between a woofer and a subwoofer?
- How much power is required to drive a subwoofer?
- Should I go for a single 12” sub or dual 10” subs?
- Factors to Consider Before Buying a Subwoofer
#1 SVS SB-2000 – Top Pick
- Excellent sound quality and range
- Standby mode to preserve energy
- Wireless connecting option is easy to set up and operate
- No room for correction or app control options
The SVS SB-2000 features at number one on our list, and for good reason. Along with a built-in 500-watt RMS amplifier, this 12-inch sub has a weight of approximately 35 pounds.
For an optimal listening experience, the amplifier has been sealed in an enclosure with the dimensions 14.6-inch by 14.2-inch by 15.4-inch.
The SVS SB-2000 is available in piano gloss and black ash colors.
The product also contains a standby mode that lowers the energy consumption to less than 0.5 watts.
Although this subwoofer is one of the more expensive ones we will be listing, the flawless sound quality and vast range (19 Hz to 220 Hz) that it delivers makes the price worth it.
#2 Yamaha 8-inch 100W – Editor’s Choice
- Compact design; can be placed wherever needed
- One of the more affordable options on this list
- Impactful bass response, thanks to the advanced sound technology
- May not be very effective in a large room
- The packaging does not include cables
Do not be mistaken by its size, as this pocket dynamite can deliver top-tier sound quality. Also, since it is compact, you will not have to worry about designating a special space for this subwoofer.
The Yamaha 8-inch 100W’s stylish design is just one of the many factors working in its favor. Some of its other features include a twisted flare port for tighter and clearer bass, and the sophisticated Yamaha Active Servo Technology 2 that improves motion control by enabling the sub to cover for the adverse impacts of speaker impedance.
Whether you want to listen to music, watch movies, or even play games, this subwoofer will not let you down.
#3 Monoprice 108248 – Best Value
- Excellent value for money; one of the most affordable options in the subwoofer market
- Greater functionality due to its compatibility with both speaker and line-level inputs
- The bass level is good enough for rooms in houses or other enclosed areas
- The quality will be slightly lower when compared to the quality of some of the other options in this guide
If you have not tried out a subwoofer before, it is understandable to be confused by all the hype surrounding it. However, if you want to give it a shot but, at the same time, are unwilling to invest too much, the Monoprice 108248 is certainly an option that you should consider.
The frequency range of 50Hz to 150Hz might be considerably lower than that of many other options on the list, but it is a real bargain at this price – especially when you also consider the decent bass and the overall powerful performance that you will enjoy. By paying a fraction of the cost for the more advanced options, you will be able to witness how a subwoofer can positively impact and even transform your listening experience.
- The Bluetooth control option is extremely beneficial, allowing you to operate the subwoofer even if you are at a distance
- The price might seem on the higher side, but the amazing power that you get with this device makes it well worth the money
- An ideal product for users looking for a hands-off experience
- The subwoofer is relatively large, which means it will not be easy to move it around a lot
- Some users have experienced connectivity problems with this product
The staggering power of the ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030r is what caught our eye (or ear), but that is certainly not all that stands out about this speaker.
This subwoofer is considered by many to be one of the best products within its range; the 1000 watts top performance and 500 watts RMS might have something to do with it. The result is that you get a solid and firm bass and a subwoofer that is bound to be a significant improvement on your current one.
A unique feature is the lack of physical controls on the sub. Users will have to download the Android or iOS app and then use their Bluetooth connection to operate the functionality.
The device boasts BASH amplifiers that can effectively adjust supply voltage and track input signal for the AB amplifiers.
Alongside all of the above, you will also benefit from a more-than-decent frequency range and, on the whole, a powerful and efficient subwoofer that gets the job done.
- You can link the subwoofer to automation devices and control it even through voice commands
- The app is straightforward and simple to use
- This unit delivers remarkable sound quality
- Two force-canceling speaker drivers designed to cancel out any external disturbances
- You will not be able to use this subwoofer with products from any other manufacturer
- The Sonos Sub is one of the more costly subwoofers on offer
If you are looking for a combination of tremendous power, stunning sound quality, and absolute hands-free device control, you have landed at the right place.
The Sonos Sub ensures that you get a clear sound and deep bass, free of any distortions no matter how low the frequency. Moreover, using the Sonos app, you can connect the device to your home WIFI network, and even integrate it with your Amazon Alexa device and control the subwoofer with voice commands.
To nullify the impact of any disturbances, the sub also contains a couple of force-canceling speaker drivers. The only drawback with the Sonos Sub is that the products cannot be purchased from anywhere beyond the Sonos ecosystem, as there are going to be compatibility issues with products from a different manufacturer.
- Delivers quality output at a reasonable price
- The input change increases compatibility
- The speaker is delivered in a ready-to-install condition, so you do not have to go through the hassle of assembly
- The design appears outdated
- No wireless compatibility
While this subwoofer was designed primarily for movie theaters, the excellent sound quality means that it is just as good a choice for music lovers looking to enhance their listening experience.
With an output of 300 watts of RMS power, you can be assured of a sound that is powerful enough to blow you away.
Additionally, unlike the previous REL Acoustics models, the HT/1003 offers LFE and RCA inputs to make it more aligned with modern speaker setups.
- Without attracting any attention to its appearance, the Polk Audio allows the sound to do the talking
- The sound quality is particularly impressive when you consider the price, making this product an excellent deal
- The bass is powerful enough for a sublime listening experience
- The product can prove to be a bit heavy and bulky, and therefore, difficult to move around conveniently
- At very high volumes, you might experience a slight distortion in the sound
The Polk Audio PSW505 is one of the best subwoofers in the under-$300 range, owing to its clear and precise sound and absence of any turbulence or distortion.
The 12-inch driver improves the sound linearity, while the phase switch, volume control, and low pass crossover are all irresistible features for users looking to amplify their music experience.
A thing to remember is that the amplifier will be automatically switched off if it does not receive a signal for over 15 consecutive minutes. The feature, while apparently inconvenient, will help you preserve energy in the long-term.
Although there is not much flash connected to this product, you can be assured that you will be getting full value for your bucks.
- An RMS power of 1000 watts
- A rugged and solid design
- Powerful bass
- Peak power of 3000 watts
- There have been complaints about the voice coil burning out in a few weeks.
This subwoofer by Alpine is naked, which means that it does not contain an enclosure. So, you will either have to make your own enclosure or purchase one separately. The speaker has a 12” inch diameter and will deliver the kind of bass that is sure to get your seats rumbling.
To ensure additional durability and stiffness, the pulp of the cone has been treated using Kevlar. Trademarked Santoprene has been used to prepare the exterior. The couple of 2-ohm voice coils have a high temperature, are oversized, and of great quality in general.
With its low-frequency response range of 24 to 200kHz, this subwoofer is ideal for large bass pulsations. It has a 500W per coil RMS power, while the maximum power goes all the way to 3000w. It also has a sensitivity of 84.7 decibels.
It has a cutout diameter is 10-7/8 inches, while the mount depth is 6-3/8 inches.
- Built-in cooling
- Amp included
- RMS of 450 watts
- Polypropylene cone that is surrounded by rubber
- Accessories might not be original (though they will be functional and compatible)
When we talk about audio equipment, JBL is right up there as one of the most popular companies across the globe. The main reason for its popularity is the fact that the company produces high-quality gears at affordable prices – and you do not get anything different with this sub. The subwoofer is covered with a neatly-designed enclosure that can boost the beautiful bass which is delivered. Complete with a Slipstream port, the reflex enclosure ensures that you do not get any kind of turbulence while using the sub.
To ensure resonance dampening, the sub comes with a polypropylene cone that is surrounded by rubber. The dual-stacked, over-sized magnets enhance the magnetic flux. The motion of the cone is controlled through the GT Bass Progressive Spider that enables high-excursion output.
As you might be aware, the subwoofer coils tend to over-heat, especially when the speakers have been delivering basslines at high volumes for a number of hours. JBL has produced a solution for this undesirable problem, by adding a vented pole piece. This pole piece improves power handling and makes it overheating almost impossible.
To add to all of these features, the sub also has a built-in amplifier, offering 150w of RMS power along with a peak output of 45ow. The remote control allows for easily volume adjustability, and, above everything, the sound quality is nothing but stunning.
- A peak power of 600 watts
- Immensely responsive
- Highly durable
- RMS of 300 watts
- Dual voice coil
- The components are slightly on the expensive side
Kicker is well-known for preparing speakers made with components of the highest quality. This sub, unsurprisingly, is no different.
What makes this particular sub stand out is its immense versatility, making it equally suitable as a new subwoofer as well as a replacement for a damaged sub. The 8” size means that you can easily incorporate this subwoofer inside vented or sealed enclosures. As far as watts go, the product delivers 300w of RMS power, along with a peak output of 600w.
The design of this speaker is also something to write home about. The magnet structure and 4-ohm voice coil result in an effortless performance. Moreover, this combination also contributes to the booming and warm bass that the subwoofer delivers. and which is immensely loved by users.
While the combination of excellent sound quality, wireless functioning, and energy-preservation mode makes the SVS-SB 2000 our top pick, you really cannot go wrong with any of the choices mentioned in the list.
FAQs About Subwoofers
What is a Subwoofer?
A subwoofer is a type of loudspeaker that is designed for the reproduction of low-pitched frequencies called bass and sub-bass. These frequencies are lower than those which are generated by a woofer.
What Types of Subwoofers Are There?
Component subwoofers: This subwoofer type comprises only the speaker, and, for proper operation, it needs to be placed inside an enclosure. These subs can operate in multiple enclosure types as well as with both high and low power. An external amplifier is needed to provide power for the sub. Component subs are particularly useful for audiophiles looking for a personalized system.
Enclosed subwoofers: These are pretty much like component subwoofers, with the only difference being that they have a tailored box in which the subs are pre-mounted. You can benefit from an enclosed subwoofer if you are looking for higher bass but do not have the time to build or design a sound system of your own.
Powered subwoofers: Powered subwoofers are renowned for their compactness. This subtype will have the amplifier and woofer in the same enclosure, thereby getting rid of the requirement of an external amplifier. Like we said, powered subwoofers are compact and will not take up much space. Moreover, they can be adjusted in spaces where it might not be possible to adjust other subwoofer types. Their downside is that they have small drivers and amplifiers, making them an undesirable option for people chasing big bass and high power.
Why do you need a subwoofer for music only?
If you consider yourself an audiophile and are looking for more depth than a two-channel stereo can offer, you will require a subwoofer.
To put it simply, without a subwoofer, you are not maximizing your music experience – especially if you are into music that is bass-heavy.
While most people understand the importance of subwoofers for a cinematic experience, it is much more unusual for people to believe that they need subwoofers for music as well.
The truth is that many speakers that promise to be ‘full range’ rarely ever live up to that promise.
They are incapable of reproducing everything and, even if they somehow manage to, the extremes are often stretched and, as a result, not entirely realized.
Here are some reasons why you need a subwoofer for music only:
1) Produces the kind of sound which is not possible for your speakers: Almost all speakers begin to drop at around 50Hz, depriving you of the complete clarity and depth of bass tones. On the other hand, a decent subwoofer can go as low as 20Hz, which is pretty much the lower threshold of human hearing ability. Therefore, with a subwoofer, you do not need to worry about missing a single note, and you can even feel and enjoy extremely low notes, such as those from a kick drum, pipe organ, or bass guitar.
2) No distortion: You will find that the speaker woofers in a large majority of systems cannot keep up with higher volumes, and the tweeters and mid drivers that come with those high volumes. A quality subwoofer can play loud music in an effortless manner and without any distortions, regardless of the music material demands.
3) Exact production of lower ranges: With speakers, you get a ‘sonic signature’. Subwoofers, however, remain loyal to the music content and deliver bass notes precisely according to the artist’s desires and intentions. For this reason, you can also match a good subwoofer to any model or brand of speaker and expect the subwoofer to increase the energy and weight of the overall listening experience.
4) Increases control and speed in lower-end transients: A lot of music genres deliver rapid vocal starts and stops, as well as instrumentals that low-quality subwoofers can struggle to keep up with. The result is an undetailed or a smeared acoustic image. A good subwoofer, on the other hand, comes with the transient response and speed that is required to deliver bass with stunning impact and realism so that even the speediest bass lines are full of precision and feeling.
5) Enhanced sound: One of the qualities of a great subwoofer is that it transforms into the extension of your speakers, without drawing any focus to itself or overpowering the speakers. With this perfect blending, subwoofers can enable speakers to maximize their ability and deliver peak sound, throughout the frequency spectrum. As a result, you can enjoy sparkling highs as well as mids that have the perfect clarity.
6) Improved performance: With a powered subwoofer comes a low-frequency amplifier and, along with perfect management of bass, a connected AV amplifier or receiver can propel smaller speakers in the high and mid frequencies to go beyond the crossover points. As a result, speakers can deliver to their potential, regardless of the music content.
Which subwoofer type is the loudest?
There is no straightforward answer to this, as a lot of factors are involved, including enclosure type, sensitivity, and power handling.
Having said that, you have to ensure that the subwoofer you are purchasing has high efficiency, as measured by the sensitivity rating, and that it is housed in a bandpass or ported box.
After that, you have to go for a strong outboard amplifier – an amp with an output power rating that is within the recommended range for your subwoofer. Remember that amplifiers with ‘bass boost’ control are rather beneficial, as they allow you to fine-tune the sound.
Also, if you are a musicophile looking for some earth-shattering bass, you can always go for more than one subs.
What are the factors that determine a subwoofer’s performance?
The following can impact a subwoofer’s performance:
- The cone material
- Enclosure type
- Frequency response
If you want a subwoofer that can strike deep lows, you should go for one or multiple sub(s) that come in a sealed box and have the lowest possible frequency. Remember that the larger the subwoofer, the better its bass will be.
What is the difference between a woofer and a subwoofer?
Ans) In simple words, a woofer is one of the parts of a subwoofer. A subwoofer consists of one or more woofers that are mounted in an enclosure or a box. This box performs like a resonance chamber and allows extra air to travel to the rear of the speaker cone, leading to a considerable elevation in sound pressure level (SPL) and, consequently, a full and richer bass.
How much power is required to drive a subwoofer?
Ans) When purchasing a subwoofer, it is crucial that you focus on the power-handling rating, particularly the Root Mean Square (RMS). RMS is defined as the power amount that a subwoofer can sustain on an ongoing basis. Often, subwoofer brands like to show off their products’ PPH (Peak Power Handling), which, unfortunately, is a very inaccurate way to measure the power of your sub.
Should I go for a single 12” sub or dual 10” subs?
This is a highly common question, although it is one that cannot be answered easily or definitely.
This is because one needs to take multiple factors into account, including size, power handling, enclosure type, along with your individual perception and specific application.
Technically (and in general), you will find that a dual 10” subs will have a punchier and cleaner sound, merely due to the fact that the cumulative cone surface area produces a higher sound pressure compared to a single 12” subwoofer. However, a single 12” subwoofer can produce deeper notes.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Subwoofer
1) Driver size
When it comes to buying a subwoofer, size really is important. This is because the production of low notes requires the movement of considerable quantities of air.
This air movement happens in two ways, both of which are dependent on the driver’s surface area and excursion (how far in and out can the cone move).
Smaller subs achieve the air movement by increasing the excursion, but excessive excursion can lead to non-linearities and distortions. On the other hand, larger cones can move greater amounts of air with limited excursion, but their greater area can cause harmonic distortions by triggering cone break-up problems.
Additionally, pay close attention to the driver ratings to check their size of magnet and voice coil.
Modern day subs are either ported or sealed.
Designs having passive radiators fall in the former category.
If we consider all other factors equal, a sealed sub will normally have a smaller cabinet compared to radiator designs that are passive/ported.
A lot of people believe that sealed subs are better for music while subs having ported designs are a better fit for movies and contain the greater bass extension. Although this is, by and large, true, it is not always the case. B
Before buying a subwoofer, consider your preferred program playback and make sure that you find the kind of loading that suits your needs.
3) Power rating
Almost every subwoofer is powered, using varying amp architecture flavors.
Certain subs have incredible amounts of power that are sure to stun a lot of people, but the truth is that, in most cases, you need significantly lower amounts of power than you might think.
For instance, if you use an 8” sub for a small room, you just need about 150 watts, while huge 15” subs for bigger rooms only require around 500 watts to deliver all the bass that is needed.
However, this does not mean that you should not consider getting a more powerful amp if it suits your budget; the greater the power of the sub, the less the amp will have to work which will result in greater headroom and lower distortions.
A lot of manufacturers offer online calculators that can assist you in selecting a sub, depending upon the size of your room.
4) Finish and cabinet
Almost every sub is prepared with a certain kind of wood product (the most common one being MDF).
Even though some manufacturers might claim that a rigid cabinet is not required for the sub, this is largely uncommon.
I recommend that you find a cabinet that is well-braced and rigid –this will lower the probability of sympathetic vibrations within the audible band.
Remember that subwoofers are fairly sized components, and you will have to make a considerable amount of space for them in your room.
If your sub will be visible and out in the open, you need to consider its type of finish and whether or not it will fit in with your remaining décor.
5) One or multiple subs?
When you add a subwoofer to your system, you are going to enjoy a lot more than just improved bass.
It will expand the soundstage and make it seem like a larger space than it previously was.
A good-quality sub can also deliver a range of other positive effects as well.
Regardless, it is always a good idea to go for a sub that has a room correction feature. Even better, consider getting multiple subs.
In certain cases, multiple, less expensive subs can deliver a much better sound experience than a single sub that is more expensive. This is due to the room interactions, and the way that multiple subs are placed across the room can reinforce and cancel room effects and consequently producing a response that is much more smooth.
6) Wired or wireless?
An increasing number of subwoofers are now offering wireless connectivity. With a wireless speaker, you will not require a long cable to connect the subwoofer with the receiver.
Wireless-enabled subwoofers come with transmitter kits that you can plug into the home theater.
7) Front-firing and down-firing subwoofers
Front-firing subwoofers (also sometimes called side-firing subwoofers) are designed to make the sound radiate from the front or side of the subwoofer enclosure.
On the other hand, the sound in down-firing subwoofers is radiated downwards at the floor.
Both subwoofer types produce similar results.
Because the deep-bass frequencies that subwoofers reproduce are non-directional, our ears find it hard to pinpoint the direction from which the sound is coming. Nevertheless, a front-firing sub is typically placed in the front of a room, while down-firing subs produce the best results when they are placed in a sidewall or corner.
8) Extra features
Naturally, the more the features in the subwoofer, the higher the price, so you need to determine the features that you cannot compromise on, and then choose a subwoofer accordingly.
It is important to buy a subwoofer that is durable and can serve you for many years to come. The subwoofers I have shortlisted in this article certainly fit the bill in that regard. Moreover, make sure that the subwoofer that you pick is backed by a warranty so you have peace of mind.