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Best Cheap Subwoofers

In the market of audio products, subwoofers are always popular, and there are many different models. But how to choose the best budget subwoofer if you are new in this sphere and your budget is limited? And in this case, I will help you choose the best budget home theater subwoofer.

Our pick
BIC America F12
BIC America F12
Best budget subwoofer
The 12″ front-firing F-12 powered subwoofer incorporates a high current 475-watt peak amplifier designed by BASH Technology in combination with a 12″ long-throw woofer. Read the full review.

If you are an audiophile beginner, you may not want to spend too much on expensive subwoofers. Some budget models also can provide you with a new experience of listening to music or watching movies. By learning more about everything connected with sound quality, people, with time, get new devices to receive another level of sounds and satisfy personal tastes.

Subwoofers are money investments for more advanced users and those who know more about audio equipment. Therefore, finding out everything about the loudspeaker you plan to buy is important to get the most suitable option. Even a budget sub can be useful to professionals, saving them money.

Cheap home subwoofers comparison table

Name Power, W Driver size, inch. Frequency response Dimensions, inch (HxWxD) Review
BIC America F12 best overall 150 12 25Hz-200Hz 21x19x22 Review
SVS SB-1000 also a great choice 300 12 24Hz-260Hz 13.5x13x14.6 Review
Klipsch Reference R-10SWi wireless 150 10 32Hz-120kHz 15.7×12.5×14 Review
Polk Audio PSW10 cheapest 100 10 40Hz-160Hz 16.2x14x14.4 Review

We don’t recommend

Polk Audio PSW108

Polk Audio PSW108

Cons

  • The sound quality in movies is below average, which does not allow you to have complete enjoyment from watching.
  • The transformer hum is loud.
  • Its frequency knob is not accurate what makes it difficult to adjust the subwoofer properly.

Best Budget Home Theater Subwoofer Reviews

Jump to

BIC America F12 – best overall

BIC America F12

BIC America is a sound equipment manufacturer that has been on the market for a long time. It offers different models of loudspeakers. One of the company’s main goals is to provide customers with affordable acoustics. If you are focused on a budget subwoofer, then you should definitely pay attention to the BIC America F12. It is one of the manufacturer’s most interesting and popular models in this price segment. Well, let’s take a closer look at it.

At first glance, you see a rectangular speaker with a weight of 42.7 lbs. The housing is done with an MDF board and black laminate. On the bottom side, it has rubber feet, which increase the stability of the unit. Besides, it reduces vibrations when you use BIC America F12 at loud volume levels. As a result, it will not shake and drift from its place. Everything is simple, and nothing is superfluous. Minimalism and ergonomics.

BIC America F12 is equipped with a 12-inch driver. You will enjoy a wonderful sound quality at a maximum output of 475 watts. As it has front-firing, it is recommended not to place any obstacles in front of the speaker. It guarantees you sound without interference.

BIC America F12 photo

The front side of the subwoofer does not have any LED indicators. This is not a bad thing, as it will not distract you while watching a movie. Personally, I don’t like the flashing lights and indicators that make the device look like a Christmas tree. On the rear side, you have all the adjustments. There are also power controls. It has a standby mode because you may not want to use it all the time and plan to save power. By selecting it, you increase the life expectancy of the unit.

Additionally, you will not have difficulties using this model in combination with other speakers. There are crossover and volume knobs to adjust all the needed settings.

I can confidently name the BIC America F12 as the best budget subwoofer overall. It really reproduces the bass clearly, and even at high volume levels, the sound remains clear. I am sure this model will give you many driving emotions from listening to your favorite songs or watching videos.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS), W: 150.
  • Driver size, inch: 12.
  • Frequency response: 25Hz-200Hz.
  • Dimensions, inch (HxWxD): 21x19x22.

Pros

  • It has magnetic protection to reduce unwanted noises.
  • Possibility to easilly adjust crossover and switch the phase.
  • It does not take much time to install and start using.

Cons

  • With long working sessions, it may get hot.

SVS SB-1000 – also a great choice

SVS SB-1000

The SB-1000 subwoofer might become your favorite cost-effective subwoofer. It’s compact enough to fit smaller rooms (13.5 (H) x 13 (W) x 14.6 (D) inches and would match any interior due to the chic finish options of your choice (black ash, piano gloss black, and piano gloss white). At the same time, the 300 watts RMS and 700+ watts peak power amplifier ensures a well-articulated bass in the room. By featuring a front-firing 12-inch driver, FEA-optimized internal motor technology, and massive dual ferrite magnets, you are guaranteed to get high-quality output with low distortions.

Unlike the wireless Klipsch Reference R-10SWi, the SB-1000 subwoofer has a detachable power cord with the main power switch for convenience. The thermal management is critical for a robust amplifier and a motor sealed in the cabinet, so there is a vented pole piece to prevent overheating.

SVS SB-1000 photo

You will also find a DSP control to deliver a precise response in all operating conditions. The sound is juicy with tight drum beats, airy midranges, and never-muddy highs. But do not expect to get big explosion thumps as you watch battle-rich movie scenes. Because it’s a sealed sub, it requires more volume (you’ve got to set it at 7 to match the same output of the ported subwoofer configured at the 2 volume setting).

Key specs

  • Power (RMS), W: 300.
  • Driver size, inch: 12.
  • Frequency response: 24Hz-260Hz.
  • Dimensions, inch (HxWxD): 13.5x13x14.6.

Pros

  • Better used in smaller rooms due to the size.
  • Available in various finish options to fit your interior.
  • A perfect blend of beats, bass, midranges, and highs.
  • A powerful thermal management system.

Cons

  • Might require higher volume settings due to the sealed subwoofer.
  • Might not completely satisfy you when watching battle-rich movies.

Bic Acoustech PL-200 II

Bic Acoustech PL-200 II

BIC America is a longstanding manufacturer of sound equipment. It has plenty of various loudspeaker models. One of the main goals is to provide an affordable speaker to customers, and if you want to get one of the best budget subwoofer, you should consider BIC America F12. It is one of the most popular models of this manufacturer in the low price category.

At first glance, you see a rectangular speaker with a weight of 42.7lbs. The housing is done with an MDF board and black laminate. On the bottom side, it has rubber feet, which increase the stability of the unit. Besides, it reduces vibrations when you use BIC America F12 at loud volume levels. As a result, it will not shake and drift from its place.

This subwoofer is equipped with a 12-inch driver. At the maximum output of 475-watt, you will enjoy a wonderful sound quality. As it has front-firing, it is recommended not to place any obstacles in front of the speaker. It allows you to always receive wonderful sound.

Bic Acoustech PL-200 II photo

The front side of the subwoofer does not have any LED indicators, which is better while you watch your favorite movies, as it does not disturb you. On the rear side, you have all the adjustments. There are also power controls. As you may not want to use it all the time and save power, it has a standby mode. By selecting it, you increase the life expectancy of the unit.

Additionally, you will not have difficulties using this model in combination with other speakers. Crossover and volume knobs to adjust all the needed settings.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS), W: 150.
  • Driver size, inch: 12.
  • Frequency response: 25Hz-200Hz.
  • Dimensions, inch (HxWxD): 21x19x22.

Pros

  • It has magnetic protection to reduce unwanted noises.
  • Possibility to easy adjust crossover and switch the phase.
  • It does not take much time to install and start using.

Cons

  • With long working sessions, it may get hot.

Klipsch Reference R-10SWi – wireless (optional)

Klipsch Reference R-10SWi

The subwoofers of the Klipsch Reference series are conceptual and designed and executed down to the smallest detail – as a timeless luxury, as eternal value, as embodied elegance, and as an example of modern design, as an absolute expression of the technical achievements of the company throughout its history. In contrast to conservative audio, Reference is in many ways open to future solutions and audio formats and anticipates them.

The Klipsch R-10SWi wireless subwoofer can be placed in any convenient location in the room, even hidden, to greatly expand the range of uses. The subwoofer has a proprietary woofer with a 10-inch driver and 300-watt peak power output, and the supplied wireless signal transmission unit can be connected to any free line-level or LFE output of an amplifier or AV receiver. The wireless connection establishes automatically in a few seconds. It allows you to put a subwoofer in any corner of the room without bothering with expensive wires.

Klipsch Reference R-10SWi photo

Apart from deep rich bass, there are a number of other features. First, the speaker is in the front, which makes the bass explosive. Secondly, in addition to adjusting the volume, there is a crossover setting, which makes it possible to connect it to any system from small satellites to large three-way floor-standing systems. You can choose from which frequencies you want it to enter the sound. Third, you can change the phase by 180 degrees. A cool feature that allows you to customize it for the characteristics of the room. Fourth, in addition to LFE, there is an output to the left and right channels, like professional equipment.

The design is also very nice. Unlike boring black and white drawers, Klipsch makes its appliances in stylish black and gold, which makes it look like a piece of furniture rather than a bedside table. With the included manual, you learn more about this affordable subwoofer and how to properly place them to receive better sound quality.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS), W: 150.
  • Driver size, inch: 10.
  • Frequency response: 32Hz-120Hz.
  • Dimensions, inch (HxWxD): 15.7×12.5×14.

Pros

  • The wireless mode has a large range of work.
  • Clear and deep bass at low frequencies.
  • It is made of reliable materials to use for many years.

Cons

  • You should check whether you receive all necessary cables with a purchase or you need to buy them additionally.

Polk Audio PSW10 – cheapest

Polk Audio PSW10

Another model that can become your best cheap subwoofer is Polk Audio PSW10. With its compact dimensions, you will not have difficulties in placing it in your room. The front side of the subwoofer is silver. However, you may not get it from the first glance as this unit has a meshed grille to protect speakers from dust. The housing is mostly made with MDF boards. Such kind of plywood increases the durability, smoothness, and sound of speakers.

On the rear side, you have all the needed settings with an inbuilt power cord: phase switch, low pass filter, and volume control.

Polk Audio PSW10 photo

One of the reasons why you receive sounds of nice quality is the 10-inch driver size. As it is a powered or subwoofer, you do not need to buy an additional amplifier as it is already inbuilt. It allows you to receive a wonderful and accurate sound quality in the proper combination of deep bass. With 100-watt output, you will be pleased with deep bass on low frequencies.

If you already have a sound system, you will not have difficulties in adding Polk Audio PSW10 to it. You can easily manage 80-160Hz crossover and 40-160Hz (-3dB) frequency response according to your needs. This model can also be connected with other subwoofers.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS), W: 100.
  • Driver size, inch: 10.
  • Frequency response: 40Hz-160Hz.
  • Dimensions, inch (HxWxD): 16.2x14x14.4.

Pros

  • The subwoofer turns off automatically if the power fluctuation can damage it.
  • Installing and connecting all needed cables is simple and fast.
  • The square shape allows you to easily place the unit where you want.

Cons

  • It does not have LFE.

Kanto sub8

Kanto sub8

A lot of audiophiles and music lovers prefer to enjoy sounds of proper quality. This can be achieved even with the best inexpensive home subwoofer Kanto Sub8. A simple design model, which brings a lot of joy and satisfaction. With only an 8-inch drive and maximum output of 250-watts, you receive a wonderful sound quality.

It is a front-firing powered subwoofer with a design of a small box. Its rubber feet provide stability and prevent the unit from sliding due to vibrations. The entire interface is located on the rear side. There you will find the standard volume and frequency crossover knobs. RCA input with the phase switch.

Kanto sub8 photo

In order to keep Kanto Sub8 in working order for many years, it has power management options. Instead of constantly turning the subwoofer on, there is a standby mode. When you do not listen to music, the subwoofer will start to save power. It is suitable when you use the unit periodically during the day.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS), W: 125.
  • Driver size, inch: 8.
  • Frequency response: 35Hz-175Hz.
  • Dimensions, inch (HxWxD): 11x11x11.9.

Pros

  • This compact subwoofer does not require a lot of space.
  • Easy to control and adjust crossover settings.
  • You will not spend much time to take it out of the box and start using it.

Cons

  • It has a limited sub-bass extension.

Polk Audio PSW505

Polk Audio PSW505

If you want to get something nice without spending much of your budget, you should consider Polk Audio PSW505. This brand is famous for its high quality and reliability. One of the main benefits is that this model belongs to the best budget powered subwoofers. Powered or active means that you do not need to buy an additional amplifier. PSW505 already has one inside. It delivers wonderful sound quality. Due to the 12-inch driver and 300-watt of output, the powerful bass is very accurate and deep.

This model also serves properly for home theatre. It produces clear sounds at low and high frequencies that properly conveys movie scenes. At quiet moments, you will not hear distortion or many unwanted sounds.

If you take a closer look at the rear side, you can find out about its connectivity. With the following inputs/outputs, you can easily manage settings: LFE input, low-pass filter, and phase switch.

 photo

With the volume and low pass knobs, you can easily manage crossover and connect PSW505 with other devices of your existing audio system. It is necessary to mention that the power cord is not inbuilt. It allows you to replace it whenever you want for shorter or longer variants depending on your needs.

Another important part of this powered budget subwoofer is its housing. It is made of MDF, which properly reduces vibrations and sound distortions.

Key specs

  • Power (RMS), W: 300.
  • Driver size, inch: 12.
  • Frequency response: 25Hz-125Hz.
  • Dimensions, inch (HxWxD): 18.2×15.2×16.2.

Pros

  • It does not require a lot of space and can be placed on the table.
  • This model also suitable for gaming.
  • The installation and crossover adjustments do not take much time.

Cons

  • At max volume, the sound is a bit distorted.

What’s the difference between a budget and expensive subwoofers?

A film or music can only really be enjoyed with the right music system. A lively and full bass that comes from a subwoofer ensures the first-class and optimal sound. Of course, the selection of subwoofers is not exactly small, and the prices may even start at small amounts.

All parts of the subwoofer enhance the quality of sound you receive. It is obvious that in very expensive models, you receive top constituent parts. However, it does not mean that you cannot receive decent quality with an entry level subwoofer.There are some important points which you need to consider while buying subwoofers. It will allow you to enjoy your favorite music and movies without spending large sums of money.

Low tones

As is well known, the subwoofer specializes in deep bass and is therefore perfect for films and music that work with bass. This means that the use of a subwoofer only makes sense if there is enough bass.

Internal amplification

In general, a distinction is made between passive and active subwoofers, as described above. The active variant has internal amplification and dominates the market, as the subwoofer test shows. The deep bass capability is determined by the electronics used and less by the existing size.

Material and workmanship

Before buying a subwoofer, you need to take a close look at its workmanship and the materials used. High-quality and scratch-resistant materials are ideal so that the housing looks high-quality and solid. Plastic or plastic is often a sign of inferior quality.

Sound quality

The most important criterion for a subwoofer is sound quality. It should always tackle its work powerfully, confidently, and without annoying additional noises or echoes. Besides, it must be ensured that the subwoofer appropriately accompanies quiet passages and that higher pitches rise in a relaxed manner.

FAQ

How much power do you need for a good subwoofer bass?

It depends on the application, but it’s generally accepted that you need about 10% – 15% of your amplifier power rating to provide clean low bass output. Many manufacturers now recommend amplifiers capable of providing 1,500 watts RMS for single subwoofer installations and 3,000 watts RMS or more for 2 woofers in a large room.

Is a 12-inch subwoofer better than a 10-inch subwoofer?

This question can be answered by asking another question: “For what application?”
A 12-inch subwoofer will generally have better low bass output than a 10-inch woofer due to the larger cone area, but it also requires more amplifier power and space to install. Therefore, a smaller 10-inch subwoofer may be more appropriate in some applications.

Is a bigger woofer always better?

No. The advertised size (12-inch, 15-inch, 18-inch) is simply the size of the cone. It does not provide any information about the amount of power it can handle or its frequency response. A “15-inch” subwoofer with 1,500 watts RMS may not sound as good as a 12-inch subwoofer with 500 watts RMS, depending on other design factors such as voice coil size and suspension compliance.

Is it better to have 1 or 2 subwoofers in the home theater?

This is another question that depends on the application. A single high-powered subwoofer will produce more low bass output than dual 10 or 12-inch woofers, but some customers prefer the “stereo effect” of having two smaller woofers separated in the listening area.

Is it better to have ported or sealed subwoofer cabinets?

This is not a cut-and-dry question, as every cabinet design has its pros and cons. For example, a bass-reflex ported cabinet will provide more low bass output than a similar size sealed enclosure, but it may introduce audible “chuffing” when the woofer first starts moving. A sealed enclosure will generally have better sound quality (less audible distortion) at high SPL levels, but they cannot achieve the lower frequencies of a ported cabinet.
The only way to answer these questions is to carefully consider your requirements and make an educated decision based on facts. The best subwoofer for YOU may not be the best subwoofer for someone else.
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