Peripherals

5 Best Budget Subwoofers to buy in 2018

If you’re a movie enthusiast or just like to listen to music at home all the time, you know that having a stereo is crucial. Yet, having your tunes around with you is only half the job, they need to sound as good as possible right? That being said, you’re probably tired of your mids and highs and want to get the best Subwoofer while not going all crazy on your wallet. Fret not, we have just what you are looking for!

Technical basics of Subwoofers

Before making the final decision, there’s a couple of things to consider when buying a subwoofer, below are a few pointers that can lead you to make the best decision.

Cone driver size

This matters when it comes to evaluating a subwoofer. Bigger cone drivers mean more power and a bigger boom. However, there may be a few exceptions to this rule and that could lean towards a better or worse bass.

Built-in amplifier availability 

The most basic knowledge about stereos tells us that you need power to feed your speakers properly, the same goes for subwoofers. However, there are systems that include an amplifier so you don’t have to buy another one for your bass.

Inputs
 

Another aspect to consider is how the subwoofer is connected to your stereo. Some audio systems require high-level inputs and these are more common nowadays. However, low-level inputs are sometimes available for compatibility.

Power

If you like rocking and booming, power is a clear indicator of how far can the subwoofer go without distortion. It also tells how much energy the system needs so you know which amplifier you need to get beforehand.

 

Now, here’s a table with the most important features of the products on our list.

#PreviewNameCone SizePeak PowerInputs/OutputsDetails
1Polk Audio PSW1010-inches100 Watts1 High Level Input/Output, 1 Low Level Input
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2Yamaha NS-SW100BL10-inches50 Watts1 Low level input
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3Onkyo SKW20410-Inches230Watts1 Low Level Input
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4Acoustic Audio PSW-8 Subwoofer8-Inches300 Watts1 High level input/output 1 Low Level Input
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5Monoprice 12-Inch Subwoofer12-inches200 Watts1 High level input/output 1 Low Level Input/Output
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Best Budget Subwoofers
#1
Preview
NamePolk Audio PSW10
Cone Size10-inches
Peak Power100 Watts
Inputs/Outputs1 High Level Input/Output, 1 Low Level Input
Details
Check Price
#2
Preview
NameYamaha NS-SW100BL
Cone Size10-inches
Peak Power50 Watts
Inputs/Outputs1 Low level input
Details
Check Price
#3
Preview
NameOnkyo SKW204
Cone Size10-Inches
Peak Power230Watts
Inputs/Outputs1 Low Level Input
Details
Check Price
#4
Preview
NameAcoustic Audio PSW-8 Subwoofer
Cone Size8-Inches
Peak Power300 Watts
Inputs/Outputs1 High level input/output 1 Low Level Input
Details
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#5
Preview
NameMonoprice 12-Inch Subwoofer
Cone Size12-inches
Peak Power200 Watts
Inputs/Outputs1 High level input/output 1 Low Level Input/Output
Details
Check Price

Last Update on 2018-12-13 at 16:44 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Subwoofer brings to the table a built-in amplifier and a 10-inch dynamic-balance cone driver. Every input of features allows a hassle-free connection so you won’t lose time figuring out checking the manual twice.

The box is made from a non-resonant MDF enclosure along with ¾-inch thick baffles. Soundwise, the PSW10 uses a Klippel measurement tech that improves the sound by making it more linear and deep.

This Polk Audio subwoofer is really loud, it’s quality materials allow high volume levels. Be warned, you should limit yourself from continued exposure to volumes above 85 decibels. Yet, in case you go over the edge with loudness, its superior compression circuitry steps in to limit the amount of distortion you may get with higher volume levels.


Loud and clean sound Sound distorts at high levels
Excellent price Weak rubber feet
Quick customer service Lacks LFE output
4,213 Reviews


Polk Audio PSW10 Home Subwoofer

Loud and clean sound
Excellent price
Quick customer service
Sound distorts at high levels
Weak rubber feet
Lacks LFE output
4,213 Reviews



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Overall, this subwoofer is a quality package in itself, they’re better off if paired it with some Polk speakers for maximum performance.

This Yamaha unit provides 100W dynamic power through a 10-inch cone woofer, using its own Advanced YST II technology which results in a powerful and rich subwoofer sound. Moreover, it also features Yamaha’s New Twisted Flare Port that makes a more clear audio. That way, when the subwoofer booms those hip-hop songs, it won’t distort in any way.

On the same context, in the company’s own line of subwoofers, the NS-SW100 stands as a midrange subwoofer, it may not have a built-in amplifier but makes up for that in size compared to the SW200. It trades power for a 10-inch cone and leaves you the possibility to use an amp if you want to get the most of it.

The size of this subwoofer is ideal for home theater systems, game setups, and home audio. Yamaha’s audio division has developed its own technology and have upgraded it over time, that means that they know their game and ensure quality in every product.


Easy setup Doesn't work well with songs
Suited for movies No auto turn off
High quality Not for bigger rooms
46 Reviews


Yamaha NS-SW100BL 10

Easy setup
Suited for movies
High quality
Doesn't work well with songs
No auto turn off
Not for bigger rooms
46 Reviews



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In conclusion, the NS-SW100 is a fine subwoofer that stays on an affordable price tag.  Keep in mind that it doesn’t include an amplifier, so it could fall short in power.

The Onkyo comes with an auto standby/on circuitry that allows the system to stay ready to be turned on. On the back, we see the controls that customize the subwoofer sounds to your personal needs.

Additionally, it has 230 watts of power that are directed through a 10-inch cone. The built-in amplifier that the SKW204 has enough juice to work along with a 5.1 or 7.1 Channel home theatre system.

It’s specifically made for indoor home audio, including home theater or whatever kind of music you can throw at it. Just fine tune the bass using crossover controls like phase invert switch or the frequency, depending on your speaker’s configuration.


Affordable No auto-off feature
Packs a loud bass Quality issues
LFE inputs included
323 Reviews


Onkyo SKW204 Subwoofer

Affordable
Packs a loud bass
LFE inputs included
No auto-off feature
Quality issues
323 Reviews



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All in all, The Onkyo has the power to get your audio to places you’re not normally able to. Good quality, excellent price.

The PSW8 is made as a part of a specialty series, built for home theater, audio, and other indoor purposes. It comes with an amplifier that delivers 300 watts of peak power, directed to an 8” subwoofer, packing a punch for a small cone.

On top of that, the subwoofer structure is made of an MDF enclosure designed to reflex the bass’ acoustics. The unit can be placed on walls or on the floor, depending if you want for the ceiling, home or surround system.

At the back of the PSW8, we have high and low-level inputs, an LL output, low pass frequency controls, phase and auto power on switch. This subwoofer works only on 120V power outlets, so avoid wanting to fry the subwoofer with a 240V electric socket.


Sturdily constructed Oversensitive turn-on turn-off feature
Excellent tone Sounds distorts at times
Good customer service Overheating issues
420 Reviews


Acoustic Audio PSW-8 Subwoofer

Sturdily constructed
Excellent tone
Good customer service
Oversensitive turn-on turn-off feature
Sounds distorts at times
Overheating issues
420 Reviews



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To sum, the PSW8 is a small, yet powerful enough subwoofer that can surprise you with its performance for those not looking for a professional sound.

This subwoofer is a big box of surprises that includes two Bluetooth receivers that differentiate it from its competitors. Additionally, it comes with an internal battery in case you don’t have an outlet or a power supply around.

However, this feature has a price. The Monoprice lacks on peak power (200 Watts) which is a shame because you’d think you could get loud with a 12-inch unit. That makes this subwoofer a bit of an underperformer in the size/power ratio.

Apart from that, it has its high and low-level inputs/outputs, crossover, and LFR controls. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the phase switch anywhere and that’s a big loss because you’d have to the trouble of reversing the cables for the right sound instead of clicking a switch.


Quality sound Needs breaking in
Awesome value Very low volume
Made for large rooms Auto-off feature needs fixing
66 Reviews


Monoprice 12-Inch Subwoofer

Quality sound
Awesome value
Made for large rooms
Needs breaking in
Very low volume
Auto-off feature needs fixing
66 Reviews



Check Price

In conclusion, this subwoofer falls short on performance and functionality. If you can get around its failures and like the price, you’d probably be ok with this one.

 

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