5 Best Budget Subwoofers to buy in 2021

A decent subwoofer is a vital component of any sort of sound system out there. As a lot of audio enthusiasts or even home theatre aficionados will tell you, adding a bit some extra oomph with a subwoofer is a surefire way to get a more satisfying experience. Not only do they add a bit of rumble to the low-end, but a good subwoofer will also help to balance out the overall sound signature of the movie you’re watching or the song you’re listening to.

Even if you have a great set of speakers, you’re still missing out a bit if you don’t have a dedicated subwoofer, especially if you are an audio junkie. But with so many options out there in the market, it’s hard to track down the subwoofer perfect for you. That’s especially harder if you’re on a budget.

But that should be no cause for worry. We’ve narrowed down the list to five of the best budget subwoofers you can buy in 2020.

1. Polk Audio PSW10 Home Subwoofer

Premium Design

Pros

  • Loud and clean sound
  • Quick customer service
  • Unique color scheme

Cons

  • Weak rubber feet

Cone Size: 10-inches | Peak Power: 100Watts | Inputs/Outputs: 1 High Level Input/Output, 1 Low Level Input

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.

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

2. Dayton Audio SUB-1500

Massive Amount Of Bass

Pros

  • Deep rich bass
  • Looks better than other cheaper options
  • Compelling price

Cons

  • Bigger and heavier than it looks
  • Auto-on feature is finicky

Cone Size: 15-inches | Peak Power: 120Watts | Inputs/Outputs: 1 High Level Input/Output, 1 Low Level Input

The Dayton Audio SUB-1500 is an almost perfect combination of design, listening experience, and overall quality. It has a clean, natural-sounding bass response. It’s never overpowering yet adds a lot of detail to the audio you listen to. Inside the enclosure, we have a 15-inch woofer powered by a 150W internal amplifier. The bass never gets garbled, which is a good thing.

We also quite like the design of the Dayton Audio Sub. It’s an understated look, and while it’s not really anything fancy, it doesn’t look as ugly as some other cheaper subwoofers. You could fit this into a living room decor without much hassle.

If you decide to buy this subwoofer, and it eventually arrives at your doorstep, you’ll find out why it has such a great low-end response. It might not look like it in the pictures, but this thing is colossal. Not only is it big in size, but it’s also quite heavy as well. So you’ll have to find a proper place to fit this permanently. Perhaps that could be a downside for some people with smaller spaces.

Apart from that, there is not much fault we can’t find in this competitively priced subwoofer. It’s an incredible value and arguably the best one out there.

3. Yamaha NS-SW100BL 10

Easy Set-Up

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Suited for movies

Cons

  • No auto turn off
  • Not for bigger rooms

Cone Size: 10-inches | Peak Power: 50 Watts | Inputs/Outputs: 1 Low level input

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 more clear audio. That way, when the subwoofer booms those hip-hop songs, it won’t distort in any way.

In 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 theatre systems, game setups, and home audio. Yamaha’s audio division has developed its own technology and has upgraded it over time, which means that they know their game and ensure quality in every product.

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.

4. Acoustic Audio PSW-8 Subwoofer

Durable Design

Pros

  • Sturdily constructed
  • Excellent tone

Cons

  • Oversensitive turn-on turn-off feature
  • Sounds distorts at times
  • Overheating issues

Cone Size: 8-Inches | Peak Power: 300 Watts | Inputs/Outputs: 1 High level input/output 1 Low Level Input

The PSW8 is made as a part of a specialty series, built for home theatre, 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 the floor, depending on 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.

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

5. Monoprice 12-Inch Subwoofer

For Large Rooms

Pros

  • 50 ~ 250 Hz Frequency Response
  • Made for large rooms

Cons

  • Needs breaking in
  • Very low volume
  • Auto-off feature needs fixing

Cone Size: 8-Inches | Peak Power: 300 Watts | Inputs/Outputs: 1 High level input/output 1 Low Level Input

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 in 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 the trouble of reversing the cables for the right sound instead of clicking a switch.

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.

Bill Wilson
Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.