The Best Home Theater Subwoofers For 2019
The Best Home Theater Subwoofers For 2019
Hey everybody! Hope you’re doing well. Today we’ll be going over the best home theater subwoofers for 2019. I know firsthand how hard it can be to choose sometimes, so that’s why I decided to offer some insight into some of the best ones you can get currently.
Prior to that, I’d like to go over some of the things you should look for in a subwoofer beforehand. Though this won’t be too in depth since I already did a comprehensive overview on subwoofers if you’re curious. https://easyhometheater.net/what-is-a-subwoofer
But still, if you want to just skip ahead to the actual list (if you’re impatient like me), you can do so by clicking here.
Alright so besides the center channel speaker, the subwoofer is an extremely close second in terms of the importance in your home theater. It’s the component that’s not only responsible for the bass, but the overall impact of the entire experience itself. So with that in mind, here’s a few things to be aware of beforehand.
Size matters…except when it doesn’t…
You see when it comes to subwoofers, it’s generally understood and agreed upon that the larger the subwoofer is, the more powerful it’ll be. One of the main reasons for that has to do with what is called its enclosure.
The enclosure is the big wooded box that you see that houses the driver; which is the thing that actually makes the sound. Now there’s two reasons it’s able to get louder at larger sizes. One, because the sound has more room to travel inside the box.
Two because of its larger size, it can have a much bigger driver capable of a lot more power. This in turn allows it to push more air (which is often referred to as the excursion, or the amount of force the driver can exude)
However power isn’t everything. Keep in mind that the larger a subwoofer is, the less articulate it may be when compared to a smaller one. While not always the case, a smaller driver can in a lot of instances react faster than it’s larger counterpart, making it sound more accurate.
So while a larger subwoofer might be able to output more, there is a chance that it could sound sloppy. What I would personally recommend is an 8 inch for small rooms like one-bedroom apartments and dorms, and a 10-12 inch for medium to large rooms.
Anything too big in a really small room will drown out details, while anything too small in a really big room will be severely lacking so it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
Type Of Speakers Being Used With The Sub
Another thing to think about is the type of speakers you plan on pairing your subwoofer with. For a smaller speaker like a bookshelf, a small subwoofer would be appropriate because it won’t sound overpowering. But if you plan on using tower speakers with it, then certainly go with the bigger size.
Besides a better synergy between the tower and the bigger sub, you’ll also not have to worry about a lack in output overall.
Ported, Sealed, Or Vented
You’ll also want to consider what you’ll be using the sub for, primarily music, primarily movies, or a mix of the two? The reason I bring this up is because there are two different versions of the subwoofer out there that excels in particular situations.
The most common type is one called the ported box design (also often referred to as a bass-reflex design) When a subwoofer produces energy, that energy also moves a lot of air inside. By having a port, not only does it allow that air to escape, but this process also allows the subwoofer to get louder as a result.
On the other hand, there’s a variant without a port called a sealed box design (often referred to as an acoustic suspension design) Think of this one as just one cohesive box. Now here’s where it gets super tricky though.
They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but in different scenarios. But this is what I noticed. Ported designs can usually get louder than sealed ones, and sometimes deeper. However the sealed version is usually a lot more controlled with its bass.
Best way to put it would be a really accurate and reserved low end. Ported designs also tend to be a bit bigger than sealed ones though. This is what I would recommend honestly. If your focus is mainly movies, then go with the ported version because it’ll be capable of a lot more raw output.
If it’s music, then it’ll depend on the genre. I personally found the sealed version to be better with things like Jazz and classical and the ported one to be better with Rock and Hip Hop.
That’s by no means set in stone, but it is something to note. There’s also vented, like shown in the picture above, but they aren’t as common. Think of those like a hybrid between the two.
Some subwoofers even use what’s called passive radiators to add additional force to the sound. They’re basically an additional unpowered cone that moves at the same time the powered cone does, to reinforce the total amount of output. The advantage of these is that you get a bigger sound without having to increase amplifier or enclosure size.
Another thing to keep in mind is where you’ll actually put the thing (I mean that makes sense right?) It is commonly recommended to place a subwoofer in a corner because it’ll boost its output, (which is true, even by a few decibels at times) however, this isn’t always the case.
What you’ll actually want to do is first figure out the one you’re getting, obviously, then mark all the spots in your room it could go. I mean it’d kind of suck if you got a subwoofer that didn’t fit in the places you wanted, so this is pretty important.
Another thing you may want to consider is getting 2 of them why? Well what happens is sound waves interact in every room differently. As a result, peaks and nulls happen. A peak is when soundwaves double upon each other, and a null is when 2 soundwaves cancel each other out (called destructive interference). The problem arises when the listening area happens to be in one of these nulls.
What can happen then is a complete lack of bass in that area all together. How weird is that? By having 2 of them, you can effectively minimize that issue. You’ll also get a 3db increase which is pretty nice too. https://www.svsound.com/blogs/svs/75040195-why-go-dual
The last thing I’ll go over briefly is wattage and frequency response. Wattage is simply a measure of how powerful it is.
But what you’re likely to encounter though is two different types of wattage, peak and continuous. Peak wattage is basically the highest amount of power it’s capable of producing at one given time. It’s also a number that manufacturers often exaggerate to make it more enticing to buy.
So while it may allow you to get a ballpark estimate of how strong it theoretically is, there is a chance that it may not be entirely true..The real number you should be concerned with is the continuous amount of power, often referred to as the RMS.
This is a much more accurate number since it’s the amount the sub will typically be using on average. So the higher the RMS number, the better.
With frequency response, think of that as a measure of how high or low an audio component can go.
It’s a scale that’s measured in hertz. (abbreviated to Hz) With as subwoofer you want this number to be as low as possible. The lower the number, the better bass you’ll have to put it simply. A number you should shoot for is a one that can reach into 30 Hz range. If it can at least do this then you’re golden. http://www.audiogurus.com/learn/speakers/getting-correct-subwoofer-settings/130
Being that subwoofers are omnidirectional (playing sound in all directions) humans can’t distinguish where bass comes from below a certain frequency (80Hz). However the lower you go, the more convincing this effect is, thus dramatically improving your movie watching overall. Make sense?
Well that’s really it in the way of you needing to know anything else beforehand, so let’s get to this list!
The Best For A Very Small Room (8 x 10 feet) – Kanto SUB6GB Powered
For those of you out there with a really small room who want to improve their listening experience with some good old fashioned bass, then this is the one for you. There’s a class D amplifier that’s able to provide you with up to 200 watts of impressive power.
To make it super simple to understand what that means, basically it’s able to waste less energy making it a lot more efficient. As a result, this allows the sub to hit harder, giving you a more visceral experience. https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/what-class-d-amplification
200 watts is also a really good number for such a small space, so you definitely will notice the impact with this one. There’s a front firing 6-inch driver that’s certainly capable of giving you that really satisfying low end you’re looking for.
The cabinet itself is made of a wood called MDF. For those that don’t know, MDF stands for medium density fibreboard and is basically a combination of smaller wood fibers pressed together into a solid object.The benefit here is that it can help to reduce additional resonance, providing for a much cleaner sound overall.
Over on the back, you get various setting controls which are standard on quality subwoofers. So things like a crossover knob that tells the sub what Hz to take over at, and a volume knob for the subs level itself, means you’ll easily be able to dial it in to the point where it’s perfect for you. In terms of how it looks, it’s a relatively subdued but nice looking subwoofer.
There’s a piano finish on the front that also adds a sense of elegance to it. It has 4 rubber feet on the bottom that helps to isolate the sound from the floor. This is certainly beneficial if you have people living under or next to you; meaning you’ll be able to have awesome bass without disturbing anyone (trust me from experience, that’s a big deal…)
It’s even available in 4 amazing looking colors; glossy black, glossy white, matte grey, and matte black.
- 200 watts of clean power
- MDF wood lowers unwanted resonance
- Plenty of room filling bass at 35 Hz
- Good for movies and music
- To be honest with you there really aren’t any
With all the praise it seems to get, it’s pretty obvious that this is a fantastic choice to go with. I’d highly recommend it personally.
The Best For A Small Room (10 x 12 feet) – Acoustic Audio PSW-6 Down Firing Powered
Let’s say you’re in a small college dorm or even a 1 bedroom, and you’re like you know what, I wonder what would work for my room without being too big or inconvenient? Well look no further, this is the one for you.
It has a 6.5-inch woofer that’s described as being down firing. What is that? Well with normal subwoofers, you’ll usually see the driver facing forward and located on the front. But with the down firing model, the driver is placed on the bottom.
By placing it on the bottom, this allows for the bass it produces to be a lot more impactful and tangible. This means that when compared with front firing models, you’ll actually feel the action on screen rather than just hearing it.
That makes movie watching not only an event, but an experience as well. There’s 125 watts of continuous power as well. Think of this as the constant amount of power it typically puts out (you’ll often see this referred to as RMS) It also has a 250-watt peak which is certainly more than enough to satisfy in a smaller room.
The good news is that this little sub can dig deep too, going down to 30Hz. There are options to control the gain and crossover setting which means you’ll really be able to dial in exactly how you want it to sound.
There’s even an auto on switch that can detect when a signal comes in and automatically turn itself on. As far as appearance goes, it’s pretty plain admittedly, but it’s not an ugly design by any means. In fact, the wood has a brushed look that’s pretty attractive in person.
- Perfect for a dorm or small/room apartment.
- 125 continuous, 250-watt peak gives you plenty of power in a smaller place.
- 6.5 inch down firing woofer offers a bass that you can feel.
- Pretty looking black ash wood enclosure blends in without being too big and in the way.
- Pretty heavy at 18 pounds.
As long as you know what to expect beforehand (knowing this isn’t one you’d want to use in bigger rooms) then this is a fantastic offering that you’ll definitely love.
Oh yeah, and here’s a short but good article on placement for down firing subwoofers too.
The Best For A Medium Room (14 x 16 feet) – Acoustic Audio PSW-8 300 Watt 8-Inch Down Firing
In a medium or average sized room, you’re going to want a subwoofer with enough power to really rock the house. In that case, the Acoustic Audio 8-inch sub fits the bill perfectly. There’s an 8-inch driver located on the bottom, which is known as down firing subwoofer. All this means is that rather than having the woofer be on the front, its placed facing downward towards the floor.
It’s done this way to add more emphasis on actually feeling the action rather than just hearing it. This in turn makes things infinitely more immersive; not to mention enjoyable.
There’s 150 watts of continuous power and 300 watts of peak power which and it’s able to go down to 26 Hz. That mean this thing packs plenty of power to wow you.
There’s an automatic on switch that switches on whenever it senses a signal. This is awesome because you’ll never have to worry about turning the sub off and on manually; it’s done for you!
Even better is the fact that when it’s in standby mode, it draws virtually nothing in terms of the way of energy so you won’t have to worry about wasting electricity. There’s also gain, crossover, and phase settings over on the back to really help you get the sound that you want.
- 8-inch down firing woofer hits hard.
- Frequency response down to 26 Hz gives incredible bass extension for movies.
- Automatic on switch toggles on when it senses a signal so you won’t have to worry about manually doing so yourself.
- Rather heavy at 19 pounds.
Like I said before, for an average sized room, this one will be perfect for you. You’ll love it.
The Best For A Medium To Large Room (16 x 20 feet) – Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered
So for those of you out there with a room that’s a little bigger than average but not necessarily large, the Polk PSW505 is the one for you. Being that this is a larger subwoofer with a 12-inch driver, by default it’s able to hit harder. With 300 watts of continuous power and 460 watts of peak power, this thing is able to deliver all the bass for movies you could want.
What’s particularly interesting about this subwoofer is the attention to detail Polk has paid in regards to bass response. So typically, the distinction between most subwoofers comes down to whether they’re ported or not. What’s really different about this one is that it uses a long vent design.
The thought here is that by using a vent, it will be more accurate than a ported variant while being louder than a sealed sub. Think of it as a hybrid essentially. The result is not only a low end that sounds deep, but also more articulate and fast. Have you ever heard a subwoofer that simply sounded boomy with no real tonality differences? Well think of this as the opposite of that.
It’s able to be powerful without losing its definition. Helping this even further is the fact it’s made of real MDF wood. This helps to reduce distortion, and to put it simply, make it just sound better all around.
There’s an auto on toggle that turns on when it senses a signal and turns off automatically after no signal for 15 minutes. This means you won’t have to keep manually switching it on and off. There’s a gain, crossover, and volume dial allowing you to get it to sound exactly how you want it to.
It’s able to go down to 23 Hz which is incredibly low. That means your movies and shows are going to take on an entirely new dimension of exciting.
- Slot loaded design allows for the incredible accuracy of a sealed sub, with the raw power of a ported one resulting in something new entirely
- 12-inch driver able to hit with impressive impact
- MDF wood helps to reduce unwanted resonance
- Plenty of controls to further dial in the sound exactly how you want it
- 460-watt peak
- Heavy at 43 pounds. Large at 18.2 x 15.1 x 16.1
Make no doubt about, this is a sub that’s more than worthy of your attention.It’s an amazing choice. Go take a look.
The Best For A Large Room (22 x 25 feet) – BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing
Now for those of you in larger rooms, the need for adequate power starts to become more and more paramount. Without it, you’ll likely be disappointed and we don’t want that. Luckily the BIC F12 is here to save the day! With a 12-inch long throw woofer, this thing is meant for power.
A 475-watt peak means that anything from music to movies will sound absolutely incredible with a bass that you can feel. Instead of this one being a ported or sealed sub, it has what BIC calls a Venturi vent. This allows it to act as a sort of hybrid between the 2, able to get loud like a ported sub, while remaining tight and accurate like a sealed version.
The result is something new entirely, a subwoofer that can pretty much do it all. That’s great news because sometimes you’ll see a subwoofer that’s only good for music or only good for movies, but this certainly isn’t the case at all. It’s powerful yet refined.
Of course you get the things you’d come to expect from a quality subwoofer like crossover and volume settings, but you also get the auto on feature which is extremely helpful if you don’t want to keep turning it on and off. In terms of frequency response, it’s able to go down to 25 Hz which is more than enough to provide that satisfying low end you’d be looking for.
As far as appearance goes, it’s actually an attractive subwoofer. With the grille on, it has a certain subdued characteristic that works. With the grille off, it definitely makes it more of a show off with a metallic material that looks fantastic in person. Either or works honestly.
One of the best things it comes with that not enough manufacturers do, is a full 5-year warranty. So if anything faulty ever happens to it within that span, you’re completely covered. That alone I think makes it worth it in of itself.
- 12-inch long throw woofer hits very hard
- Frequency response of 25 Hz provides for plenty of bass extension
- Venturi vent allows for incredible accuracy with no distortion or chuffing even at high volumes
- Settings like volume and crossover allows for personal tweaking to get the perfect sound
- Looks great
- 5-year warranty
- Heavy at 42.7 pounds. Large at 21 x 19 x 22
Without a doubt, the F12 is one of the best subwoofers you can get period. It’s an incredible performer that makes it virtually irresistible. Go check it out, you won’t regret it.
The Best For A Very Large Room (22 x 28 feet) – SVS PB12-NSD Black Ash 12-inch 400 Watt Powered
Now if you need or want true power, the SVS PB12 is the one to get. This thing will rock even the biggest of rooms. It has a 12-inch driver that’s capable of 400 watts of continuous power with an impressive 800-watt peak. That means movies and games will take on an entirely new dimension of amazing.
The awesome thing about this subwoofer is that it’s able to reproduce the sound of much bigger subs while being only a fraction of the size. That means you’ll be able to put it anywhere without having to worry about space. Now mind you it still is pretty big at 18.9 x 15 x 20, but nowhere near as big as you’d expect it to be given what it’s capable of.
What’s really interesting about this sub is something you probably haven’t experienced before. It’s capable of going down to 18 Hz. To put that into perspective, 20 Hz is the cutoff for what the human ear can hear.
What happens below that number is bass starts to become something you can feel rather than just hear. So this sub is able to easily hit lower than that. It’s hard for me to explain what that’s like, but it’s truly incredible. You really need to see what it’s like.
Aesthetic wise, this is a really pretty looking subwoofer. The wood has a striped look and the driver has the SVS logo on it. The grille is also removable too. There’s a port that helps to reduce distortion even at the highest level so all you’re left with is clean output.
- 12-inch woofer produces hard hitting bass
- 400 watts rms and 800-watt peak gives offers unbelievable power
- Frequency response of 18 Hz creates a bass that you can feel rather than simply hear
- Port allows the sub to remain clean even at higher volumes
- 5 year warranty
- Looks good
- Heavy at 66 pounds
This is easily one of the most powerful subwoofers out there bar none. If you have a large room, then this is the one to get.
The Best Looking – Klipsch Reference R-10SW 10″ 300w Powered
So if you were concerned about getting a sub that not only sounded good, but looked good, then the Reference R-10SW is the one to get. Immediately, the first thing you’ll notice is that beautiful copper woofer with the grille off. It looks incredible, and even with the grille on, it still looks good.
It’s not all looks though as this 10-inch driver is capable of an incredible 300 watts of power. That’s plenty to breathe new life into games and movies. There’s phase, crossover, and volume controls on the back giving you the ability to tweak it to your liking.
There’s also 4 rubber feet on the bottom that helps to separate the bass from the ground. This is ideal if you have people living under you and you don’t want to disturb them.
- 300-watt power is perfect for normal rooms
- Copper driver provides ample bass while looking fantastic
- Various controls to alter settings
- Heavy at 25 pounds
I’d highly recommend this one for average sized rooms. The fact that it looks amazing is even more of a bonus.
My Personal Favorite – Polk Audio PSW111
Now here’s a little over achiever, the Polk PSW111. While this sub only has an 8inch driver and thus in theory should only technically be fit for smaller rooms, this isn’t the case at all. In practice, this small subwoofer is able to punch well above its weight class and deliver something new entirely. It’s a very unique characteristic that’s for sure.
The reason for this is its 300 watts of peak power that allows it be versatile in anything that you play, be it movies or games. It’s Klippel optimized as well. What that means to put it simply, is that the engineers over at Polk were able to use math to calculate exactly how to optimize it from the driver size down to the enclosure. The result is a subwoofer that’s born to perform.
It’s made of MDF wood which helps it to reduce resonance that otherwise muddies the sound. This makes it sound incredibly clear, even at the highest volumes. There’s a port on the bottom of the subwoofer that helps to reduce distortion even further. This also gives you a harder hitting bass during intense scenes.
As far as appearance goes, I’ve already alluded to the fact that it’s small, so that just means it’s able to go anywhere while also blending in. The grille has a small logo on it and is removable.
- Way more power than its small size would suggest
- 300 watts allows it to excel in all but the very biggest room
- Real MDF wood allows for low distortion at the highest volumes
- Small size
Even though it’s small, it’s still heavy at 20 pounds
There’s a reason this is one of my favorite subwoofers. Even though it’s small, it’s able to deliver a certain of bass you wouldn’t expect it to. For a small to normal sized room, this is a perfect choice. Go see what others are saying.
My Other Personal Favorite – SVS PB1000 10-inch 300 Watt Powered
Another super fantastic subwoofer for any sized room is the SVS PB1000. With 300 watts of continuous power and a 720 peak, this is one that will take movies to the very next level. What I personally noticed most about this subwoofer was how detailed yet strong it was.
Like it was able to hit extremely hard and then immediately stop. To be able to have that level of control takes an incredible amount of precision, and that speaks volumes about the quality. There’s a 10-inch driver on the front that provides plenty of deep, gut punching bass while being smooth and articulate.
An automatic on switch is included here as well that turns on when it senses a signal. This is important because that means you won’t have to get up to manually turn it on and off. The port included allows it to remain incredibly clean even at the highest volumes. One of my favorite things about this one is just how versatile it is.
Be it movies, games, shows, etc. it’s able to do it all with ease. It doesn’t hurt that it looks great in person either. The wood takes on an almost striped look that makes it look premium. It’s able to go down to 19 Hz which is just below the threshold of human hearing.
That means that on those really low notes, you’ll feel it rather than just hear it. It’s quite an amazing thing that you’d need really need to experience for yourself to appreciate.
- 300 watts of continuous power and a 720-watt peak makes movie watching fantastic
- Port reduces distortion to virtually nothing even at high volumes
- Automatic on switch means you’ll never have to worry about switching it on and off
- Looks nice
- 5 year warranty
- Heavy at 46 pounds.
All around, this is one of my favorite subwoofers for a reason; this thing can perform with the best of them. I personally love how great it is and I’m sure you would too. Go check it out.
The Best High End – SVS PB13-Ultra
Woo…where do I even begin with this one. This subwoofer is definitely different to say the least… Now I’ll just say this right away, with all my years of doing this, I’ve never encountered a one quite like this. There’s a 13.5-inch driver that provides a slam like you wouldn’t even believe.
To give you an idea of just how powerful it is, it has 1000 watts of power and 3600 watts of peak power. That’s insane. Here’s the stranger part though. The three holes that you see in the subwoofer are ports (yes this thing has 3) The reason for this is that you can actually change this subwoofers tuning.
So lets say you were in a smaller room listening to music and needed an emphasis on that upper bass thump. By leaving the holes unplugged, you’d get a response of about 20 Hz which is impressive. But then let’s say you wanted to go as deep as possible when it came to movies.
By plugging 2 of the ports, it’s be able to then drop down to 16 Hz (and just let me tell you, that is beyond impressive) The thing is, it’s not just the presence of bass that makes it remarkable, it’s the control and precision that it has over it that makes it truly noteworthy. There really isn’t anything like it out there truth be told… (well except for it’s bigger brother I haven’t tried yet, the PB-16 Ultra!)
But I seriously can’t imagine needing much more than this seeing as how it can physically shake the house if you really wanted it to.
- Earth shaking bass
- Multiple tuning ports allow you to choose the frequency it plays at
- 13.5-inch-high excursion driver is powerful yet accurate
- Not bad looking
- Huge 28 x 20.5 x 22.5
- Extremely heavy at 144 pounds
If you can manage to get this monster inside your house, then I would honestly have to say that this would be the sub to go with no questions asked. It’s able to do things I didn’t even think was possible. It’s certainly in an entirely different league of its own and you’d be hard pressed to find anything better.
Well I hope you enjoyed this article on the best home theater subwoofers for 2019. A proper sub is obviously important, so that’s why I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll love all the choices talked about here. They’ll easily serve you for many years to come, and they’ll sound great doing so. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask me. But that’s all I have for now, until next time guys. Make it easy, keep it simple. 😉
Hey everyone it’s nice to meet you. I’m Jasmere, the founder of Easy Home Theater. I’ve been with this hobby for many years now, and decided to create this site to share everything that I’ve learned from personal experience with you. I hope you find it helpful, and if you ever have any questions, be sure to reach out!