The 10 Best Home Subwoofers to Buy in 2018

Pump up the bass on your music and movie sound effects

If you like to feel powerful movie sound effects such as blaring jet engines or the crushing footsteps of T-Rex, or you want to enjoy the full range of music in a song, a subwoofer is a must-have for your home audio system. But before you go and buy a subwoofer for your home, it's important to take some things into consideration such as price, size, design, power and connectivity (if you're hardwired, here's how to hide those wires).

To help, we've put together a list of the best home subwoofers, so keep reading to see which one you should pick up to round out your home theater/music system.  

The Klipsch Synergy Sub-12 is a full-size subwoofer with a 12” cone, 300-watt BASH digital amp and a number of connectivity options. It has a frequency range of 24 – 120Hz, and features a variable low pass filter, phase control and level adjustment, which makes it a perfect addition to any home stereo or theater system. You’ll find a large venting port, stereo RCA line level inputs and stereo speaker level inputs and outputs. The crossover continuously adjusts from 40 to 120Hz to give a broad range of frequencies.

The low down authority of this subwoofer is deep, room shaking, all the while being surprisingly taught, detailed and pitch accurate. The bass has notable oomph here, making it a real pleasure to the ears.

When paired up with a good set of speakers, the Klipsch Sub 12HG Synergy Series subwoofer delivers two of the 10 lowest octaves that can be detected by the human ear. You get increased bass response, low distortion and warm, rich bass that you’ll feel and hear.

From a name well-known to audiophiles, and deserving of their stellar reputation, Polk offers the PSW505, a single-powered home subwoofer that delivers chest thumping bass and dynamic performance in a sound that is deep, loud and clear. This subwoofer provides 300 watts of continuous power and 460 watts dynamic, with large hi-roll surrounds supporting a 12” throw. It has a frequency range of 23 – 160Hz.

There is an adjustable low-pass crossover, volume control and phase switch to enable smooth blending with speakers. And the subwoofer's slot load venting makes for a good bass response, reduces turbulence, noise and distortion. As for it's eco-friendliness, the subwoofer automatically powers down after 15 minutes of inactivity to reduce energy consumption.

The Yamaha YST-SW216BL front-firing subwoofer is sophisticated in design, with a 10” stroke cone driver and magnetic shielding for safety and versatility of placement. Yamaha’s advanced servo technology eliminates impedance, ensuring precise linear motion, superior performance and sound pressure. Input and outputs are 3-way posts.

It has a frequency range of 25 – 180Hz. You’ll find many high-end features in this subwoofer, such as an integrated high cutoff filter and noise reduction. It performs well as part of a home theater system, but may not be the best choice for music requiring a quick bass response. However, that’s not to say the sound doesn’t carry significant power, as this little powerhouse can rattle papers from across a room; the “boom” factor during movies is a definite plus.

The ELAC S12EQ is the big brother to our pick for the “Runner-Up, Best Overall” and it’s not the for the faint of heart. This beast measures 17 x 17 x 17 inches and weighs 49 pounds, so be sure your home setup can fit it before consideration. OK, now that you know it can fit, let’s get into what makes this such a good high-end pick. First, the S12EQ has an advanced digital control system that allows you to modify the subwoofer through an app for iOS or Android smartphones, so you can equalize your sound in the room using your phone’s microphone. On top of this, the S12EQ is a 1,000-watt subwoofer with a 12-inch driver that can make your house shake like you’re in the middle of a space battle, because hey, sometimes you just want to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the fiftieth time on the loudest volume. Don’t worry, we won’t judge.

Continuous mid-range and high frequency horns are the top choice of movie theater sound engineers, preferred for their ability to allow listeners to hear everything from the softest of whispers to the most booming of explosions in extreme detail. And the BIC's horn drivers are unrivaled in terms of clarity and range. With a BASH amp, known for excelling at fidelity, this subwoofer has an output capability of up to 116dB, which is equivalent to seeing a live rock performance. It has a frequency range of 25 – 200Hz. This subwoofer is described as “powerful and punchy.” It is an adjustable crossover, and the patented BIC “Venturi” vent cancels out port noise at higher volumes.

The Klipsch Reference R-112SW is a legitimately powerful subwoofer that delivers 600 watts of mind-blowing bass in a beautiful case. The R-112SW has a simple yet refined design with spun copper sitting in the middle of the unit that can provide exceptionally low frequencies. This model’s biggest selling point outside of the powerful bass response is the fact that it’s wireless, so you can place the subwoofer wherever it sounds best in your desired room. With the unit measuring 18.2 x 15.5 x 17.4 inches and weighing nearly 50 pounds, that flexibility of placement will definitely come in handy. Amazon reviewers have been happy with this model and say that it works great for both music and movies, with booming sound that never gets muddy. They also note that this model can be easily scratched, so be careful when unboxing it and moving it around the house if you decide to purchase it.

Martin Logan has expanded on the success of their Dynamo line with the compact yet powerful Dynamo 700W. It has a frequency range of 24 – 200Hz. It features 600W at peak, a high current amp and a 10” cone driver, which delivers effortless bass that is kept deep and tight. The design is a down-firing configuration, but easily converts to a front-firing setup. And the wireless transmitter and receiver means you can maintain a minimalist look free of cables, but a wired connection is available, if preferred.

There’s a continuously variable low pass 35-120 Hz crossover, a rear-mounted 3 position phase switch, volume level and crossover controls. This subwoofer is not shielded, so it will need to be placed away from TVs and monitors.

If you’re looking for a wireless receiver, the Dynamo 700W is a great choice. It can deliver a huge sound while perfectly preserving the smallest of bass detail with no distortion; the response is smooth and non-resonant.

This Klipsch subwoofer has an impressive frequency range of 27 – 150Hz. Compact and stylish, this front-firing subwoofer gives a tight musical bass reproduction for added depth to your favorite music and movies with minimal breakup and distortion. The integrated all-digital amp delivers a hard-hitting and powerful bass. The front slot ports allow for an energetic frequency even at low range, while the MDF Plinth's acoustic decoupling technique creates a powerful effect that minimizes ambient room noise.

This subwoofer supports a wireless adapter kit for those who want to go wireless or easily change the placement in any room. At 200 watts of continuous power and the ability to handle bursts up to 450 watts, it is powerful enough to allow you to hear and feel even the subtlest of effects. Audiophiles who enjoy a wide range of music, anything from classical, to jazz, to hard rock, will appreciate the frequency range of the Klipsch. It delivers the highs, the lows and everything in between with ease.

The BIC Acoustec PL-200 Subwoofer allows you to experience movie theater sound quality, making action sequences seem more real, and allowing you to feel all the emotion of tear jerking theme music. It has a rich, deep sound with a balanced, energetic bass and a good low frequency response. Its 250 watts, with 1000 watts at peak, allowing it to really shake the room. The BIC Acoustec is a great addition to any home theater system, and at less than $275, it’s still somewhat budget friendly.

The ELAC S10 Debut Series 200 Watt Powered Subwoofer with 10” bass driver renders amazing low frequencies with a stunning sense of realism. It includes a BASH amp that operates at 200 watts of power RMS and 400 watts of power at peak. Frequency response is 28-150Hz, and it features continuously adjustable crossover at 50-150Hz. The subwoofer provides automatic equalization to the room environment. ELAC has even capitalized on the mobile app revolution, allowing traditional analog controls to be controlled through a smartphone with the ELAC SUB control app.

Sign up for our daily deals newsletter

Disclosure: At Lifewire, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.
Was this page helpful?