Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Best Overall: Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer at Amazon
"With low distortion and warm, rich bass that you’ll feel and hear."
Best Home Theater: BIC Acoustec PL-200 II Subwoofer at Amazon
"With a peak of 1000 watts, allowing it to really shake the room."
Best Large Output: Definitive Technology Prosub 1000 300W 10-Inch Subwoofer at Amazon
"If you're looking for a home theater subwoofer with tons of power, check out the Definitive Technology Prosub 1000."
Best Bass Response: Klipsch Reference R-112SW Subwoofer at Amazon
"A legitimately powerful subwoofer that delivers 600 watts of mind-blowing bass."
Best Wireless: Sonos SUB at Amazon
"With a super simple one-button setup that won’t require overthinking to get it going."
Best Value: Monoprice 12-Inch 150 Watt Subwoofer at Amazon
"Enough bass to rattle your bones and your neighbor's coffee mug."
Best High End: KEF R400GB R400b at Amazon
"his subwoofer's high price tag backs up some impressive construction and technology."
Best Wide Frequency Range: Klipsch R-110SW 10” 200 Watt Subwoofer at Amazon
"With an impressive frequency range of 27 – 150Hz."
Best 10-Inch: Polk Audio PSW 10-Inch Woofer at Best Buy
"Great for more compact spaces like apartments."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: ELAC S10 Debut Series 200 Watt Powered Subwoofer at Amazon
"Renders amazing low frequencies with a stunning sense of realism."
Magnetic noise reduction shielding
Muddy low frequencies
Rattles at high volumes
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.
Gold plated terminals
Not great for small spaces
No magnetic shielding
The BIC Acoustec PL-200 II 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 $300, it’s still somewhat budget friendly.
18-150 Hz range
If you're looking for a home theater subwoofer with tons of power, check out the Definitive Technology Prosub 1000. This subwoofer delivers a whopping 300 watts of amplifier power to give you the deep, thundering bass range you need to create the ultimate cinematic audio experience. With a base response range of 18 to 150 Hz, you can customize your audio to fit what you're watching.
The cabinet is made of non-resonant material and has permanently joined pieces to reduce rattle and preserve sound quality. It also features adjustable rubber feet to protect your flooring and keep your subwoofer steady on uneven surfaces. With a 10-inch front firing driver and radiator, this subwoofer creates a radiation area that is 39 percent larger than previous models. This unit has an automatic on/off function so you never have to worry about flipping a switch or unplugging it when not in use. Definitive Technology backs this subwoofer with a three year manufacturer's warranty to cover defective parts and DOA units.
The size of your living room or home theater space is the most important factor to consider when choosing a home subwoofer. If the subwoofer is too large or powerful enough for your space, you'll get muddy audio and a less than ideal listening experience.
Modern copper design
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.
Overall, this subwoofer works great for both music and movies, with a booming sound that never gets muddy. This model can also be easily scratched, so be careful when unboxing it and moving it around the house if you decide to purchase it.
Size - In general, subwoofers with larger surface areas play deeper sound. But you’ll also want to consider the size of your other speakers to ensure that the overall sound profile is balanced. An 8-inch or 10-inch subwoofer is suitable for basic bookshelf speakers, but if you have tower speakers, look for one that’s 12 inches (or more).
Placement - You’ll need to choose between a front-firing and down-firing subwoofer — and which one is best for your space depends on where you’ll put it. If it’ll sit near your other speakers, we recommend a front-firing subwoofer, but if it’ll be positioned in a corner or on a side wall, go for a down-firing one.
Power - Subwoofers have built-in amplifiers that are optimized to collaborate with the drivers. This yields maximum performance, so you generally don’t need much power to deliver booming bass. Still, the larger the room, the more powerful subwoofer you’ll need.
Deep low-end range
Cannot connect another subwoofer
When it comes to wireless sound systems, Sonos has really secured its place in the industry. You can hardly even talk about Bluetooth speakers without bringing up the company’s multi-room, speaker handoff systems. But when you’re looking at the Play:1s or Play:3s, you can easily forget that these smaller speakers, even if paired in stereo doubles, don’t offer much in the way of low end. That’s where Sonos’s SUB system comes into play. Much like a subwoofer in a standard wired system, this one will give you a really full, deep low end. Sonos has used the same logic of simplicity with this system as the rest of their speaker offerings, giving you a super simple one-button setup that won’t require overthinking to get it going.
The slim, stylish cabinet can either be displayed on the floor outside the system or slide inside a cabinet. There are force-canceling drivers positioned inside the cabinet face-to-face that allow for a full, unfettered bass response, so you don't have to worry about cabinet buzzing, rattling or any other artifacts to the sound. And just like the rest of the Sonos family, it can all be connected and controlled wirelessly to the rest of the system with the Sonos app.
50-250 Hz range
The Monoprice 12-inch 150 watt subwoofer delivers plenty of power and thumping bass with a price point that is more manageable than some on this list. This subwoofer retails under $150, so if you're working on a budget to set up your home theater audio system, it could be the perfect choice. The 12-inch front-firing driver is supplemented with a 3.5-inch port underneath the cabinet to create very low bass frequencies and a more cinematic listening experience.
This subwoofer has a bass response range of 50 to 250 Hz so you can customize the lower ranges to fit what you're watching or listening to. The cabinet itself is made of black, simulated wood for a classic finish and is built with impedance matching circuitry to prevent power loss to front speakers when used. This subwoofer can deliver up to 121.6 decibels of sound, giving you enough bass to rattle your bones and your neighbor's coffee mug. It also features an automatic on/off cycle to conserve energy when not in use.
Two 9-inch drivers
26-140 Hz range
If you're willing to shell out a little extra cash to get the best subwoofer for your home theater audio setup, take a look at the Kef R400GB R400b. This subwoofer's high price tag backs up some impressive construction and technology. It uses two, 9-inch drivers housed in a force-canceling cabinet to create a more defined lower range to your audio.
The compact design of the cabinet allows you to tuck it out of the way if space is at a premium or if you just don't want it to be seen. The cabinet has been designed and constructed to minimize rattle and buzz that can muddy bass frequencies so you always get a clear sound. It comes in both glossy black and glossy white with metal accents to complement almost any modern home theater decor. This model has a frequency range of 26 to 140 Hz for an impressive, booming bass you can feel as well as hear.
Wireless adapter support
Clear high and low ranges
No native wireless connectivity
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 Polk Audio PSW 10-Inch Woofer model offers you a stellar bass response without the need to take up the space of the other 12-inch units on this list, which is great for more compact spaces like apartments. It offers 100W peak power handling with minimal distortion throughout most of that range. How does it offer that minimal distortion? Using the Klippel distortion analyzer. This Laser interferometry tech actually analyzes the distortion and cancels it out by optimizing the woofer’s motor structure and voice coil alignment. This gives you very little buzz in playback, which is important for such a loud, low-frequency device.
The flared, front-firing cone gives you great response right to the seating area, but it’s important to note that, unlike the other side-firing options on this list, you can’t really place it hidden away anywhere. The response offers 30 to 200Hz, so it covers basically all of the low ends but doesn't offer the full spectrum of depth that some of the more expensive models give you. Round this all out with a white cone in front of the black enclosure, and it gives you a pretty eye-catching look, too.
Large frequency response
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.
Deep bass response
Built-in distortion canceling tech
Designed to work alongside the rest of the Samsung Sound+ series, this Samsung SWA subwoofer adds an understated, clean design to your living room sound setup. The ultra-deep 27 kHz bass response is technically lower than the human ear can actually hear, but it will add a little extra non-auditory rumble to the room as well, so the response on this unit will be plenty for your setup. The SWA-W700 also offers you the ability to connect wirelessly, so you can place the subwoofer anywhere in the room and aren’t tethered to the central entertainment center in your living room.
When connected to the Sound+ center speaker, it will actually automatically tune itself correctly to the system so there will be audible symmetry, too. There’s even some distortion-canceling tech built right in, so you won’t get that expected bass-level buzz and rattle so common in lower dollar system. Round that out with a unibody construction and the ability to expose a beautiful speaker cone by removing the grill, and you have a really great-looking system that you won’t want to hide away behind the cabinet.
Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management, so she has the knowledge of what makes a solid subwoofer for home entertainment.
Great sound quality
“This home subwoofer brings my sound to a whole new level,” raved one of our testers. “I now get a lot more bass, and it sounds great with music and movies alike.” The easy setup was also a plus: “It was simple enough for non-audiophiles to complete,” said one reviewer. In fact, our testers’ main complaints about this subwoofer had little to do with its performance — they just pointed out it was heavy and larger than comparable units.