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Best Overall: Polk Audio PSW10 at Amazon
"Supported by a lone 10-inch subwoofer and a built-in high current amplifier for big bass, the Polk Audio PSW10 is the very best subwoofer under $100."
Best Sound: Acoustic Audio RWSUB-6 at Amazon
"Pushing out 250 watts of power, the Acoustic Audio is designed to put you right in the middle of the action."
Best Value: Dayton Audio SUB-800 at Amazon
"Its poly zirconium build provides over 30 percent more controlled bass response than competitive subwoofers."
Best for Smaller Spaces: Acoustic Audio PSW-6 at Amazon
"Full-bodied bass that’s just soft enough to not disturb the neighbors, with low- and speaker-level inputs for easy connection. It measures 11 x 9 x 10 inches in size and weighs 18 pounds."
Best for Home Theaters: Acoustic Audio PSW-8 at Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon
Supported by a lone 10-inch subwoofer and a built-in high current amplifier for big bass, the Polk Audio PSW10 is the very best subwoofer under $100. The 10-inch polymer-composite dynamic balance cone driver is designed to be distortion-free while offering the ideal volume for listening to dialogue whether in an action movie or the nightly news. Its unique configuration is specially tuned to maximize bass production for a powerful sound and the superior compression circuitry assists in removing distortion even at maximum volume levels. With speaker-level inputs and outputs, the Polk is easily connected to nearly any speaker system (although it blends best with other Polk speakers). Measuring 14 x 16.13 x 14.38 inches and weighing 26 pounds, the Polk can easily sit on a shelf, in a corner or on an entertainment center.
While its utilitarian black ash design might not stand out in a crowd, The Acoustic Audio RWSUB-6 down-firing subwoofer more than holds its own, thanks to a fantastic audio response. The 6.5-inch subwoofer offers a max level of 250 watts with a high-efficiency amplifier that provides a frequency response between 30 to 250Hz. Its poly zirconium build provides over 30 percent more controlled bass response than competitive subwoofers. The built-in adjustable gain control allows you to connect to any external speaker set and match the bass response for a total surround sound experience. The use of both high and low inputs adds the opportunity to utilize any receiver or amplifier, which is another way the RWSUB-6 can pair with extra speakers.
The Dayton Audio SUB-800 is a heavy duty, long-throw eight-inch subwoofer that fits into nearly any room. With its downward-firing flared port design, the Dayton offers an immediate rewarding clean bass sound that pairs well with both music and movies. Featuring 80 watts of power, it’s not quite as earth-shattering as some of the more bass-heavy competitors, but what it lacks in raw power it more than makes up as a total package. The built-in amplifiers' high and low-level inputs and high-level outputs offer an easy way to connect to an external speaker set (don't worry, there's independent volume control here to help prevent distortion). The auto on/off switch helps detect when the subwoofer is in use and it turns off when not needed. It measures 14.4 x 12.2 x 12.8 inches and weighs 25.1 pounds.
Ideal for smaller rooms, the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 subwoofer is a great choice for ensuring you have quality sound in your smaller space. The 6.5-inch, down-firing, long-throw subwoofer and its built-in digital drive amplifier push out 250 watts of dynamic power. This makes it ideal for watching sporting events or binging Netflix on the couch, especially when integrated into a larger home theater system. Ultimately, the PSW-6 adds full-bodied bass that’s just soft enough to not disturb the neighbors, with low- and speaker-level inputs for easy connection. It measures 11 x 9 x 10 inches in size and weighs 18 pounds.
Acoustic Audio’s PSW-8 300-watt, eight-inch, down-firing subwoofer is exactly what you want if you’re looking for a budget subwoofer to power a home theater system. With a high-efficiency amplifier built in and a frequency response between 26 to 250Hz, the PSW-8 offers a full-bodied bass sound that’s good enough to make you watch at least one extra episode of your favorite Netflix show every time. T
he black ash finish won’t win any design awards, but it quickly blends into the background allowing the focus to be completely on the sound, not the looks. The eight-inch woofer adds a long excursion cone for a deeper and more accurate bass response, which is exactly what you want for heart-pumping fast-paced action movies and sports. And the high and low inputs let it connect to any amplifier or receiver.