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Make Your Sound System Great With The Best Subwoofers

  1. JBL Powered Subwoofer
  2. Yamaha 10" 100W Powered Subwoofer
  3. BIC America Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
  4. Rhythmik Audio F12 Direct Servo Subwoofer
  5. Bowers & Wilkins ASW610 Subwoofer
  6. Bowers & Wilkins ASW608 Subwoofer
  7. Cerwin-Vega XLS-12S Powered Subwoofer
  8. Bowers & Wilkins DB1 Subwoofer
  9. Paradigm Signature Sub 2
  10. JTR Captivator 2400 Subwoofer
  11. Velodyne Digital Drive Plus 18 Subwoofer
  12. Epik Empire Subwoofer
  13. Klipsch CA-800-TSW Outdoor Subwoofer
  14. OWI Inc L.A. Rocker Speaker: Boulder Rock Subwoofer
  15. OSD Outdoor Subwoofer Rock Audio RSUB300
  16. OSD Audio OM-SUB200 Omni 360-Degree Outdoor Subwoofer with Built-In Crossover
  17. MartinLogan Dynamo 1000W 12-inch Wireless Ready Subwoofer
  18. WiConnect 10 Inch Wireless Subwoofer
  19. SONOS SUB Wireless Subwoofer
  20. JBL ES150PW 500 Watt Subwoofer
  21. Polk Audio PSWi225 8-inch, 100W Wireless Subwoofer
  22. Buyer's Guide

A subwoofer is the one piece of audio equipment that will lift a simple sound system out of the ordinary, and can make or break the most expensive HiFi system. Even the cheapest subwoofer will take a pair of basic bookshelf speakers and turn them into something that sounds like a real sound system. A truly high-end subwoofer, on the other hand, is the difference between simply "good" sound and true realism. Good low frequency response is an absolute must for a home theater system, making dialogue richer and more immediate sounding, and bringing much-needed depth to sound tracks, explosions, and ambient noises. Most music requires solid bass response too: everything from orchestral classical music to dubstep sounds better when bass notes are fully fleshed out and given their real atmospheric textures by a dedicated subwoofer. Even a loan acoustic guitar benefits from extra LF, making plucked strings sound much more immediate and realistic, and adding rich reverb to lower notes.

Subwoofers, like speakers, come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Some are optimized for outdoor or car use; others are ported to give the most powerful output possible, or sealed to maintain tightness and evenness of response. And price does matter; here, perhaps more than anywhere else in home theater audio, you get what you pay for. Spend under $100, and you're really just adding extra thump. Jump to $200 or so, and we're talking real slam with decent extension and easily distinguishable multi-tonal textures. Around $500 will get you deep, tight, punchy bass that can shake windows and, in a smaller space or with multiple woofers, produce room lock, that famous sensation of a room being filled by bass waves, pressurizing the air and creating a truly immediate, tactile experience. Cross the $1,000 mark, and you are in true HiFi territory: expect serious LF vibrations and the kind of sound that will put anything you've ever heard, including movie theaters and high-end concert hall systems, to absolute shame. All in all, if you aren't willing to shell out at least half the price of the rest of your system for a subwoofer, you won't be doing your speakers justice, but better any subwoofer than none! This is perhaps the most important piece of any sound system, and if you aren't putting serious consideration into which one is best for you, you'll be shortchanging yourself and anyone who hears your system. We've compiled the best subwoofers in 2022.

Best Subwoofers of 2022 Reviewed in Detail

JBL Powered Subwoofer - Best Subwoofer Overall

The ES250P is the perfect subwoofer for a medium sized home theater or den: it's affordable, looks good, and sounds like most people expect a subwoofer to sound. It has a 12-inch downward-firing woofer puts out plenty of tight, deep bass that leans slightly toward the midbass rather than deepest notes, but does reach into subbass while remaining fairly tight, meaning that rap, pop, and electronic music will get plenty of oomph but won't keep the neighbors awake as long as the volume is kept at reasonable levels; comparable models from Bose or Klisch, like the SW100, focus more on mid bass and tend to sound overly loud and a bit boomier. Make no mistake: the JBL can rattle walls, and will if you crank the volume, but it can also be kept relatively tame.

Please keep in mind that this is an entry level subwoofer; if you are expecting genuine room lock in anything bigger than an average bedroom, or want to use it outdoors, you should expect to spend more money. Some users have reported blown fuses when the unit is pushed to its limits, but JBL has reportedly included a higher quality resistor in newer units, so defects shouldn't be a problem as long as you're buying new. At the price, this is a great subwoofer, and as long as you don't push it to its limits constantly, you should be very satisfied with its performance.

Yamaha 10" 100W Powered Subwoofer - Runner Up

Klipsch has always made decent subwoofers, and the KW-100 is no exception. Its simple, no-frills design language is not as bold or flashy as Klipsch's proprietary gold speaker cones, but then a good subwoofer should stay out of the way, and the KW-100 does just that. It delivers the kind of sound most buyers will be expecting from a solid subwoofer: while it digs below 40hz without getting too muddy, most of the emphasis is above 60hz and the KW-100 will give a pleasant touch of warmth to any system. It can be a touch boomy at times, which is important to remember if you want to watch movies or listen to music late at night, especially if you live in an apartment building. If you are interested in buying a complete system, the KW-100 compliments Klipsch's own Icon series very well, but it should serve its purpse well in any midrange home system.

BIC America Front Firing Powered Subwoofer - Honorable Mention

Let's get one thing out of the way: this is the lowest quality unit on this list. It will distort noticeably if it is pushed, and gets muddy below 50hz. In fact it is just above the kind of quality one can expect from a "home a theater in a box" or standard 2.1 computer speaker system. But if you're ready to build your own system, this is a fine place to start, as long as you aren't expecting more than you're paying for. There is no adjustable crossover, digital EQ, or fancy wood finish. But the SW012 puts out plenty of bass for a smaller theater or decent sized bedroom, and will rattle wood floors when cranked up. it doesn't really produce much below 40hz, so it isn't capable of producing room lock without the help of another, more capable woofer, but what it does, it does fairly well. If you want your own genuine surround sound system, but aren't picky and just want a subwoofer, the SW012 will do fine.

best Rhythmik Audio F12 Direct Servo Subwoofer

Rhythmik Audio F12 Direct Servo Subwoofer - Consider

In my experience, most people buying multi-speaker surround setups do so with their home theater experience in mind, wanting that true “surround sound” experience that they get in a movie theater, whereas music-obsessed audiophiles tend to lean more towards the private experience of headphones. If, however, you’re one of the few who will shell out the big bucks just to hear your lossless tunes in their fullest, most spacious format, and really crave that live music sound more than anything, the Rhythmik F12 is one of your best bets. It doesn’t hit quite as hard as, say, the SW-115 at the lowest of lows (20-40 hz), but it is incredibly detailed and tight, and sounds noticeably cleaner than the Klipsch, especially in the midbass. The two occupy opposite ends of the spectrum at this price point, with the Klipsch being the best bet for those trying to recreate full-sized movie theater sound at home, or just shake their foundations, while the F12 achieves impressive SPL with a room-filling sound while remaining as tight as possible. It is an incredibly musical sub, hitting fast and tight while lending just a touch of pleasant warmth to the overall sound of the system it compliments, but never enough to intrude on or discolor the rest of the sound.It tends to sell for $150-$200 more than the ASW610, but if you can stretch your budget and use your system for music more than movies, it’s worth the extra squeeze.

best Bowers & Wilkins ASW610 Subwoofer

Bowers & Wilkins ASW610 Subwoofer - Best Mid Range Subwoofer

Just a few drivers and room correction tech shy of B&W's flagship DB1, the ASW610 is a top-notch subwoofer that will fulfill the bass needs of all but the most demanding audiophiles and die-hard bass heads. It delivers deep, clean bass that can be downright vociferous when asked for, but, like its siblings the 608 and DB1, it is generally a polite subwoofer for its size, never producing excessive bass bloat or sounding too boomy. It opts instead for a tight, punchy presentation that is not quite as fast as the smaller 608, but has a fuller body and more volume, and can go noticeably lower with more power and better definition. It digs down to 30hz with authority, and even reaches past without losing too much power, though definition is not quite the cleanest at the lowest of lows, and like nearly all sub-$1000 woofers the 610 can't quite reproduce the earthquake-like bass tones below the range of human hearing. What it does do, it does exceptionally well, and at the going rate of about $700, it represents one of the better values south of a grand; it should fill the needs of most home theater enthusiasts who aren't looking to shake their foundations.

Bowers & Wilkins ASW608 Subwoofer

Bowers & Wilkins ASW608 Subwoofer - Best Mid Range Subwoofer

Not all home theaters are designed to replicate floor-shaking cinema-style bass; some folks just want good, clean lows that can portray music and sound tracks accurately without waking the dead. The ASW608 was designed with the tamer crowd in mind, and delivers every bit as much quality and depth, and in some cases more, compared to many full-sized subs in its price range. It can reach 30hz without distorting, and remains clean and tight, but does lose a bit of chutzpah beyond that. Still, for an 8-inch single woofer, the 608 generates very impressive sound, and is every bit as detailed and textured as its bigger, more expensive sibling, the 610, until the very lowest notes are reached. It is the perfect sub for a medium sized master bedroom, and will provide a smaller space with excellent vibrations and enhance dimensionality that might be smeared by a more powerful unit in such a space. It showcases excellent speed, better than the 610, and even without the full slam of its older brother it still delivers a very satisfying punch so long as it isn't asked to fill a large room.

Cerwin-Vega XLS-12S Powered Subwoofer - Best Mid Range Subwoofer

The XLS-12S falls into the same category as the ASW608: it is not a subwoofer designed to recreate realistic actions scenes or rumble out the deep, palpable bass notes in pipe organ or modern dance music. This is scene by many enthusiasts as a hardware limitation, and from a technical perspective it is: the XLS-12S responds with -3dB below neutrality at 38hz, which means that sounds from certain types of music will be "missing."

This becomes a benefit for those who don't want deep, rumbling, true-to-life bass response, either due to personal preference or space limitations. There are plenty of audio enthusiasts who live with nothing but a few layers of sheet rock and plywood between their systems and where their neighbors sleep, eat and raise their kids, and scores of jazz, classical, and acoustic lovers who want to relax with and listen to their music without feeling it in the chest: such music lovers are exactly who the XLS-12S is built for. It delivers excellent detail between 50-150hz, meaning that music still sounds full and well-textured, but deep, wall-rattling subbass notes are slightly muted, audible yet not powerful enough to be nauseating or intrusive. It can recreate an excellent sense of dimensionality, even without rumbling LF, and movie soundtracks still sound full and engaging. Don't let specification-obsessed enthusiasts and number-crunching wannabe-elitists lead you astray: Cerwin Vega has a quality product in the XLS-12S, and a stylish one at that, and if you're after a full sound but slightly tamer deep bass presentation, the XLS-12S is worth a look.

best Bowers & Wilkins DB1 Subwoofer

Bowers & Wilkins DB1 Subwoofer - Best High End Subwoofer

Over the last two years, the DB1 has become a familiar face in both the homes of the wealthy and the finest studios in the world. Known to reproduce the lowest frequencies audible by the human ear with astonishing realism and authority, it is the subwoofer of choice for those who can afford it. While not quite capable of the final few minute inches of bone-shaking bass as the Sub 2 or Captivator, the DB1 has an incredibly musical, accurate approach to bass, and while its twin 12-inch woofers are capable of rumbling wooden floors and waking neighbors, it is tight and accurate in its overall presentation compared to the Captivator, and downright tame next to the Sub 2. Its built-in room compensation tech ensures the best sound for your space of choice, automatically adjusting the gain and relative frequency response to best suit your room and produce optimal room lock, that much sought-after sensation of physical, room-filling bass response. This makes it a much better choice than the Captivator or Epik Empire for most buyers; unless you are, or are willing to employ, a true speaker enthusiast and engineer who can consciously hear the minute differences that will make or break a sound system's ultimate performance, and build or adjust your room and setup accordingly, the DB-1 is a much smarter buy and infinitely easier to use, which is why it receives my highest recommendation for most potential buyers.

Paradigm Signature Sub 2

Paradigm Signature Sub 2 - Best High End Subwoofer

Paradigm may not have the commercial exposure of companies like MartlinLogan or Bowers & Wilkins, but with the advent of the Sub 2, I have a feeling they will be gaining popularity rapidly, given just how much bass is used in modern music and the ever-broadening market for upscale home audio. The Sub 2 is, to my knowledge, the most powerful single-unit traditional subwoofer in production, and accomplishes this feat with style. Its six 10-inch woofers are housed in a handsome enlosure crafted from your choice of piano-finish black, black ash, or cherry, which can easily be mistaken for a fancy side table adjacent to your seating arrangement, although resting a full glass on the Sub 2 could be a risky endeavor.

Simply put, the bass produced by the Sub 2 is stunning, especially considering its size. It is not by any means intended for use in a smaller space, or, in truth, anything short of a decently sized dedicated home theater, or perhaps the living room of a house with an open layout. It reaches incredibly deep, down to 12 hz, and can reproduce the highly sought-after 20hz frequency with impressive control and authority; most subs can't go below 30hz, and most that can reach this low barely manage to do so. Though the amount of bass produced is enormous, it is never boomy or uncontrolled, and always reproduces the recordings it is fed faithfully, especially when its room correction technology, similar to that of the DB1, is used properly. That said, it is a very powerful unit, so be sure that the rest of your system is on par if you are going to introduce the Sub 2 into your setup.

If you have the cash to throw around, and really want the most powerful, impressive bass that the industry has to offer, look no further: the Sub 2 will have you rattling walls and shocking visitors for years to come.

best JTR Captivator 2400 Subwoofer

JTR Captivator 2400 Subwoofer - Best High End Subwoofer

The Captivator does one thing that most other vented subwoofers simply cannot do: it remains perfectly controlled, tight, and accurate at all times while being capable of producing absolutely enormous SPL. It’s vented design allows it to create positively thunderous bass down to 22hz while consuming slightly less power than a sealed sub for the same output, and for those who like serious SPL and want the maximum possible perceived bass, sticking two of these right underneath your TV or center channel firing in your face will definitely do the trick. It’s 18-inch driver is housed in a simpler design than most woofers in this list; it doesn't incorporate room correction technology or other fancy electronic extras, but as a straight-up subwoofer it is an incredible standalone performer. Even a single Captivator is enough pressurize a fairly large living room or home theater. JTR's fit and finish is legendary amongst audiophiles and the lucky few who have either stumbled across the company through careful research or heard their name through word of mouth, and the captivator is certainly no exception: it is available in a range of custom finishes, including a variety of hardwoods and different colors. The Captivator is a great alternative to the Sub 2 for those who want as much bass as possible, and can be had for much less; it will take a bit of extra effort to set up and tune with your system, but if you're old school or just want to save a bit of cash, the Captivator is a great product.

Velodyne Digital Drive Plus 18 Subwoofer - Best High End Subwoofer

The DD18 falls into the same category as the DB1: a tight, accurate subwoofer voiced with audiophiles and serious home theater enthusiasts in mind. While fans of ultimate bass power and rumble will doubtless prefer the TRW-17 and Paradigm Sub 2 for their ability to create absolutely insane levels of bass, the DD18 is a much more accurate piece of equipment, designed to reproduce audio faithfully in all but the largest spaces. It’s built-in microphone and digital equalizer system allow the sub to be tuned to fit in seamlessly with your system and space, whatever they may be.

Once properly tuned for a flat response with your system, the DD18 will deliver flat, authoritative bass down to the lowest notes audible to the human ear, and below: the DD18 produced well-defined vibrations down to 15 hz, an impressive feat to be sure. While others can go lower, the definition and control the DD18 is able to maintain at this depth is exceptional when compared to the Paradigm Sub 2; the Sub 2 can go louder at these subterranean frequencies, but is not as tight and accurate, sounding bloated and every so slightly loose next to the DD18’s ultra-taut presentation.

While it’s EQ system is not automatic like the DB1, meaning that you will have to use your own ears and manually adjust the levels using the remote, the DD18 is every bit as technically capable as the DB1, and arguably superior in reproducing some spacial aspects of sound. Ultimately it comes down to a matter of preference, but if you want that last inch of extension, and don’t mind tuning manually, the DD18 may be worth the extra few grand over the B&W.

best Epik Empire Subwoofer

Epik Empire Subwoofer - Best High End Subwoofer

The Epik Empire is a solid subwoofer at its quoted MSRP of $1499, but at the going rate of $799, it is an absolute steal. Most woofers in this price range struggle to produce solid notes below 30 hz; the Empire, meanwhile, digs to 20hz without suffering any audible distortion, bloat, or loss in clarity, an incredible feat for anything south of $1500 and unheard of below $1000. The unit itself is simple and understated, with no real frills or extra attention paid to its appearance; it’s basically a black box. No fancy room correction or equalization tech to be found here, this is a subwoofer, pure and simple, and a great one at that. Splitting duties between two 15-inch woofers requires 600 watts, so a substantial amplifier is needed; the Empire is a bargain in price, not power, but if you’ve already got a capable receiver, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. The Empire puts out quite a bit of bass, but nowhere near the about of the TRW-17 or Sub 2, so those looking to fill big home theaters or open floorplan may need a pair, and even so the Empire will never be a true monster like these two; it’s quantity falls more in line with the DD18 and DB1, although it generally produces a bit more midbass than either, meaning it will work well for those who like to have fun with bass-heavy music without being overwhelming in a smaller space. Overall the Empire is a real steal at its introductory price, but even if you have to pay the full $1499, you are still getting every penny’s worth in sound.

best Klipsch CA-800-TSW Outdoor Subwoofer

Klipsch CA-800-TSW Outdoor Subwoofer - Best Outdoor Subwoofer

While the rest of the woofers in this list are designed to be used incognito, either by blending in with their surroundings or passing themselves off as something other than a speaker, the CA-800-TSW is built to be integrated with a more standard-looking outdoor system. Designed with outdoor concerts, parties, and tailgating in mind, Klipsch’s outdoor sub provides ample bass response down to 50hz; frequencies below this level are harder to maintain at respectable power outdoors as they are felt as much as heard, and without a sealed space in which to resonate, their effects are diminished. The sound pros at Klipsch know this well, and therefore chose to focus more on optimizing the response above 50hz to make what can be appreciated outdoors sound as good as possible, and they succeed. The CA-800-TSW delivers a punchy, full-bodied response that can easily be heard across football fields and other such large outdoor spaces, making it a great choice over the others in this review if you plan on catering to a larger audience. These babies are built to last, too, with a durable plastic enclosure that can withstand a bit of rain; though not built to endure the constant barrage of weather that the more permanent outdoor designs are specced for, it is less fragile and more portable as a result, making it the go-to subwoofer solution for a transportable outdoor audio system.

best OWI Inc L.A. Rocker Speaker: Boulder Rock Subwoofer

OWI Inc L.A. Rocker Speaker: Boulder Rock Subwoofer - Best Outdoor Subwoofer

Let’s be honest, right off the bat: the Rock Sub by Owi Inc is absurdly expensive, particularly considering that it’s meant to be used outdoors. Most audiophiles reserve their big-dollar systems for indoors, which might be a smart idea. That said, the Rock Sub does put out quite a bit of bass, and sounds pretty darn good; whether it’s worth over a grand is up to you, and I will say it’s not nearly on par with traditional speakers in the price range, but then it is both a heavily specialized product and a full-range speaker-subwoofer combination. The bass does dig very deep, hitting hard and tight down to about 50hz before running out of steam, and bottoming out completely right around 30hz. This is a fairly impressive feat, considering the outdoor woofer from Polk, a home theater enthusiast staple, gives up at around 40hz, but then it’s also a dedicated woofer at about a quarter of the price. The full-range response of the Rock sub is respectable, comparing in detail to mid-fi home theater systems, though not offering quite the same sense of dimensionality, which should be a given considering that the reflections afforded to indoor systems, as well as the more sophisticated placement involved in a 5.1 or 7.2 system. The response can be a bit peaky, sounding slightly exaggerated in the highs, and a touch boomy in the midbass region (150-250 hz), but overall the sound is undeniably high quality, and while perhaps not earning the ridiculous tag on its own, when weather-proofing, design, and convenience are taken into account, two to four Rock Subs make a solid solution for a hassle-free, durable outdoor system.

OSD Outdoor Subwoofer Rock Audio RSUB300 - Best Outdoor Subwoofer

The RSUB 300 might not be the prettiest outdoor woofer, betraying its true purpose with an easily visible vented grille, but it serves its purpose well, and as long as it’s surrounding by other rocks, plants, or garden flora, it won’t stand out like a sore thumb. The build doesn’t feel as premium as most standard subwoofers, but it is fully weather-proofed and designed to be left outdoors as a permanent part of your backyard setup. The bass it produces is very smooth; it isn’t the tightest, and audiophiles will probably prefer Polk’s Sub 10, which has a flatter response, but it is a very intoxicating sound, putting a bit of extra emphasis above 60hz to create a rich, buttery sound that lovers of a bit of extra midbass will surely appreciate. It works very well in combination with OSD’s OM-SUB200, allowing the cheaper underground unit to recreate the lowest of lows that are felt rather than heard, giving the RSUB300 the freedom to handle midbass duties and create the rich fullness that subwoofers are loved for. If you plan on buying a full outdoor system, this combination can help take it to the next level.

OSD Audio OM-SUB200 Omni 360-Degree Outdoor Subwoofer with Built-In Crossover - Best Outdoor Subwoofer

The OM-SU 200 is designed to work in tandem with OSD’s other speakers and subwoofers, and, when paired with the RSUB 300, can help to create an incredibly atmospheric bass presentation. While the bass depth and quality isn’t quite up to par with the RSUB300, once buried, it does help create a very pleasant rumbling sensation, and, if placed properly, can really enhance the outdoor audio experience. Most indoor spaces benefit from LF resonance that is created when omni-directional low frequencies bounce around a sealed indoor space, creating the sensation of more LF than is actually being put out. This is hard to achieve outdoors, given that open space causes bass waves to disperse much more quickly. But with an OM-SUB200 buried beneath your seating area, and preferably an RSUB300 or two (or whatever other outdoor sub you settle on) in the sourrounding area, you can more closely recreate the tactile experience of an indoor system. It won’t do you much good on its own, but in concert with a full system and a more typical outdoor subwoofer, it can definitely help to create that last inch of realism that is missing from many outdoor systems.

MartinLogan Dynamo 1000W 12-inch Wireless Ready Subwoofer - Best Wireless Subwoofer

In spite of the widespread disdain from audiophiles for wireless technologies of all kinds, including Blueooth, Kleer, and standard 2.4ghz transmission, the Dynamo 1000W leaves no room for doubt about being a true HiFi subwoofer. Slotting in just below the 1500x in MartinLogan's Dynamo series, it is a product that even the snobbiest of snobs can’t turn their noses up at. It digs down to 22hz capably, and maintains power below 30hz: yes, even in wireless mode. Granted, a bit of definition is lost by going wireless, but it still manages to sink into those really low notes, and sounds just as authoritative unless you’re really listening closely for differences.

The 1000W delivers great sound, but it’s no slouch on features either. It’s 12-inch woofer is powered by a 500-watt amplifier that can drive an output of up to 1000 watts when you really want to push it. The standard adjustable crossover is here, but unlike many subs, the 1000W sounds pretty nice all the way up to 120hz, maintaining good control and definition even when the crossover is jacked up. It also features a crossover bypass, for those who prefer to electronically dictate the fine-tunings of their system. It even features the ability to switch between downward-firing and front-firing configurations, a benefit that many serious audio enthusiasts would see as a gimmick considering that bass is omnidirectional in nature, but some do favor one over the other as a matter of preference; if you're unsure of your own, the 1000W will accommodate your curiosity.

best WiConnect 10 Inch Wireless Subwoofer

WiConnect 10 Inch Wireless Subwoofer - Best Wireless Subwoofer

Velodyne’s entry into the world of wireless is a good one, good enough to offer an alternative to the ES150PW for those with a slightly different listening style. While it’s bass is not quite as deep and impactful as the wireless variant of the ES150, it does have noticeably better control in the upper/mid-bass regions: notes above 80hz have less “boom” to them, and while it is a smidge slower than the JBL, the WIC10 is generally tamer and never sounds bloated or boomy. This is great for those who don’t like the big, bold sound of the JBL, or just don’t want quite as much perceived bass in general. It does give out around 33hz, and starts to lose steam at 40; this means that lovers of the big booms of explosions or deep kick drum hits will probably prefer the JBL, and indeed I think the ES150PW is generally a better solution for home theater, but I know quite a few audiophiles who prefer a tamer, softer bass presentation, and plenty of folks who live in apartments with neighbors who will bang on the walls or ceiling or floor if things get too loud; each of these will likely make better use of the Velodyne than the JBL in the long run.

The WIC10’s 10-inch downward firing unit is cabined in black ash and has a fairly distinguished feel to it. Velodyne’s usual solid build quality is notable here, with the fit and finish one would expect from any $400 subwoofer. The WIC10 isn’t an amazing bargain, and wired subs at its price range are generally more technically capable, but if ease of use and a slightly more restrained bass presentation are your top two requirements, by all means, the WiConnect 10 is a solid solution.

SONOS SUB Wireless Subwoofer - Best Wireless Subwoofer

Sonos is a brand that markets primarily on convenience, and their products do exactly what they advertise, which is to produce very reasonable sound quality with an extremely easy wireless setup. While most wireless systems involve a bit of tinkering to get up and running, Sonos’s system is as simple as they come, and anyone with a bit of electronic know-how should be able to get the Sonos Sub up and running without much fuss. The Sonos Bridge connects to a WiFi router to transmit signal throughout your home, and the sub just needs to be plugged in and added via your controller of choice, typically a smartphone with the Sonos Controller app. Once connected, the Sonos Sub offers 6 levels of bass response which can be customized based on your room size and personal preference; while the -3 level offers suitable response for a smaller den or master bedroom, the +3 setting will rattle walls and windows in anything less than a large home theater or open floorplan living room. It’s not true hifi bass; those who have owned $500+ subwoofers in the past will notice that the deepest subbass notes below 30hz are missing, beginning to run out of steam at around 45hz, and most of the emphasis comes in above 80hz, making the Sonos Sub a bit tubby in its bass presentation, but those who don’t have experience with serious HiFi components will doubtless be awed with the great response offered by the Sonos Sub.

Anyone with a decent budget looking for solid sound quality and the possibility of expanding their new system into multiple rooms without the hassle of tearing down drywall should definitely consider the Sonos Sub and its matching components. In fact, given that a compromise in sound quality is inherent in all wireless audio tech, the Sonos Sub may just be the smartest choice of all: it is not the best sounding of the lot, but it is the easiest to use, has by far the most features including adjustable bass response, and integrates easily with a relatively affordable, fully wireless system that can be dispersed throughout an apartment or even medium-sized house... and controlled from a smartphone to boot!

best JBL ES150PW 500 Watt Subwoofer

JBL ES150PW 500 Watt Subwoofer - Best Wireless Subwoofer

Bringing JBL’s world-renowned quality and reliability to the table in yet another segment, the ES150PW is a solid offering that all wireless subs should be judged against. While it can’t compete with the real HiFi stuff like the 1000W, it’s still a very capable subwoofer, and is just as tight and punchy as many of JBL’s wired subs. It hits down to 27hz, whether wired or not, and there is really very little difference noticeably between the two modes; I’d still take the Infinite PS210W in wireless mode over the ES150PW in either configuration, but I have to hand it to JBL: their wireless adapter must be better than Infinity’s, because there really isn’t much lost when going wireless. It loses just a bit of low-end definition below 35hz or so when listening to test tones in wireless mode, but beyond that they sound nearly identical, and I don’t think most users would notice the difference at all.

Overall the JBL’s bass presentation is fast, tight, and punchy, and while there is a little extra response between 50-80hz for my liking, which can make the bass sound over-emphasized at times, it really isn’t much to complain about. Definition is solid all the way up to 150hz, and the build quality is solid, like just about anything JBL. Given the fact that this little guy can be had as low as $250 when on sale on Amazon, it’s an incredible bargain, and outperforms many wired subs at that price, making it a more attractive buy than the Infinity for those who are willing to be patient and want to save a little cash; if you see that deal, jump on it for sure!

best Polk Audio PSWi225 8-inch, 100W Wireless Subwoofer

Polk Audio PSWi225 8-inch, 100W Wireless Subwoofer - Best Wireless Subwoofer

Polk has a great reputation in just about every segment of the audio industry, and is often thought of as a “safe choice” when it comes to audio components: they typically offer a good value at each respective price point, and everything is predictably well-built. The PSWi225 is no exception, and while it’s not at the top of the heap sound-wise, it has nothing to be ashamed of, and competes easily with most wired subwoofers about $100 less than its street price, about what one would typically expect from taking audio components wireless. As expected for both the price range and tech, the PSWi225 begins to run out of steam at around 45hz, sounding woolly and not very well defined in the lowest of lows, and not much can be distinguished below 30 hz. Above that, however, the PSWi225 is punchy, balanced, and fairly well-controlled, sounding great all the way up to 100hz. It isn’t exceptionally fast, but it is detailed and well-textured, suitably so to match up with a decent mid-fi speaker system. It really doesn’t have the most authoritative sound, and personally I would spend the extra $100-$200 on the offerings from JBL or Infinity every time, but if that $150 will be spent on a better receiver or put towards nicer companion speakers, the PSWi225 should do you just fine.

Buyer's Guide

Adding a subwoofer to your home theater system will take your movie-watching experience from good to great. It enhances deep bass sounds, clarifies, and amplifies low-end frequencies. Some low sound frequencies are beyond human hearing, yet we can feel them. The addition of more than one subwoofer may take up a lot of space but will provide a better quality surround sound.

With such a wide range of subwoofers in the market, getting the right one for your home can be a complicated decision. This guide will help you consider all the important aspects when buying a subwoofer for your home entertainment system.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Subwoofer

What Size Subwoofer is Best?

The woofer you choose should blend well with your other speakers. This will create a balanced, immersive entertainment experience. If your system has bookshelf or satellite speakers, an 8" or 10" sub will pair well. If you have a big center channel, and floor-standing speakers a 12" sub would be a better sonic match.

Large subwoofers are worth considering for spacious, open entertainment rooms. They produce more bass by moving more air. Smaller size woofers are a better choice not to overwhelm compact spaces.


The amount of bass you require will depend on what you are using your home entertainment system for. If you watch a lot of movies, action, or sci-fi, you will want a powerful bass that gives you goosebumps and makes the room rattle. If your system is used more for viewing comedies and kids' shows a smaller sub will do the trick, even in a big room.


A subwoofer can either be powered or passive. A powered subwoofer is self-contained with built-in amplifiers. It has more power and provides the option to control how the power is used with a control panel. Passive subwoofers on the other hand work with an external amplifier. In general, 10 to 12-inch cones are most popular. The larger the driver, the deeper the base.

Is a Sealed or Ported Enclosure Better?

Sealed EnclosureAir does not move in or out of a sealed enclosure sub. This makes it very responsive with accurate bass.

Ported Enclosure

Ported boxes can be somewhat larger. They have built-in air vents that reinforce low bass output. This way you can get powerful bass without needing as much power.

Both types of designs provide clean, hard-hitting bass. If you enjoy playing a lot of EDM, hard rock, or hip-hop, a ported design will be a good choice. A sealed enclosure will have a better audible impact on jazz or classical genres.

Other Features to Look for When Choosing a Subwoofer

Down-Firing or Front-firing Cone MountsSingle cone subwoofers can be mounted either down-firing or front-firing. Down-firing cones are mounted on the bottom and front-firing cones are mounted on the side of the cabinet. The bass produced from a down-firing driver hits the floor, crawling along the surface to produce great deep bass. Forward-firing drivers produce fast and airy bass while being highly impactful.

The choice here is a matter of personal preference, but getting a combination unit that incorporates both types is an ideal option.

Can You Customize the Subwoofer Sound to Your Room?

Room-correction software lets you tailor your woofer's sound to your room's acoustics.

Some subwoofers provide advanced digital signal processing that is built into the unit. This allows you to customize the sound for the best outcome in your space.

A more convenient way to do this is by using a ‘smart sub’. There are no knobs to adjust on the rear panel. You simply use an app on your phone to record a near-field measurement of the woofer's output. The app compares how it sounds from your position, and automatically smooths the output for your best experience.

Investing in a subwoofer can have a great impact on your home entertainment experience. Invest in one that suits your space, budget, and listening requirements.

Subwoofer FAQ

Q: Are wireless subwoofers better?

A: Going wireless will still require your sub to be plugged into a power outlet, but can save you the trouble of navigating long wires to the receiver. An increasing number of woofers can receive signals wirelessly from a transmitter connecting to your home theatre system receiver.

The transmitter can either be included in the box or is available as an additional accessory. Wireless kits are also available, turning almost any subwoofer into a wireless device.

Q: Where should a subwoofer be positioned?


The first thing to consider when choosing a sub is to make sure it will fit into the area you have available for it. Measure the area before making the purchase, especially if you have little space flexibility.

Next, you will need to connect the sub to a power outlet as well as to your receiver. This will play a big role in its positioning. If you are going wireless, placing it in a corner of a room is ideal. This makes it sound louder. For ported designs keep the sub twice the diameter of the port (6-12 inches) away from a wall for sufficient airflow out of the port.

Q: What does an isolation platform do?


A subwoofer isolation platform can make a big difference to how your sub sounds. It reduces structural vibrations through floors, ceilings, and walls. This means less rattling of windows and glass items. It can make the bass stronger, preserving the accuracy of the original sound. It will tighten the bass output, increasing low-end clarity. If you love watching action and bass-heavy music, this is a great investment to add to your system.

Q: Is it worth getting a second sub?


Using two subwoofers will improve chest-thumping, balanced bass in a room which has several seating positions. If you are big on bass, a dual-sub setup will give you the entertainment pleasure you crave. Make sure that your receiver has two sub outputs to do this. Some receivers only come with one.

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