What Size Speaker Wire Is Right? Find The Right Gauge and Type.

WHAT SIZE SPEAKER WIRE IS RIGHT? FIND THE RIGHT GAUGE AND TYPE

What Size Speaker Wire Is Right? Find The Right Gauge and Type

If choosing the right speakers isn’t stressful enough already, most people have to buy speaker wires separately which is even more of a challenge. Most of the time, your product of choice won’t include any wires in the package, which is why it’s important to learn about speaker wires and the options you can choose from.

Buying the wrong speaker wires completely ruins your experience, as not all wires fit all speakers, and not all wires make the speakers sound good.

How Do I Find The Perfect Speaker Wire?

If you are looking for the best speaker wires that are compatible with the speakers you have, you need to take into account the gauge, the type, as well as some minor details that can impact the quality of the sound. Let’s glance over each category and share some advice.

Wire Gauge

The gauge of each wire is essentially its thickness, and you can choose between several options - 12, 14, 16 and 18 gauge. As the gauge number lowers, the wire becomes thicker, meaning the 12 gauge wire is the chunkiest on this list. Thicker wires do better with flow resistance and the sound is usually better.

If you have a low-impedance speaker, meaning the impedance lies between 4 and 6 Ohms, you should definitely look into thick wires. Same goes for long wire runs, which are usually more than 50 feet.

If your speakers have an impedance of 8 Ohms, and the run is relatively short, you can sacrifice a bit of the quality and go for a 16 gauge wire. We rarely recommend 18 gauge wiring to anyone, unless you have small, portable speakers.

In case you’re still unsure what type of wire you need, we recommend you head into your local shop and show them your speaker specs online. The dealer should know what you need.

Gauge Wire

Wire Length

We always recommend you do a practical test of how much wiring you need. Get some cheap rope or string, and start unrolling it from the receiver (or your amplifier) to the speaker itself. You should add an extra 20% to this number, just to make sure the transport and the setup go flawlessly. For example, if you have measured that you need 10 feet of wiring, you should add another 2 feet for safety and practicality. 

Wire length can also be a great indicator of what type of gauge you need, since certain wire thickness protects the sound and provides a better result. If you have 4 Ohm speakers, you can go for a 12 or 14 gauge, but if you want to use at least 50 feet of wiring, you should choose the 16 gauge or the 18 gauge.

Wire Connectors

There are two wire types - wires with connectors and wires without connectors. If you’re a handy person or someone with previous experience when it comes to wiring, you could easily buy wiring without connectors and connect them yourself. However, if you’re not that familiar with the process, we suggest you either get wires with connectors, or make sure that you buy banana connectors for your connectorless wires.

Stranded Or Solid?

When you decide what gauge and length you want, the local shop assistant might ask whether you want a solid or a stranded wire. We recommend stranded wires, as they are more practical, less prone to damage, and they do better to reduce vibrations. They are a bit more expensive, naturally, but they’re an investment that will save you money in the long run.

Oxygen-Free or Not?

Oxygen-Free copper has become popular over the last decade, as it provides a phenomenal, crisp sound. This material is of very high conductivity and the level of oxygen is below 0.00%, meaning there is no loss in the sound transmission. These cables are premium, which means they have a higher price tag, and they’re recommended for people who are installing in-wall speakers in the same room where the amplifier is.

Wire Core Material

You can usually choose between three different materials - copper, copper-clad aluminum (known as CCA) and silver. Copper is the classic option, and it has been around for the longest time. It’s the go-to choice for many audio lovers.

Wire Core Material

The copper-clad aluminum is a cheaper version of the copper core, and it’s a response to the production cost raise that manufacturers often encounter. If you choose thicker wiring, it should do the same thing as the copper core.

The last option on the list is silver, and it’s a popular choice amongst those who want “all the best products”. However, the wires aren’t made from silver, they’re made from copper and plated with silver, which means that you won’t be able to hear a difference if you have a low resistance cable. We suggest you skip this premium option unless you have money that’s burning a hole in your pocket. 

What If I Have Speakers Inside My Walls?

Many people choose to set their speakers in their walls or in their ceiling, which means that you cannot follow the above given advice. In that case, you’ll have to get UL-rated speaker wires that have special labels, such as the CL2 or the CL3 label. 

In case you want to use a single cable on a longer distance, you’ll have to get a 4-conductor cable that’s usually used for stereo-input speakers. However, for any complicated projects, make sure to consult with a local audio equipment shop, as you want to ensure the best sound quality you can get.


Conclusion

Picking the right wiring for your speakers might seem intimidating at first, but the topic is not complicated at all. You need to figure out the length you need, then find the right gauge and figure out whether you need connectors or not. In the end, you can choose to go for some extra options such as oxygen-free copper or silver-plated wiring.

If in doubt, definitely take your speaker specifications to the audio shop and consult the specialist at the shop. Good luck!


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


How To Clean Speaker Grills

HOW TO CLEAN SPEAKER GRILLS

How To Clean Speaker Grills

Speakers are a great addition to any music lover’s home, but you need to take proper care of them if you want the experience to last. For example, did you know that the speaker grill is one of the most vulnerable parts of each speaker? If you were to splash your speaker with liquid, the greatest damage would be caused when it reaches the wires and the grill. Not only is this dangerous, but also costly to repair!

Modern speakers are often made in cylindrical shapes, which means that the speaker grill sometimes makes up to 70% of the speaker’s surface! That’s why taking proper care of your speaker grills ensures no damage to this protective membrane, which protects the whole setup inside.

Step By Step Explanation - How To Clean Speaker Grills?

Speaker grills combine several materials, which include cloth and metal. This is why we’ll have to work carefully and make sure we don’t damage any of the two. We use different approaches for different components - you don’t want to rip the mesh part by scrubbing it harshly like the way you’d scrub the metal part, right? Let’s dive into the explanation.

1. Prepare your work environment. Lay the speaker on a soft but firm surface. You can use a blanket or a cloth on the floor for this purpose. Get your tools, as well as a small container for the screws you might take out. Make sure there is no water around nearby, waiting to be spilled.

2. Unplug the speaker. You don’t want to start the process while the gadget’s still attached to the power source. That is dangerous both for you and the speaker - gently unplug all the wiring.

3. Detach the speaker grills. In some cases, this will be easy, as the grill just needs to pop off or slide off. In other cases, if the grill is attached from the inside, you will have to take apart the whole housing. To begin with, assess whether there are any screws to be taken out from the outside. If not, that means you have to remove a certain side of the speaker’s housing - check the top and the bottom for the screws. Sometimes you have to “pry the speaker open,” so make sure to apply force, but use a wiggling motion instead of simply pulling the gadget apart.

Speaker Grills

4. Make sure you don’t move the rubber gasket around, and if you do, put it back. The rubber gasket is a crucial part of the speaker, so make sure not to damage it. Although you may move it around a bit, as it’s usually located right under the grill, you should avoid manipulating it around on your own. If you do move it, make sure to put it right back - do not do this with a screwdriver or any sharp tools.

5. Vacuum the grill. Only do this if the grill is so filthy that you see particles of dust moving around through the air after popping the grill off. Make sure to use a lower setting and the dust brush attachment, as you don’t want to rip the cloth apart. If you don’t have this attachment, you can put a cloth around the vacuum’s pipe to make sure you don’t pull and stretch the speaker’s fabric. You can also blow some air into the speaker to remove any dust built up over time. But, again, be gentle, and do not move the wiring around.

6. Take apart the cloth and the metal part. If possible, it’s best to treat these two separately. You’ll be more precise, and you can be a little tougher on the metal without hurting the cloth. The two may be attached with glue, screws, or “the sandwich method” - metal, cloth, metal. Make sure you take the two apart only if you know how to put them back together and have proper materials to put them back.

7. Clean the metal part. This is usually the easier step of the two, as you don’t have to be as gentle. Using a microfiber cloth or a pure cotton cloth will be best, and you’ll have to use a cleanser (cleaning liquid) of some type. We suggest putting a little bit of mild detergent or soap into some warm water, but you can also use dish soap. Then, using circular motions, you gently scrub the metal, ensuring you don’t scratch the color off. If there are any stubborn spots, you can use a harsher detergent or an all-purpose cleaner.

8. Clean the cloth. This part is a bit more complicated, as you don’t want to scrub the cloth a lot - you’ll just create lint. We suggest you first use a lint roller (or packing tape) on the cloth’s surface and then use the wet cotton cloth or microfiber - use dabbing motions to press some mild detergent onto the surface. If there is no foul smell trapped in the grill’s cloth, you can use warm water only. You can spray a bit of natural hydrolate on it, as this will leave it smelling nice and fresh. A good rule of thumb is to use as little liquid as possible while leaving the cloth to dry naturally and thoroughly - this eliminates mold.

9. Put everything back together. Some parts of the speaker grill, especially if any rubber acts as isolation, can be quite fragile - be gentle when you’re putting things back together. 

Our Words Of Advice

Make sure you know how to take apart AND put back the parts. Many people have fun while taking their speakers apart, as you just unscrew a few screws and continue with your day. However, putting everything back together can be quite tough - that’s why some people record the process of dismantling the speaker and reverse it when building it back together. You can also reach for the manual to see whether there is any advice in the maintenance section.

Consult the product manufacturer regarding the cleanser. Not all materials work the same - it’s always better to opt for something gentle until you know what the manufacturer recommends. You can always contact their customer service to check whether they have any suggestions.

Check the manual. This is quite obvious, but it’s important to keep in mind. Not only is each brand different, but each model in the brand’s production line too. Who could know better how to clean your speaker than the company that made it? Maybe there are some tips and tricks hidden in the manual, as well.

Harsh chemicals are allowed only for spot treatments! Of course, we suggest you always avoid solvents and harsh chemicals, but if you must treat a certain piece of cloth with something stronger, use foams made specifically for speaker grills. Many won’t be able to find those in their local shops, though, so you can give a foaming carpet cleaner a shot. Test it on a small patch first, though!

Don’t test your luck with essential oils. We had to mention this as essential oils have been taking the world by storm. Although they might be useful for many things around the household, they’re still oils, and putting them on the speaker grill might make the cloth prone to mold. It might even distort the sound by thinning the cloth.

Take your time with the drying process. It’s best to leave the cloth dry overnight. Don’t use excess heat on it, and make sure you don’t use the dryer machine.

Do not touch the speaker drivers. The only way to clean these is by using a feather duster while maintaining the gentlest hand possible. We assure you these do not need any extra attention, though, so don’t mess around with them too much.

Cleaning moldy speaker cloths often fails. We have to set realistic expectations here! You can try lemon, vinegar, or baking soda, and if you want to opt for something harsher, bleach does the work. It may discolor the cloth and potentially ruin it, but it’s your best chance of killing the mold spores. Replacing the whole cloth is much easier and safer, though.

Do not “mix-match” replace parts on your own. Many will rip their speaker grills’ cloth while using too much pressure, and then they replace it with a similar semi-opaque material they find at home. Beware - transparent and acoustically transparent materials are not the same thing, so make sure that you get your hands on the proper cloth replacement if this happens.

Do not put the cloth in a washing machine. Not only can it rip, but it can also shrink. Also, laundry detergent is way too harsh on this material. We know it sounds easy and tempting to just throw the whole thing in, but take your time and hand wash it.

Rinse and maintain, so you don’t have to scrub. To ensure that you don’t have to use extensive force and lots of chemicals, just maintain the speaker grill with cloth and water monthly.


Conclusion

You must take care of all parts of your speakers, especially those that act as a membrane. Cleaning the speaker grill might be a little bit tricky at first, but if you use mild cleansers, a steady, gentle hand, and take your time, not much could go wrong.


Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.


The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


Best Budget Subwoofer – The Ultimate Guide To The Top Affordable Subwoofers

Best Budget Subwoofer - The Ultimate Guide To The Top Affordable Subwoofers

Best Budget Subwoofer - The Ultimate Guide To The Top Affordable Subwoofers

Shopping for a new subwoofer can be overwhelming at first - especially if you’re trying to find the best of the best at a budget-friendly price point.

With such a limitation, you want to make sure to purchase a subwoofer that falls into the best-value-for-price category. 

So, how is a novice sound enthusiast like yourself supposed to do that on your own?

The good news is, you’re not alone - I’m here to help! 

Even if this is not your first time searching for an affordable yet high-performance subwoofer to add to your home theater, don’t leave just yet. I’ve prepared a bunch of useful info that will surely help you make an informed decision. 

Let’s not waste any time - we're going straight to answering the burning question:

What is the best budget subwoofer?

In a hurry? After 23 Hours of Research, We Recommend:

MONOPRICE 12 INCH 150 WATT POWERED SUBWOOFER

Why they are the best?

  • Affordable price point
  • Several input options
  • Incredible bass response
  • A crossover filter for full range adjustments
  • 50 watts of RMS output with a 200 watts peak output
90/100
our score

sourses
28

RESEARCHED SOURCES

546

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

23

hours researching

32

products compared

Last Updated: October 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best headphones for classical music available for those who are interested in enjoying the classic  the best possible way. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best headphones for classical music currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Budget Subwoofer - Comparison Chart

Product

Driver Size

Power (RMS/Peak)

Frequency  Range

Our Rating

Current Price

Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer

12-inch

150/200 watts

50-250 Hz

90/100

Rockford Fosgate P300

12-inch 

300 watts 

35-150Hz 

88/100

Rockford Fosgate P300

8-inch 

50/100 watts 

28-200 Hz

86/100

Klipsch R-10SWi 10

10-inch 

150/300 watts

32-120 Hz

86/100

BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 8 Inch Car Subwoofer

8-inch 

600 watts 

20-200 Hz

85/100

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

12-inch 

475 watts

25-200 Hz

85/100

Top 7 Best Budget Subwoofers That Will Rock Your World (But NOT Your Wallet)

MONOPRICE 12 INCH 150 WATT POWERED SUBWOOFER
Our Rating: 98/100

To earn the status of the best budget subwoofer, the subwoofer in question has to provide the absolute best value for money. 

A few prime examples fall into this category, but I've selected only one for you. Or should I say - the only one you'll need? 

If money is tight or you simply don't feel like spending more than a hundred bucks on a subwoofer but still want to get the best this amount can buy, you're going to love the Monoprice 12 inch powered subwoofer.  

The Design

This little guy lends an incredible bass sound to your sound system, and you will thoroughly enjoy adding it to your home theater.

Before we get to technical details, let's talk about the design of this subwoofer. Thanks to the simple yet attractive wood cabinet with a sleek black finish, I'm sure it'll fit nicely in whatever room you decide to put it in.

Also, with measurements of 17" x 17" x 16 7/8", you know it won't take up much space, so it's ideal for smaller rooms as well.

Oh, and it’s super versatile - it has several input options that ensure you can use the subwoofer with any stereo and speakers you might already have, as well as any 5.1 or greater amplifier system.

The Performance

Now, this is a powered subwoofer, which means it offers amazing sound quality. It features a frequency response range of 50 Hz to 250 Hz, with a low-pass crossover filter that can be adjusted through the full range. 

Thar's right - you get the full range for less than a hundred bucks!

Another great feature is that you can adjust the crossover filter with the gain and frequency knobs on the control panel. Besides the filter, you can also adjust the power output and balance of bass output for your stereo and surround speakers. 

Another notable thing about this Monoprice 12-inch sub is that it is capable of producing 150 watts of RMS power output with a 200 watts peak power output. The splitter for the subwoofer has a fantastic operating range of approximately 30 feet. 

Of course, the Monoprice subwoofer is not without flaws. I noticed that it tends to emanate a buzzing sound, no matter what volume level you keep it.

I believe it's pretty clear why this subwoofer made the top of the list - it satisfies many needs and won't break the bank.

Pros

  • Below $100
  • Several input options
  • Provides incredible sound
  • It’s a powered subwoofer
  • Has a low-pass crossover filter for full range adjustments
  • The frequency response range of 50 Hz to 250 Hz

Cons

  • A few complaints about buzzing sound
 Rockford Fosgate P300-12 P
Our Rating: 88/100

Even in the budget-friendly price range, we have the cheapest of the cheap and the premium choices. The Rockford Fosgate P300 12-inch sub is the latter.

Although it is more expensive than my first choice - and most others on the list - you won't regret investing a single penny into this subwoofer, and I'll tell you why.  

The Design

Not only is this subwoofer powerful, but it's also quite durable, thanks to the hard exterior that resists shakes and bumps.

That being said, this guy is not for everyone - not only due to its higher price point. If you can look past the steeper price, don't forget to consider how powerful this 12-inch sub is. 

It means it's perhaps not ideal for smaller rooms that don't require extremely high volumes.  

This subwoofer is a self-contained all-in-one solution, which means you only need to run power, ground, plus a signal from the source to get this baby running. 

It's the perfect choice if you need to add bass to your existing home theater system quickly or you want a hassle-free solution for separate amplifiers and subwoofers.

The Performance

This 12-inch subwoofer features a sealed enclosure and a gigantic 300-watt amplifier. Now you get why you need strong housing - it has to be able to handle this powerful subwoofer. 

I can't fail to mention the adjustable 12db/Octave low pass crossover, remote bass level control, and 0°/180° phase switch. 

Sweetening the deal, the Rockford Fosgate features a built-in adjustable bass EQ. That means you can easily adjust the bass without it turning into a complicated process. 

Admittedly, it was hard finding a flaw in this Rockford Fosgate subwoofer.

I have to note, though, that I've heard stories from a few people about their Rockford Fosgate being DOA. Not sure what exactly transpired there, but I figured it's worth mentioning. 

Pros

  • Powerful 300 watts amplifier
  • 12db/Octave low pass crossover
  • Built-in bass EQ
  • Easily connected to many sound systems
  • Very durable 12-inch sub

Cons

  • It’s not the most affordable unit
  • Not ideal for small rooms
Yamaha 8" 100W
Our Rating: 86/100

If a small space-friendly subwoofer is what you seek, make sure to check out this one by Yamaha.

The Design

This 8-inch subwoofer is one of those compact, super convenient units that work perfectly in small rooms. 

With the dimensions of 11.5 x 11.5 x 14 inches, you can tuck it away in any corner and even forget it's there - until you turn it on, that is. The simple all-black design will make it fit nicely with the rest of your speakers, so it doesn't stand out in a small space. 

The compact size is not the only great thing about this front-firing subwoofer, though. 

Just one thing: 

The 8 feet cable doesn't come included, so don't forget to check if you're getting it with your order or not.

The Performance

You can rest assured it will provide clear and tight bass with its Twisted Flare Port - an advanced, high-performance Yamaha bass technology that helps create a smooth airflow around the edge of the port. 

What you get with this Yamaha subwoofer is clear, accurate, low frequencies audio reproduction. 

The frequency response range on this little guy is between 28 Hz and 200 Hz, which means you get a pretty wide range of low and mid-tones. 

Plus, with the Yamaha Active Servo Technology II this subwoofer features, you can count on the tones to be even more accurate and tighter. 

Sure, its dynamic power is 100 watts, so it's not as powerful as some of the units mentioned so far - but don't dismiss it just yet. 

IMO, this 8-inch subwoofer is not made for large spaces that require super-powerful bass and extremely high volume. Its size and compactness make it perfect for small rooms. And these do just fine with 100W subwoofers. 

Some might consider this a downside. However, I don't see it as a shortcoming for the reasons listed above.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Features advanced Yamaha technologies
  • Produces clear and tight bass
  • Frequency range 28 Hz and 200 Hz

Cons

  • Not the most powerful one
Klipsch R-10SWi 10"
Our Rating: 86/100

If you like all things wireless, why not get a wireless subwoofer, as well? The Klipsch R-10SWi 10-inch sub is my top choice when it comes to wireless subs. 

Made by a well-known name in the speaker business, this subwoofer doesn't disappoint. I mean, these guys have been around since the 1940s, and their slogan is "Tell the neighbors we're not sorry." 

Need I say more?

I should warn you it's on the pricier side, but still quite budget-friendly - and an excellent value for money. So, it's definitely worth considering. 

The Design

For starters, I can't ignore the part about how aesthetically pleasing this 10-inch front-firing sub looks. The MDF cabinet with a brushed polymer veneer finish truly makes this subwoofer a contemporary piece that looks incredible in your home. 

This subwoofer was designed to be sturdy and durable without being bulky and unergonomic. The fact that it is a wireless subwoofer means, of course, it's convenient to carry around. Whether it's band practice or the backyard party, the Klipsch R-10SWi has your back.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that some parts of this 10-inch sub are not as top-notch quality one might expect. For instance, the wireless adapter male pin tends to be a bit flimsy. 

That being said, I think this minor flaw is just - well, a minor flaw.

You'll appreciate that it has a low pass crossover and phase control, plus a flexible, strong, and fully removable front grille. 

The Performance

This 10-inch front-firing subwoofer features an all-digital amplifier. It's Klipsch's special spun copper IMG woofer that provides immaculate sound. 

It might not hit the lowest of lows, but its 32-120 Hz frequency response and 150 watts of RMS power deliver clean, tight bass, nonetheless. 

Also, the 2.4GHz wireless Hi-Fi transmitter is pre-paired. That means you don't have to worry about establishing a connection. And speaking of pairing, I didn't experience any lag. 

Pros

  • It has everything a wireless subwoofer should have
  • Comes pre-paired
  • Made by an industry pioneer
  • Features a contemporary sleek design
  • Has an all-digital amplifier

Cons

  • A bit more expensive than others
  • Some complaints about flimsy parts
BOSS Audio Systems CXX8 8
Our Rating: 85/100

Can you really call it a road trip if you don't play some road trip music? For the ultimate experience, you ought to seriously consider adding a subwoofer to your existing car speaker

The good news is they're pretty cheap - like this one by BOSS Audio Systems that costs next to nothing.  

The Design

The CXX8 car speaker features a cone made from polypropylene. Not only does this material provide incredible audio, but it also makes the cone quite durable.

This subwoofer also has voice coils - a 4-ohm voice coil, might I add - that can withstand very high temperatures. The voice coil also allows it to have longer play times with lower weights.

Also, the stamped basket absorbs and transfers much of the energy produced by the speaker. Its level of corrosion resistance is high, and it features excellent mechanical properties and high electrical and thermal conductivity.

Even more so, the manufacturer uses rubber for this speaker, which makes it supremely durable.

All in all, it's a sturdy 9" x 9" x 4.3" unit you'll be able to use for a long time.

The Performance

The maximum power of this budget subwoofer is 600-watt, which means you'll get a pretty high volume for your rides.

The resonant frequency is 49 Hz. Furthermore, it boasts 83 dB sensitivity and an impressive 600-watt power handling.

The BOSS CXX8 car subwoofer made it on my list as the best budget subwoofer for a car because it provides everything you could ask for - plus, it's super affordable.

The only thing that might count as a flaw is that the subwoofer can get pretty hot.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Durable cone
  • Maximum power is 600 watts
  • Provides great sound.
  • Features voice coils (4-ohm voice coil)

Cons

  • It tends to get hot at times
BIC America F12 12-Inch
Our Rating: 85/100

For half a decade, BIC America has been a go-to brand for top music engineers everywhere.

Although it has built its reputation around mid-range and high-frequency sound games, this company continues to deliver on the trust it's built up with the low frequencies, as well.

The Design

I have to say it is kind of bulky, so it might not fit into smaller rooms. Then again, this kind of powerful subwoofer belongs in a larger room, anyway, where its dimensions (21 x 19 x 22 inches) and high volume don't take up much space.

BIC America is a reputable, top-tier brand - and their products don't come as cheap as some other brands. The same goes for this subwoofer.

That being said, I believe that the price is in the budget range considering the guaranteed level of quality you get from BIC America.

The Performance

The BIC America F12 subwoofer is a 12-inch, 475-watt front-firing subwoofer is engineered by BASH Technology and designed with an injected molded long-throw woofer.

You can forget about port noise thanks to the patented BIC Venturl Vent.

I love the fact that this subwoofer is packed with features, such as high-level inputs, adjustable crossover, adjustable signal sensing, adjustable volume control, plus Dolby Pro-Logic and Dolby Digital DTS/inputs.

With a frequency response of 25 to 250 HZ, this subwoofer provides a range of low frequencies and mid-tones with super clear audio.

The built-in amplifier power of 475-watt Dynamic Peak (150 watts RMS continuous power) is powerful enough to provide high volume. Also, it has an output capability of up to 116dB.

We're talking live rock band levels here.

Pros

  • Excellent frequency response
  • Powerful amplifier
  • Produces clear sound
  • Made by a trustworthy brand
  • Great for large spaces

Cons

  • A bit more expensive compared to others
Polk Audio Psw10 Subwoofer Review
Our Rating: 84/100

Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer is a great addition to any music system. You can easily connect it to any audio system as it includes a professional-grade line, speaker-level outputs, and speaker-level inputs. 

The Design

If you plan to put this subwoofer in your living space, you will be pleased to know it will fit perfectly with any existing audio system - and not just integration-wise.

The all-black design with the sleek detachable grille on the front will make sure the Polk Audio PSW10 blends with the rest of the speakers in your home theater!

This subwoofer is a perfect solution for a mid-sized room, although it could also work in smaller spaces.

I have to warn you - this is not the most durable subwoofer out there

The Performance

Things are always under control with the Polk Audio PSW10 subwoofer due to the fact it includes an intelligent sensing circuitry system that automatically turns itself on and off.

What about actual power, though? The amplifier has 100 watts of dynamic power and 50 watts of RMS continuous power.

Furthermore, it features the frequency response of 40 Hz to 160 Hz and the continuously variable 80-160 Hz crossover.

The sound this 10-inch sub produces is distortion-free, so you can enjoy it whether you're playing your favorite music or watching a thrilling action movie. 

In any case, your audio system can relax a bit and let the Polk audio PSW10 10-inch sub take care of the bass!

Pros

  • Features a smart sensing circuitry system
  • Works for small spaces
  • Easy to integrate with any sound system
  • Provides distortion-free sounds
  • 100-watt dynamic power and 50- watt RMS
  • Frequency range 40 Hz to 160 Hz

Cons

  • Not very durable

What To Consider Before You Choose A Budget Subwoofer?

A BEGINNER FRIENDLY GUIDE ON HOW TO FIX A BLOWN SUBWOOFER

Considering that you're on a limited budget, it’s crucial to think carefully about your needs - and every single thing that affects the quality and overall experience. 

The low-end price range offers some of the best subwoofers for your home theater; you just need to know how to pick one.

Here are a few things you have to ponder before spending your hard-earned money.

Size

Size doesn’t matter - usually, that is. But in this case, it certainly does. 

It’s simple physics:

Larger subs have larger drivers; therefore, they pump out more bass. 

That being said, they are harder to fit into tight spots.

So, ask yourself how much output do you need? Do you need to fill a large room with impactful, deep bass sound, or will a smaller sub do the job?

That is important because you don’t want to be stuck with a large sub that takes plenty of space in a tiny room - and provides bass that's too deep for such a small space, anyway. On the other hand, you don’t want to sacrifice the output by getting a smaller sub when you could've gone for a larger, more powerful one. 

Consider what you will use the sub for - music and movies in your living room or parties with speakers in the open-space backyard? How deep should "deep bass" be in your case?

The good news is:

You can find the best subwoofers for a reasonable price, no matter the purpose or size.

Passive vs. Powered Subwoofer

Another thing to be aware of is that there are two types of subs - passive and powered.

Passive subs require an external amplifier to work, and they're way less popular and common than powered subwoofers.

The great thing about the powered subs is that they come with a built-in amplifier. So, they don't need an external power source to work. They're much more convenient and absolutely hassle-free. All you should do is connect the sub to the main speakers - and that's pretty much it. 

Front-Firing vs. Down-Firing Subwoofer

Once you’ve decided to go with a powered sub, the next step is to make up your mind on the following - do you want a front-firing or a down-firing subwoofer?

Truthfully, the differences between these two are not very prominent. 

They do play a significant role in placement, though. Namely, the way you plan to position your new subwoofer will be the deciding factor when making this decision. 

A front-firing subwoofer is an ideal choice in case you want to place the sub close to the main speakers - or underneath the TV. 

On the other hand, if your plan is to place it further away from the main speakers, you could go with a down-firing sub. These also work great in case you want to put the subwoofer in a corner. 

Ported vs. Sealed Subwoofer

One of the factors that will change your overall sound experience is whether you choose a ported or a sealed sub.

What’s the difference, you might ask?

Well, the vital difference between the two is that the sealed subs are completely closed, meaning there are no openings to the interior, whereas the ported subs have one or more openings that allow free airflow. That results in huge differences in the overall volume. 

A sealed subwoofer offers a more controlled sound while sacrificing a bit of the overall volume due to its sealed construction. 

If you’re more of a volume over sound clarity type, then a ported subwoofer is the right choice for you as it offers much higher volume - but with the sacrifice of sound quality. 

Which one you’ll choose also depends on the size of the room where you plan to put it:

If you have a small room and your goal is to avoid conflict with your neighbors, a clever choice would be a sealed subwoofer. The plus side is you get more sound quality. If the space in question is large, a ported subwoofer is what you seek.

Wattage

Wattage is a measure of electrical power - it tells the amplifier’s energy capability. It is the range of the subwoofer within which the sub will provide the best bass response without any distortion.

Wattage brings up a few questions when you have to decide on which subwoofer to buy. 

Let’s say you have two subwoofers with RMS (the continuous wattage that the amplifier is capable of putting on for long intervals), one with a peak of 1000-2000-watt power and another one with a 2000-3000 watt range.

What exactly is the main difference between the two?

The answer is in the nature of the bass. 

Since bass requires a lot of energy, the wattage is directly proportional to the quality of the bass that the subwoofer can offer. It’s simple - the higher the wattage, the more energy and the better quality of the bass. 

Subwoofers usually boast anywhere from 50 to 250 watts, all the way to 475+ W.

Wired vs. Wireless Subwoofers

That is another factor that’s entirely up to you and your preferences. 

If you want the one that's easier to use, take the wireless route as these come with an easy plug-and-play setup. However, if you need the best sound quality, go with the wired ones. 

Warranty

Don't forget to check how many years of warranty you get from the manufacturer.

Even though these subwoofers are in the low-end price range, they still cost a couple of hundred dollars, so you want to make sure you get at least one year warranty for your new sub.

Fortunately, most of the companies offer more than one year warranty.


FAQ

Q: What is a subwoofer?

A: In simple terms, a subwoofer is a speaker specifically designed to reproduce bass frequencies. The bass frequencies range between 20 Hz and 125 Hz, and they tend to be pretty distorted, so you want to keep them natural and realistic. That’s where a subwoofer comes in. 

If you want to add a powerful bass and great sound to your home theater setup and enjoy music - or movies - like never before, your speakers system needs a high-quality subwoofer.

The bass response you'll get depends on many factors, so you have to explore various subwoofers until you find one that fits your home theater setup best.

Q: Do I absolutely need a subwoofer?

A: Well, technically, no, you don’t. For most home audio setup purposes, you don’t necessarily need a subwoofer; your regular speaker probably can do the job. 

However, having a sub will add a surprising amount of quality and depth to your listening experience. 

Of course, there are plenty of speakers and sound systems that sound great without a subwoofer - but adding a subwoofer to your home theater will definitely make it sound better. 

Q: Can't I just crank up the bass on my regular speakers?

A: You could do this, but the crucial thing to be aware of is that subwoofers operate within different frequencies. If you just turn up the bass, you’re not doing any favors to your equipment - or your eardrums - by drowning out every other audible frequency. 

The purpose of subwoofers is to make the bass in your audio more noticeable by broadcasting in a lower frequency band. 

The broad range of frequencies provides the ultimate overall audio experience, giving you low, mid, and high tones without distortions and unnecessary strain on your equipment and eardrums.

Q: Where is the best place to put your subwoofer?

A: Considering that surround sound systems have placement criteria that maximize their performance, it’s only natural to ask whether it’s the same case with subwoofers. The truth is, subwoofers are a little different. 

If you don’t already have a spot for your subwoofer, the easiest way to decide where it will sound the best would be to test it in different placement areas - until you find the perfect spot to up its performance.

After it's all said and done, we recommend:

MONOPRICE 12 INCH 150 WATT POWERED SUBWOOFER

Why they are the best?

  • Affordable price point
  • Several input options
  • Incredible bass response
  • A crossover filter for full range adjustments
  • 50 watts of RMS output with a 200 watts peak output
90/100
our score

Check Latest Price

There you have it - the final list of the best budget subwoofers. I know what you're thinking - choosing the best budget subwoofer has never been easier, huh? I totally agree.

And to tell you the truth, you can't go wrong with any of them; just make sure to purchase one based on your needs.

Which one are you going to get your hands on? Let me know! 

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000: Premium Sound For Under A Grand

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000: Premium Sound For Under A Grand

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000: Premium Sound For Under A Grand

Bookshelf speakers strike the right balance by offering an excellent listening experience while saving up on space.

If you're shopping for a set of bookshelf speakers on a budget, we've got some good news:

The best bookshelf speakers under $1000 on this list deliver the best sound quality on the market.

Still, it's up to you to prioritize the features that matter most to you at this price range. We will help you have an easier time deciding, as we've reviewed every speaker and outlined its pros and cons.

Without further ado, let's dive right into it.

In a hurry? After 41 Hours of Research, We Recommend:

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers
95/100
our score

Why it is better?

  • Unparalleled sound quality
  • Great frequency response
  • Effortless full-range sound
  • Stunning dynamics
  • Compact
  • Premium design

sourses
31

RESEARCHED SOURCES

711

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

41

hours researching

55

products compared

Last Updated: October 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best center channel speakers available for those who are interested in ramping the quality of their sound up. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best center channel speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000 - Comparison Table

Before you read about the best bookshelf speakers out there, check out their most important characteristics here:

Product

Size

Power (RMS/Peak)

Frequency Range

Sensitivity

Our Rating

Current Price

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers

ESVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers

 10.9 x 8.5 x 15"

20/150 watts

45-32,000Hz

87 dB

95/100

Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker

Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker

 17 x 7.3 x 15"

100/150 watts

50-22,000 Hz

90 dB

91/100

Definitive Technology D11 Demand Series Bookshelf Speakers

 12.5 x 7.3 x 13"

30/150 watts

57-24,000 Hz

86 dB

92/100

Klipsch RP-600M Reference Premiere Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch RP-600M Reference Premiere Bookshelf Speakers

 8 x 18 x15.7"

100/140 watts

45-25,000 Hz

96 dB

96/100

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

 6.9 x 11.4 x 10"

60/120 watts

55-20,000 Hz

85 dB

83/100

10 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000 - Detailed Reviews 

Let's be honest; $300 isn't a small amount of money. However, when you consider that bookshelf speaker prices go as high up as several thousand dollars, then it's pocket change.

Don't get me wrong; it'll still buy you a decent bookshelf speaker system. It's just that you'll have to do a bit of research to get to the best ones.

Luckily for you, I already did all the hard stuff - and now I bring you the very best speakers under $300, each covered in a detailed review.

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers
Our Rating: 95/100

SVS has once again proved that they produce high-quality speakers - their SVS Ultra model earned the title of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000.

What launched this set of bookshelf speakers past competition was an incredibly balanced sound and impressive performance for the price range.

Let's break down the features. 

The Design

With its classic all-black design and a gloss finish, it's difficult to imagine an interior in which the SVS Ultra wouldn't merge happily.

If you dislike the luster of the Piano Gloss Black variant, you can get the Black Oak Veneer one that looks equally premium.

But what we liked the most about these speakers design-wise was how every detail is well-thought-out.

The front baffle of the cabinet has tapered edges (called chamfers) for minimal edge diffraction, while each cabinet features a separate sub-enclosure of the tweeter and the mid-bass driver for high performance.

Even the grille design is utilized with the purpose of maximizing acoustic transparency.

The Performance

The power rating of 150 watts doesn't sound overly impressive, but under $1000, you'd be hard-pressed to find a set of speakers with such a powerful sound and accurate bass production.

Its composite glass-fiber cone woofer construction combined with a 1-inch aluminum tweeter and 6.5-inch mid-bass drivers delivers a wonderfully rich tonal balance.

Even serious audiophiles will be happy with the 45-32,000 Hz frequency range, 87 dB sensitivity, and incredibly unveiled highs.

If you go with our top pick, paired with a surround system or solo, you're in for world-class performance.

Pros

  • Excellent power handling capabilities
  • Rich, detailed sound even at a low volume
  • Able to produce deep bass
  • A high-quality 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connectivity
Audioengine HD6 W
Our Rating: 91/100

Are you all about portability and ease of use?

Then the Audioengine's HD6 wireless bookshelf speaker is what you need.

With the possibility to connect via Bluetooth due to its stable Bluetooth antenna with the 100-foot range, and the remote control you get, you can easily use this pair of speakers with any devices or apps you wish.ґ

The Design

This pair of speakers has been given a classic makeover with attractive hand-built wood cabinets.

All the components were built with quality and versatility in mind. The mini-jack and RCA outputs are positioned well, and you can utilize these speakers in whichever system you wish.

You get a Bluetooth antenna, aluminum-cased remote control, a 4-meter speaker wire, and the power cord - pretty much everything you need to begin your listening experience right out of the box.

The Performance

You'll find that another Audioengine's set of speakers - the A5+ - made it to our list, but the HD6 offers a better sound quality due to the larger 1-inch tweeter and 5.5-inch woofer along with improved crossovers.

That, along with 90-dB sensitivity and 100-watt RMS rating, results in a controlled bass and a relatively wide, 50-22,000 Hz frequency response, making this speaker a bomb when it comes to mid-range wireless picks.

If the volume is turned up too high, you might experience some rumbling. But overall, the speakers will produce clean and consistent sound output.

Pros

  • Stable Bluetooth connectivity with a wide range
  • Excellent bass output
  • Compatible with virtually any device
  • 3-year warranty
  • You get a remote control

Cons

  • Slightly lacking in the highs (above 4000 Hz)
  • On the heavy side