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:
Last Updated: February 2023
By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding the best budget subs available for those who are interested in enjoying great base while not emptying their wallets. The top 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
Top 7 Best Budget Subwoofers That Will Rock Your World (But NOT Your Wallet)
Our Rating: 90/100
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If a small space-friendly subwoofer is what you seek, make sure to check out this one by Yamaha.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Our Rating: 80/100
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.
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 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.
Our Rating: 75/100
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.
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
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!
What To Consider Before You Choose A Budget Subwoofer?
When you're trying to make the most of a limited budget, you want to ensure that every purchase is worth your while.
If it's home theater subwoofers on your shopping list, then there are plenty of options in the low-end price range; however, choosing one requires some strategic thought process.
Before spending money carefully consider factors such as size and compatibility requirements so make sure all components fit together seamlessly with no added cost.
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 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+ watts.
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.
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.
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:
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!