Best 2.1 Speakers with Subwoofers - For PC, TV and Music
The complexities and richness often remain hidden lower in the frequency range, where your average speakers can’t reach them.
That’s where a subwoofer comes in, filling out the lower end, enriching the mid-range, and balancing out the highs in your favorite songs – and adding some roar and rumble to movie scenes, too.
Even if you don’t have a large budget to work with, a subwoofer is still a must-have:
Speakers are there to enable you to hear your music. Subwoofers, however, are there to make sure that you experience it, too.
In a hurry? After 27 Hours of Research, We Recommend:
Yamaha 10" 100W Powered Subwoofer
Why it is better?
Last Updated: August 1, 2020
By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best subwoofers under 200 available for those who are interested in ramping the quality of their sound up without breaking the bank. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best subwoofers under 200 currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Best Subwoofers Under $200 – Comparison Table
YAMAHA 10" 100W POWERED SUBWOOFER
25 – 180 Hz
Polk Audio PSW10
40 – 160 Hz
BIC America F12
25 – 200 Hz
Acoustic Audio PSW-12
45 Hz to
Polk Audio PSW108 10"
40 – 160 Hz
Best Subwoofers under $200 Reviews
All subwoofers – regardless of their price tag – look pretty much the same:
Some might be more compact, and others will boast a massive enclosure, but generally speaking, more often than not, you’ll end up with a cube or box of some sort.
But as you’re about to see in my reviews of the best subwoofers under $200, they rarely ever sound the same.
Not all subwoofers can produce the same bass sound levels – but I picked out a few that are bound to impress you!
1. Yamaha 10" 100W Powered Subwoofer
- BEST OVERALL -
Our Rating: 90/100
Okay, who here hasn’t heard of Yamaha before?
Yeah, I didn’t think I’d see a lot of raised hands.
The brand has a worldwide reputation for producing reliable audio equipment at nearly unbeatable prices. And if you hope to spend as little as possible, one of its masterpieces in the budget-tier category – the Yamaha NS-SW100 – should be your top contender.
Seriously, though, to my knowledge, this Yamaha 10-inch subwoofer is one of the best performing subwoofers you can get for the money – less than $200, to be exact.
If you feel like you’ve seen this particular design before, don’t worry – it’s not all in your head. The NS-SW100 is pretty much the bigger brother of the already famous – and inexpensive – NS-SW050, with the two sharing nearly identical design features.
It’s reasonably compact at 16.2x13.9x13.9 inches, but surprisingly enough, it still weighs a little over 26 pounds.
It’s one of the rare subwoofers that avoid looking like a plain black box, too, and has a rather sleek and elegant vibe, with a slanted, gently rounded form of the front surface.
The most notable difference design-wise is in the size of the front-firing subwoofer, which, in NS-SW100, measures 10 inches.
Other than that, though, you’ll find the same high-performance, bass-oriented features, like the signature Twisted Flare Port. It utilizes a flared, twisting shape to smooth out the airflow around the port’s edges and keep the sound accurate, clear, and distortion-free.
So, we’ve already established that it won’t exactly win any awards in terms of innovative design. What about its performance, though?
The NS-SW100 is an active subwoofer, boasting a 50-watt amplifier with discrete amp circuitry. It doesn’t sound like much when you put it like that, but it makes a lasting impact.
With the addition of Yamaha’s Advanced YST II tuning, the subwoofer dynamically compensates for the adverse effects of the speaker’s impedance. That helps the driver to maintain perfect linearity and tight control, and reproduce deep bass to the best of its ability.
You can expect crisp and tight, ultra-clear, and distortion-free bass – even at high volume levels.
Another highlight is the frequency response range, which dips as low as 25 Hz and goes all the way up to 180 Hz. The deep-hitting bass delivers quite a boom in mid-sized rooms.
Our Rating: 84/100
Polk Audio has always been one of those brands that offered quality at affordable prices, so much so that they’re still considered a reliable entry-level option for homeowners.
So, if you’re looking for subwoofers under $200 to kick your home theater setup up a notch, or add some depth to your stereo system, I’d recommend checking out the Polk Audio PSW10. There are but a few powered 10-inch subwoofers that cost less than $100 – and this is one of them.
You’ll get a chance to read about another one of Polk Audio’s subwoofers later on, but here’s the thing:
Although they have nearly identical features and performance specs, this one’s a far better deal price-wise.
There’s not much to talk about looks-wise – most subwoofers are nothing but square boxes, anyway. This one features a washed wood finish with a metallic silver front panel – a common design choice among Polk Audio’s budget-tier models.
Under the grille of this front-firing subwoofer, you’ll find a 10-inch Dynamic Balance subwoofer driver with a bass port next to it.
It boasts a solidly built cabinet, constructed out of MDF – medium-density fiberboard – and weighs a hefty 26 pounds. That said, the subwoofer is still relatively compact, measuring 14.5x14x15 inches.
All of PSW10’s controls are located on the back panel, where you’ll discover the volume and variable low-pass crossover controls and a phase switch.
The subwoofer also comes with a three-position power switch, as well as speaker-level outputs and inputs, and RCA line-level inputs.
The PSW10 is an active subwoofer that costs less than $200 bucks, so you can’t exactly expect its built-in amp to boast insane amounts of power. On that note, you’re looking at a 50-watt amplifier with 100 watts of peak power.
Despite its rather skimpy power ratings, you shouldn’t dismiss it entirely before giving it a chance to show you what it can or cannot do:
I mean, sure, there’s nothing earth-shattering about its performance, but it still delivers enough bass to complement your existing speakers by adding a low-end touch.
The frequency response range goes from 40 to 160 Hz and does sometimes come off as muddy when pushed to the lower-end limits of its range. However, it still adds enough depth and has a tight and accurate low-end presence.
Our Rating: 85/100
BIC America has been in the audio equipment business for half a century now. It has built a solid reputation for itself by manufacturing high-quality products at pocket-friendly prices.
The BIC America F12 only continues the tradition, proving, once again, that BIC America’s subwoofers deserve a spot in your home theater or any budget-tier sound system.
And yes, this one does come in at a little over $200 – but if you read the rest of my review, you’ll understand why I still decided to include it in my round-up of the best subwoofers under $200!
The BIC America F12 is, for all intents and purposes, a black, rectangular box – but there’s something undeniably classic and minimalistic about its cube-shaped cabinet. The sturdy MDF enclosure prevents resonance and is finished in black laminate, with a removable mesh grille covering the front panel.
The exciting part is hidden under the grille, of course – a 12-inch, injection-molded, long-throw subwoofer driver with a metallic cone center. If you're looking for the bass reflex port, it's hidden in the back panel, along with all the subwoofer controls.
You’ll find volume and crossover frequency controls, stereo input and output terminals, an RCA connector, and a three-position power button and indicator, with included automatic signal sensing.
Did I mention how massive this subwoofer is?
Not only does the entire subwoofer measure 17x14.75x17.25 inches but weighs a mind-boggling 42.7 pounds, too!
Is it as loud as it big, though?
The F12 is a powered subwoofer, fitted with a high-current, BASH amplifier rated at 150 watts RMS, and with a dynamic peak power of 475 watts. It ended up being way louder than one might expect based on power ratings alone, due to the relatively high, 90-dB sensitivity.
It delivered consistent volume, excellent frequency separation, and hard-hitting, deep bass. Plus, there wasn’t any muddiness or noticeable distortions at a higher level, either.
This subwoofer delivers outstanding low-end performance, too, boasting a frequency response range of 25 to 200 Hz.
What gives it an edge over the competitors and makes it special, though, is that it exhibits far more clarity and articulation than most other subwoofers I’ve tested. And that’s even when it’s pushed to the lower limits of its range.
Not only can you hear each low-end tone clearly but feel it, too.
Our Rating: 86/100
When I first went over the Acoustic Audio PSW-12’s advertised specs, I couldn’t help but notice how ridiculously cheap it was for what it had to offer.
Five hundred watts of peak power pushed out by a built-in amplifier for way less than $200? Sign me up anytime!
It all sounds pretty amazing on paper, but I know better than to trust product descriptions blindly. When things seem a bit too good to be true, they most often are – so, I took this subwoofer for a real-life test drive.
There isn’t much to talk about design-wise – not that that’s a bad thing. What I’m saying is that, from afar, it looks like a black, ash-colored box sitting on top of four plastic feet. There’s a touch of elegance to its simplicity, though.
The reason why there’s not much else going on is that what you’re looking at is a down-firing subwoofer:
Turn it upside down, and you’ll discover a 12-inch, long-throw subwoofer driver, which utilizes a high-rigidity, PVA-treated cone.
The cabinet itself, although simple in appearance, has a standard MDF construction and measures 13.8×13.4×14.6 inches. It boasts internal bracing for added stability, as well as advanced RFL bass reflex.
I already mentioned that the speaker’s 500 watts of power made my jaw drop, but then I ran into a “red flag” of sorts – that was only the subwoofer’s peak power, while the RMS rating was nowhere to be found.
I later figured out that it features a 250-watt RMS rating, though. The fact that it comes with a digital-drive, integrated amplifier – and a highly efficient one, boasting sensitivity of 98 dB – is nothing short of impressive.
Furthermore, with a frequency response range of 24 to 250 Hz, it dives almost as deep as your hearing will go. To call its bass response deep would be an understatement:
In terms of quality, it’s very dynamic, accurate, and full-bodied, yet oh-so-smooth. The sound doesn’t come off as an annoying “boom,” but instead fills out the lower-end with deep, distortion-free sound, picking up where the remainder of your system left off.
It's easily one of the most recommended subwoofers under $200 for home theaters!
5. Polk Audio PSW108 10" - The "STAY AWAY" Pick
Our Rating: 80/100
I’ve had a few people bring up the Polk Audio PSW108 in random conversations about pocket-friendly subwoofer options, which sparked quite a bit of curiosity on my part. And let me tell you something:
What an underwhelming experience that was!
It’s not that there’s something inherently inferior and unsatisfactory about it – it does a decent enough job. Still, it’s not nearly as impressive or impactful as others made it out to be, and that’s what kept bugging me about it.
The whole thing measures 14x16.1x14.4 inches and weighs over 26 pounds. It’s constructed out of non-resonant MDF with additional internal bracing, though, so it gets bonus points for build quality.
It’s not much to look at – an all-black box with a grille attached to it. Come to think of it; the grille is probably the only thing that could distinguish it as a subwoofer.
I’m not sure what others saw in it.
Remove the grille, though, and you’ll uncover a front-firing, 10-inch Dynamic Balance woofer coupled with a specially configured bass port.
I’ll give it to Polk Audio for making the PSW108 easy to integrate into your existing system:
The back panel includes several line-level and speaker-level inputs and outputs, a continuously variable low-pass filter, a dedicated volume level control knob, and a phase switch. Plus, it has an automatic On/Off switch, too.
The PSW108 doesn’t offer much in terms of power. Its built-in amplifier clocks in at 100 watts of dynamic energy, with its RMS rating being a mere 50 watts.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing:
If you have to keep your bass at a reasonable level due to apartment building regulations, for example, you’ll learn to appreciate its subtle contributions to the overall sound.
The frequency response is somewhat limited, sticking to a 40 to 160 Hz range. It still fills out the lower end nicely, and gives some balance to the high end, though.
And sure, maybe I’m judging it in comparison to other similarly-priced subwoofers – but either way, I don’t feel like you’re getting enough bang for your buck here. So, my initial verdict remains the same:
Stay away from the Polk Audio PSW108.
Subwoofers under $200 – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which powered subwoofer is the best?
A: Oh, come on – you already know that my vote goes to the Yamaha 10" 100W Powered Subwoofer! Sure, there are more powerful options available for a few more bucks. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find subwoofers under $200 that can compete with its sound quality and design.
It delivers exceptional bass performance, boasts advanced technology that improves overall sound clarity – and it’s one of the few subwoofers under $200 that doesn’t have that dull-looking, boring black box design.
Q: What is the best budget subwoofer?
A: All the subwoofer speakers I’ve shown you today fall into the budget-friendly category, so I’m pretty sure that, whichever one you pick, you’ll be pretty happy with the price-to-value ratio. However, there’s budget-friendly – and then there’s flat out cheap.
And if you’re after the latter, the Polk Audio PSW10 fits the bill. It not only falls under the $200 price mark but goes well below it, too, clocking in at a mere 100 bucks. How’s that for a budget subwoofer?
Q: Which subwoofers are good for home theater?
A: In terms of home theater sound setups, my vote goes to Acoustic Audio PSW-12. This subwoofer delivers an unmatched sound and is capable of getting super loud when you need it to, thanks to the 250-watt amplifier.Plus, the subwoofer driver is a 12-inch one, too, so it certainly moves enough air to lend that “oomph” effect to your favorite movies.
Q: Are wireless subwoofers any good?
A: With the majority of modern gadgets boasting wireless functionality, it’s no wonder that you’re considering getting a wireless subwoofer, as well. And while a portable, wire-free – and arguably more stylish – setup certainly sounds good in theory, the reality of it is less than ideal:
Wireless subwoofers are prone to sound interferences, tend to be underpowered compared to their wired counterparts, and their performance is typically regarded as “lower quality” by most audiophiles.
It’s all about finding what works for you and your budget – whether it means getting a wireless or a wired subwoofer.
After it's all said and done, we recommend:
Yamaha 10" 100W Powered Subwoofer
Why it is better?
I would say that you have quite a few reliable options worth considering here, all priced at – or under – the $200 mark. If anything, it goes to show that a subwoofer doesn’t necessarily have to eat through your budget.
And if you do have less than $200 to spend on a new subwoofer, the Yamaha 10" 100W Powered Subwoofer is a highly recommended option. It’s easily the best subwoofer under $200, and a perfect fit for any room.
If you’d like to go bigger and louder than that, though, the best 15-inch subwoofers might be right up your alley!