There is nothing more pathetic than a sound system that sounds like two tin cans strapped to a record player. Don’t be that guy. If your game cave is lacking that soul-thumping bass you’ve been craving, you should add a new subwoofer to your setup. This one small addition can turn your home theater from ho-hum to holy-wow! Below, you’ll find some of the best home theater subwoofers on the market to help you make your decision so you can get back to your sick beats and insane, weekend movie marathons.
Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer
Polk is one of those companies that every audiophile knows and loves. You know you’ll be getting quality and value for your money if the Polk name is on it, and the PSW505 is no exception, and it happens to be my top pick.
This single-powered home theater subwoofer has 300 watts of continuous power and 460 watts of dynamic. The frequency range is 23 – 160Hz, and it comes with an adjustable low-pass crossover, volume control, and phase switch for incredible blending with your speakers.
This unassuming subwoofer doesn’t have a lot in the looks department, but it doesn’t need it. With awesome performance and the deepest, clearest bass, you won’t care about the plain appearance. I do love that the front grille is detachable, and there is a magnetically shielded LFE input on the back. Need more bass? This baby has a cool Phase Toggle Switch for running multiple subwoofers.
Unlike some models, this one will automatically power down after 15 minutes of inactivity. That’s a nice, eco-friendly addition I wish more home theaters would employ.
Read Reviews from Real Owners for “Polk Audio PSW505” on Amazon.
Klipsch Sub-12HG Synergy Series 12-Inch 300-Watt Subwoofer
Looking for a full-sized subwoofer without a huge price tag? Check out the Klipsch Synergy Sub-12. It’s got a 12” down-firing woofer run by a 300-watt BASH digital amp with 650 watts of dynamic power. With line-level (RCA) inputs and speaker-level inputs, you have connectivity options for just about any home theater setup. That’s why this is my second choice for the best affordable subwoofer.
This subwoofer has a frequency range of 24 – 120Hz. The variable low pass filter, 0-180 phase control, and level adjustment all work beautifully to make this little fella really thunder. With a crossover from 40 to 120Hz, you get a wide range of frequencies for all your music and video needs.
A nice, but underrated, feature is the LED display on the front indicating whether the subwoofer is on or in standby mode. I always find these little lights useful, though nobody ever talks about them. It is also another eco-friendly subwoofer that will turn itself off after inactivity. But it also turns itself on, which is super convenient.
Read Reviews from Real Owners for “Klipsch Sub-12HG Synergy Series” on Amazon.
Amazon Echo Sub
Have an Amazon Echo but want some killer bass to go with your little overlord? I’ve got a real treat for you! I didn’t expect too much from this small subwoofer, but it nearly blew my ears off, so it goes on this list. The Echo Sub subwoofer is yet another cool item to add to your “smart” home. It has a down-firing, six-inch woofer with an impressive 100-watts of bass. I say it’s impressive because for something this small, I really didn’t expect it to perform this well.
As with most Amazon Echo products, the Echo Sub is stupidly easy to setup and use. It plays nice with the Amazon Echo with very little hands-on from you. Just use the Alexa App to set up, and you’re done. Hello, future!
If you want a fuller, more satisfying sound, you can pair this subwoofer with two Echo devices. Just be sure they are two of the same type for a proper left/right sound.
This compact subwoofer has 50 Hz – 200 Hz adaptive low-pass filter, auto-switching 100-240 V, 50-60 Hz AC universal input, and a low frequency response of 30Hz (-6dB).
Read Reviews from Real Owners for “Amazon Echo Sub” on Amazon.
SVS PB16-Ultra Subwoofer 16-inch
If you have money falling out of your ears and don’t mind spending a small fortune for the ultimate in sound for your home theater, then feast your eyes and ears upon the SVS PB16 Ultra Subwoofer. Holy moly, is this thing beautiful to look at and listen to. Let me wipe the drool from my mouth and we can continue.
This subwoofer has a Sledge 1500D amplifier with MOSFET output and 1,500 watts RMS. With 5,000 watts peak power, you’re getting amazing sound with absolutely zero distortion. I’d think for this price you better hear nothing but angels singing and the sound of your life getting better by the minute.
The 16″ front firing Ultra driver cannot be beat, which is why this subwoofer gets my vote for the best top-tier subwoofer. Frequency response in standard mode is 15-280 Hz +/- 3 dB, extended mode is 13-280 Hz +/- 3 dB, and sealed mode is 14-360 Hz +/- 3 dB.
This SVS subwoofer can be controlled using the SVS app on Apple iOS and Android devices. With the app, you can control all DSP functions, including: volume, parametric EQ, low pass filter, phase, polarity, room gain, port tuning, and system settings. You can also assign custom presets.
If there is a Rolls-Royce of subwoofers, it’s the SVS PB16 Ultra.
Read Reviews from Real Owners for “SVS PB16-Ultra Subwoofer” on Amazon.
BIC Acoustec PL-200 II Subwoofer
If you like the front-firing style but don’t have gobs of money to throw around, you might like the BIC Acoustec PL-200 II Subwoofer.
With a rich, thunderous bass, you still get a balanced sound and nice low-frequency response.
It has 1000 watts dynamic peak output and 250 watts RMS continuous, and a BASH amp, too.
While not the flashiest subwoofer on the list, it’s a reliable workhorse that does its job well.
There is very little distortion, sturdy craftsmanship, and an 8-year warranty to further tempt you.
The BIC Acoustec PL-200 II is a great all-around subwoofer for any home theater system.
Read Reviews from Real Owners for “BIC Acoustec PL-200 II Subwoofer” on Amazon.
For our wireless audiophiles, it can be tricky to get good bass that plays nicely with other speakers.
I was really impressed with the Sonos SUB. As much as I love the one-button setup and ease of use, it’s the sound performance that really impressed me.
You can set this subwoofer up on its side, stand it up straight, or even just tuck it under your couch and it’ll still give awesome results with very little distortion. Sonos designed this subwoofer to handle real bass, so you won’t hear the cabinet rattle or buzz.
It comes with an auto-switching 100-240 V, 50-60 Hz AC universal input, two Class-D amps, and you can have multiple subs, too.
Simplicity is the name of the game with automatic equalization and simple volume controls.
Read Reviews from Real Owners for “Sonos SUB” on Amazon.
If you’re looking to upgrade your game cave sound system with a subwoofer but don’t have a huge budget, you can still get some decent sound without breaking the bank. For my budget pick, I selected the Monoprice 9723.
This small, front-firing subwoofer is a good choice for a small room or for those on a tighter budget. You’re sacrificing cool lights, pretty designs, and lots of options for an affordable subwoofer. Yet, that doesn’t mean this little guy can’t kick out some bass. It has one job, and it does that job very well.
It has 50 watts RMS and 200 watts peak, which is pretty good for this low of a price. The response rate is 50 – 250 Hz, and the splitter has an operating range of around 30 feet. Though this isn’t much to look at, it has decent and simple controls, such as the gain and frequency knobs on the control panel. It even has an auto-off feature to help save power.
Read Reviews from Real Owners for “Monoprice 9723” on Amazon.
Adding a subwoofer to your home theater system is the next step in really upping your game. Whether your fix comes from gaming, movies, or crazy raves with loud music, a subwoofer can add a whole new dimension of awesome to your game cave.