The 10 Best Subwoofers For Music And Movies (2023)
Do you know what really makes for an incredible music-listening or movie-watching experience? When all the notes across different frequency ranges hit just right. And while a good pair of speakers may capture the highs and the mids, it’s the subwoofer that brings out the low end in all its glory.
If you are on the lookout for the perfect subwoofer, you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’ll take you through my top 10 subwoofers that will give new life to speakers and take your music and movie experience to the next level.
My main recommended product is the SVS SB-1000 Pro. This is one of the best subwoofers available today with premium quality sound.
My second recommended product is the Rockville Rock Shaker 10. This is a great subwoofer to consider if you’re running on a tight budget.
- The Best Subwoofers For Music And Movies (2023) – At A Glance
- 1. SVS SB-1000 Pro
- 2. Rockville Rock Shaker 10
- 3. SVS SB-2000 Pro
- 4. Klipsch Reference R-10SW
- 5. Definitive Technology Descend DN10
- 6. Sony SACS9
- 7. Sonos Sub
- 8. Acoustic Audio PSW-12
- 9. Yamaha NS-SW100BL
- 10. Bic Acoustech PL-200 II
- Is a Subwoofer worth it?
- What’s the difference between a Woofer and a Subwoofer?
- Where do I position my Subwoofer for my Home Theater?
- What to look for in a Subwoofer for music and movies when buying?
The Best Subwoofers For Music And Movies (2023) – At A Glance
And now onto the full list:
1. SVS SB-1000 Pro
Known for its high-end audio products, SVS is a premium brand with some incredible subwoofers. One of them is the SB-1000 Pro, which I feel, is the best you can get, no matter the application.
- Natural, yet powerful low ends
- Handles high output levels well
- Wireless controls
- Better options available for larger rooms
- 12” can be a little small
Being a 12-inch subwoofer, the SB-1000 Pro is ideal for a small to medium-sized room. The 12-inch front-firing high excursion SVS driver along with the super-powerful 325 watts RMS, 820+ watts peak power Sledge amplifier, and MOSFET output tends to take the room by storm with its accurate, yet thudding bass sound system.
It’s crystal clear in capturing frequencies as low as 20 Hz. The low-ends on this thing are as natural as they get. Add to this its high max SPL handling, and you’re bound to get great bass without distortion, unless you crank up the volume too high, of course.
|Power output||325 watts RMS (820+W Peak Dynamic)|
|Frequency response||20-270 Hz|
|Inputs||RCA, Speaker Level, 12 V Trigger|
The SB-1000 Pro is controlled via Bluetooth and is compatible with iOS and Android. All you need to do is download the SVS Subwoofer DSP app, and you can control and customize the subwoofer’s settings as you please.
2. Rockville Rock Shaker 10
You don’t always have to spend a lot of money to have an exciting bass experience. Sometimes, you’re simply looking for a product to satisfy your needs on a budget. If this is the case, then this Rockville Rock Shaker 10-inch subwoofer should be a good choice for you.
- Affordable option
- Sounds nice for the price
- Gains can be set using knob controls
- Build quality isn’t quite as good as the higher-end options here, but it’s not too bad for it’s price.
It’s a plain-looking subwoofer but does a great job of producing smooth low ends. On the outside, it sports an MDF wood body, giving it a nice, warm sound. On the inside, there is a Class D amplifier that ties the whole thing together. While it doesn’t have much going for it in terms of design, it’s well worth the money you spend as far as its sound is concerned.
It has a frequency range of 20 – 200 Hz. And with a standard 300 watts RMS and 600 watts peak SPL, it’s swell at handling higher volumes. So, you get a clear bass sound without too much distortion. There is the issue of a slight humming sound from the unit, but nothing too nerve-wracking.
|Power output||300 watts RMS / 600 watts peak|
|Frequency response||20 – 200 Hz|
|Inputs||RCA line, Speaker high-level|
Being an entry-level subwoofer, of course, you’re not going to get your head blown off by this thing. But even with a small driver size, it is worth looking at. Add to that the wide compatibility and accessible control knobs, and it becomes the best budget subwoofer pick.
3. SVS SB-2000 Pro
Another SVS subwoofer on the list, the SB-2000 Pro is a step higher, or lower I should say, than the SB-1000 Pro. In some ways, it shares a lot of features with its predecessor. However, SB-2000 Pro is significantly more powerful.
- Captures super low frequencies
- Supports Bluetooth
- High max SPL
- A bit pricey
While it also features a 12-inch high-excursion SVS driver, much like its smaller sibling, its RMS wattage sits at 550 watts with an incredible peak of 1500+ watts. Handling distortion at high volumes is no problem.
The factory frequency response for the SB-2000 Pro is 19 – 240 Hz. Although, it can go as low as 17 Hz. So, you’re going to hear bass notes you didn’t even know existed, with brilliant clarity. All this, along with the sealed cabinet, makes for a great overall subwoofer.
|Power output||550 watts RMS (1500+W Peak Dynamic)|
|Frequency response||19 – 140 Hz|
|Inputs||RCA, 12V trigger|
This subwoofer is also Bluetooth-enabled. All you have to do is download the SVS subwoofer app. Sure, the price tag is aimed at the high-end segment. But if budget isn’t a problem for you, it’s a great subwoofer to own.
4. Klipsch Reference R-10SW
Klipsch has built a solid reputation for making great high-end audio products. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of their most popular subwoofers, the R-10SW, is featured on this list.
- The all-digital amp delivers powerful bass
- Compatible with most receivers
- Worth the money you spend
- Not the clearest sounds
As a fairly affordable subwoofer, the Klipsch R-10SW punches well above its weight class. It has a 10-inch front-firing driver and a 300-watt all-digital amp. Pair it with your receivers and it elevates your listening experience to a whole new level.
|Power output||150 W / 300 W|
|Frequency response||32 – 120 Hz|
While not great, it still has a decent frequency response of 32-120 Hz, give or take 3 Hz. With this, it delivers a nice, natural oomph that you can feel in your bones. For a modest price, it is a very good addition to your audio setup.
5. Definitive Technology Descend DN10
If you don’t have a lot of space for a subwoofer or want a smaller one to be placed in a corner, then the Definitive Technology Descend DN10 is a solid choice. Despite its compact size, it delivers an impressively loud bass sound.
- Takes up little space
- Powerful, but natural bass
- No noise and distortion
- A bit pricey
Now, I know I have named it a compact subwoofer but the Definitive Technology Descend DN10 has a 10” driver. A lot of other subwoofers also have a 10” driver and may be smaller, but the performance makes a big difference. The DN10 is comparable to a lot of 12” subwoofers.
With a Class D digital amplification, it can handle a peak power of 500e watts while Descend’s patented 3XR architecture prevents noise pollution and distortion. The frequency response goes as low as 27 Hz, with a clear and natural low end.
|Power output||200 watts RMS / 500 watts peak|
|Frequency response||30 – 200 Hz|
|Inputs||Single RCA, Speaker levels|
|Bonus features||3XR architecture|
The back panel features volume and low pass control knobs, making it very easy for you to customize your sound. It also supports single RCA and speaker level inputs. Overall, this is a quality subwoofer to consider if you’re on the lookout for a compact product.
6. Sony SACS9
No list about audio equipment is ever complete without mentioning Sony, one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. With the SACS9, Sony has almost redefined what an affordable subwoofer can do.
- Ideal for creating a home theater
- Top audio quality
- Doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket
- Only speaker-level input
- Relatively low power output
With a 10” subwoofer, the SACS9 is a great addition to any home theater setup. However, it works even better with Dolby Atmos speakers. The only real downside is probably the weak power output.
Even with just 115 W peak output, however, it packs a deadly punch. You’ll hear a tight and thudding bass. Also, the MRC fiber cabinet does a good job of handling high-pressure situations, preventing unwanted noise, and distortion.
|Power output||115 watts RMS / 230 watts peak|
|Frequency response||28 – 200 Hz|
Another thing that I like about this subwoofer is that it’s fairly compact. With its small and minimalistic design, it fits nicely into most corners of the room.
7. Sonos Sub
In a digital world where there is voice command in almost every device, it makes sense that your subwoofer, too, has voice control. And that’s what the Sonos Sub brings to the table. Well, that and an incredibly deep bass sound.
- Has wireless connectivity
- Supports voice command
- Incredibly detailed low end
- A bit pricey
- Setup can be frustrating
This is a more premium subwoofer and that should be evident in its price tag. But the great thing about it is that it’s wireless. You connect it through wi-fi and if you have an Amazon Alexa device, you can control it through voice commands.
As far as its bass sound is concerned, it’s pretty great. It captures frequencies as low as 25 Hz, bringing out the best of your music or movie. The Class D amp, along with the body itself absorbs vibrations and noise, making a significantly better audio experience.
|Driver size||2 x 6”|
|Frequency response||Lower limit at 25 Hz|
|Inputs||10/100 port for connecting router|
|Bonus features||Wireless, Alexa-enabled|
The Sonos Sub pairs best with Sonos Beam, Playbar, and Playbase, But you can use it with other speakers. All you have to get started is download the Sonos app and configure your device. From there, you can control volume, gain, EQ, and so forth.
8. Acoustic Audio PSW-12
The Acoustic Audio PSW-12 is an excellent beginner subwoofer to pair with your speakers. By beginner, I don’t mean that it has mediocre performance. But if you don’t know what exactly you are looking for in a subwoofer, this is a good pick.
- 12″ front-firing driver
- Quite affordable
- Handles high wattage well
- LFE input is poor
What really makes it entry-level is the price. It doesn’t cost much, all the while having features comparable to the more expensive subwoofers. It has a 12″ front-firing driver with a well-made body that complements its sound. Even its feet have some sound-absorbing qualities. So, you tend to hear warm, noise-free low ends.
It can capture frequencies as low as 25 Hz while handling outputs as high as 500 W. And when you add phase control switches and gain control knobs to the equation, the sound quality elevates to another level.
|Power output||250 watts RMS / 500 watts peak|
|Frequency response||25 – 250 Hz|
|Bonus features||Signal sensing auto on/off|
Sporting an affordable price tag, the Acoustic Audio PSW-12 is a great entry-level subwoofer that offers a lot for the given price. It is well worth considering if you’re looking for a budget-friendly subwoofer.
9. Yamaha NS-SW100BL
If you know music, you know Yamaha. The company has, year after year, produced high-quality music products from equipment to instruments. And the NS-SW100BL does the brand full justice.
- Sounds rich
- Looks great
- Great value for money
The subwoofer features a 10” driver for tight bass sounds. Capturing as low as 25 Hz, you can really hear a lot of intricacies. In just one listen, you’ll understand the hype behind this subwoofer.
At just 50 W, the amp output might be a little low for some. However, it handles distortions and noise like a boss. Its peak comes to 100 watts but, naturally, there could be some distortion if you push the sub too far.
|Power output||50 watts RMS / 100 watts peak|
|Frequency response||25 – 180 Hz|
The sub makes a great addition to the room. Not only is it a compact subwoofer, but has a sleek, elegant design as well. So, if you don’t want to spend a fortune but still want a nice subwoofer, the Yamaha NS-SW100BL will serve your purpose.
10. Bic Acoustech PL-200 II
The Bic Acoustech PL-200 II is a dream subwoofer for an audiophile. In that, it produces excellent low ends and does not ask you to spend an absolute fortune. For a modest price, you get quality, first and foremost.
- Incredibly powerful subwoofer
- Solid construction
- Bang for buck
- Bulky design is not for everyone
- Not the best for small rooms
First of all, the Bic Acoustech PL-200 II is a powerhouse of a subwoofer. With a 12” driver, it can handle a peak power of 1000 watts. And it’s a very controlled, clear sound instead of flimsy vibrations.
It also has a frequency response that goes as low as 20 Hz. So, you’ll hear very deep bass notes clearly. Its wide port flares reduce noise while the box itself absorbs unwanted noise. It is a fairly bulky subwoofer but that just adds to the durability of the product.
|Power output||250 watts RMS / 1000 watts peak|
|Frequency response||20 – 200 Hz|
|Inputs||RCA / LFE|
The subwoofer is very well built with good durability. On the outside, it has a lacquer finish, giving it a nice, glossy finish and scratch-free properties.
Is a Subwoofer worth it?
Most pairs of speakers are just that – speakers. And the job of speakers is to produce the highs and the mids with a hint of bass. So, if you are keen on getting a better audio experience from your music or movies, it is well worth your while to add a subwoofer to your setup and turn it into a complete surround system.
A subwoofer does a great job of enriching audio by adding detailed bass when your general speakers can’t. Plus, you have very good, affordable options on the market that will enhance your experience while not breaking your bank.
What’s the difference between a Woofer and a Subwoofer?
While both are essentially loudspeakers that capture and produce low-frequency sounds, there are noticeable differences between the two. A woofer is much smaller than a subwoofer and is used when you want to hear frequencies above 30 or 40 Hz. A subwoofer is great for anything below the 30 Hz mark.
As far as the upper limit is concerned, a woofer responds to up to 2500 Hz, whereas a subwoofer reaches its limit at 240/250 Hz max. Because of this, a woofer is more often used in settings where you want to elevate your entire sound, including the lows and the highs. A subwoofer is only focused on the low ends.
Where do I position my Subwoofer for my Home Theater?
For those who are wondering about the placement, it can be a task to decide where to position their newly-bought subwoofer. At first thought, it might seem trivial, but optimal subwoofer placement can make or break the experience.
To get the best out of your subwoofer, try starting with placing it in the front. For a lot of speakers, this works as the whole stereo system feels in sync. Another place you can try is a corner. This way, the subwoofer, especially a powerful one, resonates its bass sound throughout the room.
But like all things subjective, you should experiment with subwoofer placements and decide what suits you best. If you need further help, you can check out a visual representation of where to place your subwoofer in our guide on multi-channel home theater systems.
Also, if you are planning to set up a home theater, you might want to get a power manager. Since a home theater has a lot of different devices that require decent power, there can be a lot of fluctuations in the electricity flow. A power manager regulates power, keeping your system safe.
What to look for in a Subwoofer for music and movies when buying?
You won’t be buying a subwoofer again and again. So, please make sure that you buy the right one for your needs. Let me share some of the things you should look out for.
The size of the driver is very important in the bass sound. The bigger the driver, the better the bass sound (usually) as a larger driver means the subwoofer is more powerful. Another thing to keep in mind is its maximum output level. Subwoofers with higher watts of RMS power and peak power handle distortions at high volumes more smoothly.
Since subwoofers can be quite expensive, it’s on you to figure out how much you want to spend. If you want to add one to your home setup or are on a budget, you can go for the more entry-level ones. But if budget is not a problem or your studio requires a new subwoofer, it makes sense to buy a more premium subwoofer.
Lastly, you can also be persuaded by additional features like Bluetooth or voice control. They add a lot of convenience to operating the subwoofer.
A good subwoofer can make your music and movie experience way more enjoyable. From low-end thumping bass sound to realistic movie explosions, a subwoofer is something to consider if you want a high-quality experience.
My top subwoofer pick is the SVS SB-1000 Pro. It’s great for all settings, has an intermediate price tag, but offers quality sound.
If you’re running on a budget, the Rockville Rock Shaker 10 is a nice option that will get the job done while sparing your pocket.