The Best Subwoofers Under $500

The Best Subwoofers Under $500

The Best Subwoofers Under $500

The best subwoofers produce deep, punchy, distortion-free bass, and are powerful enough to reach every corner of the room. In this article, we have rounded up the best subwoofers under $500. All of our recommendations are powered subwoofers — internally-amplified subs preserve your receiver’s or amplifier’s power for the rest of your speakers. In our search for solidly-constructed subwoofers, we reviewed review sites such as AudioEnz, CNET, Crutchfield, Home Theater Magazine, Amazon, Newegg.com and HomeTheaterReview.com.

Polk Audio PSW505 ($170)

Polk Audio PSW505

Polk Audio PSW505

Pros:

  • Powerful enough to fill a large room
  • Flexible input options
  • Impeccable build quality

Cons:

  • Too much bass for small spaces

Top Review Sources:

  • Amazon 5.0/5.0 (200+ reviews)
  • Newegg.com: 5.0/5.0 (225+ reviews)
  • AudioEnz: “A fine sense of extension, tactile impact and all round bass weight and authority”

The Polk Audio PSW505 is an established and respected player in the large-room subwoofer game. Its performance is class-leading, with deep reserves of thundering bass and incredible precision. The PSW505 is a 12-inch woofer with a frequency range of 23 to 160Hz. It is solidly-built, measures 16-1/8″ H x 15-1/8″ W x 18-3/16″ D, weights 43 pounds, and is wrapped in black, real wood veneer. Features include an adjustable low-pass crossover, volume control, and a phase switch. This sub is magnetically shielded against interference and has an auto on/off switch to conserve power. Inputs are 5-way binding posts, line level (filtered), and LFE (unfiltered); output is a pair of 5-way binding posts. The PSW505’s 300 watts of power and big volume potential make it best suited for large spaces.

Amazon sells the Polk Audio PSW505.

 

Polk Audio PSW10 ($100)

Polk Audio PSW10

Polk Audio PSW10

Pros:

  • Solid construction
  • High value
  • Clean and clear sound

Cons:

  • No LFE input
  • Might be insufficient for large rooms

Top Review Sources:

  • Amazon: 4.5/5.0 (375+ reviews)
  • CNET: 3.5/5.0 “It pounds out home-theater thrills and musical bass with equal prowess”
  • Newegg.com: 5.0/5.0 (225+ reviews)

The low-price, high-performance Polk PSW10 makes it difficult to justify building a home theater without a powered sub. For $100, this subwoofer delivers 50 watts of continuous power through a 10-inch composite polymer speaker, producing rich bass with plenty of punch. Equally skilled at enhancing music, movies, or television, the PSW10 does its job without becoming boomy or muddled at high volumes. Its solid construction contributes to its great sound: 26 pounds of medium-density fiberboard measuring 14-3/8″ H x 14″ W x 16-1/8″ D. Included are speaker-level and line-level inputs, plus a speaker-level output. Frequency response is 35 to 200Hz. You also get on-speaker volume, crossover, and phase controls as well as an auto on/off switch. The PSW10 is built for small- to medium-size spaces. It is available in black or cherry finishes.

The Polk Audio PSW10 is currently available on Amazon.

 

Definitive Technology SuperCube III ($499)

Definitive Technology SuperCube III

Definitive Technology SuperCube III

Pros:

  • Small package; huge bass
  • Great range
  • Solidly built

Cons:

  • Will distort at extreme volume

Top Review Sources:

  • Crutchfield: Staff Pick “True, accurate, and extremely deep bass in any room”
  • Best Buy Customer Reviews: 4.5/5.0 (15+ reviews)
  • Home Theater Magazine: “other SuperCube subs…have had amazingly low but very musical bass output—and lots of it. The SuperCube III is no exception”

Definitive Technology’s SuperCube III produces unbelievable bass despite its compact footprint. Its sound profile is defined by its extreme depth—all the way down to 16Hz. The SuperCube III produces an authoritative 650 watts of power, capable of handling the bass duties in small or large rooms. Listeners appreciate the SuperCube III’s versatility; it performs as well when asked to provide a steady, undistorted rumble as it does when the soundtrack demands rapid, staccato bursts of bass. Though this gloss black cube weights a substantial 25 pounds, it only measures 10-1/4 inches in any dimension. It has a signal-sensing auto on/off switch, low-pass crossover, volume control, 5-way binding post outputs, and line level, LFE, and 5-way binding post inputs. Its woofer is 7-1/2 inches in diameter.

Purchase the Definitive Technology SuperCube III on Amazon.

Klipsch RW-12d ($400)

Klipsch RW-12d

Klipsch RW-12d

Pros:

  • Big and bold sound
  • Convenient digital user interface
  • Versatile input options

Cons:

  • Large size

Top Review Sources:

  • HomeTheaterReview.com: “The RW-12d does a lot of things very well, and some superbly”
  • Newegg.com: 5.0/5.0 (20+ reviews)
  • Amazon: 5.0/5.0 (5+ reviews)

The 12-inch Klipsch RW-12d is a subwoofer with physical and aural presence. This black box measures 19.2″ H x 14.6″ W x 21″ D and weighs 49 pounds. It is driven by a 350-watt internal amp, capable of producing exceptionally versatile sound. Reviewers note that the Klipsch adeptly handles a variety of theatrical and musical soundtracks, providing thunderous as well as subtle bass, depending on the need. Despite its size and potential, the RW-12d doesn’t overpower; it blends well with any speaker system thanks in part to its digital control panel—on the top of the case is a small digital user interface for controlling volume, EQ presets, low-pass crossover, and phase. The RW-12d’s frequency response is 24 to 120 Hz. Inputs options are line level, LFE, and 5-way binding posts.

The Klipsch RW-12d is for sale on Amazon.

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