The Best Subwoofers

By: Greg Kennelty

No matter what your budget, no matter how advanced or basic you want to get with your deep bass reproduction, our list of the best ten subwoofers is sure to satiate anyone’s needs.

1. Editor’s Pick: Bic Acoustech PL-200 II

The Bic Acoustech PL-200 II is a front-firing long-throw 12″ subwoofer with dual flared front ports, and is powered by a BASH amplifier capable of delivering up to 1000-watts dynamic peak output. The Bic Acoustech PL-200 II is capable of smoothly reaching down to 20Hz with “virtually flat” response, thanks to its front ports.

2. Klipsch R-115SW

The Klipsch R-115SW is a front-firing 15″ subwoofer that delivers a whopping 800W of power. Combined with its exclusive internal flare technology that minimizes the amount of distortion and maximizes dispersion, the R-115SW is sure to bring bass to your entire neighborhood! The Klipsch R-115SW features both a low pass crossover and phase control, to best match its sound to the rest of your home setup.

As an added bonus, the subwoofer also comes with the WA-2 wireless subwoofer kit, allowing for highly flexible room placement options.

3. SVS PB-1000

The SVS PB-1000 plays deep. Indeed, it offers extension below the limits of human hearing, digging down as low as 19Hz. The SVS PB-1000 is a 10″ front-firing subwoofer that achieves such low frequencies thanks to its powerful motor with dual high-grade ferrite magnets and FEA-optimized components. The subwoofer operates with an advanced DSP engine that allows for fine tuning, easy set-up, and integration into any home theater or stereo system.

4. Polk HTS 12

The Polk HTS 12 features a long-throw Dynamic Balance 12″ driver complimented by Polk’s Power Port technology. The technology smooths out airflow from the sub, delivering powerful bass to your listening area for dee impact. The design minimizes turbulence, thus reducing port noise. The Polk HTS 12 is a front-firing subwoofer with a premium look, despite the affordable price. The subwoofer features built-in controls for variable volume, low pass filter, and phase, and can be set to auto power on or off depending on if it’s getting any signal.

5. Monolith 15 Inch Powered Subwoofer

The Monoprice Monolith 15 is THX Ultra Certified, meaning can reach the high volumes necessary to achieve THX Reference Level without creating audible distortion or artifacts. The Monoprice Monolith 15 features a 15” driver and three tuned ports that can be plugged with foam, allowing you to customize your bass profile. With its DSP engine and 1000W RMS amplifier, it’s hard to argue that the Monoprice Monolith 15 is anything but a great deal on a hugely capable subwoofer.

6. ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030

The ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030 features a 12″ driver connected to an amp that maxes out around 1,000 watts of power. Bass extension is enhanced through the use of a 12″ passive radiator. This subwoofer has been engineered and built to deliver huge performance at an affordable price, and features the SUB Control 2.0 mobile app for sound customization. Combined with its built-in DSP, the ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030 is an excellent addition to any home theater or music listening setup.

7. SVS PB-3000

If the SVS PB-1000 isn’t enough for your bass need, check out the SVS PB-3000. The SVS PB-3000 features a 13″ driver in the first ever dual-port SVS cabinet design. This leads to distortionless output of the deepest notes at high output levels. The SVS PB-3000 features two port tuning modes, each with individual response curves—choose either sealed or standard mode. Rated peak output is a healthy 2,500 watts of power.

The SVS PB-3000 also features an advanced DSP to maintain accuracy and achieve pristine sound quality through advanced in-room tuning with optimized frequency response curves. Better yet, the subwoofer can be controlled and modifies through the SVS App.

8. MartinLogan Dynamo 1600

The MartinLogan Dynamo 1600X employs a 15″ driver. It can easily convert from down-firing to front-firing orientation, it’s your choice. Its sealed, non-resonant cabinet and Anthem Room Correction make for an incredible, one-of-a-kind listening experience tailored to your space. A wide array of inputs like XLR, RCA, and even speaker level inputs take your connectivity options to the next level.

MartinLogan’s Dynamo 1600X features a digital control system via a smartphone app and is capable of working with the SWT-X Wireless Receiver & Transmitter, just in case you needed the ability to tweak even more settings.

9. KLH Windsor 12

The KLH Windsor 12 is a 12″ front-firing subwoofer with a rear-slot port reflex enclosure to enhance your low end. The 12″ driver is made out of KLH’s composite of woven Kevlar, CSX, fiberglass, and paper, coated in polyglass, and is structured to be just rigid enough to avoid distortion. The KLH Windsor 12 auto powers on and off depending on when it’s receiving a signal and features an crossover frequency adjustable between 40 and 150Hz, to best integrate it with the speakers you already own. This compact ported subwoofer can reach down to 32Hz and phase is adjustable from 0 to 180 degrees

10. PSB SubSeries 350

The PSB SubSeries 350 is a 12″ subwoofer that employs “smart bass” technology that selectively limits the woofer and amplifier output so they won’t be overdriven with any input level. In conjunction with being labeled “smart”, the PSB SubSeries 350 also employs a MOSFET amplifier, it’s highly efficient and uses less energy to produce more power with reduced heat, while bringing standby power draw to an industry low. While the PSB SubSeries 350 sounds great and packs a punch, its real winning feature is how well it maintains its poise under pressure.