To be fair, you just can’t have a great listening experience without enough bass in the mix. After all, modern music is recorded and mixed with that in mind and there has to be enough of those low-end frequencies involved there. For this purpose, you’ll need a good subwoofer. However, things quite often get pretty expensive, so we’ll be looking into some of the best budget-friendly subwoofers to help you out in setting up the perfect home entertainment setup.
The main purpose of a subwoofer is to reproduce ad enhance those low-end frequencies. But at the same time, it’s important that it still keeps the sonic qualities in check. No matter your musical preferences, we’ll be giving you a full list of budget subwoofers that you can’t go wrong with.
Best Budget Subwoofer Buying Guide
But before we go deeper into it, there are a few important things to consider before going out there and buying a subwoofer. Here are the main issues that you’ll have to look into before making your purchase.
The first thing is the price. But if you’re looking to save up, it might not be that easy as there aren’t any remotely decent examples below the £100 mark. The targeted category here is anywhere between £100 and £250. After all, great sound comes with a price, even within budget-friendly limits.
Of course, when you sort out the price, the sound quality will be the next thing to look into. The sub-bass and bass parts of the audible spectrum are crucial here. Without them, there’s no proper sound quality. Most subwoofers cover anything from 35 to 200 Hz. Hover, with budget-friendly options, things might get a bit narrower in this sense.
But it’s not all about the exact range. You should find out whether there’s any unwanted distortion or “muddiness” within certain frequency ranges or at higher volume levels.
Additionally, subwoofers should come with some controls. Aside from a volume knob, there should be a crossover frequency control, as well as a phase switch.
Up next, one of the most important things to know is how much power you want. Subwoofers come with active amplifiers and the standard output power ranges anywhere between 50 and 150 watts. Of course, there are some smaller examples, even going to as low as 30 watts. On the other hand, there are those with 200 watts or more. In this list, we’ll be covering everything between 40 and 200 watts.
The rule is usually simple – the bigger the driver, the easier it reproduces lower frequencies and more easily handles high output power. However, this is not always the case. But if we’re talking about budget-friendly limits, then you’ll have to be careful and choose accordingly.
When it comes to subwoofers intended for home use, it usually goes anywhere from 5 to 10 inches. 5-inch drivers are usually common for those small subwoofers that can fit your average shelf. In some cases, although rare, there are even smaller subwoofers, but these are usually some of the smaller wireless examples for some specific setups.
Front-Firing vs. Bottom-Firing
One of the most common divisions of subwoofers is on front-firing and bottom-firing. This refers to the direction that the driver is facing. The front-firing one brings the sound from the front, aiming it directly at the listener. Bottom-firing ones push the low frequencies towards the floor. The choice between the two comes down to personal preferences. But in the budget-friendly options, it’s mostly the front-firing setup.
Build Quality and Durability
One of the most common mistakes is buying a subwoofer that’s of subpar build quality. You should never save up on this aspect as it can, in the longer run, completely ruin the listening experience. After all, a flimsy structure impacts the sound more than you could ever think. This is why getting a durable subwoofer should be one of the priorities, even if we’re talking about budget-friendly options.
Top 9 Best Budget Subwoofers Reviews
Whatever you’re looking for, be it an instrument or a piece of hi-fi equipment, Yamaha is worth every single penny. In fact, they offer so many different products in all categories, ranging from budget-friendly and up to pro-level expensive ones. But if you’re up for a budget subwoofer, we’re pretty certain that the company’s NS-SW050 is the way to go.
The main idea behind the NS series is to have both compact and affordable subwoofers. Nonetheless, they also manage to keep more than just decent and basic sound qualities that an average audiophile would require. What’s more, they also included some of their advanced high-performance technologies in it, like the Advanced Yamaha Active Servo Technology II and Twisted Flare Port.
This little beast is “armed” with one 8-inch cone woofer, and is also accompanied by a very fitting and aesthetically pleasing design. Featuring 100 watts of output power, Yamaha’s NS-SW050 focuses on frequencies between 28 and 200 Hz. If you ask us, this is one of the best, if not THE best, budget options on the market today.
- Well-made, sturdy
- Great sound due to Yamaha’s special technologies included
- Does a good job at reproducing the lowest frequencies
- Nothing for this price level
Wharfedale Diamond SW150
Wharfedale is another brand worth looking into if you want quality speakers of any kind, especially subwoofers. For this list, we’re looking into their SW series and a pretty powerful Diamond SW150 subwoofer. Of course, its lower price is not the only thing that’s worthy of praise as this one manages to pull things off for every style of music and setting that you need.
Although a bit bulky and weighing around 20 kilos, it’s still pretty compact when you look at its power rating and driver size. Bearing one 10-inch speaker, it comes with 150 watts of output power and has a maximum SPL of 107 decibels.
The SW150 is designed to cover anything between 35 and 110 Hz. Although not going below the 35 Hz mark, the main idea here is to have the maximum possible sound quality within its range. There’s also a 0 to 180º phase switch, and it even comes with a low-pass filtering feature for additional control. Wharfedale Diamond SW150 is another safe bet if you want a great subwoofer at a reasonable price.
- Great combination of price and qualities
- Well-built, sturdy
- Amazing sound quality
- Comes with a low-pass filtering feature
- It may be a bit bulky and heavy for some users
Miring SUB 3
Here, we’re looking into something just a little bit different. Miring is a company that specializes in different types of wireless speakers. And if you want a super-compact subwoofer that works for wireless settings, then you can’t go wrong with their SUB 3 model.
What’s more, the SUB 3 subwoofer is incredibly small and still manages to reproduce the bottom-ends quite well despite its surprising dimensions. The company managed to push their original concept of this small speaker and boost it with additional 10 watts of output power. So instead of 30, you now get 40 watts with this wireless subwoofer, all while keeping the same compact size, along with the 3-inch driver.
The main idea here is to have a subwoofer for their, or anyone else’s, compact wireless speakers. Miring is also making specialized backpacks where you can put the whole system and make an outdoor party by carrying them around on your back.
However, it’s also a great choice for those who want to play music at home but need a smaller and modest wireless setting. With 80 hours of battery life at an average volume level, you’ll be able to party ’till you drop!
- Very compact, has a 3-inch driver
- Good sound quality
- Very long battery life
- Its power rating and coverage of lower frequencies might not be enough for some users
Polk Audio PSW10E
Up next, we’re checking out Polk Audio and their PSW10E subwoofer. The company has some pretty decent and reasonably-priced products, and this one is no exception to the rule. The main idea is for its enclosure to do a lot of “hard work” in enhancing the sound quality as much as possible. This is achieved with internal bracings, special dampening techniques, the use of the right materials, and an overall enclosure construction design. With such a configuration, you get sturdiness, great sound quality, and a pretty-looking design.
This one manages to pull off these lower frequencies, all while keeping the output free of any unwanted distortion. PSW10E is equipped with one 10-inch driver and reproduces frequencies from 40 to 160 Hz and its power output is at 100 watts. There’s also the phase switch for some additional tweaking.
Overall, it’s a great subwoofer, although it’s a bit bulky. However, it’s still relatively light considering its size, weighing in just below 12 kilos.
- Good sound quality
- It’s not that heavy considering its dimensions
- Well-conceived construction, sturdy and aesthetically-pleasing
- Some may not like that it doesn’t cover frequencies below 40 Hz
Looking at Fostex, they have some pretty awesome stuff in their inventory. But if you want a good low-cost subwoofer, then you’ll definitely need to check out the company’s PM-SUBmini2. This one combines a low price, compact size, great looks, as well as a great reproduction of lower frequencies.
The Fostex PM-SUBmini2 model comes with a single 5-inch speaker. Of course, such a small device also comes with a noticeably lower power rating, bearing only 50 watts. But although some would prefer more, this is more than enough to get you covered for a simple home setup. The speaker also covers anything from 40 to 160 watts, which is pretty impressive with a speaker of this size.
But aside from saving your space, Fostex PM-SUBmini2 is also designed to save power consumption. It comes with ErP auto stand-by mode that can be turned on or off. Aside from the volume level control, this active subwoofer has a frequency crossover adjustment range, which lets you further customize your sound.
- Fairly compact and light
- Comes with a power-saving option
- Good sound quality
- It doesn’t cover frequencies below 60 Hz, but you can’t expect much from such a small speaker
Okay, this one is right on the edge between inexpensive and mid-priced. However, considering its power rating and other qualities, we couldn’t help but include it since it’s more than worth the cost. Kanto SUB6MB is a 200-watt beast that combines sound qualities with some of the most appreciated aesthetic features.
However, despite its power rating, this is one fairly compact and light subwoofer, which makes it an even better option for anyone who’s looking for a more powerful home entertainment system. All this is done with a pretty small driver that’s only 6 inches in diameter. Nonetheless, it produces a pretty good sound, with a frequency range spanning from 35 to 165 Hz.
It’s also pretty minimalistic and can fit pretty much any type of setting. If you’re really keen on getting a stronger subwoofer but still want to keep it at a lower cost and save up space in your home, then Kanto SUB6MB is something to look into.
- Fairly compact considering its output power
- Very simple yet great-looking design
- Good sound
- 200-watt output power
- Nothing at this price level
Q Acoustics 3070s
Q Acoustics would be another great choice for all audiophiles of all backgrounds. Once again, we have an example of a subwoofer that’s right on the edge between inexpensive and expensive. Nonetheless, the 3070s is more than a great deal for the price. Although it’s intended to work in pair with some other speakers made by Q Acoustics, you can use it for pretty much any supported setting.
This subwoofer has a power rating of 140 watts. However, what’s really interesting is that the 3070s comes with two drivers. And each of them has a diameter of 6.5 inches. This is all accompanied by the standard volume control, a phase switch, automatic standby switch, and a crossover frequency knob letting you choose from 50 to 150 Hz. Needless to say, the sound that this subwoofer produces is just amazing.
- Amazing sound quality
- Innovative design
- Great build quality
- It might be a bit expensive for some users
Elac Debut S10.2
If you want it strong and at top quality, but while still keeping the price within reasonable limits, then this subwoofer by Elac is something that you’ll definitely need to check out. The Debut S10.2 model brings astounding 200 watts of output power, packed in one pretty minimalistic yet very aesthetically pleasing wooden box. All this immense power goes through one 10-inch speaker and is able to reproduce it all while keeping the sound very clear. Even at higher volumes, you won’t be hearing any unwanted distortion or overall “muddiness” with the Debut S10.2.
The subwoofer manages to reproduce frequencies ranging from 35 to 150 Hz. Then there’s also a standard knob for volume, as well as control for crossover frequency, allowing you to fine-tune it anywhere between 50 and 150 Hz. This is a pretty amazing choice, but only if you’re willing to use up just a bit more room in your home. Other than that, it’s one of the best choices within this price range.
- Very well-built
- Amazing sound quality
- Great deal for the price
- It might be a bit large for some potential users
Cambridge Audio Minx X201
And for our final choice, we’re looking into Cambridge Audio and their Minx X201. And although a relatively smaller model, it still packs 200 watts of peak output power. And all of that goes through a convenient 6.5-inch speaker. This is also followed by volume, crossover frequency, phase, and even gain parameter controls, providing users with plenty of options for tone shaping.
But one of the best things about Minx X201 is the fact that it can fit pretty much anywhere. Just put it on a shelf and it will fit very nicely. For this price, you can’t easily find such a great deal.
- Very compact
- Allows for some tone-shaping options
- Great sound quality
- Some users won’t like its smaller driver
Honestly, there’s nothing better for a home entertainment setup than having a subwoofer as a separate unit. After all, you can’t easily reproduce those bottom-ends without one. But then again, this can be a bit expensive, right?
But you don’t need to worry as there are some pretty great budget-friendly choices out there. Any of the examples shared above can come in handy. Sure, it’s not exactly the easiest task to find a good subwoofer at a reasonable price, but these will do you good.