Best Subwoofers of 2022 | The Master Switch

You’ll be able to survive with only a common set of audio system. You do not, strictly talking, want a sub. However you can’t consider the distinction having one will make. It isn’t simply the inevitable increase to the low finish that comes from a great high quality sub; it is the general richness of the sound. On this information, we have evaluated the highest subs for this yr, it doesn’t matter what your funds, or the scale of your room. For extra background, see our subwoofer comparability desk and shopping for recommendation beneath the picks. And to finish your system, see our articles on the perfect floorstanding audio system and residential theater techniques.

Our Subwoofer Picks

  • Finest General Subwoofer: SVS SB-1000 Professional
  • Finest Finances Subwoofer: Monoprice 9723
  • Finest Excessive-Finish Subwoofer: SVS SB-3000
  • Finest Wi-fi Subwoofer: Sonos Sub
  • Most Bass for House Theater: Seaton Sound
  • Subwoofer with the Deepest Bass: KEF KC62
  • A Nice Subwoofer for Music: RSL Speedwoofer 10S

Finest General Subwoofer

1. SVS SB-1000 Professional ($599)

SVS SB-1000 ProWattage: 325 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 12″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Gutsy, highly effective, clear sound high quality that fortunately beats different fashions.What We Do not: Positively not appropriate for bigger rooms.

See more: Top subwoofers for music

There’s a great cause why SVS dominate the world of subwoofers. No different firm constantly produces subs that match nice bass with nice design, and often at costs that most individuals can afford. The SVS SB-1000 Professional is, in our opinion, top-of-the-line fashions they make. Its compact cupboard delivers as much as 325 watts of unpolluted and gutsy bass, which we discovered performs properly with audio system from nearly any model. What actually stands out is the surprisingly delicate and nuanced audio high quality; the SB-1000 Professional definitely doesn’t sacrifice readability for grunt. Whereas there are higher choices for bigger rooms, just like the ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030 (beneath), you gained’t discover a higher total subwoofer. We preferred the SB-1000 Professional a lot that we made it our commonplace testing subwoofer for evaluating different items of audio gear.

The largest draw back to the SB-1000 Professional is that the ability is comparatively low. These with bigger rooms (as in, something over 250 sq. toes) could not discover it enough. A extra highly effective possibility, like SVS’s personal SB-3000 (beneath) could also be a more sensible choice. For the remainder of us, the SB-1000 Professional is the mannequin to go for. Value noting: SVS additionally provide a ported mannequin, the PB-1000 Professional, which delivers much more highly effective sound. It’s good, however we expect the SB-1000 Professional is a extra full bundle…Learn our in-depth reviewSee the SVS SB-1000 Professional

Finest Finances Subwoofer

2. Monoprice 9723 ($179)

Monoprice 9723Wattage: 150 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 12″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Glorious sound high quality for the worth.What We Do not: Such boring design they did not even give it a reputation.

On this planet of audio, there isn’t a firm that should have a company getaway greater than Monoprice. There may be completely nothing flawed with them that a couple of shared joints and a few vigorous intercourse would not treatment. This can be a firm with such a deficit of creativeness that they do not even trouble to present a few of their product names. This one known as the 9723.

However just because an organization has a boring identification does not imply they make boring gear. Monoprice have been massively profitable, and one take heed to this subwoofer will let you know why. It might not have the uncooked energy of the ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030 and even the BIC America F12, however it delivers attractive sound high quality, with large, thumping vitality however makes it sound rather a lot greater than it’s. And by stripping away all of the design frivolities, Monoprice are in a position to provide this gem of a subwoofer for a fully knockdown worth. In case you are on a funds, that is the subwoofer that you must purchase.See the Monoprice 9723

Finest Excessive-Finish Subwoofer

3. SVS SB-3000 ($1,100)

SVS SB-3000Wattage: 800 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 13″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Builds on every thing SVS does properly.What We Do not: Gloss end picks up fingerprints, app wants some rationalization.

The SB-3000 is the most recent subwoofer mannequin from the American legends at SVS, and we expect it deserves to retain the crown of Finest Excessive-Finish Sub. Pretty much as good because the earlier mannequin, the PB16-Extremely, was, it was additionally large, ungainly, and means an excessive amount of for most individuals. The SB-3000 dispenses with these points, taking every thing the Extremely did properly and housing it in a way more compact, reasonably priced body. These with overly massive rooms might have two of them to get the perfect sound, however for 90% of individuals, considered one of these will blow the rattling partitions off. It is a vital (albeit costly) enchancment on the top-ranked SB-1000 Professional.

One facet we’d like to focus on is the wonderful DSP (Digital Sign Processing). It permits a nearly infinite stage of tweaking, and means that you may get exact, managed bass that also manages to ooze energy. This sub significantly excels with motion pictures and tv, giving gunfire, explosions, and punches actual weight within the low-end. It’s one other winner for SVS, and proper now, the one query is the place on earth they go from right here…Learn our full, in-depth reviewSee the SVS SB-3000

Finest Wi-fi Subwoofer

4. Sonos Sub ($949)

SONOS SUBWattage: UnknownDriver Dimension: UnknownCourse: N/AWhat We Like: Terrific sound high quality.What We Don’t: Requires that you just get locked into the Sonos ecosystem.

The largest black mark in opposition to the Sonos Sub is that you may’t use it with tools from different producers. Obtained an present residence theater setup? You, my good friend, are out of luck. The subwoofer solely works with different Sonos tools, and whereas the corporate makes an actual effort to make sure that the setup course of and ease-of-use works properly, you would possibly need to avoid this if that lock-in goes to be an issue.

The upside is that, should you’re okay with utilizing solely Sonos gear, you will be rewarded with some genuinely good sound high quality. Whereas the subwoofer is slightly mild on stats, it hardly issues: there is not any must set the crossover level when it is mechanically tuned to all different audio system, guaranteeing you straightforward, clear, deep bass always (see our Shopping for Recommendation part, beneath, for more information on crossovers and the way they work). We additionally actually just like the design, which lets you put the subwoofer in nearly any place – a boon for small areas.See the Sonos Sub

Most Bass for House Theater

5. Seaton Sound JS12 ($1,495)

Seaton Sound JS12Wattage: 700 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 12″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Deep, wealthy bass.What We Do not: Lacks trendy options.

Above $1,000 is the place you actually begin seeing subwoofers amp up the increase. With 700 watts of steady energy, Seaton Sound’s superb JS12 actually brings the increase. It goes all the way down to 20Hz – evaluate that to 28Hz for our main sub, the Q Acoustics Q B12 – and you’ll actually really feel it. The audio has a wealthy, subsonic presence that can rattle your abdomen and shake the partitions. It is one hell of a factor to expertise. For big rooms (over 250 sq. toes) that is simply the best choice.

Nevertheless, it is a subwoofer for purists. It affords nearly no superior options – no app management, no room correction. As well as, we expect it could be slightly bit too costly for most individuals. Nevertheless, should you like uncooked bass, and need among the finest within the enterprise, then this is a superb start line. Seaton are a no-nonsense firm from Chicago who’ve been making subwoofers without end, together with the completely monstrous F18+, so that you’re in good fingers right here.See the Seaton Sound JS12

Subwoofer with the Deepest Bass

6. KEF KC62 ($1,500)

KEF KC62Wattage: 1,000 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 2 x 6.5”Course: Facet-FiringWhat We Like: Tiny body matched with earth-shaking sound high quality.What We Do not: Clunky controls, and the sub wants cautious placement.

The brand new KEF KC62 is a surprise. It does two issues that, on their very own, would every be wild. Collectively, they make this subwoofer extraordinary. For one factor, it’s tiny, lower than ten inches throughout, a lot smaller than even the pint-sized SVS SB-1000 Professional. For an additional, it has the deepest bass of any sub on this listing: 11Hz, deeper even than the large and rather more costly Energy Sound Audio S3612. That’s an unreal trick, and it signifies that the KC62 might be essentially the most futuristic sub we’ve examined. It has a wealth of applied sciences that ship wonderful sound high quality, and should you can afford it, it’s completely a fantastic possibility.

We do assume there are a few points with the KEF KC62 that preserve it out of the highest place. As tiny and highly effective as it’s, it wants cautious placement. It has two facet firing drivers, which imply that you just’ll must spend slightly little bit of time discovering the perfect spot. As well as, it has no digital management in any respect. All of the controls are on the rear, and whereas they work wonderful, they appear and feel slightly clunky. An app management, comparable to that present in a cheaper SVS SB-3000, would have been a a lot better possibility. Its absence can be complicated, as a result of KEF already use an app to regulate their class-leading wi-fi audio system. Nonetheless, if you wish to go deep, that is the place that you must be.See the KEF KC62

A Nice Subwoofer for Music

7. RSL Speedwoofer 10S ($399)

RSL Speedwoofer S10Wattage: 350 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 10”Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Weighty and lifelike sound high quality that excels with music.What We Don’t: Unexciting design.

We check dozens of subwoofers at The Grasp Change, and whereas it’s uncommon to seek out one which doesn’t carry out properly with music, we expect that the RSL Speedwoofer 10S is the perfect we’ve heard. The punchy, weighty sound high quality actually lends itself to songs, with clear and lifelike bass that brings out the element in kick drums, toms, and bass guitars. It’s no slouch with motion pictures both, but when that’s the place you propose on utilizing your sub woofer essentially the most, we’d recommend going for one thing just like the BIC America F12, which is definitely rather less costly. If, nonetheless, you propose on utilizing your sub for tunes, then the RSL is certainly the best choice. You’ll be able to even make it wi-fi with an optionally available $50 module, making it a worthy competitor to the costly Sonos Sub.

Outdoors of the marginally subpar efficiency with motion pictures, there’s little or no we don’t like concerning the RSL Speedwoofer 10S. We’d argue that the appears to be like aren’t significantly thrilling; we don’t have a excessive bar for subwoofers on this regard, we do wish to see slightly little bit of aptitude, comparable to that discovered on the top-ranked Q Acoustics Q B12. Nevertheless, look previous that, and also you’ll discover a high fee subwoofer that beats the pants off absolutely anything else for music.See the RSL Speedwoofer 10S

Better of the Relaxation

8. Q Acoustics Q B12 ($999)

Q Acoustics Q B12Wattage: 220 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 12″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Clear and highly effective bass matched with intelligent controls.What We Do not: Lacks the flexibility to ship large, gut-punching bass.

It’s onerous to not be wowed by the bass that comes out of the Q Acoustics Q B12. This subwoofer affords a refined sound that feels clear and chic, whereas nonetheless delivering good ranges of energy. Regardless of having lower than half the wattage of one thing just like the $800 ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030, the extra reasonably priced Q B12 sub genuinely impressed us with its excellent and surprisingly delicate audio high quality. We additionally discovered it a dream to make use of due to the clever rear-mounted controls. There’s even a magnetic metallic plate that permits you to conceal any connecting wires, whereas nonetheless letting you employ the crossover and quantity dials.

There’s one notice of warning right here, and it’s the ability. 220 watts is nothing to smell at, however in comparison with different subwoofers right here, just like the top-ranked SVS SB-1000 Professional, the Q B12 could come throughout as being slightly underpowered. It delivers easy, assured bass, however it doesn’t have the uncooked, stomach-pounding vitality of different subwoofers. It doesn’t hit you within the intestine. If that’s your jam, then chances are you’ll need to try these fashions, and avoid the Q. It’s additionally large: almost twenty inches large, and amazingly heavy at nearly fifty kilos.See the Q Acoustics Q B12

9. ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030 ($700)

ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030Wattage: 500 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 12″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Worth and sound high quality are second to none.What We Do not: Will not fulfill those that like large quantity.

ELAC’s super-impressive Debut 2.0 line features a subwoofer that’s simply in our high ten, no matter room dimension. At 500 watts RMS and 1,000 peak (full breakdowns of these phrases are in our Shopping for Recommendation, beneath), the SUB3030 delivers greater than sufficient grunt, and the bass it places out is stable and muscular. It satisfies whether or not you are watching motion pictures, sequence, or taking part in video games.

There are not any bodily controls. As an alternative, an Android and iOS app offers you entry to all of the performance you want, together with software program that permits you to fine-tune the sound to your listening setting. The sound is not fairly as deep or highly effective because the SB-3000, above, however is greater than wealthy and detailed sufficient for most individuals. ELAC have produced a genuinely sensible product right here, and at a really reasonably priced worth, though we are going to say that it has been overwhelmed out by subs just like the Q Acoustics Q B12.See the ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030

10. PSB Alpha S8 ($499)

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PSB Alpha S8Wattage: 150 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 8”Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Revels intimately and realism.What We Don’t: Underpowered, and slightly too costly.

The brand new PSB Alpha S8 replaces the Klipsch C-308ASWi on this listing. It’s not solely cheaper, however it affords even higher element and realism. We are able to consider only a few subwoofers on this worth vary that ship the form of pinpoint, scintillating element discovered on the Alpha S8, significantly on the subject of advanced and nuanced devices like double bass. It isn’t essentially the most highly effective subwoofer right here, and that solely 35 Hz of extension, the bass isn’t the deepest. However there’s an actual sense that the audio has been hand tuned right here, with the aim of most realism.

Sadly, that low-power does change into an issue. In comparison with equally priced subwoofers just like the Q Acoustics Q B12, the PSB Alpha S8 doesn’t fairly measure up (220 watts versus 150). Partly that is to do with the unusually small driver; at eight inches, it doesn’t actually have the grunt to compete with the massive boys. We do love the eye to element, however should you like your subwoofers loud and proud, chances are you’ll need to take a look at different choices just like the aforementioned Q Acoustics mannequin.See the PSB Alpha S8

11. Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D ($999)

Aperion Audio Bravus II 12DWattage: 500 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 12″Course: Down-FiringWhat We Like: Effectively-built, fashionable, wonderful bass.What We Do not: Uncommon driver/radiator design requires cautious placement.

The Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D is kind of an uncommon subwoofer. It has a normal driver, positioned within the down-firing place (beneath the sub), coupled with two sideways-facing passive radiators. The result’s easy, clear, deep bass. The Bravus II 12D goes all the way down to 19Hz, bested solely by the Energy Sound Audio S3611, which prices considerably extra. We additionally love the appears to be like – ours got here in a beautiful pink end that actually stood out. In case you like your subwoofer to look pretty much as good because it sounds, then the Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D is a straightforward selection.

Nevertheless, the bizarre driver/radiator design signifies that the Bravus II 12D wants lots of effort to place correctly. Though it’s best to technically be capable of place it as you’d every other subwoofer, we discovered the positioning required lots of wonderful tuning to get the perfect sound. The ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030, talked about above, just isn’t solely cheaper, however is considerably simpler to make use of. Nevertheless, we nonetheless cherished our Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D and consider it earned a spot on this listing.See the Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D

12. Energy Sound Audio S3612 ($2,800)

Power Sound Audio S3612Wattage: 1,920 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 2 x 18″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Big energy, fine-grained management.What We Do not: Would not have the element of different subwoofers.

With a frequency extension that goes all the best way all the way down to 16 Hz, the Energy Sound Audio S3612 is second solely to the KEF KC62 for anybody searching for absolutely the deepest, darkest bass. It is the subwoofer we would go for if we needed uncooked, unrestrained vitality, and cling the worth tag. You additionally get an oddly-specific 1,920 watts of RMS energy, making the S3612 the only strongest subwoofer on this complete listing. When you’ve got a giant room, and a bit of cash to spend, you’ll be able to tear actuality aside.

Whereas the Energy Sound Audio S3612 does have a complete set of bodily controls, together with room dimension selector, it’s best to take a look at different fashions from the likes of SVS in order for you excessive ranges of digital management and DSP (Digital Sign Path) changes. Moreover, for all its energy, the S3612 doesn’t fairly have the finesse of different fashions, comparable to those talked about above – significantly the SVS SB-3000. The Energy Sound Audio S3612 is a sub designed for many who demand absolutely the lowest bass. Solely the Wilson Audio sub goes decrease (10 Hz) and since that prices $25,000, we expect your cash is best spent with PSA.See the Energy Sound Audio S3612

13. Paradigm Defiance X10 ($999)

Paradigm Defiance X10 (S)Wattage: 300 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 10″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: A leap ahead for Paradigm subwoofers.What We Do not: Maybe a contact costly, though there are cheaper choices accessible.

Paradigm’s new Defiance vary of subwoofers is available in a number of flavors. The X sequence ship uncooked energy, whereas the V sequence is all about affordability. They’re all good, and provide a number of developments on primary subwoofer design, but when we needed to decide one, it will be this one. In our opinion, it affords the perfect mixture of sound high quality, options, and pricing, and would be the most suitable option for most individuals. Whereas we nonetheless would not decide it over the ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030, which we expect affords higher worth for cash, it stays a great different.

You additionally get a superb vary of options, together with app management of the subwoofer, included Anthem Room Correction, and the flexibility to make the subwoofer wi-fi with the acquisition of a further module. The Defiance vary is a forward-thinking sequence, and the X10 is its most interesting ambassador. Paradigm, by the best way, not too long ago got here out with a brand new line of subs, together with one which retails for (gulp) $7,500. We have heard it, and it is excellent, however that price ticket places it means out of attain of most individuals.See the Paradigm Defiance X10

14. REL Acoustics HT/1003 ($499)

REL Acoustics HT 1003Wattage: 300 (RMS)Driver Dimension: 10″Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Sound has actual vitality and liveliness, up to date enter part.What We Do not: Hideous cupboard design.

REL’s new HT/1003 subwoofer marks a departure from the traditions of the corporate’s founder, Richard Edward Lord. Till now, the late designer’s subs acquired enter from the stereo amp’s speaker terminals. The HT/1003 has been up to date to supply commonplace RCA and LFE inputs, which we severely approve of. This makes the design extra targeted, and extra relevant to trendy setups, together with residence theater rigs. That is an space the place REL by no means felt fairly at residence earlier than, however we expect this enchancment is a big step in the suitable path. It additionally helps that the HT/1003 sounds excellent, with a large amount of thump and vitality, particularly whereas taking part in music. After tuning it to your room, its 300 watts of RMS energy will shine in spectacular vogue.

One factor we did not like, nonetheless, is the appears to be like. This sub could also be constructed like a tank, however in comparison with different REL subs – just like the T-Zero, beforehand on this listing – it simply appears to be like boring. An enormous black field with nothing particular to advocate about it. There are a couple of good touches, like upside-down labels on the rear finish (for while you’re bending over the sub to regulate one thing). However in our opinion, it is a product that appears finest when the lights are off. In case you’re searching for a delicate design with not-so-subtle sound, the HT/1003 might be the subwoofer for you.See the REL Acoustics HT/1003

And For When You Win The Lottery

15. Wilson Audio Thor’s Hammer ($25,000)

Wattage: N/ADriver Dimension: 2 x 15”Course: Entrance-FiringWhat We Like: Ridiculous sound high quality.What We Do not: Huge price ticket, requires exterior amp.

When a Utah firm, Wilson Audio, determined to create a subwoofer, they didn’t fiddle. Their Thor’s Hammer has at the least one factor in widespread with the precise Thor’s Hammer. It won’t be capable of summon thunder and lightning, and it gained’t return to the place it was thrown from (largely as a result of it will take three males and a specialised catapult to really throw it), however solely those that are worthy could maintain it. And by worthy, we imply loaded. This unbelievable subwoofer prices $25,000.

Right here at The Grasp Change, we don’t often like speaking about frequency ranges. We firmly consider that, on the subject of shopping for audio gear, they’re almost ineffective in serving to you resolve which items of apparatus to purchase. However on the subject of subwoofers, and particularly to subwoofers this highly effective, that thought goes out the window. You’re coping with a really particular a part of the frequency spectrum. Though human beings can solely hear all the way down to round 20Hz, we are able to truly really feel frequencies decrease than that. The Thor’s Hammer goes all the best way all the way down to 10Hz, which is nothing wanting outstanding. Its celebration trick is that it reproduces the bottom notice of a pipe organ with excellent constancy and readability at full quantity. Since that notice happens at 16Hz, beneath the vary of human listening to, that’s fairly one thing.See the Wilson Audio Thor’s Hammer

Subwoofer Comparability Desk

Subwoofer Value RMS* Driver Course Freq.** Dimensions SVS SB-1000 Professional $599 325 12″ Entrance-Firing 20-270Hz 13.5″ x 13″ x 13.9″ Monoprice 9723 $179 150 12″ Entrance-Firing 50-250Hz 17.5” x 17.3” x 17” SVS SB-3000 $1,100 800 13″ Entrance-Firing 18-270Hz 15.7″ x 15.6″ x 15.2″ Sonos Sub $949 Unav.*** Unav. N/A All the way down to 25Hz 15.8” x 15.3” x 6.2” Seaton Sound JS12 $1,395 700 12″ Entrance-Firing 20-200Hz 18” x 15” x 14” KEF KC62 $1,500 1,000 2 x 6.5″ Facet-Firing 11-200Hz 9.7″ x 10″ x 9.8″ RSL Speedwoofer 10S $399 350 10″ Entrance-Firing 24-200Hz 16.75″ x 16″ x 15″ Q Acoustics Q B12 $999 220 12″ Entrance-Firing 28-300Hz 17.5″ x 15.7″ x 15.7″ ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030 $700 500 12″ Entrance-Firing 25-150Hz 18” x 17” x 17” PSB Alpha S8 $499 150 8″ Entrance-Firing 35-150Hz 15.75″ x 12.5″ x 11.5″ Aperion Bravus II 12D $1,999 500 12″ Down-Firing 19-350Hz 17″ x 15.5″ x 15.5″ Energy Sound Audio S3612 $2,800 1,920 2 x 18″ Entrance-Firing 16-100Hz 28” x 24” x 20” Paradigm Defiance X10 $999 300 10″ Entrance-Firing 30-120Hz 16.5″ × 15.75 × 15″ REL Acoustics HT/1003 $499 300 10″ Entrance-Firing 28-150Hz 13.8″ x 13.7″ x 12.5″ Wilson Audio TH $25,000 N/A 2 x 15″ Entrance-Firing 10-150Hz 59″ x 25.25″ x 20″

*RMS = RMS Wattage **Freq. = Frequency Vary ***Unav. = Unavailable

Big enough for you? | The Master Switch

Subwoofer Shopping for Recommendation

  • Passive vs. Powered Subwoofers
  • Entrance-Firing vs. Down-Firing Subwoofers
  • Driver Dimension Defined
  • Wattage Defined
  • Ported vs. Sealed Subwoofers
  • Wi-fi vs. Wired Subwoofers
  • Subwoofer Placement Defined
  • Setting Up Your Subwoofer
  • Subwoofer Crossover Defined
  • Utilizing Extra Than One Subwoofer
  • Subwoofer DIY Defined

Passive vs. Powered Subwoofers

There are two varieties of subwoofers: passive and powered. The distinction between them could be very easy. Passive subwoofers require an exterior amplifier to work, whereas powered subwoofers have an inner amplifier, and simply have to be plugged into the mains. That’s it. We aren’t actually going to speak about passive subwoofers right here. Firstly, they’re far much less widespread than powered subwoofers, particularly within the residence theater house – though there are some nonetheless accessible, like this Bose PS 28 III. Secondly, going into the method of matching a passive subwoofer with an amplifier is a complete information by itself.

Thankfully, we do have such a information to matching audio system and amps, however on this shopping for recommendation, we’re going to be speaking about powered subwoofers solely. The advantage of doing that is that it vastly simplifies the method of connecting your subwoofer to your system: all you must do is run an RCA cable between them (most receivers have a devoted subwoofer output), and an influence cable from the subwoofer to the wall socket. Growth. Accomplished. Belief us: it’s a great factor that the subwoofer is powered. You’re going to wish lots of energy.

Aperion Bravus II 12D | The Master Switch

Entrance-Firing vs. Down-Firing Subwoofers

So: you’ve determined to purchase a subwoofer. Congratulations. You’ve solely received about 10,947,084 fashions to select from, and that’s simply on the primary web page. Subwoofers are additional cut up into two classes: whether or not they’re front-firing or down-firing. Figuring this out is simple. If the motive force (the massive, round ingredient, which is identical when it comes to performance as those discovered on floorstanding audio system) is on the entrance of the unit, then it’s front-firing. Backside? Down-firing.

You would possibly fairly ask what the variations are between the 2. There aren’t truly that many – not sufficient, given the variances between completely different rooms and completely different circumstances, to make a significant distinction. Bass frequencies are nondirectional, which signifies that it’s not going to matter that a lot which one you decide.

Nevertheless: should you’re planning on putting your subwoofer near your major audio system, or beneath your TV (and we go into placement in additional element beneath), then it could be value investing in a front-firer. Away out of your audio system? On the facet or within the nook of the room? Go for down-firing. However once more, this isn’t a call which makes a significant influence, and on this case, take into account what we’re saying as normal pointers somewhat than onerous guidelines.

SVS SB 1000 Pro subwoofer | The Master Switch

Driver Dimension Defined

Within the case of subwoofers, dimension actually does matter. To supply bass sounds, you have received to have the ability to produce lots of vitality. The larger your speaker driver, the extra vitality you’ll put out (though lots of it has to do with the amplification powering the motive force as properly). On the whole, you ought to be seeking to purchase a subwoofer with a driver above 12″ in dimension – that is 12″ throughout, from finish to finish. Something smaller will ship good sound, however do not count on large low-end energy. The PSB Alpha S8, which prices $449, has a driver of 8″. We expect it is good for small rooms, however you should not count on it to place out large vitality.

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That being mentioned: you do not have to push the boat out should you do not need to. A 15″ driver Can be completely appropriate for most individuals, and solely those that have very, very massive rooms or want to provide severely dramatic bass must stray into the 18″ and up vary – For instance, the Energy Sound Audio S3612 which prices $2,500, and has twin 18″ woofers. All the time take into consideration the scale of your room earlier than you get busy with the one-click-buy!’

SVS Subwoofer | The Master Switch

Wattage Defined

Spend any period of time on this website, and you may see this time period rather a lot. We’re form of obsessed by it. Broadly talking, the extra watts there are, the louder the sub will go, though it’s a bit extra advanced than that—you’ll be able to, in spite of everything, flip a sub down. Fairly, consider wattage as a variety during which you push the sub. The upper the vary, the louder you can also make it with out distorting the sound. Watts will be low (60W) or exceedingly excessive (4,000W), and as you’ll be able to think about, you pay extra for greater wattage. Be aware the distinction between RMS (typically known as steady) and peak (typically known as dynamic) wattage. All the time, at all times, at all times take a look at RMS, and ignore peak. The previous refers back to the total energy at a set and often cheap quantity. The latter refers back to the absolute loudest the factor can go. You will want the primary. Do not consider the hype. Something with as much as round 1,000 watts of RMS energy must be greater than acceptable for most individuals, though you’ll be able to go considerably greater should you want to. For instance, the Energy Sound Audio S3612 places out a staggering 1,920 watts, Which is overkill for almost everybody besides these with underground bunkers.

SVS SB-3000 Subwoofer | The Master Switch

In fact, you would possibly fairly ask: when you’ve got two subwoofers, one with an RMS and peak of 500 and 1,500 watts, and one other with an RMS and peak of two,000 and three,000 watts, then what’s the distinction between them, provided that they’re each separated by 1,000 watts? The reply is within the nature of bass itself. Not like greater frequencies, bass wants lots of vitality. The extra wattage a subwoofer has, the extra it will likely be in a position to present that vitality, at any quantity. Extra wattage equals bass that’s tighter, clearer, extra well-rounded. It signifies that whether or not you’re rattling the home windows or turning issues down late at night time, you’ll be capable of get higher sound. As soon as once more: you management the amount. What you don’t management is the base-level readability of the sound, and that’s the place wattage could be a helpful metric.

We agonized over this part. It’s so, really easy to get misplaced in mathematical formulation and tables of figures when calculating precisely how wattage pertains to decibel ranges (learn: quantity). In the end, we determined that we’d preserve issues easy. When you’ve got one takeaway right here, it’s this: purchase a subwoofer with a pleasant, large hole between peak and RMS, and get one with as many watts as you’ll be able to afford.

Ported vs. Sealed Subwoofers

Sealed subwoofers have a cupboard that’s totally enclosed, with no openings into its inside. Ported subwoofers have a number of openings, to permit the free-flowing motion of air. Put very merely: sealed subwoofers sacrifice slightly total quantity and presence for a tighter, extra managed sound, whereas ported ones can pump out large quantity on the expense of slightly readability. Usually talking, bigger and costlier subs are usually ported, whereas smaller, cheaper ones don’t.

In case you’ve received a smaller room, and don’t must blow the home windows off, then it could be value a sealed subwoofer. In case you aren’t going to be pumping issues to very large volumes anyway, then it is sensible to spend money on slightly bit extra readability and depth to the sound, somewhat than plumping for large quantity. However when you’ve got a much bigger house, take into account ported fashions. You might also come throughout issues generally known as passive radiators. Consider these as unpowered speaker drivers that are there to easily react to the air the principle driver is transferring. A subwoofer might have a number of of those along with the principle driver, they usually assist with the articulation and expression of the sound. Passive radiators are nearly at all times a good suggestion.

The SVS PB16-Ultra is a damn monster | The Master Switch

Wi-fi vs. Wired Subwoofers

There’s a straightforward dichotomy right here. Most residence theater or hifi subwoofers have wired connections, whereas many that include soundbars are totally wi-fi. Wi-fi subwoofers have the benefit of needing completely no setup. They are going to already be slaved to the central unit, and all that you must do, normally, is plug them in. The crossover level (see beneath) is already set, in order that they take the issue out of preliminary setup, though you’ll in fact must work out the place to place them, and they’re going to have to be plugged right into a mains socket.

The draw back is that in nearly all circumstances, they don’t sound fairly pretty much as good as wired subwoofers. This isn’t a common rule, and the non-public wi-fi community they run on is definitely able to transmitting some good low finish, however we nearly at all times choose wired fashions. This isn’t a call we are able to make for you. The one factor we are able to say is that should you intend on having a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system, then we strongly advocate a fully-wired subwoofer – though there are at all times exceptions, like the wonderful Sonos Sub.

Q Acoustics Q B-12 subwoofer | The Master Switch

Subwoofer Placement Defined

There are some individuals who will let you know that it would not matter the place you place a sub, so long as you are not utilizing it as a desk subsequent to the sofa. Do not consider these individuals. They’re speaking out their backsides. Placement is necessary, and that you must spend slightly little bit of time getting it proper. This isn’t as straightforward as you would possibly assume. Oh positive, you can stick it within the nook of the room, or below your TV set, and also you’ll get an inexpensive quantity of bass. What you gained’t be getting is the timbre of the bass, its traits and coloration. It is like paying rather a lot for an costly meal, and tasting nothing however salt.

Subwoofers are tough on this respect. Bass waves transfer in all instructions, and as quickly as they hit a flat floor (like a wall) they replicate in every single place. Thankfully, there’s a neat trick you should utilize to simplify issues. Put the unit within the place you’d usually sit, then begin taking part in some bass-heavy music by way of it-something like Skrillex or Diplo could be excellent. Now that you must crawl round on the ground (sure, we all know) and discover a spot the place the bass sounds richest. You will have one or two spots to select from on the finish, however these are the spots the place it’s best to conceivably place your sub.

There are additionally loads of shops that provide devoted on-line system builders, which can allow you to plug within the dimension of your room and enable you wonderful tune placement. SVS has an excellent one.

Subwoofer Controls | The Master Switch

Setting Up Your Subwoofer

Often subs are easy to arrange. Plug an RCA cable (be sure to have one lengthy sufficient) into the line-in port at the back of the sub, and to the subwoofer out in your receiver or amplifier. All that’s left to do then is join the ability cable. OK: typically it’s slightly extra sophisticated than that, an element which largely relies on the rear panel of your subwoofer. The costlier mannequin is, the extra seemingly it’s going to include a wide range of switches and controls that allow you to modify issues at supply.

Let’s deal with a couple of of those. In case you see a quantity knob on the again of your subwoofer – one thing that’s uncommon however not exceptional – set it at about midway. You’ll be able to modify it later, however you’ll be calibrating your sub to get the perfect sound, and the twelve o’clock place is the place you need to preserve it for now. You may additionally see a change or setting labelled part. The best rationalization for this explicit setting is that a number of audio system sound higher collectively when their drivers are transferring “in part” – as in, in sync with each other. The kicker is that it’s usually fairly troublesome to determine should you’ve set the part appropriately (part is nearly at all times accessible in two settings, 0° or 180°). It’s essential to spend a while sitting in your listening place, listening to one thing with lots of bass content material, then flipping settings and listening to the identical factor. With out placing too wonderful a degree on it, one ought to sound “proper”. In case you can’t hear a distinction, or each sound okay, then our recommendation is: don’t stress. Decide one setting, and go away it there. You’ll be able to at all times change it again later. You might also have varied different ports on the again of your subwoofer, comparable to speaker outputs. For these, we’re going to advocate that you just seek the advice of your subwoofer’s handbook. Each sub is completely different, and we don’t need to give particular pointers right here.

Setting the crossover on the A/V receiver is super-important for good sub sound | The Master Switch

Subwoofer Crossover Defined

Welcome to the only most necessary factor you are able to do to make your subwoofer sound higher. As you have most likely found out by now, a subwoofer is designed to deal with the low frequencies. However as well-designed as your speaker system is, it’s not truly sentient. It doesn’t know the place these low frequencies start. There’s an enormous vary the place they happen, and till you inform it otherwise, your speaker system could also be diverting among the low-frequency info in your sound to your encompass or entrance audio system – info that may be much better dealt with by your sub. Adjusting that time – the frequency beneath which all sound is distributed to your sub – known as adjusting the crossover level.

Often, the crossover is ready utilizing the on-screen setup to your AV receiver. It ought to will let you decide a specific frequency with out an excessive amount of bother. To seek out the perfect frequency, what that you must do is go and take a look at the specs for the opposite audio system in your system. Each speaker has a frequency vary it could actually comfortably reproduce. Whereas they’re fully ineffective when making a shopping for choice (one thing we’ve defined intimately right here) they’re very useful for figuring out the crossover – which is why we have included them in our comparability desk, above.

Let’s say you’ve received a set of audio system with a frequency vary of 100Hz – 20kHz. Meaning your crossover level is 100Hz – that’s the purpose at which the audio system will cease with the ability to produce sound, which is the place that you must deliver your subwoofer thundering within the fill the gaps. When you’ve set the crossover (and run your receiver’s room calibration software program, if it has any), there’s one very last thing that you must do. Begin taking part in a tune with lots of bass content material, at an inexpensive quantity, by way of your system. Decrease the subwoofer quantity till you’ll be able to simply barely hear the bass. Then, very slowly, begin to flip it up till the bass is at a cushty however not overpowering stage. Congratulations, you’ve successfully matched your subwoofer together with your speaker system, and regardless of how loud you flip up the general quantity, the bass won’t overpower the opposite audio system. Keep in mind: wall-shaking bass is all properly and good, however the important thing right here is synergy. You need an total sound that’s wealthy, highly effective, and deep, with out being uncomfortable. Setting the crossover and the amount is one of the best ways to attain that.

Down-firing subwoofers have a different sound signature | The Master Switch

Utilizing Extra Than One Subwoofer

In case you assume the bass is sweet with one unit, then would not it’s higher with two? Or 4? The reply is sure, in fact it will, however you additionally run the chance of distortion, or just overwhelming the opposite sounds within the combine. In case you do need to do this, and have gotten the money to throw round, then a unit in every nook of the room (though not up in opposition to the partitions, please) will blow your thoughts.

Nevertheless it definitely is not important, and should you make the suitable decide, you will have one thing you will love. Frankly, we’ll take that over spending an enormous sum of money on a number of variations of the identical factor, simply to provide infinite bass. Until you actually, actually need to annoy your neighbours. Otherwise you reside in the midst of nowhere.

Subwoofer DIY Defined

One of the crucial widespread enquiries we get is whether or not we’ll ever function DIY subwoofers on The Grasp Change. The builders of those subs contend – probably with some benefit – that their creations will simply outdo these made by among the firms on our listing. Our response is that it’s extremely troublesome for us to evaluate a DIY sub – whereas it makes a enjoyable learn, and we love listening to them, it isn’t very helpful for a reader who then decides to purchase it!

Nevertheless, we do acknowledge that DIY subwoofers are an enormous market, and people who construct their very own spend a staggering period of time getting it proper. There are millions of boards, subreddits, and different websites the place builders put up their work, and you may usually see DIY builders at audio exhibits. Hell, Dayton Audio even provide a primary starter cupboard, for these simply entering into it.

Not like many different audio system, subwoofer is relatively straightforward, and it makes a fantastic undertaking should you’re simply getting began on the planet of DIY audio. The parts will be sourced from comparatively little outlay, and you do not want an enormous quantity {of electrical} data in an effort to construct one thing you will be happy with. Whereas we are going to say that we aren’t actually the suitable website to seek out info on this, there is a wealth of data on the market. In case you get began, and you are not an enormous ass-hat, you will rapidly end up making associates locally.

Again To Our Prime Subwoofer Picks Again To Our Comparability Desk

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