Best Budget Subwoofer For Home Theater, Car, Etc: Reviews & Buying Guide

Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by Editor Futurescope

Do your home or car speakers produce dull sounds that lack the ambiance required to keep you entertained? If yes, it is time to elevate your listening experience by investing in a good cheap subwoofer.

Subs help your annoying audio system to produce three-dimensional audios with excellent realism and depth. They make your ordinary speakers sound like those used in clubs, movie theaters, and other entertainment joints.

Notwithstanding, finding a good inexpensive sub can be an arduous task. For that reason, we have scrutinized some of the best models that money can buy. Also, we have highlighted some specs that would help you isolate the right sub from the many models sold in shops.

Best Budget subwoofer to purchase

Polk Audio subwoofer measures 11 inches wide, 13 inches long, and it stands 12 inches tall. The compact size makes it a suitable choice for music lovers who dislike bulky audio systems, as well as those who want a sub that can fit into their overcrowded room. Its matte black finish blends well with your upholstery and interior décor.

Just like any other subwoofer from Polk, Polk Audio PSW111 utilizes innovative sound and engineering technologies to deliver an audio quality that you would hardly get from competitor models.

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What we like
  • Compact size
  • 300 watts amp
  • Sound does not distort at extreme volume
  • Utilizes 8-inch drivers
  • Works with most audio systems
What we don’t like
  • Quite costly

It utilizes on-point speaker geometry and a down-firing port to pump bass evenly across your entire room. Therefore, you can position your bass system at any location and still enjoy the depth it pumps.

In addition to the on-point speaker geometry, Polk Audio PSW111 uses an innovative circuitry to minimize sound distortion, as well as deliver a balanced deep bass. Its sound clarity doesn’t distort at extreme volume.

This best budget subwoofer for home theater comes equipped with a 300-watt intelligent amplifier to intensify your music or video’s low frequencies without altering the original sound quality. Its Klippel Distortion analyzer ensures that your system operates at optimal performance always.

Polk’s engineers equipped this subwoofer with all the speaker level inputs that you would need to connect it to your home’s speakers. You will not need to spend more dollars to purchase the inputs.

This subwoofer uses power-efficient components to run. As such, you would not have to raise your electricity bills to keep your living space lively.  We would recommend it to audiophiles who care about energy conservation. 

While the bass system sounds like an ideal investment for audiophiles who are looking to upgrade their sound system, it might not be the right gadget for those who are looking to use the sub in large rooms or halls.

Polk Audio PSW505 stands as the most potent bass system in Polk’s subwoofer lineup. It uses a powerful amp, a large 12-inch driver, and other groundbreaking technologies to deliver solid blasts with utter precision. One of best subwoofer for music only who loves listening music.

Its black-colored wooden enclosure lasts long, and it looks great in your interior. Moreover, the cabinetry absorbs excessive vibrations and other echoes that would compromise the unit’s audio output.

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What we like
  • Uses 12-inch drivers
  • Driven by a 460-watt amp
  • Delivers excellent bass
  • Easy to install
  • Provides non-directional sound
What we don’t like
  • Relatively expensive
  • Bit weight & bulky

Why does it rank up as the most potent bass system in Polk’s lineup? It uses a 12-inch dynamic driver to deliver a well-balanced deep and powerful bass. The large size driver makes it an ideal mate for those who need to breathe a new life to their music or videos. In fact, PSW505 keeps the manufacturer’s promise of making your movie nights unforgettable.

In addition to the large size driver, this affordable subwoofer uses a 460-watt amp to deliver a 360 degree sound quality even at the highest volume. It is louder than the competitors with a low watt amp.

In the past, some users complained that the amp shorted within a few years of use. To address the issue, Polk’s engineers equipped the subwoofer with an auto on/off circuit that powers off your unit whenever it detects a power surge.

Polk PSW505 utilizes advanced electroacoustic and geometric technologies to deliver surround sound capability. As such, you can place it in any corner of your room and still enjoy an expansive, three-dimensional soundstage.

Its Slot Load Venting spices up your unit’s bass response, and it minimizes sound distortion when playing music at high levels. It delivers an awe-inspiring perfect bass that would let you enjoy every low-frequency beat in your music or video.

PSW505’s sturdy wooden cabinetry can endure the damaging effect from the speakers’ bass for a prolonged period. Moreover, the cabinet has sturdy non-sliding feet that keep it stable when the sub vibrates.

Many audiophiles cherish Yamaha SW315 for its innovative, patented audio technologies that deliver a fantastic grade of accuracy. It promises to upraise your music listening experience to the next level.

This best subwoofer for music only that utilizes Advanced Active Servo Technology (YST) and QD-Bass expertise to deliver a buffy and accurate bass. The bass maintains its clarity even when playing your music at the highest volume.

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What we like
  • Utilizes a 10-inch driver
  • Uses QD-Bass technology to deliver 3D sound
  • Customizable frequencies
  • Magnetically shielded
  • 20-160 Hz frequency response
  • Equipped with a 250-watt amplifier
What we don’t like
  • Hard to access on/off switch
  • Bass is not so strong

Furthermore, this bass system has a signal sensing circuit, a smart feature that powers on the sub upon detecting an audio signal from your speakers. The circuit powers off your sub automatically when your speakers go off.

Apart from the advanced technologies, Yamaha SW315 uses a down-firing 10-inch driver and a reflective plate to disperse bass evenly in small to large rooms. Therefore, you can just position your sub at any place within your room and still enjoy its accurate bass. Its 250-watt amp provides the sufficient power required by its driver to produce shattering bass effects. 

It has a rotary volume control and bass action Selector for regulating your system’s output according to your audio system’s volume. This feature lets you enjoy each beat that makes up your movies or music.

Yamaha SW315 comes equipped with 3-way terminals that can connect to almost all the conventional home theater systems. As such, you don’t have to modify your audio system or invest in special connectors to enjoy the benefits of this best cheap subwoofer for home.

Design-wise, this subwoofer boasts of an attractive black ash finish that would spice up your interior’s décor. Therefore, you can place it at any conspicuous place without compromising your living space’s aesthetics.

Yamaha SW315’s rigid MDF cabinetry is magnetically shielded. So, it wouldn’t compromise your television’s image quality.

Have you been looking for a subwoofer that can fit into your car’s trunk or one that can operate seamlessly with your small book shelve speakers? If yes, Pioneer TS-SWX2502 would be the bass system you have been searching for.

It measures 55.9 cm long, 40.6 cm wide, and it stands 22.9 centimeters high. This compact size can fit conveniently in your car’s trunk, your crammed room, or any other tight space. The sub’s stylish design saves you from the hurdle of looking for an inconspicuous place to tuck it.

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What we like
  • 20Hz to 125 Hz frequency response
  • Delivers tight bass
  • Compact space-saving size
  • Offers reasonable sound quality
  • Uses a 300-watt amp
  • Ideal for your home or car
What we don’t like
  • Not for use in big rooms/halls
  • Questionable build quality

Pioneer TS-SWX2502 comes equipped with angled push terminals to let you connect it to your car’s speaker or home theater system effortlessly. It is compatible with most speakers used in vehicles and at home.

This best budget subwoofer for car utilizes a 10-inch driver, and a 300-watt amp cemented in a rigid enclosure to deliver a rich-sounding bass. Using it would transform your tuneless speakers to an awe-inspiring sound system that can shake your car with in-depth and accurate acoustic bass.

Moreover, this best budget car subwoofer comes equipped with a large cone to spice up the quality of bass emanating from the unit. The oversized cone minimizes sound distortion, thereby resulting in a clean tight bass.

Due to the compact size, this car subwoofer might not be ideal for music lovers who need a bass system for their medium or large rooms. So, if you are one of those music lovers, we suggest that you get a large sub with large drivers, or you buy two or more Pioneer TS-SWX2502 subs.

On the downside, some audiophiles who have tried this subwoofer claim that its construction feels flimsy. Therefore, you would want to handle it with care just in case you wish to keep it for a reasonable period.

Yamaha YST-SW012 measures 11.4 inches wide and 12.9 inches long. It stands 11.4 inches tall. The compact size can fit under your table, or any other small space in your room. Its black finish blends well with many interior decors.

Yamaha’s audio engineers designed this best affordable subwoofer for car has heavy-duty wood to survive for long. Moreover, the wood fiber absorbs excess vibrations to deliver a clean, powerful, and undistorted bass.

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What we like
  • 28-200 frequency range
  • Uses an 8-inch driver
  • Has a linear port to minimize sound distortion
  • Has a volume control knob to regulate the output
What we don’t like
  • Lacks a crossover and other inputs
  • It is under powered
  • Rambles when playing at extreme volume

On its backside, Yamaha YST- SW012 has a switch to power it on/off, and volume control knob to regulate its output. The keys are not easily accessible, but this should not be a turnoff since it is a standard position used on many subs.

Its front-firing design distributes sound evenly across your room. You can position it at any point in your room and still enjoy the air filling bass sound waves from your favorite music, videos, or even your games.

While you can place it at any point, seasoned audiophiles suggest that you position it in the corner of your room, a shelf, or mount it on a wall surface to get the best out of it. However, this is not mandatory.

Yamaha YST-SW012 uses an 8-inch cone driver and a 100-watt amp to augment the low frequencies from your home theater system. The small driver and underpowered amp make it an ideal bass system for small rooms.

This sub lacks an adjustable crossover and other inputs required to connect it to your existing sound system. As such, you will have to purchase the inputs separately, a significant turn off to music lovers who would not want to spend extra dollars.

Polk Audio PSW10 subwoofer uses innovative sound technologies and the state of the art engineering prowess to deliver a perfect bass for your standard size room. You may need two or more similar subs if you wish to use it in a larger room.

The sub utilizes Klippel Measurement, an innovative engineering technology that aligns the sub’s drive, motor, and voice coils to deliver a clean bass. Furthermore, the innovative tech minimizes sound distortion even when playing music or watching videos at the highest volume.

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What we like
  • Uses a 10-inch dynamic driver
  • Compatible with many sound systems
  • 40-160 Hz frequency
  • Loud bass
  • Sound doesn’t distort at maximum volume
What we don’t like
  • Underpowered
  • Not magnetically shielded
  • Lacks an LFE channel input

Its enclosure dampens excessive vibrations, and it eliminates other sound- distorting resonances to deliver accurate low frequencies. The cabinet has a specially tuned port to spice up the quality of bass emanating from this unit. It measures 14.5 inches long, 14 inches wide, and it stands 15 inches high.

The enclosure is polished with black and silver accents to give you the confidence you need to display the bass system on a salient point. It blends well with most upholstery and interior decors.

It has a smart sensor that turns your unit off when there are fluctuations in power supply, and on when the power supply is stabilized. This feature protects your unit from unexpected power surges.

Polk Audio PSW10 features a unique design that keeps your sub stable when playing at high volume. Besides the unique stable design, this subwoofer has four rubberized non-slid feet to keep it intact on your floor, shelf, or table.

PSW10 subwoofer comes furnished with a 10-inch dynamic driver that adds enough depth to your audios, and a 100-watt amplifier to deliver adequate volume to fill up small to medium size rooms. However, if you have a big room, this sub might not be an ideal fit for you.

On the downside, this sub lacks a magnetic shield. For that reason, it might interfere with your television or CRT if placed nearby. However, this should not be a big deal if you have enough space to store your bass system and TV separately.

Have you been looking for a bass system that would spice up your Echo speakers’ audio quality? If yes, the Amazon Echo sub would be the most appropriate best cheap subwoofer for car. It was specially designed to boost the Echo speaker’s low frequencies.

The sub boasts of a unique cylindrical shape that would occupy little space on your desk, shelf, or any other crammed place. It comes in black, twilight blue, Heather grey, charcoal, and sandstone finishes to enable you to invest in a finish that blends well with your interior.

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What we like
  • Comes in 5 color variations
  • Unique cylindrical shape
  • Works with Alexa
  • Easy to set up
  • Compact size
  • Auto power switch
What we don’t like
  • Its bass can be overpowering in some music
  • Only compatible with echo speakers

Unlike the conventional subs with physical buttons, this new generation model lets you control it using your voice. This feature gives you the freedom to regulate its volume or switch it on/off from the comfort of your sofa.

Amazon Echo Sub utilizes a 6-inch driver powered by a 100-watt down-firing amp. It delivers a rich surround bass that can fill up small to medium rooms. You can position it at any point in your room and still enjoy the rich bass.

This best cheap subwoofer for home uses smart sensors to self-adjust its volume according to your Echo speakers’ output. While the intelligent function works efficiently, some users who have tried the sub complain that its bass can at times overpower your speakers’ audio output.

Unlike the subs which work with any audio system, Amazon Echo Sub works specifically with Echo speakers. Some of the speakers that can pair up with this bass system include; Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Amazon Echo.

Echo Sub doesn’t connect to your audio system using wires. Instead, it connects wirelessly using the Alexa app. You power it up, open your Alexa app, and connect it with your network. Afterward, pair it up with your Echo speakers and enjoy your music.

Factors to help you purchase the best subwoofer for music only

  • Type of enclosure

The type of enclosure used on a subwoofer plays a significant role in eon sound output. Subs with sealed enclosures deliver an accurate, tight bass. Those with ported casings produce a high volume, with less-accurate bass.

  • Size of the subwoofer

Bigger subwoofers offer a punchier bass than compact-sized models. On the other hand, compact subs offer a rich-sounding bass than their large-sized counterparts. In most cases, a sub’s overall size depends on the size of the driver used to make up the subwoofer.

  • The amp’s wattage

In general, subwoofers with a high wattage convey a more hard-hitting bass and volume than their counterparts with low wattage. But, you should go for a subwoofer that yields the most appropriate sound for you. Don’t just break your bank to get one with a high wattage amp.

  • Frequency range

The frequency range is another crucial factor to consider when looking for a good sub for your car or home speakers. If you want a subwoofer that can amplify even the lowest frequencies, get one with a high-frequency range.

  • Budget

Subwoofers with large drivers powered by high wattage amps tend to cost more than their counterparts with small drivers driven by low wattage amps. Therefore, if you wish to get a better sub, be ready to spend some extra dollars.  However, if you are on budget, you can always find a sub that falls within your budget.

Our Verdict

Investing in a good subwoofer is a genius way to upgrade your home or car’s audio system. It augments your speakers’ bass and soundstage depth. While the unit is such important, finding a good but affordable sub can be a stressing ordeal.

Are you on that crossroad? If you are, we wrote this honest review to save you from the headache. We have picked and examined some of the best budget subwoofer for car that you can find. Our recommendations deliver an accurate punchy bass, and they suit the needs of diverse audiophiles.

If you wish to upgrade your Echo speakers’ sound quality, get Amazon Echo Sub. Unlike the general-purpose subs, Amazon designed Echo Sub specifically for Echo Speakers. The cylindrical-shaped sub comes in 5 color variations to match most interior decors, and it delivers excellent bass.

Is your car or home crammed? If yes, Pioneer TS-SWX2502 Subwoofer would be your best mate. The Pioneer sub boasts of a compact, space-saving size, which is ideal for your crammed home or car trunk.

Despite the compact size, this best budget car subwoofer delivers a tight bass to keep you entertained while listening to your music or watching your favorite videos. It is stylish enough to display on your shelf or tabletop.

If you need a good cheap subwoofer for a large room, get Polk Audio PSW505. The sub uses a 12-inch driver driven by a 460-watt amp to deliver a hard-hitting bass ideal for medium to large size rooms.

Audiophiles with small-medium size rooms, or those who just need to augment their audio system with moderate levels of bass, can invest in Polk Audio PSW111, Yamaha YST-SW012, Polk Audio PSW10, or Yamaha SW315.

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Founding writer of Futurescope. Nascent futures, foresight, future emerging technology, high-tech and amazing visions of the future change our world. The Future is closer than you think!

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