The best subwoofers give consumers that low end from the movie theater that can only be achieved with a dedicated bass channel. They can also fill in the missing bass element in your stereo system — pair a good subwoofer with some good bookshelf speakers, and you’d got the entire audio spectrum covered.
Luckily there are a lot of manufacturers, like Polk Yamaha, and Definitive Technology that make the best subwoofers affordable to consumers. Here is our round-up of the best subwoofers under $500:
The Bass-Heavy Polk Audio PSW505 Subwoofer
The Polk Audio PSW505 subwoofer is equipped with a 12-inch cone and a MDF enclosure with a one-inch baffle. It features a power saving feature that turns the sub on when it recognizes a signal and then shuts it down after 15 minutes of dormancy. This subwoofer also has a volume switch, phase switch, and it magnetically shielded to prevent any placement issues.
The majority of users at Amazon called this one of the best subwoofers, giving it a five star rating. A couple users mentioned that it’s not as crisp and accurate at some other models, but many also note that it’s quite a subjective aspect. At times it can also lag behind when using certain sources, causing it to cut out, but this is really when it’s being overdriven.
The QD-Bass Equipped Yamaha YST-SW315 Digital Pro Series Subwoofer
The Yamaha YST-SW315 Digital Pro Series Subwoofer utilizes a technology called QD-Bass, which gives this subwoofer a down-firing driver and a pyramid-like shape that reverberates the sound off into four different directions when playing a source. This technology is aimed at allowing more placement options for users. This best subwoofer also includes a volume switch, and a power saving option that shuts it off when not playing a source.
Amazon users love this product, giving it a five star rating on average. One buyer wasn’t pleased with the location of the power switch being on the back of the cabinet, though keeping it in the power saving mode really prevents users from having to utilize this switch at all. A couple of buyers also mentioned that it’s not the most powerful subwoofer on the market in this price range, but the sound quality is superb.
The ProCinema Definitive Technology ProSub 800 Subwoofer
The Definitive Technology ProSub 800 subwoofer has an eight-inch woofer and a roll-off of 40Hz to 150Hz. It also is equipped with a 300 watt amplifier and an overall frequency response of 20Hz – 150Hz. With a weight of 29 pounds, it’s a solidly built subwoofer that utilizes an eight-inch infrasonic radiator. This subwoofer also includes the company’s BDSS technology that is designed to give users a balanced double surround system.
Buyers love this subwoofer, praising it for its sound quality and crossover. While some users aren’t thrilled with the look and design of the cabinet, it doesn’t take anything away from the overall boom and response from this subwoofer.
The Heavy Duty Mirage Omni-S8
The Mirage Omni-S8 Subwoofer has an eight-inch woofer and uses Mirage’s Ribbed Elliptical Surround feature, which is designed to minimize noise and reverberation. It’s equipped with a high pass filter, a phase knob, and a 400-watt amplifier. The Omni-S8 has a frequency range of 27Hz – 120Hz, and features a down-firing driver.
One of the best subwoofers out there, buyer like its sound quality, durability, and power. Many buyers claim that the sound quality is comparable to much higher priced models, and say the customer service at Mirage is unrivaled. Some buyers have also claimed that the subwoofer is so easy to set up that it takes about five minutes and then it’s set, not requiring any further tweaking down the line.