We have compiled a list of the 6 best budget subwoofers. All of these subs have a price tag of less than $100. Cheap does not have to mean poor quality though, and we have made sure to help you get the most bang for your buck when purchasing a budget subwoofer.
Our top pick is the Polk Audio PSW10. This sub has an immaculate tight sound and has auto on/off when not in use to save power as well as, phasing, low pass filter and volume knob meaning it’s packed full of features. This sub is also one of the most attractive of the list with a unique multicoloured cabinet.
Wattage: 50W Woofer Size (inches): 10” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 40-160 Hz
What we like:Compact, two-tone design, auto on/off.
Not so much:Tight crossover space, the port can rattle at high volumes, underpowered.
The PSW10 is the smallest subwoofer offering from Polk Audio. It sounds great with a clean and tight sound that rivals the larger units from Polk. Rated at 50w RMS for amplification it can sometimes be a little too easy to push the 10” polymer-composite dynamic-balance cone driver on this sub too hard.
You will maintain a quality sound through the response range of 35hz to 200hz but when it is driven to high volume there can be a little rattle from the bass port. This is only noticed when really pushing the subwoofer to its limits which should not be very often under normal circumstances.
This sub comes with a black oak vinyl wrapped MDF cabinet with either a silver or black front which houses the front-firing driver and bass port. There are internal bracings in the cabinet to help prevent unwanted vibrations.
It is an all-round quality unit that we think is very hard to match in this price range. It is worth noting that there is another version called the PSW108. This is essentially the same sub but costs more, so make sure you pick up the PSW10 to not throw money away.
Wattage: 80W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 40-140 Hz
What we like:Downward firing flared bass port, RCA inputs, great sound
Not so much:Grille is fixed, small driver not suitable for large rooms, underpowered
The Dayton Audio SUB range is available from the 800 to 1500 with the 800 being the smallest and using an 8” heavy-duty, long-throw woofer.
This makes the SUB-800 the perfect addition to a smaller room when compared to the larger subwoofers in the Dayton Audio line of subs. The SUB-800 is powered by an 80w RMS amplifier which is larger than the 50w of our top pick the PSW10.
Despite this, it has the same downfall of the PSW10 of being a little underpowered for a large room but is perfect for a home theatre system that doesn’t need to shake the walls with every explosion during a film. You can still feel the presence of the bass in your body when driven to high volumes though.
The cabinet has sleek rounded edges and an all-black design and the driver is mounted to the front of the cabinet while the bass port faces down. This allows for more air to move through the sub and provides a clear and tight sound for this speaker’s 40Hz – 140Hz frequency range.
The small 8” driver helps to prevent an overly boomy sound that can sometimes be experienced in subwoofers with larger speakers.
Wattage: 150W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Down Frequency Response: 26-250 Hz
What we like:No distortion, wide frequency range, 150w RMS
Not so much:n-firing driver in unprotected, low-quality cables, no on/off switch
The PSW-8 subwoofer from Acoustic Audio is another hot contender in the <$100 price range for subwoofers.
It has a whopping 150w of power from its amplifier which means it can be pushed louder than many other budget subwoofers. All this power seems a little over the top to be used with an 8” driver though and although it will get loud you may not get that real thud experienced by subs with larger drivers.
The PSW-8 covers a frequency range of 26Hz-250 Hz which is reasonably broad even if you were to spend a little more than $100 on a more expensive sub. The cabinet of this speaker is a plain black box which could easily be mistaken for furniture as the driver and port are both down-firing.
There is no grille on the driver and the cables seem a little cheap so you must be careful when moving or originally installing this sub.
The sound coming from this sub is amazing for the price you pay and could be an option if you like to have your bass frequencies very loud while watching films or listening to music.
Wattage: 60W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 50-250 Hz
What we like:Heat-sink, tunable crossover, auto standby
Not so much:Boring design, few extra features, 50Hz lowest frequency response
Even in the sub $100 price range the Monoprice 8” subwoofer is cheap and what comes with its minuscule price is a lack of features. However, if you are after a simple plug and play subwoofer than this could be the one for you.
It features a front-firing driver and port powered by a 60w amplifier which is a little more than the Polk Audio PSW-10 but you won’t feel like it is as the presence from the PSW-10 is more abundant.
Like the others on our list, this offering from Monoprice is built from anti-resonant MDF and wrapped in vinyl but doesn’t really flaunt any originality in its design, but that could suit your decor if you are after something unimpactful in appearance.
This sub offers a frequency range of 50 Hz – 250 Hz which does not dip as low as others on this list which means you could be sacrificing a little of your true bottom end. That being said, the frequencies that are represented in this speaker are clear and this sub is well worth its cost.
Wattage: 50W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Side Frequency Response: 28-200 Hz
What we like:Attractive design, sounds great, huge frequency response range
Not so much:Underpowered, side-firing port could be awkward, no built-in frequency control
Yamaha is a trusted brand across many industries from electric pianos and music gear to home theatre and even motorbikes. They are known for producing quality items at a low cost to consumers and the NS-SW050 subwoofer fits that ethos.
This sub is one of the most attractive in this price range with its recessed grille housing the 8” driver at the front of the cabinet and side-firing bass port in the right side of the box.
This sub has the same strength amplifier as the PSW-10 at 50w meaning this sub is great for filling out lower frequencies but not so great for getting to window shattering volumes.
This sub is lacking some of the controls available on some of the other subs on our list including a lo-pass filter and built-in frequency control. This sub does sound great though with a frequency response range of 28hz-200hz it can take care of most of the low frequencies music or movies can throw at it.
Wattage: 40W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 50-150 Hz
What we like:Phase control, adjustable volume, internal bracing
Not so much:Looks cheap, 50hz is the lowest compatible frequency, 40w RMS
With just 40w RMS of power coming from its inbuilt amplifier the Sonart 8” subwoofer is the lowest rated of those on our list although it is marketed as 200w, this is its peak power and is less comparable than the RMS power.
It may not be particularly loud but this sub does sound precise and clean. This sub has a unique design feature to others on this list with its rear-firing bass port to its front-facing driver.
This feature allows direct bass frequencies to be heard through the driver in conjunction with the bass port to use the acoustics of the room to enhance the listening experience.
This sub comes with RCA in/out as well as high level in/out, volume control, frequency control, phase and auto on/off so it is packed with features for the price. It looks very boxy and basic and does not come with a grille to protect the driver so you may want to have it hidden in your home theatre system.
What can I get for $100?
In terms of the potential cost of audio gear inclusive of subwoofers, $100 is just a drop in the ocean. That is not to say that you won’t be able to find a decent unit for less than that.
You may have to sacrifice a few things when purchasing in this price range such as the power of the amplifier, as it is rare for a budget sub to be powered by anything more than 100w.
If you plan on hosting a lot of raging parties or you have a huge media room you will probably need to go for a higher-powered and more expensive sub but 100w RMS is definitely enough for most uses.
Most cabinets for subs that you come across in this price range will be built from MDF and covered in vinyl but the same is true for many speakers that are much more expensive. MDF is a perfectly reasonable construction material for speakers and provides enough stability to minimise unwanted vibration from your subwoofer.
You can often miss out on the lowest of the lows with a budget subwoofer as more expensive units are capable of reaching a much lower frequency. This will hardly be noticeable in a home theatre set up or for casual music listening.
Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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