There is a huge market for subwoofers in the $300 price range and our pick of the many we have reviewed is the Polk Audio PSW505. It has a beautiful real wood veneer that differentiates it from other subs vinyl wrapped cabinets.
This sub has also proved to be a full and tight sounding unit with a robust 12” long-throw woofer driving the bass. We have compiled a list of the competition so you can compare for yourself and find a subwoofer that suits your needs.
Wattage: 300W Woofer Size (inches): 12” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 23-160 Hz
What we like:Real wood veneer cabinet, tight bass response, sturdy construction
Not so much:Heavy (56lb), large, muddy in the lowest compatible frequencies
The Polk Audio PSW505 (full review) is a popular option among home theatre enthusiasts as it has a reputation for being able to produce great quality room-shaking bass.
This is due to its 300w RMS amplifier coupled with a 12” high excursion polymer composite cone driver. This driver is front-firing and is paired with slot styled ports at the bottom in the back of the cabinet.
It has an impressive low reaching frequency response range of 23Hz – 160Hz. While overall this sub sounds very full and tight, you can expect that the lowest of these frequencies will be a little less clear than the rest of this subs capable range.
This sub is big, solid and, heavy, weighing in at 56lb so you won’t want to move it around a lot. Some great design features of this sub are that it has real wood veneers and it is magnetically shielded to protect from interference with other electronics in your house.
Wattage: 250W Woofer Size (inches): 12” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 22-200 Hz
What we like:Dual front-facing ports, attractive and sturdy build, gold plated terminals
Not so much:No magnetic shielding, too powerful for small spaces, large cabinet
BIC produces some of the best budget subwoofers for residential use on the market and the PL-200 II is one of those speakers.
It looks great with its metallic-appearing, front-firing 12” poly-injected long-throw woofer and dual flared front ports. In lieu of vinyl or laminate, this sub comes with hand-rubbed lacquer on some of its surfaces which provides a unique aesthetic.
Much like our top pick, the cabinet for the BIC PL-200 II is quite large and heavy at around 45lb but it does not have magnetic shielding so you must keep that in mind when finding the perfect spot for the Pl-200 II to live. The sound coming from this sub is huge yet tight and can be driven to high volumes of up to 110db using its 250w continuous power amplifier making it not perfectly suited for smaller rooms but amazing in larger spaces.
It features gold plated terminal connections which are a nice touch at this price point that we don’t see very often.
Wattage: 150W Woofer Size (inches): 10” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 32-120 Hz
What we like:Solid bass, more compact than our top 2 picks, solid build
Not so much:Less powerful than others in this price range, plain cabinet, less compatible with other brands
You can’t really go wrong with Klipsch speakers, they have been around forever and are a trusted brand. If you already own Klipsch bookshelf or loudspeakers then we believe this sub is a perfect accompaniment to your hi-fi system.
In terms of appearance and sound, this sub screams “Klipsch” with an amber-colored metallic 10” driver and punchy tone. The amplifier in this sub is rated at 150w RMS which makes it less powerful than our top pick but this sub is also less bulky so it may suit a person with space constraints or a smaller room.
The bass port on this sub is flared and rear-firing so you can compensate for the smaller amplifier by using the room to increase reverberation easily.
This sub covers a response range of 32Hz – 120Hz which is plenty enough to cover most home theatre or hi-fi needs and is low enough to get a nice rumble from explosions while watching films.
Wattage: 100W Woofer Size (inches): 10” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 30-120 Hz
What we like:Attractive design, built-in controls, no noise at high volumes
Not so much:10” driver, touchy auto-on feature, inferior to its similar 12” model
The HTS 10 is another quality offering from Polk Audio and is arguably more attractive and elegant than our top pick.
It has modern styling with a downward-firing bass port to accompany its 10” front-firing poly-propylene driver. What stands out about its design compared to its competitors is the bass port is actually part of the base that the rest of the cabinet stands on, it looks amazing and provides a high-quality unique sound.
It comes with an auto-on feature but sometimes you need to pump the volume first to get the sub to turn on. This sub is powered by a 100w amplifier so it is a little less powerful than others in this price range with similar-sized drivers but is still capable of a decent frequency response range of 30Hz – 120Hz.
The HTS 10 is a quality subwoofer in its own right but is dwarfed in specs by the HTS 12 which has a bigger driver and a more powerful amplifier. However, you would have to be willing to break the $300 budget to afford one of those so we believe the HTS 10 is still a great choice if you want to save some money.
Wattage: 200W Woofer Size (inches): 12” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 29-120 Hz
What we like:Wireless, crossover and phase control, spun copper woofer
Not so much:No option for wired output, best paired with other Klipsch products, boxy cabinet
A wireless subwoofer with Klipsch quality sound and design. What more could we ask for? This sub is ported at the rear with a flared bass port and has a front-firing 12” copper spun driver which provides the Klipsch aesthetic appeal and typical tone you would expect.
This subwoofer has 200w of continuous power from its amplifier which we think is pretty impressive for a wireless speaker. The wireless communication in this sub is 2.4Ghz so you can expect to have a solid connection with no noticeable lag.
The wireless capabilities of this sub make it incredibly easy to place as long as there is a power source nearby as there is no built-in battery. This sub is best paired with your other Klipsch speakers but will feel at home amongst almost any hi-fi setup as the crossover controls help to create the perfect atmosphere for any room.
Wattage: 150W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Side Frequency Response: 20-150 Hz
What we like:Slim design, great response for its small size, side port perfect for small spaces
Not so much:8” driver, lacks punch in lower frequencies, only available in black
The ProSub 800 from Definitive Technology comes with a slender cabinet at just over 10” wide which we think that when coupled with its side-firing port makes it perfect for a front-of-the-room set up where space is limited.
This sub also boasts amazing specs for a unit with only an 8” front-firing driver. The ProSub 800 can get as low as 20hz in frequency but as you could expect from a smaller driver it loses some of the punch it can achieve in its higher compatible frequencies, which can reach as high as 150Hz.
It is powered by a whopping 300w of RMS power so you don’t have to worry about this slim sub not being able to rattle your windows if that is what you are after.
This sub is not going to blow any minds with its appearance but will fit in with most hi-fi equipment and is worth its weight for the quality and loud sound you get from it.
Wattage: 50W Woofer Size (inches): 5.25” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 39-150 Hz
What we like:Compact size, portable, USB power option
Not so much: Performs best with its paired speakers, their sound is dwarfed by larger speakers in our top list, 50w RMS
With a front-firing driver that is just 5.25” and powered by a 50w RMS amplifier, the PSB SubSeries 100 is the smallest subwoofer in our best under $300 list and is a great quality sub, but, more of a niche buy.
This sub is simply not as thunderous as the bigger subs on our list but still produces a huge kick for something so small. It can also be USB powered which makes it more portable and perfect for desktop or laptop computer use.
It has been specifically designed to accompany desktop speakers and sounds best with a pair of PSB PS1 speakers which can be purchased as a package.
This tiny sub has a frequency response range of 39Hz – 150Hz which is a little limited compared to the larger subs for a similar price but this little guy really is a quality unit if it suits your specific needs.
Wattage: 125W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 35-175 Hz
What we like:Modern styling, compact, cut-off frequency knob
Not so much:8” driver, paper-cone driver, no bass port
This is another quality subwoofer that provides clear and present bass driven by an 8” paper cone woofer.
The driver sounds great but a little flat compared to the fancier driver materials from some other offerings in the less than $300 range.
With a frequency range of 35Hz – 175Hz the soundscape is also a little limited compared to others but the frequencies accounted for sound great and powered by 125w of continuous power can provide a real present thump.
This sub is lacking a bass port to accompany its front-firing driver so you miss out on some resonation in the far lows. The style of this sub may appeal to many potential buyers with its rounded edges and brushed matte painted exterior which is available in both white or black.
This is a wonderful sub but is just a little behind the competition such as our top pick the PSW-505.
Wattage: 70W Woofer Size (inches): 8” Firing Direction: Front Frequency Response: 34-150 Hz
What we like:Dual rear-firing bass ports, phase switch, Auto-on/off
Not so much:Underpowered, boxy cabinet, spiked feet not ideal for hardwood floors
The Cambridge Audio SX-120 is another compact styled subwoofer with a front-firing 8” subwoofer.
It has an amplifier that is rated at 70w RMS which is not as powerful as some others on our top list but could be a nice go-between if you are after something modest but a little bit more present than the super small PSB SubSeries 100.
The SX-120 comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from this quality brand such as an auto-on feature, phase switch and crossover control. It has a great sound with a tight bass response in the frequency range of 34Hz – 150Hz.
The dual rear-firing bass ports help to produce a vibration-free thumping bass that sounds clear and present. The cabinet for this sub is a little boxy and boring but comes wrapped in a variety of colored wood grains to suit your decor.
What can I expect from under $300 subwoofers?
If you’re looking to spend around $300 on a subwoofer you’ve reached the top of the market for budget residential subs and can see substantial improvement from subs that cost less than $200.
You will find that most subs in this price range have powerful amplifiers of above 150w RMS as well as a slew of other features you might not find in cheaper subwoofers such as extra inputs and magnetic shielding.
Many subs in this price range will also have drivers that are at least 12” and can provide a big bass presence that you can feel in your chest when it thumps. To accommodate this, many subwoofers at this price point are significantly larger than cheaper subs, in fact, many of these models are like the ‘big brother’ of some cheaper subwoofers with similar designs but with bigger drivers and amplifiers.
In our list of the best subwoofers under $300, we have tried to incorporate a range of subwoofers that suit a variety of different consumer needs so you’ll be sure to find something that suits your home theatre or hi-fi setup.
Last update on 2021-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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