Best Subwoofer Brand For Home Theater Types
Subwoofer manufacturers try to be all things to all people. They make small subs for small rooms, big subs for bigger rooms, and fancy subs for people trying to hide their subs from their significant others. So, when people ask us about which subwoofer to buy, we have a lot of questions. The size of room, the use, and how the sub will fit in with the rest of the decor to name a few. And while most brands will make a subwoofer for just about any situation, we tend to gravitate towards some manufacturers over others depending on the home theater type. And here they are, in no particular order.
When Size is Paramount
Too often, when people are shopping for subwoofers, they are worried first and foremost about size. They want the smallest possible box because they just don’t see how they can fit a massive subwoofer into their room. Of course, when the room is very large, a small subwoofer just won’t put out the bass you need to fill it. But that’s not what is important to them. They want small.
There are plenty of small subwoofers out there, many of which have glowing reviews on Amazon and other places. Don’t believe them. These people have only owned one box that they call a subwoofer, and the $100 purchase they made sounds good to them because they don’t know any better. Our favorite small subwoofer comes from SVS, the brand that we often recommend for home theater regardless of type. The SVS 3000 Micro isn’t an inexpensive subwoofer at $900 retail, but it is a great performer. It will extend well past any other sub of the same size at a price point and comes in white as well as black. It has app control, tons of output, and legendary SVS customer service.
If you want something even smaller and have the money to burn, look at the KEF KC62 subwoofer. This tiny sub packs a lot of punch from a very tiny package. It too comes in white to help blend into your decor. At $1500 a pop, it isn’t cheap but it is a solid performer.
Small Footprint in Larger Rooms
If you have a large room, but very little space for a subwoofer, we’ve got options for you. Often, these are the types of home theaters that have a lot of space in the room, but very restricted placements for subwoofers. When you are looking for something like that, you often need something that is taller than it is any other dimension.
While the SVS 3000 Micro we mentioned above is a decent choice, we’d steer you towards the cylinder options from SVS. The PC-2000 Pro ($1099) and PC-4000 ($2199) subwoofers have immense output but take up very little floor space. Sure, they are tall cylinders, but you can easily drape an acoustically transparent cloth over the top of them and turn them into a stand for a plant or a picture.
If you are looking for other subwoofer brand options that maybe have more traditional shapes, we’ve got a couple that might work for your home theater type. Check out RSL’s Speedwoofer 10s ($399 when it is in stock). It is larger than the SVS 3000 Micro but costs less than half. It doesn’t have the high-end finish of the 3000 Micro but it also isn’t a tall cylinder sticking out in your room. At this price point, it is one of the best subwoofers in its class. It is just really hard to find it in stock.
The second is the ULS-15 Mk2 from HSU Research. This 18″ cube (a little bigger with the feet attached) is larger than the others but has tremendous output. It also has a rosewood finish option for those that want something a little fancier.
When Cost is the Biggest Object
Bang for buck is a serious consideration. No matter what type of home theater enthusiast you are, getting a good deal on a subwoofer or other brand speaker feels good. But for some people, their wallet has more to do with their purchases than anything else. Sure, they’d love to buy the pretty speakers that sound great, but they’ll take the ugly ones that sound just as good if they cost less.
Well, we don’t really have any ugly options on our list, but if you want inexpensive, look no further than Monoprice. Their Monolith line of subwoofers has recently undercut all the competition when it comes to price. You can get a ton of performance for very little money. The tradeoff? The Monolith subs are big and they are heavy. Constructed out of HDF, the smallest sub weighs in at 72lbs. But these subwoofers have THX certification which means you can easily match them to your room size. If you are looking for the cost-is-the-biggest-object subwoofer out there, these are them.
Now, if you are a little more handy, you can also look to Dayton Audio. They have subwoofer kits that you can put together for a steep discount. Now, they are not small, and they are not pretty, but they do pack a lot of performance in for the price. You’ll just have to either live with raw MDF on display or figure out a way to finish them yourself. There are lots of people out there that love these subs and will point you in the direction of tutorials so you won’t be alone.
Large Room, Large Output
If you are the type of home theater nut that wants a subwoofer brand that will fill your huge room with bass, you’ve got lots of options. SVS and HSU Research have options for you but so does just about everyone else. But when you really want a lot of output, we look to two companies – Power Sound Audio and Rhythmik.
Power Sound Audio and Rythmik have a large array of subwoofers. But one thing they don’t do is small. If you really need a lot of output, these are the companies to look at. No matter the size of your room, these companies will have something you want. If you are looking for insane output and you don’t care what the subwoofer looks like, Power Sound Audio is for you. They have many offerings that come only in a textured black finish (think truck bed lining). No matter the size of your room, they can fill it with bass.
Rythmik has many subwoofer offerings as well, but they also offer finish options. They have a matte finish and black oak vinyl wrap on nearly all their subwoofers and some have the option of a piano gloss. They have a couple of smaller options for you that Power Sound Audio doesn’t but Power Sound Audio has some larger options that Rythmik can’t match. Between the two, you should find the perfect subwoofer for your large room.
Cost Is No Object
If you are looking for the very best of the best and cost isn’t an object, look no further than JL Audio. The brand may be best known for car audio, they have a home theater subwoofer for any room size or type. They have small, powerful offerings and massive, even more powerful subwoofers. The one thing they don’t do? Budget. They have the quality and they are betting you are willing to pay for it. But pound for pound, you are getting a subwoofer that has as much output and extension of any of the other brands on this list in a smaller, lighter enclosure.
Our only caveat is that we are not a fan of the Dominion line. They are the smallest and least expensive, but they are outperformed by the small subs we’ve listed above. The E-Subs are okay, but we’d recommend sticking to the Fathom line or Gotham (if you can afford it). These are where you really get a great-looking, and sounding, subwoofer.
For more information, check out JLAudio.com.
Do you have a favorite subwoofer that we didn’t mention? Tell us in the comments and we’ll take a closer look!