8 Best Budget Subwoofers To Enjoy Your Music | Reviews & Comparisons

If you’re an addict to sound, you’ll appreciate the wonderful sounds that crawl under your skin and tingle your bones. There’s a myth that building an audio sound system requires a large budget, but that’s not the case.

​Buying Guide

According to CrutchField, a sweet spot for most customers is within the $300 to $500 range. While driving through the audio world can be daunting and stressing, the experience can be pleasant with the right information. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through your troubles and into your first subwoofer purchase.

Come Up With A Budget

Quality shouldn’t always mean breaking your bank, and because there are so many options in the subwoofer market, a budget is very important. For those of us with the cash flow, the sky is the limit. For those that are on the opposite end, finding the best budget subwoofer is quite realistic.

Establish a budget and your comfort level with spending. From there, it becomes much easier to narrow down the subwoofer for your needs.

Do Your Research

There are a number of brands that are power players and research is critical to finding a great value subwoofer for your needs. After you’ve set your budget, narrowing down to a list of brands will be easy.

Pick a brand that’s backed by a loyal customer base. When it comes to sound, audiophiles are very serious so browsing through subwoofer reviews will help your due diligence. An informed buying decision will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Understand Your House Layout

Besides the boring technical jargon, the next most enjoyable thing about buying a subwoofer is taking it back to your house. However, the tricky thing about sound is that it differs for everyone, and placement is very important.

Study your house and make a guess on the best positions for optimal sound. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time but having a good idea is a great start when you begin paying attention to subwoofer designs and quality.

Be Realistic With Your Needs

If you’re not too serious about audio, chances are, anything you purchase will be very satisfying from your perspective. This goes along very well with budgeting and research, and will help prevent you on overspending.

Subwoofers can be easily added later on and should only be an option if your preferences change. Buying too much all at once is a great way to overspend and turns an enjoyable experience into a sour one. Being realistic is perhaps the most useful advice that we can give.


Top Budget Subwoofers to Enjoy

Editor Rating:

4.5/5

If there was one great value subwoofer that we would use over and over again, it would be the Klipsch Sub-12HG. One of the best home subwoofers under 300, we were sent on our way to Klipsch as we read through many subwoofer reviews.

To truly appreciate the Klipsch Sub-12HG, you’ll have to marvel at its beauty from the bottom up. The low octaves that the subwoofer delivers help intensify your listening experience. Its unique hardware is able to increase its bass response via low distortion, while at the same time filling up your room with the rich and deep bass that sends shivers down your bones.

You can adjust the Klipsch Sub-12HG anywhere from a range within 40 to 120 Hz. Its phase control feature allows you to integrate the acoustics of this subwoofer with other audio equipment, thereby enhancing its versatility. It comes pre-installed with an automatic shutoff system when it’s been left idle.

One of the things that we were highly impressed about with the Klipsch Sub-12HG was the music quality. We can express our enthusiasm for the beautifully smooth and deep bass when playing music. Of all the subwoofers we’ve owned in the last several years, the Klipsch Sub-12HG makes our list as the best subwoofer under 300.

We did experience a couple of faults when we started to use the Klipsch Sub-12HG. For one, on a few occasions that we would power it on, we would hear humming sounds in the background. Although it went away after some time, it does occasionally come back. Not a deal breaker but something to note.

When we recommend products, we make sure to cater to a wide variety of audiences. Out of 5 stars, we give the Klipsch Sub-12HG 4.5 stars. It is truly the best budget subwoofer that we’ve owned.

Things We Liked


  • Beautifully rich bass
  • Expertly crafted and designed
  • Sleek modern design
  • High affordable

Things We Didn't Like


  • Occasional humming background noise
  • A hit or miss if not using for music

Editor Rating:

4.5/5

Another good subwoofer for the money that has a special place in our memories is the Polk Audio PSW505. This is one of the earlier subwoofers that we’ve used and we’ve had a great experience with it.

When we started out in the audio game, we wanted to go for an inexpensive subwoofer whenever the opportunity presented itself. We set out to find the best 12 inch subwoofer under 100, and while there were certainly options in the market, we knew that there was no way we’d snag a Polk subwoofer at that price. We bit the bullet and bought the Polk Audio PSW505 anyways, and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made.

The first thing that caught our eyes was the wood veneer finish. The dark, sleek finish captured our attention immediately. Many people don’t know this but the Polk Audio PSW505 is specially designed to eliminate most turbulence, noise, and distortion.

We’ve had better bass with our higher-end subwoofers but the Polk Audio PSW505 is very comparable. Polk subwoofers are simply built better and crafted with better hardware. The Polk Audio PSW505 comes with a 300 watt continuous power amplifier, phase switch, and more.

We’ve had our struggles with the Polk Audio PSW505 and one of those took place after about a year and a half of ownership. The amp went out and we had to get in touch with the manufacturer to have it replaced. Although we had a pleasant customer experience, we were slightly disappointed at how quickly the Polk Audio PSW505 blew its fuse after only a year and a half of use.

Replacing the subwoofer wasn’t a big deal so we felt that this deserved 4.5 stars out of 5. We look for longevity in our audio investments and although customer service was helpful, we couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed when our subwoofer blew out. Regardless, of all the budget subwoofers we’ve tried, we still feel that the Polk Audio PSW505 is the best subwoofer under 200.

Things We Liked


  • Window rattling bass
  • Extremely powerful
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Sexy black design

Things We Didn't Like


  • Terrible warranty
  • May not pair well with other audio devices

Editor Rating:

4.0/5

The next subwoofer on our list is the Pioneer TSSWX2502. If you’ve seen this online before you can easily confuse it for a camera; but it’s not.

For the most part, we’ve discussed about home entertainment system subwoofers but for the Pioneer TSSWX2502, it’s more suited for the back of your car. We figured that while we’re still on the subject, it would be helpful to throw in something slightly different but still relevant.

We weren’t impressed with the audio in our car and decided through the recommendation of a friend to install the Pioneer TSSWX2502. The results were out of this world.

We love using the Pioneer TSSWX2502. Because of this subwoofer, we’ve had the habit of always curating a song list before we take off on a drive. The opportunity was too good to not take advantage of the deep and rich base that the Pioneer TSSWX2502 has to offer.

In addition to the beautiful and fulfilling sound, we want to point out that this thing is a space saver. With all the junk crowding our car already, saving space was incredibly important. We loved this so much that we bought a second one for our minivan.

The Pioneer TSSWX2502 isn’t perfect either. At random moments, we’d notice the bass commonly cutting out whenever we adjusted our volume levels. It didn’t happen often, but during those important moments when all we wanted to do was catch a tune, those minor inconveniences started turning into headaches.

We had a lot of history with the Pioneer TSSWX2502 and we feel that it deserves 4 stars out of 5. It is truly one of the best budget subwoofers in the market and is great for those just starting out.

Things We Liked


  • Top subwoofer under 100
  • Compact and versatile in many cars
  • Smooth and euphoric bass
  • Works well with many amps

Things We Didn't Like


  • May experience minor distortion
  • Does not compare well to better subwoofers

Editor Rating:

4.5/5

Polk makes the top 5 list again with the Polk Audio PSW10. This time, this strong contender comes in a modest 12 inch form factor that’s screaming elegance in its design and weight.

When this first came out back then, it was selling like hot cakes. The community was crazy over the Polk Audio PSW10 because not only was it cheap, but the quality and portability gave it a competitive edge over others. You could not be an audiophile and without owning one of these Polk Audio PSW10s.

We use the Polk Audio PSW10 as our main channel booster and we cannot emphasize any more how well this combination works. The rich, texturized sound that’s produced using this combination is unreal. Not only was it able to play our music with the highest level of clarity, but it also delivers that surround sound experience at the level of a budget subwoofer.

Despite all the positive experiences with the Polk Audio PSW10, we did have a few low points as well. For one, like any budget subwoofer, it’s difficult to compare them to our higher-end products because the difference is just astronomical. We’ve had many issues with the Polk Audio PSW10 where we could hear random hums here and there.

The Polk Audio PSW10 is great, but it’s not perfect. Its flaws are part of the reason for its affordable price point, however, we would still highly recommend this subwoofer in a heartbeat without hesitation.

The Polk Audio PSW10 has been one of the greatest budget subwoofer experiences that we’ve had. It does well for its intended purpose at a price that anyone can afford. The Polk Audio PSW10 deserves 4.5 stars out of 5.

Things We Liked


  • Great bang for your buck
  • Professional quality subwoofer
  • Pairs well with gamer speakers
  • Powerful bass booster

Things We Didn't Like


  • Started seeing problems after short-time use
  • Buzz comes on when receiver is off

Editor Rating:

4.5/5

Elac has been climbing its way to the top of the audio world with the ELAC S10. While we normally prefer Polk and Sony, we decided to give Elac an opportunity and we are very glad we did.

It’s a little pricier than other competitors but don’t let this be a deal breaker. The sounds it emits are clean, and with little to no rattles coming from the subwoofer, all you have is unfiltered audio performance. The bonus to this is that we received all these benefits before we re-calibrated our receiver.

If we had to sum up the ELAC S10, it would be: “Great bass in a small package.” Its dimensions and weight of 13.5 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches at 25.1 pounds make this one of the lightest and more compact subwoofers in the market. It performs like a Ferrari while looking like a bike.

It was very difficult pinpointing complaints about the ELAC S10; it was simply almost impossible. Although not a deal breaker, we’ve found that customer service can be very unhelpful during the times we needed it the most. We don’t blame Elac for the lack of customer service, but should the opportunity arise where others deal with them, be warned that it may be difficult.

The ELAC S10 has touched very deep spaces in our love for audio. And for that, we give it 4.5 stars out of 5.

Things We Liked


  • Compact and powerful
  • Compatible with many different audio devices
  • Auto power on/off feature
  • Dual vents for less air turbulence

Things We Didn't Like


  • Pricier than other budget subwoofers
  • Customer service could use improvement

Editor Rating:

4/5

You’ve never seen a beast before until you’ve heard one, and the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is definitely a subwoofer you’d want to listen to. We were captured in a cloud-nine trance when we added this to our collection.

The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is powered through a 300 watt amplifier and its unique hardware turns it into a jack-of-all-trades type of subwoofer. We were looking for ways to add better and deeper bass to our sounds without the trouble of additional amplifiers or subwoofers. The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 was the answer.

The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 was also a great bang for the buck. We were simply amazed and floored at how much low end that came out of its speakers. Of all the models we’ve owned over the years, this one by far takes the cake for the most value added at a phenomenal price.

The Rockford Fosgate P300-12 was a game changer for us, but it did also come with its own set of issues. We’ve had to replace this subwoofer a couple of times because it died a lot. Although Rockford Fosgate was very understanding and generous in helping us out, we couldn’t help but be disappointed and frustrated at the end of the phone calls.

If budget is your game, then Rockford Fosgate P300-12 is the name. Even with the multiple replacements, we would still speak highly of the Rockford Fosgate P300-12.

Coming up with a rating for the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 was difficult because while it did add value for us, it also broke down often too. In the end, we concluded that it deserved 4 stars out of 5 because giving it poorer ratings would eliminate the spotlight that the Rockford Fosgate P300-12 deserves.

Things We Liked


  • Great value subwoofer
  • Reasonable affordable
  • Bone-tingling rich bass
  • Incredibly helpful manufacturer

Things We Didn't Like


  • Broke down a few times
  • Defective more often than it should

Editor Rating:

4.0/5

We’ve recently tried experiencing other brand names other than the ones we normally go to, and as a result, we stumbled across the Kenwood KFC-W3016PS. The Kenwood KFC-W3016PS is by far one of the best budget subwoofers we’ve used for an unbeatable price.

We’re going to tell you what the Kenwood KFC-W3016PS can and cannot do. What it cannot do, is compare to higher-end subwoofers. The levels between the two are just worlds apart so if you’re going to compare it to something nicer, you’ll be disappointed.

What the Kenwood KFC-W3016PS can do, is deliver value for those that constantly worry about their bank. The Kenwood KFC-W3016PS is part of their Performance Series subwoofers that’s built with a heavy-duty polypropylene cone that’s fortified by their tough rubber enclosure that not only offers extra protection, but also helps deliver rich and premium quality sound. The Kenwood KFC-W3016PS gives out about 400 watts of RMS power that’ll certainly make your passengers feel like they’re in cloud nine.

The Kenwood KFC-W3016PS hits hard, and while it does it in a good way, it also does it in a bad way as well. We blew our subwoofer when we paired it with one of our 1600 watt amplifiers. Even after we optimized and tuned our sounds to their more efficient levels, our Kenwood still blew out.

If “Budget” is your name, then consider the Kenwood KFC-W3016PS but be prepared to be met with “Budget” problems. Regardless, we found an overall pleasant experience when trying subwoofers outside of our comfort zone.

There are only so many things a budget subwoofer will do for you before you start raising your standards but before you do, consider the Kenwood KFC-W3016PS. We give it 4 stars out of 5 for the superb experience it gave us at a mind-boggling price.

Things We Liked


  • Mighty affordable
  • Gets the job well done
  • A real hidden gem vs. pricier competitors
  • Deep and rich performing sound

Things We Didn't Like


  • Does not pair well with power-performing amplifiers
  • Unreliable if not properly optimized

Editor Rating:

4.0/5

Last in line is the Acoustic Audio PSW-6. One of the reasons why we opted to try and recommend the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 is because it is one of the most versatile budget subwoofers in the market.

For starters, you can purchase the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 in a variety of sizes, including: 6.5 inch, 8 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch, and 15 inches. Its other highlights include a powerful 250 watt amp designed to deliver incredible low-frequency sound effects that goes well with a range of other audio equipment. One of the few subwoofers in the market to use an extended excursion cone, the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 results in euphorically accurate responses.

One of the more impressing features is how well the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 pairs with entertainment media. We decided to run the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 through an audio showdown with one of our higher-end models for comparison and surprisingly, it fared very well when used to play movies, music, and more. The end result for this subwoofer was a permanent position as our go-to subwoofer when we play video games.

We came to learn that the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 was an accurate illustration of a subwoofer with “nerves-of-steel;” it did very well against our higher-quality audio systems. But, we do also realize its limitations as a budget subwoofer and you get what you pay for. We slightly chipped the roof of the subwoofer when we dropped a kitchen knife on it.

The manufacturer was kind enough to offer us a replacement shortly after as we had only owned it for a short while, but the cranial damage that it had easily sustained was concerning to us. Nonetheless, we recognize that budget subwoofers are made exactly for that purpose, and for the remainder of the time we spend with the Acoustic Audio PSW-6, we were incredibly impressed.

There is no shortage of top quality subwoofers in the market, but then there are hidden gems like the Acoustic Audio PSW-6. For any budget-conscious consumer, we highly recommend the Acoustic Audio PSW-6 and give it 4 stars out of 5.

Things We Liked


  • Works very well with different media
  • High affordable
  • Variety of sizes to choose from
  • Skin-tingling bass comparable to better subwoofers

Things We Didn't Like


  • Quality is inferior
  • Not expected to perform

Leave a Reply