Bass is probably the most under-appreciated and under-heard aspect of modern music. If you don’t have good subwoofer speakers or special headphones, you can forget about hearing all of those lower pitches in your music, and you’ll never know what you’re missing out on. Some songs just aren’t meant to be listened to on your phone’s speakers or generic earbuds.
Any audiophile should want decent subwoofers, but if you’re a diehard fan of hip hop or electronic music, or if you’re an aspiring musician or DJ, then you’ll absolutely need good subwoofers to go with your standard speakers. But not everyone has the money to shell out hundreds of dollars on new state-of-the-art speakers. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you with that issue. We’ve compiled this list of all the best affordable subwoofers, so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your music the way it should be enjoyed.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best subwoofers for anyone on a budget, followed by a quick recap highlighting what makes each pair of subwoofers unique. Or jump straight to our number #1 cheap subwoofer for all of your budget bass needs here.
- What Should You Look For in an Affordable Subwoofer?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Affordable Subwoofers
- #1: Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure (Best Machine)
- #3: Rockford Fosgate R2D4-12 Prime R2 DVC 4 Ohm 12-Inch Subwoofer (Best for Low Cost)
- #4: Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer (Best for Your Home Theater System)
- #5: Amazon Echo Sub (Best for the Smart Home Experience)
- #6: BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer (The Loudest Subwoofer)
- How Much Am I Limiting Myself by Staying on a Budget?
- Verdict: Your Best Affordable Subwoofers
What Should You Look For in an Affordable Subwoofer?
When you’re looking for a budget subwoofer speaker, you need to know what to look for. If you just grab the cheapest thing you find, you’re sure to regret it. But not everyone is a pro when it comes to audio technology, so we’re happy to help clarify. We’ve listed our criteria for finding the best affordable subwoofers below, so that you know what to look for, and so that you understand how we came to our conclusion for which subwoofers we included in our list.
Criteria #1: Sound Quality – This one is pretty obvious. We want your speakers and the music coming out of them to sound good. Obviously, that’s a bit of a subjective concept. We all know that you and your grandmother have a very different idea of what “sounds good” means. But a good way to check the sound quality is by looking at the sound clarity and the frequency range, both of which are measured in hertz (Hz). Sound clarity is the amount of extra distortion added to a recording (ideally zero), and the frequency range is the range from the lowest to the highest note that your speakers can optimally output. Of course, other factors will affect the sound quality, but these are the two main specs to look at.
Criteria #2: Accessibility – Cross-integration is the name of the game these days.Unless you’ve sworn your loyalty to one specific brand, you don’t want to be stuck with subwoofers that you can only use with specific speakers. You want something that’s universal and that can blast out that bass no matter what the occasion. We’re looking for subwoofers that are clearly labeled and easy to use, and that are easy to connect to any set of speakers.
Criteria #3: Price – We’re specifically looking at affordable subwoofer speakers, so this list of criteria wouldn’t really be complete without including price. Keep in mind though, we’re not just looking for the cheapest subwoofers out there. We’re looking for affordable subwoofers that actually deliver a quality value. To that effort, a subwoofer that costs $50 but is of poor quality and will just break on you won’t make this list. Just as much as we care about the actual price, we care about finding the best deal per dollar.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Affordable Subwoofers
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and other “best affordable subwoofers” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. And, of course, we strove to keep all of the products on our list in an affordable price range.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best affordable subwoofers.
#1: Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer (Best Value – All-Purpose)
Monoprice is one of the biggest names in audio tech, so it’s no surprise that they’re the first brand on our list of the best budget subwoofers. Their 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer is the perfect blend of price and quality, and that’s why it earned our top spot. No matter what you’re looking for, this excellent and cheap subwoofer will solve all of your bass needs. This front-firing subwoofer has a clearly labeled back so you won’t waste any time setting it up, and it still offers room for customization with knobs to adjust the settings to give you the exact sound you’re looking for. Plus, it has left/right line-level inputs that will allow you to connect this subwoofer even to speakers that don’t have a special subwoofer input port.
As for sound quality and performance, you’re getting some of the best sound out there with this budget subwoofer. This subwoofer has 150 watts of power backing up its 50-250 Hz frequency response range to give you the fullest range of sounds at the loudest volume you could as for. As a nice plus, if you’re trying to ecologically friendly, this subwoofer comes with an optional “auto-on” function that puts the subwoofer system into power-saving standby mode after about two minutes of no audio input detected.
And by the way, we’re not alone in dubbing this 12-Inch 150-Watt Powered Subwoofer as the best cheap subwoofer. It’s featured on multiple blog posts, and the reviewers absolutely love it. Every customer on Amazon raved about this subwoofer and what an amazing deal it is for its price. One customer pointed out that this subwoofer stays clear no matter what range of sound its outputting, and another customer called it the best way to get “ample clean bass at a reasonable price.”
Pretty much the only complaint users had with this front-firing subwoofer is that it’s very big, so if you don’t have a lot of room available then, unfortunately, you might need to go with a different subwoofer. But if a bulky subwoofer is a small price to pay for you for high quality at a cheap price, the Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer is the best subwoofer for you.
#2: Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure (Best Machine)
If Monoprice’s 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer doesn’t quite cut it for you, you may decide that it’s worth it to push your budget to its limits and splurge for something more up to your standards. If that’s what you want, you’ll need to check out the Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure subwoofer, which offers the absolute top quality subwoofer experience that you can find in this price range. It’s a bit more expensive than our number one subwoofer, but here are some reasons you may decide it’s worth it for you to splurge and bring home the Pioneer floor-standing subwoofer.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Lower Limit Bass Range
We mentioned the Monoprice subwoofer’s frequency response range of 50 – 250 Hz, which is enough to give you great sound on all those low bass notes. But if you really want to feel that vibration, you’ll probably be more interested in the Pioneer subwoofer, which offers a super low frequency-response that ranges from 20 Hz to 125Hz. That lower limit means you’ll get an amazing pounding bass sound from the low beats in your hip hop and electronic music, and you’ll feel the groove of any indie or rock song.
The slight trade-off is that its upper limit is also lower than that of the Monoprice subwoofer’s, but the main woofer speaker should hopefully be able to provide by the time you get to that range. If you’re really a bass fanatic and love those low, rumbling, tones, you’ll be more interested in the Pioneer subwoofer than the Monoprice product.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Extra Wattage
With 1200 watts compared to the 500 of our number one subwoofer, the Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure subwoofer packs way more of a punch than our number one budget subwoofer. What’s the logical conclusion of more wattage? More volume. If you’re not worried about waking the neighbors and want that concert-level volume that will have you rocking out all day and night, the Pioneer subwoofer is a much better choice for you.
On top of the extra wattage and the lower bass response range, this Pioneer subwoofer also comes with a compact design that will take up much less space than the bulky Monoprice subwoofer. That means it’s much better suited for a tight setup or to help soup up your car’s sound system.
Reviewers were just as big fans of this subwoofer as they were of our number one subwoofer. One user mentioned that this subwoofer was great for all genres of music, while another claimed it’s particularly good for rock music. Almost all of the reviewers loved the size of this subwoofer, so if that’s a big priority for you, you’ll need to pick up the Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure. Even though it pushes the boundaries of “budget” a bit, it might be the best budget subwoofer out there.
#3: Rockford Fosgate R2D4-12 Prime R2 DVC 4 Ohm 12-Inch Subwoofer (Best for Low Cost)
In this list of budget subwoofers, the Rockford Fosgate R2D4-12 Prime R2 DVC 4 Ohm 12-Inch Subwoofer might just be the cheapest of the cheap. So if your absolute top priority is to save money no matter what, this is the subwoofer speaker for you.
This subwoofer also comes with a one-year warranty to add even more to that budget value. This lightweight, compact, subwoofer is powered by 250 watts of electricity and has 28 Hz of sound clarity. The Rockford Fosgate series subwoofers are specifically made with your car in mind, so if you’re looking to beef up the audio system in your ride and make those road trips much more enjoyable, this is an amazing, affordable, option for you.
Despite the budget nature and low price of this subwoofer, reviewers loved the Rockford Fosgate R2D4-12 Prime R2 DVC 4 Ohm 12-Inch Subwoofer. They exclaimed that it offers great bass and that they could instantly notice the improvement in sound quality, so you’ll know where your dollar went right away. One purchaser pointed out that this subwoofer is a perfect fit with the Fosgate R500X1D Prime sub amp, so if you’re interested in those speakers, or already own a set, you’ll definitely want to consider the Fosgate subwoofers. They’re the best way to deck out your car while staying on a budget and saving you some physical space as well.
#4: Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer (Best for Your Home Theater System)
If you’re trying to host the most amazing movie night any of your friends have experienced, without paying an arm and a leg, the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer is the perfect subwoofer for your home theater setup. This subwoofer has a variable frequency response system that can alternate between 80-160 Hz crossover and 40-160 Hz frequency response ranges.
It’s tailor-made to be easy to setup. Plus, it boasts 200 Hz sound clarity and the ability to handle loud volumes without any dip in sound quality, so you can blast the movie for everyone to hear and still hear every rich sound effect from the latest action flick in crystal clear audio, from the lowest boom to the highest screech. This high-end home theater subwoofer also features a physical design built to handle those high volumes and low bass tones, so your audio system won’t start moving around if things get too loud and rumbly.
This home theater system subwoofer also falls on the cheaper end of our list of the best subwoofers on a budget, so you’ll be able to spend that extra money decking out the rest of your sound system, or making sure you have the perfect setup in your living room for when the whole gang comes over.
A lot of customers clamored that this subwoofer is the best buy for its price, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth. One user pointed out that it gives you amazing, thundering, bass compared to the other home theater subwoofers, so you’ll be ready for those low frequencies.
If you buy the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer, Polk Audio will deliver great bass response for those low-frequency sounds and a subwoofer that can handle the loudest bangs, booms, and crashes of any action movie or video game. You’ll have the best home theater system in the neighborhood, and all of your friends will be amazed when you tell them how little you paid for it.
#5: Amazon Echo Sub (Best for the Smart Home Experience)
If you want to add amazing sound quality to your home music system to help you whistle while you work, and you want the convenience of the voice-activated, smart home, experience, the best choice for you is the Amazon Echo Sub to help you enjoy those rumbling bass notes and to be able to change the song without getting up from your couch.
The Echo bub requires a compatible Amazon Echo device to go with it, but if you already have one, this smart subwoofer won’t cost you much extra. You’ll be able to get the 21st-century version of the best deep bass response listening experience with your new sound system. The Echo Sub delivers down-firing, 100-watt deep bass sound through a 6-inch woofer. That means you’re getting great extra quality in those low frequencies, and the Echo Sub barely takes up any room. Plus, you always have the option of adding more Echo subwoofers to your system to up the quality even more and get the best low-frequency music experience possible.
You’re paying for the Amazon experience with the Echo subwoofer, and that means easy setup that goes through your wifi, your Smartphone, and your Alexa system. There are almost no wires to deal with, and you definitely won’t be fumbling in the back connecting one cable after another wondering whether or not everything is in the right socket. This subwoofer is definitely the easiest option for most products of the new millennium.
Customers were a huge fan of Amazon’s Echo subwoofer, but they did complain that the Echo subwoofer is limited to the room you’ve placed it in. So, unlike with the standard Amazon Echo, you’re not getting the listening experience you paid for in your entire home – just in one room. But if you live in a smaller home or tend to do most of your music listening in one room anyway, that’s not a big deal. The Echo Sub subwoofer might be the best option for you to have an amazing, streamlined, music listening experience with all of the extra powerful bass response you need for those low frequencies.
#6: BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer (The Loudest Subwoofer)
Sometimes you’re not satisfied unless your ears are still ringing long after you’ve stopped listening to your music. If you just need that crazy headbanging experience and that only comes with blasting surround sound, the best subwoofer for you that won’t cost too much is the BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer.
This budget subwoofer comes equipped with inputs for both Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital/DTS, so you’re getting that patented surround sound that will reach every corner of your home and deliver those pounding bass sounds you crave. Running off of 475 watts of power, this subwoofer has adjustable crossover, adjustable volume control, and automatic signal sensing. Plus, this front-firing subwoofer has a great frequency response range of 25 Hz to 200 Hz.
It’s worth mentioning, these bad boys are heavy. Each BIC America F12 Subwoofer weighs about 43 pounds and measures 21 x 19 x 22 inches. All of that horsepower had to go somewhere. But you’re getting an absolutely bone-rattling, surround sound system with a high volume and a low-frequency range. You’ll be able to hear your music in every inch of your house, from the living room to the bedroom to the garage.
As we’ve made clear, this is an amazing budget purchase for anyone who needs to keep things loud, but you don’t need to take our word for it. Every user raved about the volume on this front-firing subwoofer. I would definitely not recommend this subwoofer to anyone who has neighbors that they need to worry about bothering, but if you live in a more isolated area or you’re on the same page with your neighbors when it comes to volume levels, the BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer is the high-powered subwoofer you need to add to your stereo system for that blast of sound and that powerful bass.
How Much Am I Limiting Myself by Staying on a Budget?
Whenever you’re trying to save on any product, whether it’s audio equipment, kitchenware, or anything else under the sun, you have to ask yourself two questions. The first question is “Is it possible to purchase cheap with this product?” The second question is “Is it advisable to purchase cheap with this product?” There are some things that you just shouldn’t cut corners on. Luckily, subwoofers are not one of those things.
You don’t need to worry that I found the only six cheap subwoofers on the market and crammed them into this list. There were plenty of budget options available, and some of them just didn’t make the cut, either because they were subpar or didn’t have a unique purpose that separated them from the pack. So you’re definitely not limiting yourself too much by sticking to the cheap options.
That being said, if you’re an absolute audiophile, it’s worth it to check out the high-end subwoofers and see for yourself what that extra money is going towards, so you can decide if it’s worth it to stay cheap or if you want to break the bank.
Almost all of our subwoofers stayed under the $200 mark, but there are subwoofers out there that go well over $500 or even $600, so you have to ask yourself how they justify that price difference. In terms of wattage and frequency range, the expensive subwoofers fall into the same ballpark as our cheaper subwoofers do.
Without getting into the details too much, it’s those little extra features such as the design and the material of the drivers that will be making the difference. It’s up to you if that’s worth spending more on, but you definitely don’t need to feel that it’s impossible to stay cheap and get a quality subwoofer.
Verdict: Your Best Affordable Subwoofers
There you have it. We’ve shown you the six best budget options for your new subwoofer and shown how easy it is to save on a good subwoofer for your sound system. Don’t worry if you still haven’t made your decision yet, we have more help to offer you. We’re going to give you a quick recap and breakdown of all of our subwoofers to show you which one is best for your needs. Every subwoofer offers something different, so we’re going to save you the effort of weighing the pros and cons yourself and show you what sets each subwoofer apart from the rest.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Monoprice 12 Inch 150 Watt Powered Subwoofer.
Our number one pick and the best subwoofer for anyone on a limited budget is the true jack of all trades. This subwoofer offers a clearly-labeled back to help keep set up short, sweet, and simple, and to make sure you don’t get too frustrated during the annoying part.
It offers a solid frequency response range of 50 Hz to 250 Hz, and it has a great auto-on feature to save you the trouble of worrying about forgetting to turn it off after your music stops. You’ll never rack up an electricity bill by accidentally leaving it on.
Pretty much everyone agrees that this subwoofer is one of the best deals out there when it comes to the input-output of your dollar to quality. There’s nothing very fancy about this subwoofer, which means there’s almost nothing else to say, but it gets the job done. If you are looking for some specific feature or function, it may be better to go with something else depending on how picky you are. When you go with the jack of all trades, remember how the rest of that saying goes.
If you need the best subwoofer for your home theater, pick the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer.
If you want to host all of your friends for a nice movie night, there’s one thing you’ll need to prioritize over everything else – volume. We all have that one friend who just can’t stay quiet during the movie, and even though we love them anyway, a great, loud, subwoofer is a great way to drown them out.
This 10-inch subwoofer is tailor-made to go as loud as you want without any dip in quality, so you can blast the movie and still hear everything clearly. This is particularly perfect for action movies or video games where you want to hear every sound effect. With this Polk Audio 10-Inch Subwoofer, your home theater will rival the actual movie theater, and you’ll wonder why you ever bothered leaving your home to watch anything.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Rockford Fosgate R2D4-12 Prime R2 DVC 4 Ohm 12-Inch Subwoofer.
Sometimes you’re just trying to save as much money as possible. This is a list of cheap subwoofers after all, so how could we forget to offer you the absolute cheapest subwoofer available? The Rockford Fosgate R2D4-12 Prime R2 DVC 4 Ohm Subwoofer honestly doesn’t have any overwhelming specs for me to get into, but it gets the job done and delivers a great bass sound for a super cheap price.
Seriously, there are headphones that cost more than this subwoofer. If you can find cheaper subwoofers, please let me know. The Rockford Fosgate R2D4-12 Prime R2 DVC 4 Ohm Subwoofer is the cheapest of the cheap, and it’s the best way to give great sound to your car’s audio system without spending a lot of money, so you can make your morning commute a little more enjoyable or just belt it out like nobody’s watching on that long drive to visit your family for the holidays. You won’t need to budget too much or wait until your birthday to get this subwoofer.
Those are all of the best subwoofers you can get on a low budget. If none of the highlights above weren’t the choice for you, maybe you want the heavy-duty Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10-inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure that we ranked the best overall subwoofer on our list. You also may want the streamlined modern experience of Amazon’s voice-activated Echo Sub. Or you may want the loud BIC America F12 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer, which will have your living room shaking as you blast out some heavy metal.
Remember, finding the best subwoofer is all about having a clear idea of what you want. It’s a good idea to write down your priorities so you can make sure to focus on the right features when you’re doing your research. And if none of the subwoofers on our list are exactly what you’re looking for, it may be a good idea to use our criteria to do your own further research. You can even use the brands we’ve provided as a good jumping-off point.