Creating your ideal audio setup is not an easy task. Whether you’re planning to listen to music indoors, outdoors, or in your car, you need to carefully select all the pieces of equipment that you will need. One of those pieces of equipment is a subwoofer, which will give you that nice, deep bass and greatly improve your listening experience. This is particularly important for home theater setups, where you want to really feel like you’re in a cinema.
As with any purchase, when you’re considering which subwoofer to get, you need to take price into consideration. A more expensive subwoofer will give you better sound, and that’s true to some extent. More expensive subwoofers use better quality materials, which means they will last you longer, and the sound that they produce will not degrade over time, which is something a lot of people fear. But be careful – price alone is not always a good indicator of quality. You’d be surprised at how many expensive subwoofers are just not that much better than some significantly cheaper units.
There’s another important factor that you should consider when buying a subwoofer, and that’s size. Namely, the size of the driver installed in a subwoofer. As you can imagine, bigger subwoofers produce deeper, stronger bass, but a bigger subwoofer is not entirely necessary if you’re planning to have your audio setup in a smaller room.
If you’ve decided on a 12-inch subwoofer, we’ve compiled a list of 15 great subwoofers that will improve your listening experience. They are available at various price points, so you can be quite flexible when it comes to your budget for a new subwoofer. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at these 15 models and see what the best 12 inch subwoofers are.
The first model on our list comes from Pioneer, a renowned electronics manufacturer from Japan. We’re talking about the TSW311D4, an inexpensive (under $60) car subwoofer that handles 400 watts of RMS power, and in those tough situations, it can handle peak power of 1400 watts! Now, that should be plenty for all your in-car music listening needs. Since this is a car subwoofer, you won’t be looking at it much once it’s installed, but still, it is a fairly attractive piece of equipment that will look good in your vehicle.
First things first – the features. The TSW311D4, as we’ve said, can handle up to 1400 watts of power, which promises some pretty strong bass. Next, it should be said that this subwoofer has dual 4-Ohm voice coils, as well as a stamped steel basket, which makes for a sturdy structure. Furthermore, this model features a new spider assembly, which was designed so that the bass could be more accurate and rich. Another important thing is the improved cooling system, with ventilation holes that improve the airflow and make sure that this subwoofer sounds good even when it’s working hard. When it comes to the frequency response, this unit can produce frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 125 Hz
The TSW311D4 uses a fully-enclosed, single piece basket, which means that vibrations will be at a minimum. This is great to hear, and especially at this price point, we have to say. This Pioneer is a solid choice for those on a limited budget, but the price isn’t everything about this model. In fact, its sound quality is excellent, as confirmed by online reviews. Namely, customers have praised the sound quality, as well as the build quality of this model. Definitely something to consider.
Here’s an interesting subwoofer from Klipsch, and its name is R-12SW. This is a 400-watt front-firing subwoofer equipped with an all-digital amplifier that can deliver 400 watts of dynamic power. This model is available in two “flavors”, so to speak. Namely, you can choose between a wired and a wireless version. The first one will cost you $350, while the wireless model is more expensive, priced at $500. Whether this is expensive or not will depend on your willingness to deal with wires and modern technology.
This model uses a copper-spun front-firing woofer and the sound it produces, as Klipsch themselves say, is equally impressive with music and movies. This makes it a good option for both home theater setups, as well audio setups for home in general, when you want to listen to your favorite music with plenty of bass. As for the frequency range, this subwoofer covers a range of 29Hz-120Hz, which should be enough for all your listening needs. On the back of the unit, you’ll find all the necessary inputs and outputs, including line level and LFE RCA jacks. These make the R-12SW compatible with most receivers, so that’s great news.
The subwoofer comes in a brushed black polymer veneer cabinet which has a stylish, albeit slightly understated design. If you’re familiar with the Klipsch design language, you’ll recognize the copper color on the front, which nicely contrasts the black cabinet. It’s quite a compact unit, but weighs at 33 pounds (15 kg), so it’s not exactly feather-light. Still, it will be easy to transport it around, if you want to change the position of your audio setup. Finally, we have the sound quality, which this subwoofer doesn’t fail at. This is confirmed by the online consumer reviews, which overwhelmingly agree that this model produces strong, punchy bass, which is great both for watching movies and listening to music.
Polk Audio PSW125
If you’re feeling tired of the all-black cabinet design, Polk Audio has got you covered. Namely, their PSW125 subwoofer, in addition to black, also comes in a stylish cherry wood finish, which makes this unit stand out a little bit from its competition. But the black one certainly isn’t less appealing, and both will fit with any décor you might have in your home. If you’re energy-conscious, you’ll be happy to know that this subwoofer automatically turns off when not in use, so it does a good job of energy management.
The PSW125 is equipped with a single 12-inch subwoofer, with compression circuitry that limits distortion and ensures better sound. When it comes to the power, the unit can handle 150 watts of continuous power and 300 watts of dynamic power, which should be enough for (almost) any situation. And don’t worry about the precious lows – the subwoofer’s frequency response ranges from 32 to 225 Hz, so you’ll get some nice, deep bass for your movie-watching sessions, or just when you want to listen to some bass-heavy music. Another important feature of the PSW125 is the slot-loaded vent, which improves bass response and lowers distortion.
Design-wise, this Polk Audio will go great with different designs, whether you’re aiming for a more modern or conventional style. The sound quality is very good, and online reviews confirm that. Majority of consumers have judged this model positively, primarily noting its deep and rich bass. The sound quality is achieved thanks to the laser-based Klippel measurement technology, which means that this subwoofer produces a deep and precise sound, something everyone will be able to appreciate.
BIC America V-1220
Let’s take a look at a down-firing subwoofer for a change, shall we? Namely, we’re talking about the V-1220 subwoofer from BIC America, which can handle power of up to 430 watts. It comes in a pretty stylish cabinet with a nice black wood finish. What’s interesting about this subwoofer is that it doesn’t have a classic mesh grille; instead, it’s an all-wood design which looks pretty neat, and it will certainly enhance any décor, if you choose to display this unit in a prominent place. Another important thing is the patented “Venturi” vent, which cuts down on the noise, and helps this subwoofer produce better sound.
But enough about the outside, let’s talk about what’s inside. First of all, we have a high-current amplifier that’s combined with a heavy duty long-throw woofer, which promises great sound. The subwoofer has a frequency response of 26 Hz – 180 Hz, which is very good compared to some competing models. On the back of the unit, you’ll find, among other things, Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital/DTS inputs to give you that amazing bass for movie watching.
The V-1220 is a sturdy looking piece of equipment, and its build quality confirms that. The unit itself measures 22 x 22 x 18.5 inches, while the weight is 44.9 pounds (20 kilograms). Again, not something you would want to move around a lot, but it can be managed. Finally, we come to the sound quality, which is very good. Majority of online reviews agree that this subwoofer produces excellent sound, however, as noted by the reviews, sometimes you need to run the subwoofer for a little bit so that it settles right, a sort of a ‘break-in’ process. But that’s not necessarily the fault of this model; it’s just how it operates. Finally, when it comes to the financial aspect, the V-1220 is priced at around $200.
JBL Studio Sub 260P
Here’s one stylish subwoofer from JBL, and it’s called Studio Sub 260P. The company describes it as producing flawless sound that seduces your ears; not something you hear very often, that’s for sure! But back to the aesthetics – the design of the Studio Sub 260P is pretty clean and stylish, and you won’t find any visible fasteners here. The soft, rounded edges make this unit appeal to those looking for something more modern, even minimalist. With such looks, this subwoofer will be a great addition to any modern décor.
Of course, it’s not all about the design when it comes to this model. We have features, and many of them. For starters, there’s a powerful 300-watt Class D amplifier, which has rear mounted inputs and controls, making it easy to use. Furthermore, this is an amplifier that cools itself naturally, and this way, the danger of burnout is not present. This is great for those times when you want to push this sub to its limits. Another important feature of this subwoofer is the rear-firing Slipstream bass port, thanks to which this subwoofer is able to produce accurate bass with low distortion.
The Studio Sub 260P, with its solid cabinet construction with no visible fasteners will certainly bring some attention to itself, especially with its glossy black top panel. But it will also sound good, thanks to its power of 300 watts, and it can even handle peak power of 600 watts. Lovers of good bass won’t be disappointed, thanks to this subwoofer’s great frequency response that ranges from 29 Hz to 150 Hz, giving you all the important lows for any type of content you’re going to be consuming. Finally, the Studio Sub 260P was reviewed positively by the majority of online consumer reviews, which praise its deep and punchy bass, as well as its stylish design.
It’s another well-known company, and it’s another Japanese company. We’re talking about Yamaha and their DXS12 subwoofer. This active subwoofer is one powerful piece of audio equipment, with a power of 950 watts! Now, that will certainly be enough for anyone. This is some serious power, and it actually comes with a pretty compact frame, which means you can easily put this unit in your room and it won’t take up much space.
One of the most impressive things about this model is certainly its power of 950 watts. But there are a lot of other cool things about this unit as well. For starters, there’s the high-efficiency Class-D amplifier which can confidently deal with that great power. Next, for this subwoofer, Yamaha used the D-XSUB low frequency processing technology which gives you some great bass, especially for a model of this size. And to further improve the sound, Yamaha used an acoustically optimized bandpass enclosure, so you can ultimately rest assured that you’re getting the best listening experience.
The design of the DXS12 probably won’t win any awards, but it’s certainly not boring. It’s a fairly compact unit that will blend in with pretty much any surroundings. And while it does that, it will produce some impressive bass with its 950 watts of power. This ensures that this model can be used either indoors, outdoors, or both. The overall quality of this subwoofer is very good, as noted in the online customer reviews. Customers have judged this model positively. The bass is strong and punchy, especially considering the size.
Having a nice, big subwoofer that produces great sound is awesome, but not so much if you have to make due with limited space. If you’re in a small room, but don’t want to compromise on good sound, SVS has got you covered. Their SB12-NSD subwoofer is a very compact unit, with a cabinet that measures 14 inches on all sides. This means that you can put this subwoofer somewhere in the corner of your room and it won’t take up much space, all the while providing some great-sounding bass.
And speaking of great bass, you’ll get it from the Sledge STA-400D amplifier, which can handle 400 watts of RMS, and 800 watts of dynamic power. This will be enough for pretty much any situation, especially considering the compact size of the unit itself. This model uses a Class D amplifier, which means that it has good cooling properties, as well as good energy efficiency. And all that while producing sound that has very low distortion, something a lot of people will definitely appreciate. As for the frequency response, this model deals with frequencies ranging from 22 to 196 Hz.
The compact size isn’t the only notable thing about the SB12-NSD. Its appearance is also something that will catch your attention, with a beautiful black ash wood finish, which you will recognize from some other SVS subwoofers. This is all complemented with a curved metal grille, which goes well with the overall aesthetics of this unit. The design is certainly something that will appeal to many people, but so will the sound. The SB12-NSD features excellent sound for its size, and thanks to its weight of 35 pounds (16 kilograms), moving this subwoofer won’t be a problem at all.
Earthquake Sound Supernova MKIV-12
Get ready for an earthquake! Well, not a literal one, although you might have a feeling like you’re experiencing an earthquake when you’re listening to the sound coming from this subwoofer. We’re talking about the Supernova MKIV-12 from the Earthquake Sound company, which is a dual firing powered subwoofer, packed with advanced technology that delivers great sound on any occasion. Inside this model, you’ll find an active driver which was designed for accurate reproduction of bass, as well as sub-bass frequencies.
This subwoofer is equipped with a class “A/B” amplifier that can handle 450 watts of power, which promises good, strong bass. Furthermore, this model features Symmetrically Loaded Audio Passive System (SLAPS), where one amplifier produces the output of the woofers, and as a result, the power consumption is lower. This is a pretty neat feature, regardless if you’re keen on saving energy or not. Another interesting thing about this subwoofer is the use of thermally pressed polyether foam surround, which ensures there’s no deformation of the cone, and thus, you’ll get great sound for a long time. This includes some really deep bass, too – the Supernova MKIV-12 has a 12 db/Oct variable filter that handles frequencies from 40Hz to 180Hz.
Design-wise, this subwoofer isn’t something that will blow you away, but it is very functional, and that’s important. The cabinet itself looks pretty stylish and it will definitely fit in with any décor. On the side of the cabinet, you’ll find plenty of inputs, outputs and controls for customizing the sound, including the high level inputs and low level outputs, which have automatic signal detection. The sound quality is very good, which you would expect given the $530 price tag.
Dayton Audio SUB-1200
Here’s another fairly inexpensive subwoofer – namely, it’s the SUB-1200 from Dayton Audio., priced at under $150. But while the pricing may be great, it’s not the only thing you should focus on when it comes to this model. This stylish unit produces clean and powerful bass and it will surely enhance any audio setup. In fact, Dayton Audio themselves describe the subwoofer as being perfect for small home theaters or listening rooms, which gives you an idea where you could use this unit.
Inside this model, you’ll find a heavy duty long-throw 12-inch woofer which can handle up to 120 watts of power. It may not sound as powerful as some other competing models, but it will certainly be enough for many. Next, we have a flared port with bass reflex design, which increases bass response while reducing port noise. On the back of the unit, you’ll find different inputs and outputs, as well as the crossover frequency control, which lets you fine tune the sound to your liking. Finally, the frequency response of this subwoofer is 25-140 Hz, covering all the lows you need for a pleasant listening experience.
The SUB-1200 is a stylish piece of audio equipment, with its textured black vinyl finish that will complement both modern and conventional décor. It’s a bit of an understated design, but you definitely wouldn’t call it boring, that’s for sure. However, if you’re going to put it away somewhere in your room where it won’t be as visible, then you probably wouldn’t care about the design anyway. And finally, we come to the sound quality, which the overwhelming majority of online reviews have judged positively. This model produces excellent, deep and punchy bass and it’s highly recommendable for those looking for a no-nonsense subwoofer that will do the job at a reasonable price.
If you’re tired of the all-black design that subwoofers usually have, why not introduce a little bit of color into your audio setup? The XLS-12S Cerwin-Vega will give you a slightly livelier design with its bright red accents that make this subwoofer stand out from its competition. It’s not a shocking design by any means, but it’s different enough to be a great and refreshing addition to your audio equipment setup. Moreover, it all comes in a stylish enclosure with a black ash wood finish that will complement any room.
But enough about the design, let’s talk about the features. The Cerwin-Vega XLS-12S is equipped with a cast frame high excursion woofer, as well as a high-current Class AB amplifier that can handle 250 watts of RMS power. Next, we have continuously variable crossover from 50Hz to 150Hz, and as for the frequency response, it ranges from 43 to 300 Hz, and it goes as low as 28 Hz. On the back of the unit, you’ll find speaker level and line level inputs.
You won’t confuse XLS-12S for any other manufacturer’s subwoofer, with its bright red accents that give it a sleek contemporary look. The unit itself measures 18.2″ x 13.8″ x 20.5″ (460 mm x 350 mm x 520 mm), while weighing 48 pounds (21.7 kg). It’s not exactly light, but you probably wouldn’t want to constantly move it anyway. And finally, the sound quality that this model produces is very good, as confirmed by the majority of online reviews. Reviewers have confirmed the great sound, as well as good built quality. The design has also been positively reviewed, although that’s certainly a subjective thing.
Here’s another interesting subwoofer where you don’t have to settle for an all-black design. It’s the DB12W from Fluance, a company which hasn’t been around for that long, but they’ve made some pretty good products including Bluetooth speakers. But we’re here to talk about 12-inch subwoofers, and in this category, Fluance has a $299 model called DB12W that’s available in three versions: Black, Mahogany, and Natural Walnut. The latter two are certainly a more lively option, but the black one certainly isn’t bad looking either.
The subwoofer is equipped with a long throw driver that has controlled linearity, resulting in precise sound reproduction and deeper bass. This unit is able to able to go down to 38Hz consistently, giving you a consistent sound quality. As for the power, the subwoofer can handle 240 watts, while the peak power is 400 watts. Another important thing that should be mentioned with this model is the dynamic crossover adjustment, which lets you fine tune your audio setup and achieve the optimal sound for your listening needs. And all that with minimum distortion, which is definitely good to hear.
The DB12W looks pretty stylish, especially in its Mahogany and Natural Walnut finishes. The solidly crafted MDF wood cabinet not only looks good, but it also makes sure that the resonance is kept at a minimum. Furthermore, the dual bass ports produce deep, warm sounding bass at all times. The sound quality of this subwoofer is exceptional;, and many people have confirmed that in their online reviews. Namely, they have noted the clean and powerful sound coming from this model, but also the overall aesthetics of the exterior. Overall, this is a good recommendation for those looking for a fairly compact, yet powerful subwoofer, complemented with stylish wood finishes that will enhance any décor.
OSD Audio PS12
At first sight, the OSD Audio PS12 looks like another boxy subwoofer, but if you look closely, you’ll notice the softer edges which give it a really interesting look. The overall design is what you typically find in subwoofers, but that doesn’t mean this model is not worth taking a look at. It’s a powerful front-firing subwoofer that will be a great addition to any home theater, and will definitely make your movie watching experience a lot more enjoyable.
First things first – the features. The PS12 features a front firing woofer with dual front firing ports, and it can handle 175 watts of RMS power, which should provide plenty of good bass. For those tough situations when you demand extra power, you’ll be happy to know that the subwoofer can also handle 300 watts of peak power. Next, we have adjustable gain control and variable crossover frequency, which lets you customize the sound to your liking. With a frequency response of 25 Hz to 180 Hz, you’ll get some really good and deep sound, and with minimal distortion to boot.
While it may not look that particularly impressive, the OSD Audio PS12 is a stylish subwoofer whose design will fit well in almost any room and any décor. But of course, it’s not all about the design here. The bass is the most important, and that’s something this subwoofer won’t disappoint at. The bass response is excellent, and is sure to greatly enhance your experience, be it listening to music or watching a movie. Again, we have a subwoofer that’s been largely judged positively by online reviews, which note great build quality, and of course, great sound quality. This is a great recommendation for those not looking for any gimmicky design, and instead want something that can blend easily in the visual sense and provide great bass.
Skar Audio EVL-12
Let’s take a look at a car subwoofer for a change. The Skar Audio EVL-12 is the one we’ll focus on at the moment, and it’s a powerful subwoofer that comes in a dual 2 Ohm configuration (in addition to other, including an 18-inch subwoofer). As you can already tell from the name, the EVL-12 belongs to the company’s EVL series of speakers, but what you might not know is that the company describes them as redefining the definition of low-end sound reproduction. Now, that’s a pretty bold claim!
One of the most impressive things about this subwoofer is its RMS power of 1250 watts, while the maximum power is whopping 2500 watts! This should be enough even for the pickiest audiophiles, that’s for sure. The unit itself also features a high flux double-stack ferrite motor, which is one of the reasons why this subwoofer can handle the massive power. Heating won’t be a problem, thanks to the advanced cooling airflow cooling design, which makes sure that the subwoofer operates correctly for a long time.
Once it’s installed, you won’t get to see that much of this subwoofer, but still, it’s a good looking piece of audio equipment. It’s got a nice combination of matte and glossy finishes which is quite pleasing to the eye. But the sound is definitely the most important thing here. With plenty of power, you’ll never miss out on those low frequencies, which in this subwoofer range from 30 to 300 Hz. Online reviews confirm the good overall quality, especially when it comes to the build, and of course, the sound.
A smaller subwoofer doesn’t necessarily mean less bass, as this particular subwoofer demonstrates. Namely we’re talking about the Electro-Voice ZXA1-Sub, which measures 19.75 x 22 x 18 inches, all the while handling 700 watts of power. That’s not something you expect from that size alone, so that’s great to hear. There’s even a convenient handle that allows you to easily transport the unit wherever you want. It’s not the most original design, but it’s certainly functional, especially with the built-in handle.
The ZXA1-Sub features a Class-D amplifier that handles 700 watts of power, and also has good thermal properties, which means this subwoofer should last you a long time while providing great sounding bass. Another cool thing this about this subwoofer are the switchable EQ modes, which can be used for different applications. Another neat thing is the pole mount that’s used for full-range systems. When it comes to the frequency response, this unit covers the range from 44 to 118Hz, which sounds pretty good.
One of the first things you’re going to notice about this subwoofer is the size, which makes it ideal for those who frequently need to change their audio setup, or just for those who want to move this subwoofer around a lot. Since it weighs 46 pounds (20 kilograms), that won’t be too much of a trouble, although it’s not exactly something you can carry around easily with one hand. But nevertheless, this is one good, quality subwoofer with great sound, and the online reviews confirm that. Customers have overwhelmingly expressed their satisfaction with this product, both in terms of sound quality and build quality, which is equally important.
Seismic Audio Mini-Tremor
The name might contain mini, but there’s nothing mini about the sound this subwoofer produces. With a power of 350 watts RMS and a peak power of 700 watts, the Seismic Audio Mini-Tremor will give you great sounding bass for any occasion, whether it’s watching a movie or listening to music. Design-wise, the style of the Mini-Tremor could be described as utilitarian, but that’s not a bad thing by any means. On the contrary, this subwoofer looks quite rugged and gives you the confidence that it will last a long time.
Inside the Mini-Tremor, you’ll find a Class AB amplifier, which is in charge of powering this subwoofer. As for the frequency response, this model deals with frequency ranging from 45 Hz – 300 Hz, which should cover all the important lows you need from a subwoofer. The unit itself measures 16 x 16 x 19 in, so it’s pretty compact. Looking at the back of the subwoofer, we find all the necessary inputs and outputs, as well as controls that let you customize the sound.
The Mini-Tremor might be “mini” in size, but that’s certainly not the word you would want to use when describing the sound. The bass is strong and clear, and the overall quality of this subwoofer is very good. This is something that online reviews have noted, which praise the bass performance, especially considering the size. The Mini-Tremor is priced at around $260, so it’s not too expensive and could be a great choice for those who want something powerful in a compact package.
So there you have it. A list of the best 12 inch subwoofers which will certainly enhance any audio setup. You can choose between home subwoofers or car subwoofers, and even subwoofers which are meant to be used outside. But which one is really the best one? Which is the best choice for you personally?
Well, it’s not easy to answer that question, because people have different requirements. One of them is certainly the price. As you’ve seen, 12-inch subwoofers come with various price tags, and there are some surprising subwoofers which don’t cost that much. With a higher price tag comes better quality, and that’s true to some extent, but don’t let the price be the only thing you’re looking at when you’re buying a subwoofer.
Another thing you need to keep in mind when purchasing a subwoofer is how you’re going to use it. Will you use it in a car, or as a part of a home theater? Or even outside perhaps? For outside subwoofers, build quality is essential, as they need to survive some harsh conditions. If you’re using it as a part of a home theater, you need to consider the size of the room, as well as its overall aesthetics. This is especially important if you choose to display the subwoofer in a prominent place where everybody is going to be looking at it. Who knows, maybe it could even be a nice conversation starter.