How to find the best subwoofer under $300 (updated 2017)

Best Subwoofer Under 300

Choosing the ideal subwoofer for your needs is not an intricate undertaking, but you need to possess a certain degree of knowledge before picking one out.

When it comes to budget subwoofers, most customers tend to treat them as negligible novelty items that break down after a few days of moderate use. We can assure you that this is simply not the case. Certainly, there is quite a difference between $200 subwoofers and some of those $2000 roaring beasts that can be found on the market, but it all ultimately depends on your personal needs. If you can do with simpler and more modestly-powered subwoofers (400-500 RMS at best), you are at the right place.

The purpose of this article is to help you  choose a mid-range subwoofer, as well as to present you with an exclusive selection of subwoofers priced at under $300.

Before presenting you with the list, we would like to tell you a bit about these mid-range devices. You will learn what features to consider, what kind of quality to expect, and whether this price range meets your needs.

  •         Features

If your budget is $300 or less, the subwoofers you can find are powerful enough, but don’t set your expectations too high. Companies are constantly trying to upsell, so if you see something that seems too good to be true, it might just as well be.

The most important feature to consider when looking for a subwoofer, be it low-end or high-end, is the wattage. As you already know, the higher the watt rating is, the more powerful the bass is. Other features to take into account are the driver size and whether you need an enclosure to go with it. The company name plays a pivotal role as well.

  •         Quality

This is probably the most ardent question customers ask before ordering any product: “How can I be sure this item is of good quality?” Truth be told, there is no pinpoint quality indicator except for hands-on experience. But you can get an idea of how well the respective product performs by knowing how to read the specs, as well as consulting as many reviews as you can. This method can be applied to subwoofers, too.

Most hi-fi enthusiasts agree on one thing, which is that your budget must start at $200 and above. Anything less and you risk stumbling across shady companies that sell nothing but imitations at best. If you do happen to find something exceptional, you can put it down to pure luck.

  •         Price Range

This budget bracket ($300 and less) is ideal for those who seek dependable quality but don’t want to splurge thousands for it. As said above, the quality is nowhere near what you can find on the higher end of the spectrum, but you will be very content with it if you’re not a fervent audiophile. That’s a guarantee. We hope that this review will also manage to bust some of the persistent myths about low and mid-range subwoofers that circulate freely around the Internet. Truth is, it’s nowhere near as bad as some alleged “experts” claim .

Bear this information in mind while reading our review. Without further ado, let’s see what the best subwoofer under 300 dollars is!

  1.       Yamaha 10″ 100W Powered Subwoofer

If Yamaha rings a bell, it’s because we’re talking about that Yamaha, the company which specializes in producing motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, race karts, and audio equipment as of late. Since we’re talking about a Japanese company founded almost 130 years ago, you can rest assured they’re more than likely to provide you with impeccable audio equipment.

About the subwoofer

This mid-range subwoofer lives up to the company’s promise of delivering high quality. While it is not particularly sought after on Amazon and other retail stores, it still makes for a good addition to your home theater system. The subwoofer features a 100 watt RMS rating, which is indeed quite low, but definitely not underwhelming. It also incorporates some of Yamaha’s patented bass technologies, including but not limited to Twisted Flare Port, Advanced YST II, along with high-quality amp circuitry. The result: rich and powerful bass that does not disappoint at all. This subwoofer would certainly be the heartbeat of your home theater.

What customers said about the product

The existing reviews praise the quality of this subwoofer. While most customers say that it can’t be compared to high-end subwoofers by any means, it’s decent enough if all you can afford to spend is $150. Another important advantage is the “company name guarantee”, in that it is infinitely better to buy from an established audio equipment manufacturer, such as Yamaha, than a sketchy company no one has heard of before.

  1.       Polk Audio PSW505

Polk Audio is a US-based audio equipment manufacturer and distributor, founded in early 1972. Ever since their founding, they have been selling all sorts of audio equipment ranging from home and marine speakers, to headphones and soundbars.

About the subwoofer

This subwoofer is another mid-range product, but the specs are even more impressive and plentiful. In addition to the 300 RMS watt rating and 460 Peak watt rating, the box is made of sturdy medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with a veneer finish, engineered to deliver loud, crisp, and pounding bass. There is also an auto on/off circuit which turns the sub on when it detects incoming signal. When no signal is detected within 15 minutes, the amplifier turns off automatically. There are other features as well, but they’re quite common in most mid-range subwoofers so we’ll leave out mentioning them.

What customers said about the product

Most customers bought this subwoofer as a replacement for broken high-end units, and they were quite surprised with the overall quality. They say it’s not exactly going to shatter your windows, but it’s great if you either can’t afford a high-end subwoofer or don’t feel like investing in one yet.

  1.       Klipsch Reference R-10SW Surround Subwoofer

Founded in 1946, Klipsch is an American-based audio equipment manufacturer, currently headquartered in Indianapolis. They have been providing “legendary sound through speakers” since their founding, managing to make a good reputation for themselves in a number of markets. If a company is bold enough to make their motto “Tell the neighbors we’re not sorry”, you can expect them to deliver nothing but state-of-the-art audio equipment for that exact purpose.

About the subwoofer

This subwoofer is nothing short of excellent considering the price tag. Not only does it pump out 150 watts RMS and 300 watts Peak, but the actual box is also made of sturdy black wood with polymer veneer finish, which adds considerably to the overall bass quality. The 150 watt rating might seem modest at first, but the sub still constitutes a nice mid-budget subwoofer to own if you want to achieve a 5.1 system. We’re not so sure about achieving 5.1 on the Richter scale though, but you can give it a try.

What customers said about the product

The great majority of reviews suggest that this subwoofer delivers loud, rumbling, and pounding bass that, with enough cranking, might make your walls and windows vibrate. It’s not cinema-quality, but it definitely is home theater-quality.

All in all, if you want a mid-range subwoofer that packs enough of a punch to disturb your neighbors, as the company tacitly encourages you to do, you can safely buy this one without giving it a second thought.

  1.       Pioneer SW-10 400W

If you don’t own a Pioneer product or haven’t at least heard what the company has to offer before, you’re missing out. Pioneer has been around for quite some time already, and managed to impress the millions of customers that opted for their services. It was founded in 1938 and is currently headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

About the subwoofer

The subwoofer is one of the best performing in this price range. Crystal clear, loud, and pummelling bass – these are just three of the many traits that define this little beast. If you’re not convinced, simply take a glance at the specs: 200 watts RMS, 400 watts Peak, rugged wood with laminate finish designed to enhance the output sound – what else to ask for less than $270?

What customers said about the product

Reviews for this product are mixed. The great majority say that it performs well enough, but several customers are not very content with the modest wattage of 200 RMS. If they try to crank it up too much, the driver gives out an annoying hum and threatens to pop. However, this should come as no surprise for anyone trying to attain the maximum peak watts.

We’re not very keen on the reviews, but the subwoofer itself seems very promising. If you don’t mind the relatively low watt rating and some of the negative reviews posted, you can go for it without hesitation.

  1.       ELAC S10 Debut Series

Elac is one of the most popular audio equipment manufacturers in Germany. Founded in 1926 in Kiel, they have been involved in manufacturing and selling all sorts of audio gear, with a strong emphasis on speakers and subwoofers. Ever since they joined Amazon, they have managed to improve their reputation even further.

About the subwoofer

For its price, we’re quite impressed with how the subwoofer performs in action. The bass is loud, crystal clear, and pounding. There are no weird resonances and peaks in the output sound, and no matter how much you crank it up, it doesn’t threaten to break down – unless you try to reach the peak watts. With 250 RMS watts built in, you can expect an outstanding audio experience with rock-solid lows that make your favorite songs come to life. It’s not a snarling beast, but it comes quite close.

What customers said about the product

Customers say that this subwoofer delivers great bass if mounted to the right audio system. They also draw attention to the importance of placing the subwoofer in a suitable location in your room. Several customers complained that their units had been delivered faulty, but upon getting in touch with the reps at ELAC, they received brand-new replacements at no additional cost.

German quality for little money? Not very often can you hear this combination of words. You should take advantage of this offer while it still lasts, so hurry up!

  1.       JBL Arena S10

JBL is a US-based audio electronics company headquartered in Los Angeles. They have been around since 1946 and currently produce a wide variety of audio equipment, ranging from speakers and subwoofers to microphones and soundbars. Their products are present in many offline and online retail stores, including Amazon.

About the subwoofer

This subwoofer is a little beast, and probably the best in its price range. We’re not particularly keen on the overly colorful product description, but the features that matter do stand out nonetheless: 100 watt RMS, 10-inch high-output polycellulose driver, and dual rear ports for premium sound performance. Moreover, the trapezoid box is made of high-quality materials that help further enhance the audio experience. The result? Clear, aggressive and thumping bass to impress your friends with. JBL recommend using this subwoofer in conjunction with their series of Arena loudspeakers, but you can mount it to any custom home audio system of your choice.

What customers said about the product

Unlike some units that we reviewed above, this subwoofer has only 5 and 4-star reviews across all retail stores that we checked. The great majority of customers are impressed with both the build quality and the pummelling bass, which is very likely to disturb your neighbors if cranked up enough. However, they recommend to not expect it to be a great substitution for high-end subwoofers, since you might end up being disappointed. In other words, if you want dependable quality and realize what you’re actually paying for, you will enjoy JBL’s product.

  1.       Emotiva Audio 200 Watts 10-Inch Subwoofer

Emotiva Audio is a popular US-based manufacturer of premium audio electronics, nestled in Franklin, Tennessee. They sell in various online and offline stores, and have an international presence through diverse partner distributors. They are not exactly pioneers in the audio industry, but they have managed to gain and maintain good reputation to this day.

About the subwoofer

If you’re looking for a sub that hits hard, goes deep, and features premium specs for little money, then look no further. Emotiva are not that popular in the market, but that doesn’t mean their subwoofer performs badly. In fact, you would be quite impressed with the specs: 200 watt RMS, 10-inch heavy-duty low-frequency driver, various controls (crossover, phase, and level), along with a box made of rock-solid wood with a scratch-resistant laminate finish. For almost $290, this sub is definitely a steal.

What customers said about the product

Customers say that if the subwoofer is mounted to the right audio system, it delivers clear, loud, and boomy bass without much effort. The 200 watt RMS rating is not the most impressive out there, but the output lows are great and don’t become distorted if you try to achieve the peak watts. They also draw attention to the size. If the designated room does not provide sufficient space for storage, you could run into a few problems, so make sure you get that sorted out before purchasing the sub.

  1.       Paradigm Cinema Sub

Paradigm is an audio equipment manufacturer founded in 1982, situated in Toronto, Canada. Since their establishment, they have successfully delivered on their promise of “redefining the audio industry once and for all”. Rest assured, this is not an overstatement, since they do not outsource manufacturing in China or India as other multinational corporations do (does Beats by Dre ring a bell?). Every product they sell is produced in their Toronto factory, the production follows strict rules and is subject to meticulous quality assurance.

About the subwoofer

Building on the previous description, this subwoofer is nothing short of fantastic if you take its price into account. For almost $300, you get a subwoofer that delivers 100 watts RMS, 300 watts Peak, with a box made of solid wood engineered to pump out only the greatest lows possible. This unit, while not particularly big, packs quite a wallop that takes you aback when you plug it in. If you mount it to the right audio system, you will unleash a roaring beast. We could go so far as to say that it performs better than some subs (over)priced at $700-800, but don’t take our word for it. Just try it and convince yourself!

What customers said about the product

There are only positive reviews about this little unit. The majority of customers say that the subwoofer excels at providing everything advertised, and even manages to shred a lot of sub-par subwoofers in the same price range by a massive margin.

If you want to buy from a Canadian company that manufactures all of their merchandise in Canada exclusively, then Paradigm is your ultimate choice. We believe it’s one of the most underrated subs on Amazon at the moment, but we also believe that this is bound to change in the future. Such great audio unit cannot go unnoticed.

  1.       Definitive Technology ProSub 800 120v Speaker

Definitive Technology is a US-based company, which is renowned for producing above-standard audio equipment. Despite they have been around since 1990 only, they have managed to build quite a reputation in a short length of time.

About the subwoofer

If you usually waffle over dozens of products before deciding which one to buy, this subwoofer is bound to turn you into an impulsive buyer. Simply take a glance at the impressive specs: 300 watts RMS, 800 watts Peak, high-current amplifier, polymer cone, 8-inch infrasonic radiator, while the box features a high-quality neat finish in matte white that is scratch-proof. You can opt for a black variant if white doesn’t meet your décor needs. It costs a bit more, but the quality is every bit as outstanding nevertheless.

What customers said about the product

This sub costs exactly $300, so it’s absolutely normal to have doubts. However, they will be all be gone when you take a look at the overwhelmingly positive reviews that span numerous online stores, including but not limited to Amazon and eBay. Customers were satisfied by the excellent sound quality that the sub pumps out effortlessly. They warn against cranking it up to the maximum peak watts, since you threaten to fry the voice coil. If you keep it at 400-500 watts at most, you won’t run into any problems.

  1.   Earthquake Sound CP8

Not only does Earthquake Sound produce some of the best audio equipment available in the market at the moment, but their name is also suggestive of the quality you can expect from their products. Don’t be scared by the company’s Chinese roots, they’re actually very popular in the international market. You’ll be convinced when you try out  their products personally.

About the subwoofer

For a little over $215, the subwoofer looks and performs incredibly well. The bass is some of the clearest and most powerful we’ve ever heard in this price range, and the box that encases the woofer is made of solid materials that contribute significantly to the output sound quality. All of this is possible thanks to the generous specs: 300 watts RMS, 600 watts Peak, slim enclosure design, and high-quality materials designed to last a long time .

What customers said about the product

Everywhere we looked, there were only 5-star reviews about this unit. Trust us, we rummaged for negative reviews but only managed to find very few. Not everyone was keen on the company’s Chinese origins, but when they received their units, they reconsidered. The all-around collective impression of this subwoofer is that it delivers loud, crisp, pounding bass that wouldn’t disappoint even the most pretentious hi-fi enthusiasts out there.

Conclusion

There you go, our exclusive list of top 10 subwoofers that you can buy for under $300. We tried to keep the list as diverse as possible without covering the same companies all over again. The main goal was to provide you with a comprehensive list of brands that offer excellent products in order to prove that there’s more to be found beyond the Logitech, Bose, Sennheiser, or Blaupunkt giants. If you opt for any of the above companies, you are likely to receive the same quality but for a fraction of the price. Sometimes, the company name costs you more than the actual unit you order, and that’s a fact. The bottom line is that you can find quality on a budget, and the best subwoofer under 300 dollars is any of the above. Good luck!

 

 

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