Sound without proper bass response is like Christmas without snowfall, feels lifeless. Rich bass is the core of catchy music, and this is what makes movie watching experience lively.
However, people often compromise on bass since majority of quality subwoofers are expensive. What they don’t realize is you don’t always have to empty your pockets to get good sound and it can be found even from budget subwoofers.
And the proof is right here.
The subwoofers of our list don’t cost more than 500 dollars, but wait till you see their features!
We’ve chosen some of the best subwoofers under 500 with brilliantly engineered drivers, suitable enclosures and convenient design to bring you the best of low end frequencies. Check them out to find your dream subwoofer.
Best Subwoofer under $500-Comparison Table
How We Chose These Subwoofers
Well, how do you know it’s the best?’
If you have this question in mind, we wholeheartedly appreciate your concern. No doubt, you want the best product, but how are you supposed to know if we can be really trusted?
Our first and foremost concern was the engineering. By engineering we mean, the driver and amplifier (if it’s a powered subwoofer) arrangement, and the technologies that have been applied in general.
We tested woofer/bass radiator/reflex port’s bass reproduction capacity. Crossover has a big impact on good sound, we made sure to select subwoofers with potential crossovers.
Every model’s construction was inspected thoroughly to see what they offer for durability and quality performance. We’ve been kinda picky about materials because they’re quite responsible for the state of frequency delivery.
We were open to additional privileges of individual models, like unique construction material or company’s patented technology. In brief, we tried to make sure to sort only the best items based on their attributes and performance.
Well, we did our part. Now it’s time for your selection.
Our 10 Best Subwoofer under 500 Picks:
1. Klipsch R-10SWi 10″ Wireless Subwoofer Review:
In order to enjoy good music, never compromise on bass quality, and to get good bass, never compromise on the subwoofer. Klipsch is renowned for their fantastic audio service, and same divinity is reflected in Klipsch R-10SWi 10″ Wireless Subwoofer as well.
Klipsch R-10SWi 10″ Wireless Subwoofer features a 10-inch front firing spun copper IMG woofer for bass production. Injection molded graphite (IMG) has been used in its construction which comes with two benefits.
Firstly, graphite ensures durability and not prone to damage because of heavy frequency waves. Secondly, use of heavy metal doesn’t affect the weight since it’s injection molded. You can enjoy strong sound without having to worry about component damage. Rigidity and lightness at its best!
Accurate bass response requires vast amount of power and Klipsch understands that. This subwoofer comes with an all-digital amplifier to maintain bass accuracy. This built-in amplifier produces great energy for highly efficient low-end frequencies and the outcome is exactly how quality bass response should sound like. High energy flow doesn’t foil the amplifier.
For pairing with sound systems, players or other drivers, 2.4GHz wireless high fidelity pre-paired transmitter is included. This transmitter allows you to have professional quality music at every corner of your room in two ways: you can either use LFE connection or link this pre-paired transmitter to the subwoofer.
Comes with low pass crossover. This is extremely helpful when you’re connecting it to a system, especially a Klipsch speaker. With the help of included phase control, you can tune and adjust the bass level, thus blend the low-end notes to match other frequencies.
The subwoofer cabinet is constructed with MDF wood to ensure durability without foiling resonance. Brushed polymer veneer finish on the outside completes its divine look. Covered with flexible, removable grille. Includes LED power indicator.
Klipsch is America’s one of the oldest brands that has been producing outstanding audio systems for decades. Klipsch R-10SWi 10″ Wireless Subwoofer is equipped with splendid woofer and technologies for the finest bass.And not to mention, this is obviously gonna be a fascinating addition to your home decor.
2. Kicker 44DCWC122 12″ 1200W Car Subwoofer:
Let’s get the party started with a massive kick of profound bass, shall we? That’s right, speaking of kicking, here we have Kicker’s subwoofer bucks: Kicker 44DCWC122 12″ 1200W Car Subwoofer.
Wait, just because it says ‘Car’ in the name, doesn’t mean you have to limit your game. You can use it anywhere for some dope bass production.
Kicker 44DCWC122 12″ 1200W Car Subwoofer’s magic lies within its vented subwoofer enclosure. It uses dual enclosure for better response. Two CompS woofers are featured in those enclosures that work to produce low end frequencies. It works with 600 watts of RMS power and 1200 watts of continuous power. The impedance is two ohms.
Now, this was the arrangement to meet your need for profound bass. What about glitches? Yes, there are tons of subwoofers that seem promising about good bass, but often fail to perform as expected due to some problems. Two of these most annoying problems are the probability of sound distortion and flex.
It comes with a lightweight cone to eliminate the problem. The cone is built with injection molded polypropylene. The surround is also made tough using polyurethane material. With rigged polyurethane surround and presence of brilliant polypropylene cone, distortion and audio flexing are least of your worries.
Its design, along with exterior construction, has a great impact on the subwoofer’s bass performance. Charcoal-gray carpeting with yellow branding is used for covering enclosures. The plushiness of carpeting helps with delivering warm sound.
The cabinet is made of MDF wood. This isn’t actual wood but works as a great alternative due to its lightness and rigidity. It’s also vented for resonance benefits. Internal bracing is added and corners are made round which provide with more support for the subwoofer.
Yes, Kicker 44DCWC122 12″ 1200W Car Subwoofer comes fully prepared. Let it be the woofer arrangement, cabinet construction or design: dedication for fascinating performance is evident in every aspect. Anyone can feel the divinity just from seeing its features.
3. Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 1200 Watts Dual Rms Subwoofer Review:
A good subwoofer is all about good bass and that’s only possible when it’s equipped with quality components. And this is exactly why Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 1200 Watts Dual Rms one of the quality Subwoofer bucks.
This subwoofer works with 1200 watts of RMS power and 2400 watts of continuous power. It covers a frequency response range of 31Hz-200Hz. The impedance is 4 ohms and follows 94 dB sensitivity.
Let’s talk about the main attraction first, shall we? A subwoofer’s main attraction is its woofer arrangement since this is what’s responsible for bass production quality. Two P3D412 Punch woofers are housed to deliver low end frequencies.
These 12 inch woofers’ cones follow a parabolic design. Kevlar Fiber reinforced semi-pressed paper has been used for cone construction. Reinforced semi-pressed paper is invincible to heavy frequency waves.
Moreover, the material helps with producing spontaneous response and handling excessive power. Parabolic dust cap design on the outside works effectively to eliminate distortion and lower flexing.
A 2.5-inch voice coil is equipped with the woofer. Spun-lace Nomex reinforcement collars of this aluminum coil works incredibly for better SPL and to dissipate heat. Uses powerful magnet for rich bass outcome.
Its poly-ether-ester surround helps with maximum SPL. Cooling vents are featured to balance voice coil temperature, and overall subwoofer temperature in general.
Construction also has a big influence on its performance. This subwoofer is manufactured with 5.8 inch MDF board that makes it durable. Black carpet has been used for covering which brings the vibe of elegance along with warm sound.
And the same goes for enclosure port design. Loudspeaker enclosure analysis program is applied for making a vented enclosure worthy of quality output, but wait till you see the port. Its design helps to avoid annoying airflow and, thus results in clearer and more accurate sound.
From voice coil construction to enclosure design, Rockford Fosgate P3-2X12 1200 Watts Dual Rms Subwoofer excels in every way. Bring this excellent subwoofer home today to get the best bass output of lifetime. Yup, you’re guaranteed to have the exact response you’ve craved for all along.
4. Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer:
Let’s be honest, front-firing subwoofer is incomparable. Bass has always been about giving this chill down the spine (or through ears) with booming waves and true feeling of this can be brought only by front-firing subwoofers.
Looking for subwoofer under 500 bucks with the exact same vibe? Seems like Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer will be the best thing for you!
This subwoofer works with 250 watts of RMS power and 1000 watts of peak power. It covers a frequency response range of 22Hz-200Hz. The sensitivity rating is 110dB.
The woofer cone is poly-injected which makes it a splendid choice for home theater. The material doesn’t soak moist, thus maintains sound’s spontaneous quality and reduces distortion.
The cone comes with a flat dust cap that’s included for low flex and less distortion. The surround is padded with half roll foam to give a warm vibe to the audio response.
The cone design is already everything you need for rich bass production, but there’s more to the slot. The component is equipped with 1 inch ferrite magnet to bring the best out every low-end frequency.
Dual ports are situated underneath the cone. They work to eliminate turbulence problem and balance sound flow. The enclosure is braced.
About construction, the cabinet is made of 5.8 inch MDF board which balances the weight, yet makes the subwoofer durable. The body is covered with transparent black fabric. Grilles have been used for front-framing.
As it should be, controls are included. However, this is not the special feature. The special feature is, controls are labeled so that you don’t have to face difficulties to find the right one. You can turn it on/off, choose crossover medium and adjust volume using these controls.
Movies and TV shows become more thrilling with right bass at the right time. Keeping that in mind, Bic Acoustech PL-200 II Subwoofer has put a great effort to assemble quality front-firing bass producing component in amazingly structured cabinet.
5. Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer Review:
A list of subwoofers without Polk? We don’t think so! Polk is one of America’s favorite names for divine audio and its PSW series introduces some of the best powered subwoofers of this generation.
The speaker works with 460 watts of Dynamic power and 300 watts of continuous power. It covers a frequency response range of 23Hz-160Hz.
Woofer’s design has a great impact on its tremendous performance. Optimization of everything equipped in the woofer results in powerful bass, which wouldn’t be possible with some basic construction.
Moreover, the sound is rich and distortion-free, thanks to the driver’s geometrical structure, material selection and technological attributes that work all together to fight annoying resonance.
The most amazing thing about this subwoofer is its bass quality. No, Polk isn’t satisfied with the concept of buzzing sound or deep booming in the name of bass. It has always been devoted about rich audio and the contribution is reflected in every part, along with woofer construction.
The subwoofer features long slotted vent. The venting gets rid of annoying distortion and turbulence to bring you more detailed and clearer bass.
Rock solid MDF material has been used for cabinet construction, front baffle is one inch thick. Again, huge Hi-Roll surrounds are used for support. Features unfiltered LFE input for connection convenience. Feel at ease with placing it near the TV since the subwoofer is magnetic shielded.
It comes with low pass crossover that can easily be adjusted. For navigation privilege, volume control and phase switch are featured; which are also pretty helpful for adjusting the sound to match the whole system.
The subwoofer includes auto on/off circuit that functions to turn the subwoofer on/off by sending signals around.
You’ve seen all the features. Verdict? That’s right, Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer is surely the best thing that can ever happen to your audio system.
6. MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator Power Pack Subwoofer System:
Bass response is bound to get better when a number of subwoofers are on the work. And that’s what makes this MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator Power Pack Subwoofer System so incredible for use. Home theater or music, profound low-end frequencies are guaranteed everywhere.
What’s better than a splendid subwoofer? Two splendid subwoofers! MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator Power Pack Subwoofer System consists of two 12-inch subwoofer enclosures. The combined outcome of these two enclosures is optimized by a single channel amplifier.
The included subwoofers work with 1200 watts maximum power and 400 watts RMS power. They cover a frequency response range of 40Hz-400Hz, a major portion of low end frequency range.
For better output, amplifier requires higher power handling rate. And that’s one more reason why you should go with this system. 150 watts power delivery at 4 ohms and 250 watts power delivery at 2 ohms; TNA251 amplifier is simply a pro at its job. Moreover, you can connect it to factory speakers and radios, along with any standard audio player/system.
One more amazing thing about this system is its crossover system. To bring you the desired performance, multiple crossovers are featured. For more sound accuracy, the system lets you customize high and low crossover levels. You can easily enjoy the privilege of rich, distortion-free, clear bass just by tuning featured crossovers.
The construction also plays a major role in its excellent quality. Subwoofer enclosures are sealed with 5.8 inch MDF board to make them more durable. Besides, this is quite effective for balancing resonance and flex. Aviation grade carpet has been used for covering.
Because two subwoofers and a mono block amplifier are packed in one system, you don’t have to bother about setting them up together. Just link it to the other system/home theater and your job here is done.
While purchasing a subwoofer, we always hope for some profound and catchy bass. And you can get that vibe easily with MTX Audio TNP212D2 Terminator Power Pack Subwoofer System, where two subwoofers are included for more powerful response and it’s more spontaneous than just some booming waves, thanks to the featured amplifier. Frankly speaking, this system is definitely worth the deal.
7. BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer Review:
Nothing else, just some quality bass, that’s everything people want from their subwoofers. And when a subwoofer like BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer is so devoted to fulfilling this demand, no wonder we’re enlisting it as our subwoofer list! Check out its features and you’ll understand the point yourself.
The subwoofer works with RMS continuous power of 150 watts and Dynamic peak power of 475 watts. It covers a frequency response range of 25Hz-200Hz. The impedance is 8 ohms and follows 90dB sensitivity.
Now, about the driver, it’s equipped with 12-inch injection molded woofer. The driver is pretty lightweight even though heavy materials have been used because they’re injection molded. Heavy duty surround fights against annoying resonance.
You don’t have to link it to an additional amplifier for deep bass response. The subwoofer features its own amplifier. The amplifier’s design is inspired by BASH technology and uses 475 watts of peak power to optimize low end frequencies.
Its performance is much more intense than most other subwoofers, thanks to Dolby Pro Logic and DTS technology. And it also kinda works like one of the sole reason why BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer is the best subwoofer under 500 bucks. Separate inputs are featured for Dolby Pro Logic and DTS.
The construction too has a great impact on its sound quality. The cabinet features BIC’s patented ‘Venturi’ vent that volunteers to extract noises, thus provide you with clear sound. You don’t have to worry about placing it near the tv, this subwoofer is magnetic shielded.
Another amazing thing about this speaker is, you don’t have to stuck with default crossover settings. You can adjust it to get the perfect blending. Automatic signal sensing and volume controls are featured for your utter convenience.
It’s pretty evident from the features, BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer is here for a long run. Bring it home today to get that amazing rich bass response with brilliant, convenient features that makes it a valuable part of your sound system.
8. SVS SB12-NSD – 12″ 400-watt DSP Controlled Sealed Box Subwoofer:
Yes, that’s right. Finally, a SVS subwoofer packed with monstrous bass that ain’t much of a giant itself. In case you’re looking for some pro response in random places or somewhere you’re about to move, this is the perfect subwoofer for you.
First thing that has attracted most people is its size and weight. Generally, SVS works with heavier and bigger drivers for professional usage, so it was kinda shocking to see them producing something this compact. However, the fascinating news is, the attire is modified, yet it’s got the same spontaneous vibe of SVS.
The subwoofer is equipped with 12 inch NSD driver. Before analyzing the driver, we have to mention the amplifier. It comes with a Sledge STA-400D amplifier that basically is the sole reason of the subwoofer’s excellent bass delivery.
The amplifier works with 400 watts of continuous power and 800 watts of peak power. It processes signals quickly and accurately for clearer response. Digital actuators are included for processing. Moreover, this amplifier uses its own set up options and digital bass management features to ensure quality optimization of frequencies.
Accompanied by the amplifier, the driver produces excellent rich bass using all of its power. Woofer cone is built of SVS’s patented aluminum and features a composite dust cap to balance resonance. Again, it works to lower distortion rate. This driver covers a frequency response range of 22Hz-196Hz.
About construction, the subwoofer comes with a sealed box cabinet. It’s compact and doesn’t weigh more than 35 lbs., which makes it easier to move the cabinet places. Curved metal grille has been used in the front. And black ash finish on the cabinet completes its divine look.
For rich, clear bass in any place at any time, SVS SB12-NSD – 12″ 400-watt DSP Controlled Sealed Box Subwoofer features are really powerful amplifier that’s everything you need for rich, deep low-end frequencies.
9. Polk Audio PSW111 Subwoofer (Single, Black):
Introducing our 9th subwoofer of the ten best subwoofer for music list, the Polk Audio PSW111. The subwoofer in black looks elegant. The subwoofer is not wireless. And you have to plug into any supply where you can use it. However, the Polk is a compact series subwoofer.
The subwoofer is very tiny and about eight inch. So, you can place it anywhere you want to have better sounds. Again, you’ll be surprised after watching the punch, as it is small in size too. Furthermore, it includes floor coupled port to provide maximum bass in the comparatively smaller places.
The provided Klippel distortion analyzer can optimize the speaker’s functional works. Even it can optimize its motor, and voice coils. So, it ensures the maximum output and peaceful listening.
Again, any inputs of speaker level can be attached with any kind of system easily. It provides such kind of configurations that reproduces low but clear bass sounds.
It is a non-resonant and dynamically balanced subwoofer. Also, it includes internal bracing for each part. Again, it comes with about 150 watts continuous power that indicated three hundred peaks. Hence, it provides authentic sounds with no distortion. The Polk comes with CEA-Loud and Low technology.
What we liked
What we didn't like
10. Orb Audio subONE 200 Watt Powered Subwoofer:
Our goal is to bring you quality subwoofer under 500 bucks and from the features, we think Orb Audio subONE 200 Watt Powered Subwoofer’s name is definitely worth mentioning. The subwoofer brings you booming bass, accurate low end frequencies for the intense moment in the movie, and suitable for placing in random places, where you can’t even think of putting a large driver.
Orb Audio subONE 200 Watt Powered Subwoofer functions with 300 watts of peak power and 200 watts of continuous power. It covers a frequency response range of 32Hz-200Hz.
It includes super long through 8-inch driver for bass production. The woofer cone is made of high density ABS material which makes it lightweight yet durable enough to withstand strong waves. This driver and the flared snorkel port works together to produce quick, clear, immaculate bass response.
The core secret of this subwoofer’s excellent performance doesn’t lie within its driver, but within its amplifier arrangement. Sure, the driver is all about producing quality bass and this is exactly what it does; however, the professional sound we’re talking about has been made possible only because of the amplifier that comes along. It features 2nd-generation hybrid amplifier to amplify frequencies.
This subwoofer follows a standard cabinet design with black finish. Grille is featured in the front. In case you’re wondering this design is all about looking good only, you’re wrong. Its bass reflex design is another reason why the sound is so good.
It’s a powered subwoofer. RCA ports and volume controls are situated on the back. It can be turned on and off automatically, signal-fetching sensor is included.
Obviously, we want you to enjoy every bit of your favorite song, we want you to feel those crashes and explosions in your favorite movie, we want you to experience rich bass and we want to make that happen for you within your budget. If you think about it, Orb Audio subONE 200 Watt Powered Subwoofer literally is that one subwoofer that goes for all these demands.
Tips for Choosing a Good Subwoofer
Try to go large. There are several reasons behind this. The pitch gets more profound with subwoofer size. The cabinet gets more hollow space after installing driver when it’s big in size. That gives the driver a good chance to disperse frequencies thoroughly which results in rich sound since bass frequencies tend to be long. Subwoofer of 12 inch or higher length is better for this.
The system has a great impact on its performance. Subwoofer will be reproducing low end frequencies, what about other pitches? For perfect outcome, high, mid and low frequencies need to be blended together.
Giant subwoofers are too much for smaller speakers to handle, you probably won’t be able to hear words because of loud rumbling. Always use small subwoofers with small speakers. For instance, 8-inch subwoofer’s bass aligns perfectly with tiny satellite speakers. On the other hand, you should start with 12 inch subwoofers in order to party hard with big DJ speakers.
A small subwoofer won’t be enough for filling a large area; they’re more suitable for compact places, like college dorm. To receive proper response in bigger room, big subwoofers are mandatory.
Some subwoofers include their own amplifier and some don’t. Subwoofers with built-in amplifier are called powered subwoofers and others are known as passive subwoofers.
We suggest you go with powered subwoofers. This way, you won’t have to connect it to an additional amplifier. Besides, no tuning is required to combine driver and amplifier. Powered subwoofers are also quite beneficial for giving better output using less power.
Frequency Response Range
Subwoofer’s performance depends on frequency response range. We can hear sound because of these frequencies, they resonate and those responses are what appear as ‘sound’ in our ears.
Frequency response range determines how deep or rich the audio is gonna sound. Frequency response range for bass is 20Hz-200Hz. The response gets more accurate as the range gets wider.
Since woofer is the component that produces frequencies, no wonder its quality has a great impact on sound. There’s not much to modify about its style, material type is what determines the performance.
There are three conditions for the best woofer design: it has to be lightweight, firm and quick. Woofers are basically made of materials that can meet these criteria (as accurately as possible).
Nowadays, many materials are used for manufacturing woofers. Paper, polymers, glass fiber, Kevlar are just a few names. Every material has their fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
Cabinet should be durable, materials used in cabinet construction have a great impact on its durability. Generally, MDF is used for sub manufacturing; but use of wood, plastic or metal ain’t rare either.
However, the design should be convenient enough for frequent bass production. It should be magnetic shielded in case you want to place the subwoofer near the TV.
You’ll see two types of subwoofer enclosure: ported and sealed. In case you’re wondering which one would be the best, there’s one thing you must know: both enclosures have their privileges and disadvantages.
Bass produced by subwoofer with ported enclosure sounds blunt sometimes due to the presence of vents. Sealed enclosure leaves no chance for air to come in or go out, so the bass is pretty accurate. However, subwoofer with sealed enclosure consumes more power than the one with ported enclosure.
Controls and Tuning Privilege
Check for controls before purchasing. The sub should include options for turning power on/off and adjusting volume.
Some subwoofer features equalizer or preset modes for customizing tunes. Using these options, you can customize low end frequency response to fit the mood properly. As you know, bass preference for a thriller film is different than pop music.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the difference between powered and passive subwoofers?
Ans: The difference between these two types of subwoofers is determined by the addition of amplifier. Passive subwoofers don’t come with their own amplifier, you need to connect them to a separate amp for powering. On the other hand, powered subwoofer is equipped with a built-in amplifier.
2. What is frequency response range?
Ans: Frequency response range is frequently mentioned in subwoofer descriptions. This range describes the amount of frequencies that can be reproduced by a subwoofer. The term ‘Hertz’ is used for measuring frequencies. Subwoofer’s frequency response range is narrowed between 20-200Hz.
3. Do you really need to link an amplifier to a subwoofer?
Ans: This actually depends on two things.
First of all, there are two types of subwoofers: powered subwoofers and passive subwoofers. Powered subwoofers feature their own amp, where passive subwoofer doesn’t. So, when you’re going with a passive subwoofer, you’ll have to link it to a separate amp.
Secondly, low frequencies require loads of watts to be reproduced and that can’t be handled by just any amplifier. The amplifier has to be strong enough to avoid draining power. This is an important thing that should be kept in mind while purchasing passive subwoofer’s amplifier; however, this information can also come handy in case your powered subwoofer’s amplifier fails to keep up with the rest of the system.
4. What does peak power handling rate mean?
Ans: Peak power handling rate refers to maximum wattage a subwoofer can sustain in a short amount of time.
5. What does continuous power handling rate mean?
Ans: Continuous power handling rate refers to the subwoofer’s continuous wattage sustaining rate. The term RMS (Root Mean Square) is also used for referring to continuous power handling rate.
6. What’s the benefit of composite paper cone?
Ans: Even though there’s a number of materials that are proven to be effective for quality sound, composite paper is still one of the popular cone material choices.
For good sound production, the cone has to be lightweight, agile and firm. The cone created by composite paper is the only cone that meets those conditions properly. Use of paper makes it lightweight, modification makes it stiff and since it’s not heavy, doesn’t take much time for sound production.
7. What does LFE mean?
Ans: LFE is the abbreviated form of the term ‘Low Frequency Effect’. LFE input is the easiest way to connect subwoofers with other systems for better bass response with much more accuracy.
8. What is the ideal location for placing a subwoofer?
Ans: Well, this mainly depends on the subwoofer construction, because you have to think about bass delivery as well.
For general purpose, it’s better to place it in the corner because it helps the bass sound richer. If you want to place it before a flat wall, keep a distance between the subwoofer and the wall, so that it doesn’t become an obstacle for thorough sound.
The main target of this article was to bring you a list of the best subwoofer under 500. All you had to do is just check out their features and choose the right one. We hope you found the subwoofer you were looking for, and if you’re still having difficulty selecting, you can always take help from the guide above or ask for any help in the comment section below.