If you are someone that’s looking to put together a home theater or you are seriously into audio and want to set up your own audiophiles paradise than you should seriously think about investing in a good quality subwoofer. Investing in something like that can open up a whole new perspective in your audio thinking. Having a good quality subwoofer can make a huge difference in your audio experience. However it is not an easy choice as one might imagine. There are loads of subwoofer manufacturers out there and making a choice is not as easy as it seems. All of them differ in certain things. For instance, durability, longevity, sound quality and of course price. However, it doesn’t necessarily means that the price dictates the quality. Luckily we’re here today to help you get the best subwoofer under 500.
There are a lot of key factors that you must take into consideration before making your choice. It is always a great starting point to know your main needs and criteria before doing a little bit of research. If you know this than you’re already good on your way and you just need a little pit of guidance and highlights. So without any further delay and in no particular order, lets quickly move on and see our top picks for the best subwoofer under 500. Here we go!
1. Klipsch R-10SW
First up is product whose manufacturer was mentioned in this list above. We’re talking about the Klipsch R-10SW. It’s a small but very powerful subwoofer. Don’t let its size fool you, this bad boy packs a punch.
This subwoofer has a 150 watts of continuous power and has 300 watts of dynamic power. In addition, it is controlled via fully digital amp that really helps lower noise at higher gains. However there is a minor downside to this and it is found at the limited frequency response. You can easily solve this problem if you add an additional high-end subwoofer to prevent the loss of bass deeper than 32 Hz. Another small but convenient advantage about this subwoofer is that it includes both LFE and line inputs. This makes it compatible with multiple audio sources.
- LFE and line input
- 300-watt dynamic power and 10” copper-spun cone driver
- Limited frequency response
2. BIC America F12
Next up on the list is the BIC America F12. There are two great things about this product, the sound quality and the company’s amazing customers service. Not only do they offer a five-year warranty on this product, but they are also very responsive throughout the whole setup process, always there for you and ready to answer your every question.
This subwoofer is not extremely powerful, coming at 150 watts, but it also features 475 watts of dynamic power, which puts it head to head with the more expensive subwoofers.
There is also a 12 inch driver that is injection modeled, which task is to provide consistency and keep a high sound quality. Furthermore, it has a wide frequency response range from 25 to 200 Hz. The only downside to this sub is that it can create rumble when turned past the 50% gain. For that purpose there is an added “Venturi” vent at the back, which will reduce noise. It also has input ports for Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic.
- Large frequency response Venturi vent
- Loud and powerful 475-watt dynamic power
- Five-year warranty and great customer service
- Might generate a lot of rumble
3. Polk Audio PSW10
Next up on our list is another one from the good folks of Polk Audio. We’re talking about the Polk Audio PSW10, which is designed to fill in the bass in a surround system that lacks a subwoofer or in other cases to replace a noisy subwoofer that came by default with your surround sound.
Even though this subwoofer only has 50 watts of continuous power, what makes it stand out is its ability to jump to 100 watts of dynamical power.
The downside of this model is that it can get mudded fairly easily and there are signs of sound deterioration when using higher volumes. Despite those flaws it is still a great buy for the value of money. The low price tag allows the possibility of adding more of these subwoofers to your system for a better bass. Like the previous subwoofer that was made by Polk Audio, this one also has a warranty of five years, so it can prove to be a great investment.
- 100-watt dynamic power
- Very affordable
- Klippel measurement technology ensures improved sound quality
- Warranty of five years
Might be muddy at high volumes
4. Yamaha NS-SW100BL
Over here we have a big name manufacturer that made a small but very powerful speaker. We’re talking about the Yamaha NS-SW100BL. It is very similar to the NS-SW050BL, with the main difference being the 10-inch cone, which is an upgrade from the 8-inch driver. This allows it to pump up the dynamic power to 100 watts.
It goes without saying that with the increase of the cone, the size of the subwoofer itself is larger. It has most of the loved features, like the wide frequency response which is among the best in this price category.
However it lacks a low-pass crossover filter, which results with a gap between the mid-frequencies and the bass. Other than that, it brings a loud and clear sound with high quality at mid gains, which can get muddy when it gets higher. To deal with the noise it includes a twisted flare side port. Despite having a two year warranty, users experience shows that there are no problems over a couple of years of use.
- Wide frequency response
- 100-watt dynamic power output
- Twisted flare side port to help noise
- No crossover filter
5. Yamaha NS-SW050BL
Like the previous Yamaha entry on our list, this one is also a great, reliable and affordable piece. Even though this sub only has 50 watts of power and no boost whatsoever, it is pretty loud for a subwoofer of this size. It fits perfectly in small to medium size rooms with a 5.1 surround sound system.
Furthermore, muddying and noise is pretty limited when you turn up the gain to the maximum, which is very rare for a speaker at this price range. To add to that, this sub also has one of the widest frequencies too, going from 28-200 Hz. The only downside (if you can call it that) is that Yamaha gives a two year warranty. However, user experience shows that the longevity of this product is far more than Yamaha can guarantee.
- Very affordable
- Pretty wide frequency range
- Fairly limited muddying at high volumes
- Not that powerful
- Warranty of two years
6. Klipsch R-12SW
First up on our list is the Klipsch R-12SW. The design is similar to the R-10SW, from the same manufacturer, with the only major difference being the larger 12 inch cone driver, which gives it the more powerful output. This sub is capable of shaking a room when its gain is cranked up.
It has 200 watts of continuous power and a dynamic output of 400 watts. Another good thing is that distortion is at a minimal level, even when it’s cranked up. However, this model is slightly bigger than the R-10SW, which means that it’ll take up more space in the room. Furthermore, it might interact with your room acoustics differently. Another important aspect unfortunately is the narrow frequency response. There is a noticeable gap between the mid frequency speakers and the sub. This might not be an issue when watching movies, but you might notice it when playing music. But overall, this is a good quality speaker, worth the money.
- 200-watt power with 400-watt dynamic power
- Minimal distortion when at high gain
- Very limited frequency response
7. Polk Audio PSW505
This might be the best money to quality ratio subwoofer on our list. There are a lot of satisfied users who bought this sub multiple times, either for dual set up or to use it in different rooms. One thing that makes this subwoofer stand out from the rest is the power output.
It features 300 watts of continuous sound power plus up to 460 watts of dynamic power. What this means that it sounds loud and clear even at 60% gain, which leave you with a lot of volume still left.
However, the downside of this sub is the limited frequency range, which is set at 23-160 Hz. What this means that you might lose frequencies between your mid speaker and your bass. In addition, the rear port design might cause noise when the subwoofer is at a high gain. For that purpose the subwoofer comes with an adjustable low pass crossover system, helping you deal with the noise and improve your sound. Another great feature is the warranty provided by the manufacturer, which stands at 5 years. Thus insuring you that your subwoofer will last.
- Adjustable low pass crossover
- 300 watts of power
- Improved bass response
- Warranty of five years
- Amazing value for that price
- Rear port design may add noise
- Limited frequency range
8. Onkyo SKW204
Next up on the list is the Onkyo SKW204. We’re talking about a 230 watt subwoofer that is perfect for your home theater. It’s been designed so that it will work with both 5.1 and 7.1 channel surround sound system. It features a 10 inch cone driver which provides a solid full sound, especially in the low end frequencies.
Furthermore, it features a built in low-pass crossover filter, that is adjustable to match the frequency range of this specific subwoofer to the rest of the sound system.
The different thing between this subwoofer and others in this price range is the fact that this subwoofer puts all of its sound out the front, whereas others put it out facing downward or the sides. This can be either good or bad for you, depending on your room acoustics. Some users say that it helped, some say that it made things worse. Always have this in mind and to a test. There is a minor problem with the auto-standby feature, there is no on switch to be more specific. There is a way to tackle this problem, but it might affect the two year warranty. However, this does not affect the subwoofers performance in any way.
- Sound comes out directly out the front of subwoofer
- Works well with both 5.1- and 7.1-channel surround sound systems
- Full and clear sound at low frequencies
- Auto-on function creates annoying noise when starting
- Warranty of two years
There you have it folks, that was our list of the top 8 picks of the subwoofer under 500. Having said all of the above, we can safely conclude that there is no single best subwoofer in this price range. It all comes down to what are your needs and criteria. What are the things that matter the most to you and what are the thing you’re willing to let go when looking for a brand new subwoofer. If you can give yourself the answer to that question then you are already half way there! You can find more products in this price range on Amazon by following this link.
Hope you found this article informative and our choices suited your style and taste. Just pick the one that fits your needs the most, also keep in mind your room acoustics! This can be a game changer! We also hope that having read this you are now more informed, more sure and ready to go out there and make the decision on your own.