people's choice

The Best Subwoofers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

First, a subwoofer. Next, a Mad Max–style speaker truck. Photo: Courtesy Warner Bros.

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve covered the best computer speakers, portable speakers, and even waterproof headphones, here we’re zeroing in on the best subwoofers on Amazon, according to the bass heads who love them. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best-rated subwoofer

Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer
$100 at Amazon

“Okay, it’s been awhile since I’ve been really impressed with a purchase. This is one of those times. This thing is a beast! It’s bigger than I thought it would be — and it puts out some mean bass. Kinda scary, actually. I live in an apartment, and I’m really nervous it’ll just make the whole place rattle if I turn it up any higher. Right now, I keep it at a very modest volume, and I still get very crisp and full bass. It makes my music and my TV come to life like I’ve never heard before. I’m sure with me living in an apartment, I’ll never really fully realize the full potential of this monster, but that’s okay. I’m very happy with this sub. And for the price, it’s a steal.”

Best home-theater subwoofer

Klipsch R-12SW Subwoofer
$359 at Amazon

“An awesome new addition to any home-theater system. It has the tightest, smoothest, bass response I’ve ever heard, and an awesome ‘feel it in the couch’ effect to go with it. Four hundred watts of pure pleasure for rock, blues, jazz, and hip-hop, with a high enough sensitivity for the classical enthusiast to be able to enjoy its benefits, too.”

Best 12-inch subwoofer

Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer
$230 at Amazon

“I was on the market for a better home-theater subwoofer, I decided to go with this one, and I am glad I did. This sub is tight, clean, and, of course, loud. For the money, it’s definitely worth getting. There has been some talk about this subwoofer not hitting low notes; well, for the movies I watch and pretty much all types of music, I don’t see the problem. (It hits extremely low to me.) … I, for one, am not sorry I bought this. Fits all my needs and then some, and it can vibrate the house no problem if that is your thing. I look for nice clean good sound. This fits my needs perfectly.”

Best 8-inch subwoofer

Polk Audio PSW111 Subwoofer
$194 at Amazon

“If you are looking for large blasts of earth shaking sub-bass, this is perhaps not the [subwoofer] to buy. But if you want to round out your music and provide good balanced theater sound without shaking all the nails loose in your house, then this will work great. Nice small size makes it a great option to fit just about anywhere. Knobs and controls on the back are easy to read and offer a lot of control once you play with them a bit. I have this sitting on the carpeted floor, and it still provides enough bass for my ears. … Don’t let the size fool you, this still has plenty of punch depending on how you set it up and configure the volume and settings.”

Best wireless subwoofer

Klipsch R-10SWi 10” Wireless Subwoofer
$298 at Amazon

“Wow, this subwoofer is powerful. I tried other brands with similar specs, and this one blows them out the water. Granted, it is a bit more expensive, but it is totally worth it. I have the gain and volume almost all the way down, as it produces super loud bass. Much more than I need in a medium-sized living room. The wireless works seamlessly, and it is definitely a plus to have different placement option without having to deal with wires.”

Best bass subwoofer

Onkyo SKW204 Bass Reflex Powered Subwoofer
$229 at Amazon

“I absolutely love good bass and love to turn the bass up. This subwoofer handles even the most punishing bass (dubstep, for the win) with ease. I have only heard the rattle others describe at very high volume, as in volume I would only personally submit this subwoofer to during a party or some serious bass workouts. This subwoofer has to be the ultimate value as far as electronics go on Amazon. … It kicks, and it turns my surround sound system into a whole other beast.”

Best budget subwoofer

Acoustic Audio PSW-8 300 Watt 8-Inch Down Firing Powered Subwoofer
$90 at Amazon

“Very good quality and features for the price. If you’re looking for something to shake the foundation at a rock concert this isn’t it. But it’s a solid subwoofer that will fill in with clean and tight bass nicely — to complement compact full-range speakers that may be good in the midrange and highs but need the help in the low end. For the price you can’t beat these.”

Best compact subwoofer

Theater Solutions SUB8SM Slim Subwoofer
$109 at Amazon

“This SUB8SM replaces a large ten-inch traditional box subwoofer in our bedroom. We used the included feet and brackets and put in the vertical position in between a dresser and a wall to hide it. It provides great base for our room. It also frees up space in the corner of the bedroom, and makes the room feel much more open. The wife loves the fact she doesn’t see the subwoofer anymore.”

Best active subwoofer

Sony SACS9 10-Inch Active Subwoofer, Black
$158 at Amazon

“This subwoofer delivers on the bass. I have some cheaper plastic frames hanging on the other side of the wall from the subwoofer, and they vibrate and rattle when the subwoofer kicks in on bass-heavy music. If you have a small apartment, that might be problematic. Bass really carries, even if the volume isn’t that high. … This subwoofer really enhances my movie watching experience. My television speakers do a good job of reproducing sounds, but a subwoofer adds the rumble that makes you feel like things are taking place in your own living room. It has also been great listening to music with this subwoofer. Sometimes I feel like I am listening to a song for the first time. Having never had a subwoofer, the low end of songs did not really register on my cheap portable boombox speakers or TV speakers. It just adds a different dimension.”

Best hi-fi subwoofer

Klipsch Reference R-10SW 10-Inch 300w Powered Subwoofer
$264 at Amazon

“I am not an audiophile. I love music and can generally appreciate good quality. The system I have now is night-and-day clearer than any system I have previously owned or any car stereo I have previously owned. This sub thumps and shakes the walls without losing any bit of the clarity it has at lower volume. I haven’t tried to max it out, haven’t had to. I’ve had this up loud enough that I worried I would wake the neighbors. It still felt very confident and composed.”

Best car subwoofer

Pioneer TS-SWX2502 10 inch Shallow-Mount Pre-Loaded Enclosure
$98 at Amazon

“I’ve had this in my truck for about two months, and it sounds great. It fit perfectly underneath the back seat of my extended cab F-150 with no issues. The bass hits fast, clear, and heavy. I listen to mostly rock and metal music and this sounds great. I listen to some hip-hop here and there and that sounds great too. … I wanted to get clear and punchy bass, and be able to take the load off of my door speakers, so for me it sounds perfect. If your someone who wants heavy and drowning bass, like the type that makes your car rattle apart, than this speaker probably isn’t for you. But with only one speaker, it sounds great for my taste.”

Best dual car subwoofer

MTX Audio Terminator Series TNE212D 1,200-Watt Dual 12-Inch Sub Enclosure
$150 at Amazon

“These are better than what you would expect for such a good price. I currently have two of them in two different vehicles, and they have both performed flawlessly. In fact, one set of subs I’ve had for about two years, and let me tell you: I definitely put them through their paces. It ships already assembled which is very convenient. These will make any music no matter the genre so much better.”

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The 12 Best Subwoofers, According to Amazon Reviewers