The 10 Best Subwoofers to Buy Right Now

“I feel the earth move under my feet…”

There’s no denying the allure of deep, powerful bass—how it conveys emotion and adds palpable dimension to music or the soundtrack of the latest Hollywood blockbuster (you can now officially cross The Interview off your list). As any audiophile will tell you, a good subwoofer is an essential ingredient of a serious sound system. But the sad truth is that for every decent subwoofer there are dozens of bad “subwoofers” that destroy musical passages and intense movie scenes with rude noises and boomy bass.

At Sound & Vision, we’re constantly looking for subwoofers that outperform the competition and rise to the top of their price class. Here’s our list of the best subwoofers you can buy with recommendations in three price categories: less than $1,000, $1,000 to $4,000, and $5,000 and up.


SVS SB-2000/PB-2000 Subwoofer: $700/$800

Build Quality

Summary: For rooms smaller than 3,000 cubic feet, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than what either of these subwoofers offer. Movie fans will likely prefer the ported PB-2000 but if you listen to a lot of music, go with the sealed SB-2000.

Plus: Room-friendly form factor (SB-2000) • Outstanding build quality • 45-day in-home trial period
Minus: No built-in parametric equalizer • Best for moderate size rooms

allanmarcus's picture

"will win you over with its (literally) explosive performance."

Really? The sub will literally explode and get wood and speaker parts all over the place? Then it will win me over because it exploded? :-)

Warrior24_7's picture

Just make sure that you put you ear and head reeeeal close to it when it does it to get the full effect.

sathishdht's picture

The word 'literally' seems to be abused very much these days, be it a S&v reviewr, CNET or Verge guy or readers commenting.

allanmarcus's picture

Unfortunately, morons in our society have corrupted the word so much that according to and, the second definition of the word literally now means "virtually"! It literally blows my mind that that people virtually don't understand the difference between real and figurative! :-)

There is a sliver of hope. The Oxford English Dictionary still shows the ignorant usage of "literally" as "informal."

OK, pet peeve rant over. I just expect better from professional writers.

Warrior24_7's picture

So, you need to put your head reeeeal close to it (and turn it up weeeeal weeeeal loud) so when it does it, your head will "virtually" explode and your ear drums will "literally" explode! That way you get the full effect and the true meaning of the word. Ok, rant to imbecile over. Let us know how that works out for ya.

sathishdht's picture

You guys missed out the best in $500 or below category which is 70% of buyer demography. For example Velodyne Impact Mini, Enotiva X-ref10 which has parametric eq as well, ML Dynamo500 are some of the very good subs under or around $500. Do you guys think through fully before publishing an article or just rush it out?

mnc's picture

I'm surprised you didn't include the PSA XV-15 since it won your $800 subwoofer shootout. Also, where is the review for the new HSU?

Bob Ankosko's picture
Our review of the Hsu VTF-15H MK2, which appears in the February/March 2015 print issue, will be posted soon.
Devin Chen's picture

Which is the best? it's JL Audio e110 Subwoofer, SVS SB13-Ultra Subwoofer, or M&K Sound X12 THX Subwoofer for Outdoor movie?

mnc's picture

When will you be reviewing the PSA XS30se? I am VERY interested in how it compares to the SVS SB13-Ultra.

Dharmaraj's picture

None of these subwoofer brands are available in my country :(
I found this site while looking for something else and I am gonna bookmark this. Great site for audiophiles like me :D
Thank You for allowing me to comment on your site. Visit Mine

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