5-Star Bass: Best Subwoofers of 2017/2018

A hearty subwoofer is an essential ingredient of any serious sound system. It has to play low and loud and do so without making rude noises and without sounding flabby. Besides scaring your kids (and the neighbors), a good subwoofer will deliver deep, powerful bass that conveys emotion and adds palpable dimension to music and movie soundtracks…so you can feel the sound. We’ve compiled snapshots of the best subwoofers we’ve reviewed over the past 18 or so months. Prices range from $399 to $6,500 and all models received a five-star rating in the critical Performance category. If you’re on a mission to bring home the bass, start here.

Monoprice Monolith 15" THX Ultra Subwoofer: $1,300


Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
The Monolith 15” THX Ultra-certified subwoofer won’t win any beauty contests but it will deliver the deep, clean, controlled bass you expect from a speaker that has survived THX scrutiny. If you and want to save a few hundred bucks, we also reviewed the Monolith 12” ($800) and gave it 4.5 stars for Performance and Value. “In order to receive THX certification, these subs need to meet a low distortion number, which really translates into clean and controlled bass response,” wrote resident bass guru David Vaughn. “I truly enjoyed my time with both of these subs and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to a friend.”

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clean, copious, and articulate bass
Outstanding build quality
Five-year replacement warranty
Minus
No parametric equalizer
No app control
Extremely heavy

Full Review Here


KEF Kube 12b Subwoofer: $700


Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
Reviewed as part of KEF’s 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos-enabled Q Series system, the Kube12b received high praise from veteran reviewer Mark Fleischmann, who gave the 12-inch/300-watt subwoofer 5 stars for Performance and Value. He was particularly enamored with how the sub handled the “thunderous” pipe-organ blast on Vaughan Williams’ Job/Symphony No. 9 (Chandos SACD). “I’m impressed by how much performance KEF got out of the $700 price of the Kube12b sub,” Fleischmann wrote. “A legend has to be earned. KEF continues to earn it.”

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Three placement EQ modes
Smart, auto gain-adjusting inputs
Intelligent Bass Extension (iBX) DSP processing
Minus
Not as dressy as other KEF products

Full Review Here


SVS PC-4000 Subwoofer: $1,800


Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
In a sea of bulky black boxes, the tube-shaped PC-4000 stands apart as a decidedly unconventional subwoofer — one that will be a godsend for enthusiasts who demand subterranean bass but have limited floor space. The tall, slender cylinder has a circular footprint that’s only 16.5 inches in diameter yet it can rumble down to well below 20 Hz. Reviewer David Vaughn’s take: “This is one fantastic subwoofer, and if floor space is an issue for your system, it’s well worth auditioning using SVS’s 45-day in-home trial.”

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Outstanding bass response
Onboard parametric EQ
Useful remote and smartphone app
Uncommon form factor
Minus
Lacks auto-calibration
Uncommon form factor

Full Review Here


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COMMENTS
w1000i's picture

Powersoundaudio s7201 will beat many subs and cost 4000$ and made in the USA

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